Storytelling is one of the oldest things we prefer when we want us to make our children learn something. And not only children adults are also found more interested in storytelling things. Now a days radios have also begin to start storytelling to keep involved their audience till the story gets completed. Good stories grab our attention and imagination. They have the potential to transport us through another person’s experience. They help to create an emotional connection between the narrator and the audience. That is why we have been telling stories for such a long time and it does not seem like we are going to stop anytime soon. In fact, the expansion of communication platforms and other related technologies have provided more ways to create and consume stories. We are no longer restricted to carvings on stones or hieroglyphs to tell a story. The digital era has certainly caused a significant impact on storytelling stories in general, and transmedia storytelling in particular.
Not so long ago, there was one main channel through which companies could communicate with consumers – advertising (for example, through brochures and billboards). One of the limitations of this form of advertising is that it is basically a monologue, that is, there is no interaction with the audience. Today, it’s a different story because of the infinite number of formats through which we can tell a story (e.g., videos, games, eBooks and social networks). This is where transmedia storytelling comes into play, because it uses these formats and more, to interact with consumers.
What is Transmedia Storytelling?
According to Henry Jenkins, an American media scholar and Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts (a joint professorship at the University of Southern California) – “Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.”
This, however, should not be confused with cross-media storytelling which is the redistribution of one story across different platforms. With transmedia storytelling, there is the creation of different entry points through various media platforms each showcasing a standalone story which later converges to form a cohesive narrative just like the individual pieces of a puzzle. This is efficient because it helps attract different consumers who are faithful to specific media platforms. For example, telling stories this way would attract gamers to use their favourite characters in a video game or drama fans to explore the story in another way through a blog or an eBook. Star Wars is a great example of a successful transmedia storytelling campaign.
Why Transmedia Storytelling?
There are many reasons why you should be excited about the potential of transmedia storytelling. It is no secret that telling stories about your brand, products, or services is an efficient way to create a powerful identity and reach your target consumers. The idea behind this is that the more people are aware of your brand or your products, the higher your chances of selling them.
Transmedia storytelling can take your brand awareness campaign to the next level. This is simply because you will be attracting different consumers who are loyal to specific media platforms. This automatically increases the overall size of your audience.
Another advantage is that it engages your audience and pushes them to participate more. Consider the success of the “share a coke” campaign, for example, where people participated by using a hashtag across various social media platforms. This quintessential example demonstrates how companies can create opportunities for consumers to engage with their brand.
Every brand has a story to tell. Some of the most successful brands are already making use of the potential of transmedia storytelling to increase their market size. You can be next. You can start telling stories through multiple platforms, in order to offer different consumers a new perspective on your overall narrative. And there will be much improvement observed by your company through it