In marketing, there’s a common saying that content is king. In the internet age, this is truer than ever. The statistics talk for themselves, we’re spending more and more time online and becoming more discriminating about the quality of content that we expect.
So if we’re becoming more critical of online content, what can we do? The answer lies in transmedia marketing. This approach combines tried and tested content marketing techniques with a multi-pronged approach across different kinds of media.
In the near future, it may not be enough to have a well-written blog alone. We’re already seeing this trend: how many brands have you seen share a combination of blogs, images, and videos on their social media and across their sites? Transmedia marketing is the new approach of storytelling in marketing and it could be a huge boon for your company.
You can’t afford to pass it up.
Are you ready to find out more about transmedia marketing and how it can help you? Then please, keep reading!
What is Transmedia Marketing?
It’s easy to think that transmedia marketing is just another marketing buzzword but dismiss it at your peril! The concept is not difficult to grasp.
There is a lot of marketing content online right now: many companies have a blog of some description. At some point, it becomes hard to stand out from the crowd. Transmedia marketing does not depend on one specific kind of content, instead, it combines them all.
Your transmedia marketing approach could combine video marketing, content marketing, photos, images, and interactive media. That is not to say that transmedia marketing is some kind of watered-down approach. It’s a tried and tested method that’s becoming more and more popular out of necessity.
One famous example of transmedia marketing came with the release of The Blair Witch Project back in 1999. In addition to the typical trailers that you’d get with any other film, the film’s site contained photos of a character’s car, mocked up missing posters, and more. All of this helped make The Blair Witch Project into a tremendous cultural phenomenon.
We’ve shown you how to establish a strong online presence before and a huge part of that is to maintain an active online presence. This is where transmedia marketing comes into the equation. Transmedia marketing lets you use marketing storytelling more effectively and interestingly.
Transmedia Marketing Yields Social Currency
Social currency should be an important part of your marketing goals. The customer today has an immense amount of agency: gone are the days where brands dictated a story to the customer and they ate it up. Today’s customers are more critical and require a little extra nurturing.
This is where social currency comes in. Making your customer feel like a part of something should be the goal of your marketing storytelling. You see this with charity marketing: think of the ice bucket challenge or any other charity-backed event; anyone who takes part in it tells their own story of how they’ve helped charity while also spreading the word about the said charity.
For-profit enterprises can use transmedia marketing to spread the word of their brand too. Few film production companies are as well known as Pixar for instance: the happiness their films bring is inextricably tied to the brand name. The Marvel movies are another example.
Telling a story using transmedia marketing doesn’t rely on your company telling a story, exclusively. It has space for the customers to weave their reactions and expectations into the marketing and make it an integral part of the story that they tell about themselves.
Transmedia Marketing Makes a Customer Participatory
When poorly done, marketing storytelling can resemble dictation. The marketers tell the customer a story. It can become an imperative that does not involve the audience, so much as bark a story at them and hope that the customers enjoy it.
Transmedia marketing makes for better storytelling in marketing precisely because it does not do this. Instead, it lets you weave a story around your customer that they can experience. Consumers are producing their own content at a rate of knots on apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Older consumers blog, write Facebook posts or tweet their thoughts at companies. We are no longer in an age where we can afford to expect consumers to enjoy our content and leave it at that.
Focus on making customers a story they can then weave further. As with any website, build it with fans of your brand in mind and take their suggestions on board to make it more relevant to them.
How to Create Stories With Marketing
So we’ve talked a lot about marketing storytelling but how does it work? What are the fundamental steps that you need to take to tell a story with transmedia marketing?
Determine Your Story
What story do you want to imbue your readers/viewers/listeners with? It cannot be too self-promotional but it must strike a balance between pure promotion and inspiration. Your brand needs to be featured as a signature part of it, inextricable.
Think of things like the ice bucket challenge, The Blair Witch Project and Pixar movies. Use your brand as a launching-off point from which you will tell a story that your audience will love.
This can be difficult for for-profit companies but it’s not impossible.
This is where the use of transmedia marketing comes into its own. Traditional marketing storytelling requires one medium and a self-contained story told over a minute to a couple of minutes: see Apple’s 1984 advertisement or Honda’s Cog ad.
Transmedia lets you create a whole storyverse like a slimmed-down version of the Marvel MCU. You can tell a cohesive story that involves your brand across blog posts, social media posts, videos, interactive elements like games, photos and podcasts.
Customer interaction should be a critical part of your transmedia strategy. You will need to use a variety of formats to immerse potential customers into the world of your marketing. Another incredible example of this can be seen in Lego, who have made video games and movies featuring their products.
Your marketing needs to show your customers how your product can transform their lives. Bombard them with core messages about change, growth and inspiration.
Why Transmedia Marketing Works
Transmedia marketing works because it inspires its customers and doesn’t rely on shoehorning a message about your brand into their lives. It makes customers want to create. Creativity is a vital element of humanity and harnessing this to your advantages can yield powerful benefits.
As it helps people create, it becomes ingrained into every part of your customer’s lives. Brands crave social triggers as they promote self-perpetuating marketing. Social triggers can be seen in people asking for a Kleenex rather than a tissue or referring to Hoovering instead of vacuuming.
We’re sure that you can think of many more examples of brand names becoming second-nature. Transmedia marketing helps to make this widespread.
How Transmedia Marketing Fits In With Your Marketing Strategy
We can’t all afford to finance Hollywood films or create videogames like Lego. This doesn’t mean that we can’t all harness the power of transmedia marketing: we need to figure out how to make it a part of our inbound marketing strategy. The purpose of inbound marketing can be broken down into four steps: attract, convert, close, delight. Transmedia marketing can be used to bookend these steps: it can both attract new customers and delight existing ones.
Transmedia marketing works because it breaks through the crowded world of content marketing. It isn’t reliant on being the lucky article that catches people’s attention in a marketplace that’s chock-full of articles just like it.
Your transmedia marketing inspires people to share their own stories all about themselves. It lets them tell stories that make themselves look good. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Transmedia also has a prosumerist aspect to it that lets customers become involved with the marketing process, knowingly or unknowingly. They play an integral part in spreading word about your business.
The reason that this approach works so well is that it does have a large initial spend but if done successfully, your marketing will then be done for you by your customers. There’s no reason to wait around to start using transmedia marketing: you can start doing it right now! Use podcasts, social media, and content to push an inspirational message about your brand.
Would You Like Help Growing Your Business?
Transmedia marketing represents a fantastic way to grow your business but it can be difficult to put into practice. That’s where we can help you. We’re experts at growing businesses to their full potential and can use the latest marketing technology to help you reach peak performance.For more information about our products and services, please get in touch with us.