Although “transmedia” may seem like a very complex concept, its simplest definition is quite clear. Transmedia, or transmedia storytelling, is the art of communicating a story using different formats and mediums, including interactive platforms, with the purpose of creating a coordinated message that remains etched in the minds of consumers and an experience that is directly linked with the brand.
Why does it work?
- Connect to multi-device audience. This technique is especially useful in addressing audiences like millennials which are naturally multi-device and helps create a bond with the transmedia experience being created.
- It is a way of naturally segmenting your story. To enjoy the full experience of transmedia storytelling, it is necessary to navigate all the platforms which contain different parts of the story; however, this is often not how consumers will interact with your narrative. If a transmedia campaign uses platforms like YouTube, Facebook and the web, users may not necessarily visit each platform and follow the flow of the narrative design, but as each platform contains a stand-alone message that connects with the rest of the story, each platform holds a brand enhancing message.
- It allows you to evaluate the level of engagement and commitment users have on each platform. Deeply related to the previous point, transmedia campaigns allow you to see the exact point where a user leaves the narrative, allowing you to understand which platforms are best for retaining users and delivering them to the end of your narrative.
- Provides information on ROI per platform. By knowing exactly the point where a user stops the narrative, we are able to see how each platform performs with respect to investment, allowing us to best allocate to those platforms that are high achieving. For example, if the level of user interaction with the narrative on YouTube is higher than user interaction on other platforms, we can channel more resources to that platform, implementing campaigns with the specific aim of increasing conversion.
How is it done?
- Find a multidisciplinary team. Each agency has a specialty or talent, the best way to approach 'transmedia' is to find an agency that has experts in different mediums or is part of a network of partners with a broad skill set.
- Define a target audience. Different media have different audiences and understanding those audiences will be key to developing a message and a narrative that makes an impact on consumers.
- Choose your platforms based on your target audience and the platforms that best suit your message.
- Develop a narrative. Define what your brand means and its central message which will be expressed across all platforms, although in different forms and narrative styles. It should also be clear how the different platforms interact with each other and what specific action or reaction you are seeking from users on each platform. This includes developing specific strategies to measure results from defined segments.
- Evaluate, measure and react. With any marketing campaign, the most important thing is the results. Evaluate with your team the statistics generated by platform and react and readjust your campaign in a timely fashion, if needed.
A well-known example of transmedia is the release of the film “The Blair Witch Project”. To publicize the film, a word-of-mouth campaign was launched through press, websites and blogs, which quickly generated huge interest several months even before the film was released. In fact, the first reports which appeared were rumors that the film was a real documentary and that the protagonists really had disappeared and died mysteriously.
All this seemed quite realistic with false information being leaked to the press announcing the disappearance of the characters and showing photographs of their apparently missing vehicle. This is a great example of a well-executed advertising transmedia campaign taking a low-budget, $22,000 USD film to a successful blockbuster pulling in $248 million in revenue.
Mijo! Brands has an extensive network of partners and internal talent in areas such as Social Media, Web Design and Development and Content Strategies to ensure that your transmedia campaign is a success.
Guillermo Lamphar is Senior Community Manager at Mijo! Brands, a leading digital agency with offices in CDMX and Puerto Vallarta. For more information contact us.