Transmedia is a growing way in which people are telling stories. For those of you who aren’t quite sure what transmedia is, I’ll explain a bit. Transmedia is telling stories across multiple platforms. While the platforms in which storytellers use are important in getting the message out to the masses, the real key to transmedia is the stories.
I’m currently a Content Strategist Intern for a social media marketing company, and the first thing I learned on the job was this: you can use the hippest, fanciest, rootin-tootinest social media tools available, but if your content isn't engaging, then you’re S.O.L. (Stuck On a Log).
People love to hear good stories. So that’s what you should give them when trying to be a successful transmedia storyteller. Especially in this age of information overload we live in. Stories allow for the “experience” mentality, so instead of simply telling information, we can actually show what happened, when, where, and why, etc. Stories also create emotional and personal connections which in turn create continuing bonds from hearing about the experience in the story.
Effective transmedia storytelling is driven by the following:
· Creativity- use that noodle and be unique!
· Cultural Attractors- these draw together a highly involved audience.
· Cultural Activators- these are motivators to initiate behavior.
· Strategy-any successful story needs a well thought out plan to maximize its impact.
· Sustained Engagement- getting people to stay engaged with the story is important in keeping the story relevant to its viewers.
This brings me to Interactivity and Engagement. One of the most important things for transmedia storytelling is engaging your viewer. Without engagement, your story really won’t be able to soar in success. You have to get your audience to care in order to create engagement. This can lead to interactivity, creating an even deeper engagement throughout your audience. In order to keep your audience interested, you have to create an environment with your story that will keep them coming back for more.
A good example of transmedia storytelling from a large company is Walt Disney World’s “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.” This interactive game allows Magic Kingdom visitors to become sorcerers who travel across the theme park fighting Disney villains by using collectible cards like the ones shown in the picture. This attraction takes classic Disney characters from their own stories and creates a unique and changing interactive experience among guests. This experience seems to be pretty popular among kids visiting the parks, and keeps them coming back for more villain-fighting, sorcery-fun!
Here's a link to Inside the Magic's article on Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom:
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about transmedia storytelling. Thanks for reading and have a magical day!