Internet will expand 500% over the next few years and ‘content’ will continuously submerge in the deluge of online clutter unless marketers are able to break through the clutter. TRANSMEDIA may be the answer. I call this new marketing that marries a brand with consumers through collaboration and story – transporting the brand story or message into a customer’s everyday life through use of multiple media platforms.
You may be able to broadcast your messaging through the digital media megaphone. But story making is the key here. The big problem is that story telling is a ‘one-way street’ with your brand doing all the talking. Therefore, brands today need to be story makers. So what’s the difference? Here it is:
1. Target Audience involvement: A story that’s created with the brands’ fans and followers, allows the audience to participate and add to the story. Story making requires some effort on the part of the audience.
2. Conversation inspired: Stories that come out of hot conversations or issues around the brand have the best chance of success. How do you find those ideas? Listen. Tap into the social conversation around your brand.
3. Free-flowing, boundary-less content: As compared to brand storytelling with largely controlled content, story making allows the content to roam free across social media. Give the audience free rein to create, post and share their stories on their own channels. Allow yourself to bring all those stories back to your brand platforms and curate it via hashtags etc.
4. Avoid self-endorsement: Glowing self-endorsement is a clear sign of controlled environment that leads to lack of credibility, engagement and interest. Give power to the customers, be prepared that you can’t please all the people all the time. Use customer feedback to course-correct if required. And encourage the customers with great stories to post them online. Make it easy to do so – give them tools to help them create a memorable brand story of their own.
Coke and Red Bull are great examples of digital marketing successes by clearly differentiating and assiduously following the story making approach.