One of Transcending Social Media’s clients is a series of books called ‘The Heritage Project’. The first in the series was released in Australia this past November and it is set for a global release within the coming months. However Heritage goes above and beyond mere books but actually encompasses an entire universe known as a ‘StoryWorld’.
Mike Jones, one of the co-authors of the books, explained to me that a StoryWorld, also known as ‘TransMedia‘, was about taking the reader far beyond the mere words of a page but ensnared them into a universe where they could not only read the books but also watch movies or TV shows, listen to audio podcasts and engage and interact with characters through social media (provided that adheres to the character’s concept). This always fascinated me as I found the idea of going beyond a book and continuing the story in another medium to be a real adventure.
The most prominent example of the StoryWorld today is that of the Marvel franchise. Famous throughout the world for their comic books Marvel has recently expanded to include not just movies (e.g. Captain America or Iron Man) but also a TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and short video story-trailers. The StoryWorld allows you to watch the movies on the big screen and then go home and watch the television show. If you happen to only watch the TV show (or vice-versa) you’re not necessarily missing out on anything however for those that do go the extra mile and watch the TV show (or the movie or read the comics etc) they’re gaining a much more complete story. They’re able to see not just the primary storyline of Captain America but also how S.H.I.E.L.D the agency (filled with the nameless peons that are constantly killed in battle) have to handle the threat on the other side of the world. The reader is given a look beyond what’s merely on the screen and they’re able to enjoy the story in a multitude of media.
This is where I believe that social media marketing is heading. It doesn’t matter what platform you’re on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ because each will be used to tell a chapter in your story.
Super Streamline Your Content
So what will this look like? Well it will be different for every campaign and for every company but you use each social network’s strengths. For instance let’s say that you want to unveil an ad that promotes a new line of clothes. You would record the ad and ready it for television broadcast. However before it’s aired you would tease snippets on vine, Instagram behind the scene pictures, have a q and a with the director on Twitter, fill up Pinterest boards with the clothes and eventually release the ad simultaneously on YouTube and Facebook. The ad will still be seen on television (and YouTube and Facebook) but anyone who follows the brand on these multitude of media will have a greater understanding of the creative process, the ad itself and can interact with the clothing (through Pinterest boards) and even the characters of the ad can be brought to life through Twitter. This is the entire concept of the StoryWorld….a singular narrative told through multiple mediums.
Why Go Down This Marketing Path?
Social media is the future of marketing. It’s not the be all and end all of marketing but it most certainly is the future of it. This new world of interconnected platforms will allow us to spin tales that will delight and charm our audience. We’ll open them up to a once impossible idea of spreading the message of a campaign through a multitude of avenues. This is the future of marketing. The future where you’re telling a story rather than selling a product.