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Is This the Future of Content Marketing? Transmedia Storytelling Emerges

by Lenna Garibian  |  
August 27, 2012

As various technology platforms (e.g., social media, apps, tablets, smartphones, and TV) evolve to become more integrated with one another, more customizable, and more participatory, so are people's expectations around their everyday content experiences, according to a study by Latitude.

However, developing interesting and relevant narratives across multiple platforms is a big challenge for content marketers.

To explore this changing media landscape, Latitude asked leaders in the emerging transmedia space about the challenges and opportunities today's storytellers (or content creators) are encountering. In addition, Latitude polled 158 early adopters of technology in 10 countries, and asked them, "How would you like to experience stories in the future?"

Transmedia storytelling typically involves immersive media experiences, in which the elements of a story are dispersed systematically across multiple media platforms, each making its own unique contribution to the whole. Rather than merely presenting the same content via different formats, transmedia allows each medium to do what it does best—fitting storylines into the most appropriate media vehicle (e.g., video, audio podcast, PowerPoint presentation).

Latitude found that audiences have a growing appetite for media experiences that not only allow them to delve deeper into stories but that also bring stories out of the screen, mingling with actual real-life experiences.

Below, key findings from Latitude's report titled "The Future of Storytelling, Phase 1."

Content needs to be smarter

People want content that's relevant to their real-world experiences. Some 75% of surveyed early adopters said content across mobile devices should become more relevant to where people are and what they are doing in the physical world.

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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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  • by Rishi Mon Aug 27, 2012 via web

    Interesting article... while we've seen TV shows engage and immerse their audiences in multi-platform experiences (eg: voting for American Idol performers using their cell phones), we haven't seen much TV-to-mobile cross-platform integration among brands that advertise on TV. For instance, brands should start using direct response campaigns to encourage viewers to send their email address to a short code in return for exclusive coupons. This way, then can gauge the effectiveness of their campaign, measure the ad's ROI, and collect leads for long-term marketing. For more mobile cheat sheets including "10 Tips for Mobile Usability", check out or tips and tricks at

  • by SMEProfessor Tue Aug 28, 2012 via android

    Interesting article, my question is: How do SMEs utilize transmedia content strategy consIderIng limited funds, limited staff quality, revenue generation imperatives, etc? A way out may be to select 1or 2 content outposts such as (facebook, apps, etc) housIng theIr audIence and really communicate effectively on them? SMEProfessor

  • by Colter Diehl Tue Aug 28, 2012 via mobile

    In an era in which we the public feel as though so many things are beyond our control, participatory marketing and storytelling could be one way of feeling as though our voice matters. Smart businesses will capitalize on the opportunity that the current landscape seems to be presenting.

  • by Kevin Fri Aug 31, 2012 via web

    Is "Transmedia" just a more contemporary hook for "360 degree branding" and "integrated media" ?

  • by Jake Jorgovan Tue Sep 18, 2012 via web

    I agree with this article. Finding new ways to engage and deliver story through interactive technology is the future of media. Technologies like projection mapping, augmented reality and interactive touch screens are enabling people to engage with marketing in ways that did not exist a few years ago.

    This is a great article and great news for any company in the interactive media space.

  • by Connie Jordan-Carmichael Mon Sep 22, 2014 via web

    In the ideal form of Transmedia storytelling , each medium does what it does best-so that a story might be introduced in a film, expanded through television, novels, and comics.

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