Text, Video, Audio, Images and More

by Alex Margolin

The rise of social media has made it easier for anyone to bring their thoughts and opinions into the world and has also increased the number of ways people can express themselves.

Anyone with a digital camera or even a smart phone can post a video on YouTube or a photo on flickr; those who prefer to write can start a blog or submit articles to information sharing sites; it is also simple to record audio podcasts and distribute them through iTunes or Podbean.

But the best option may be to use as many different forms as possible to tell a single story. It’s called “Transmedia Storytelling,” and according to many Internet experts, including Steve Rubel, it’s a good way to get noticed amid the plethora of noise on the Internet:

Transmedia Storytelling doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be executed with low budget tools. However, it does need to be thought through. It requires that a business’ subject matter experts know how to simultaneously tell good stories and to do so using text, video, audio and images depending on the venue.

Transmedia storytelling is the future of marketing. And those who can span across formats and share their expertise will stand out in an age of Digital Relativity. There’s a first-mover advantage here. However, it remains to be seen who will grab the ring.

To be successful in Transmedia storytelling, it is vital to create continuity between different formats, not just to repeat the same content in different forms. Earlier this year, HonestReporting succeeded in forcing Comedy Central to remove an offensive video game from its website largely by taking a multi-platform approach.

HR’s campaign included a general-information communiqué on the issue, an audio podcast placing the game into perspective, and a Facebook group to serve as hub of activity.

The three-pronged approach increased the number of “entry points” people had for getting involved in the campaign. The communiqué and podcast served as viral content, with one or the other picked up by many bloggers and commentators. But each entry point led supporters to the Facebook group in order to build a critical mass of protest.

With the incredible diversity of materials available on the Internet today, it takes creativity to get noticed. Telling a good story in one form is difficult, and extending it to other forms is even harder. But the rewards for doing so appear to be well worth the effort.

HonestReporting’s social media editor, Alex Margolin, contributes occasional posts on social media issues. He oversees HonestReporting on Facebook.