Transmedia storytelling consists of dividing parts of a story across several platforms to make one overarching story. For example, maybe a publishing company pairs an interactive website with a book release or a non-profit organization hosts a live event to kick off a new campaign. Originally transmedia storytelling was used for entertainment property, such as the promotion of a new movie. During the past decade, people have also started to use it for corporate and marketing applications. It is not uncommon to see it used in marketing conversations and conferences today.
So what does this mean for transmedia storytelling in your sales process? Generally, it is most successful for B2B companies when they stick to the following guidelines.
- Set the story in the real world. One of the easiest ways to understand this concept is to study professional wrestling stories, which are fictional but take place in the real world. In a similar fashion, B2B transmedia storytelling should sync up with news media coverage, real-time industry events, current company releases and events, and current social media campaigns.
- Build the story on real-life relationships. Most B2B customer relationships come about through direct human interaction within a specific company. As such, it makes sense to focus transmedia storytelling around expanding these existing relationships instead of creating a sense of “brand personality” or illustrating a customer-product relationship as many B2B companies do in their storytelling.
- Focus on the company’s employees. One of the most powerful aspects of transmedia for B2B businesses is that it brings visibility to company’s executives and other employees. Let your customers see how the experts in your company execute stellar research, marketing, and products or services.
- Illustrate the company’s expertise and insight. It is way too easy to put the focus on your company’s products and services when you use transmedia storytelling in your sales process. Instead of spending a lot of time on the products, demonstrate your company’s extensive expertise of and insight into your particular industry. In order to get past selling products, you must share your knowledge of and passion for the business.
- Emphasize internal collaboration and external continuity. If you have any experience with B2B communication and marketing, it won’t come as a surprise that collaboration and continuity are key components of B2B transmedia storytelling. In addition to general storytelling, they can also play a critical role in conveying a reputation and explaining how a company’s communications are interconnected. Finally, transmedia storytelling gives businesses the opportunity to connect the various parts of a company, such as sales and HR, that don’t normally have a lot of interaction.