Transmedia Storytelling: How to use it for greater brand reach and engagement

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Transmedia Storytelling: How to use it for greater brand reach and engagement

LDM Narrativa transmedia

Are you looking for new creative communication alternatives that promote higher levels of audience participation, loyalty, engagement and enthusiasm?

The answer could be Transmedia Storytelling, yes! Maybe the term sounds a bit strange to you but you have probably already been part of it because it is already positioned in the cultural, journalistic and communication industry and, undoubtedly, in digital marketing.

What is transmedia storytelling and how does it help to gain more visibility?

Well, without further context, transmedia storytelling or also known as transmedia storytelling is a concept introduced by American researcher Henry Jenkins, who described it as a way of telling stories across multiple media, platforms and formats.

“(…) each media must give its best so that the story can be incorporated into a film, expanded through television, novels and comics, and so that its plot can be explored and experienced through play. Each of these media franchises must possess sufficient autonomy to allow for autonomous consumption”.

(Jenkins, 2003)

Jenkins, the communication and media scholar, highlights this type of narrative with two peculiarities:

1. It can be told through a variety of media and platforms. For example, the narrative can start in a comic book, continue in a television series, extend to a feature film and expand to a video game by adding new interactive adventures.

2. It refers to the consumer, whose role is not only to receive the story, but to expand the narrative world with new textual pieces. In short, transmedia narratives suggest an experience that encompasses various media and devices linked by a narrative thread (Scolari, 2013).

Thus, by implementing transmedia narratives in marketing, you can innovate by mixing different media to disseminate your messages and thus, take advantage of all new technologies, having a peculiar and current style to tell stories.

Let’s not lose sight of the active participation of users, as well as the expansion of the story from one medium to another.

Why use transmedia storytelling?

Transmedia storytelling offers an excellent way to strengthen your brand’s reach and create a sense of community among followers. It is an effective tool for driving engagement and loyalty.

As part of the strategy, social media plays an important role as an excellent platform for storytelling and also encourages customers to create content in interaction with your brand and each other. This empowers them to make their own stories.

For example, an Instagram campaign can be effective in creating a sense of brand loyalty and trust from new users. Engaging the community in the brand makes them increase trust.

Importantly, the narrative created should be unique, creative and appropriate for the medium. Different platforms have their own individual characteristics that should be taken into account when crafting a story or message. Understanding how your content will work on each is vital.

Because for a platform to keep users engaged, it must introduce new aspects of storytelling and provide updates that enhance the action or bring in new characters.

6 formats for transmedia storytelling:

  • Audios: allows you to talk to people about the product.
  • Infographics: Communicates ideas and data in an easy way, a great tool to go viral.
  • Events: Leverage experiences as a means of dissemination.
  • Videos: Can build a lasting bond with consumers that appeals to their emotions.
  • Social media: Encourages user participation.
  • Blogs: Can allow extending the narrative, telling the story.

1. Audios

In this tenor you can use radio programs, a podcast, or an audio. Remember that this format allows you to talk to people about the product. However, not only in digital media with the use of podcasts, for example; but it can also be done on the radio as a traditional means of communication, in which we would be addressing a wider audience.

2. Infographics

Infographics are designed to represent information in a visually attractive way by combining images with related concepts of a particular topic. They are an effective tool for communicating complex ideas and data in an easy-to-understand way, which makes them a great tool for going viral.

At the same time, interactive infographics are also a good resource for transmedia storytelling because it is a type of infographic that has some element of interaction so that the audience can engage with the content in a unique way, being part of the construction of the material.

3. Events

The creation of events that include the main story you want to tell is a form of transmedia storytelling because not only are you playing with the concept of reality, but you are also taking advantage of experiences as a means of spreading your brand, thus reinforcing the authenticity if your story if based on a real fact. 

4. Videos

Transmedia strategies are not only designed to drive sales, but also to build a lasting bond with consumers that appeals to their emotions; and videos are a good tool to achieve this.

Current trends indicate that adopting a multichannel presence, which includes both video and audio formats, is the most optimal strategy. This is largely due to increasing market penetration.

5. Social Media

Currently there are several resources to extend digital content. In social networks, the goal is to encourage user participation, so you can offer stickers for Facebook chat, emojis, frames for the profile picture, a challenge, among others.

6. Blogs

This digital format was one of the first with which this great communication movement began, when consumers continued the original story through personal blogs. 

An example is the Harry Potter saga, in which fans took over the main axis of this narrative world and began to propose many alternatives to the story. It is said that there are about 720,000 new stories told by consumers of this movie and its book.

Transmedia storytelling examples to inspire you

A very clear example are the sagas that have used cinema and other media and platforms to continue their discourse and create transmedia content. However, discover these examples that, although they have made good use of the way they tell their stories, when you see them you may be surprised at how familiar you are with some of them.

1. The Matrix

Let’s remember the movies that this franchise has made. Mainly the first one, the Matrix universe also involves books, video games, a series of animated shorts and other products that use different media and formats.

An important and peculiar point is that this transmedia narrative is not based on the adaptation of a text, but enriches and gives continuity to the story through multiple media, platforms and formats.

2. The Master Swindle

Created by the Mexican media outlet Animal Político, this transmedia narrative was based on a corruption case known as “La Estafa Maestra” (The Master Swindle). The journalistic work was not only a report that spun the story based on chronicles, digital timelines and testimonies, but also expanded the story through different formats such as videos and comics.

It is important to mention that this transmedia narrative was disseminated through social networks generating a conversation and extending the collaborative universe with other media that, in turn, fed the story.

3. LDM and consumer brands

At LDM we generate transmedia narrative based on the objectives of each brand with the appropriate specialists. To make it clearer, we tell you how we developed it for one of our clients dedicated to baby care: The objective was to generate more traffic on their websites, we started from Google’s EAT guidelines that require that websites must generate trust, have authority and experience in the information.

With this, we created an innovative SEO content strategy where we highlighted creative and collaborative writing. In addition, under Google’s guidelines, we sought to generate user trust through the creation of various formats that expand the content, thus becoming a reference source on the subject. Transmedia content was the option.

What were the results? 

We created 68 new contents with transmedia narrative for five regions covered by our client, with these transmedia contents, we achieved:

More than 13 million users consulting the transmedia content.

More than 36% of organic traffic, versus the previous period. 

More than 3 minutes of time spent on the page.

What did we learn? 

The lessons are that: with content created/optimized under a transmedia storytelling strategy, it is possible to build solid stories capable of living independently in each medium and, at the same time, be relevant and attractive enough to capture the user’s interest.

Gamification in transmedia storytelling

Gamification is present not only in marketing strategies, but also in various fields such as human resources, education or health. 

At least in our subject, in digital marketing, gamification helps companies to increase user participation, loyalty and brand recognition (Estanyol, Montaña and Lalueza, 2013).

Taking into account these four aspects of gamification:

  • A good story
  • Aesthetics
  • Platforms
  • Users

We can create a memorable story, so these points also relate to transmedia storytelling: driving a more active role of users through storytelling.

In Summary

Technology has enabled transmedia storytelling to emerge and grow, so it is essential for us to explore and understand it.

In today’s era, we have numerous media sources that can be leveraged simultaneously to develop transmedia storytelling. This was not possible in the past due to lack of technology and access.

Remember that transmedia storytelling fits the new generations as a powerful tool that can help maintain audience interest because it creates excitement around any new story release, regardless of the format or platform on which it is published.

Innovate in your content creation strategy, take a risk and create transmedia narratives!

Thanks to Samara García for the collaboration of this article.

LDM Digital Marketing

Additional link: Expansión interview with Israel Santiago, president of LDM.


Estanyol, Elisenda. Montaña Mireia y Lalueza, Ferran. (2013). Comunicar jugando. Gamification en publicidad y relaciones públicas. VII International Conference on Communication and Reality Blanquerna School of Communication. Ramon Llull University. Barcelona. Junio 13-14, 2013 · ISBN 978-84.936959-9-6

Fernández Castrillo, Carolina. (2013). Prácticas transmedia en la era del prosumidor:Hacia una definición del Contenido Generado por el Usuario (CGU). Cuadernos de Información y Comunicación  2014, vol. 19  5367

Scolari, C. A. (2013).

Narrativas transmedia. Cuando todos los medios cuentan. Barcelona: Deusto.

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Alberto Alvarez
Alberto Alvarez
CEO - Fundador
After working for almost a decade in marketing in Procter & Gamble, Alberto envisions the power of changes in the digital era and decides to focus in the entrepreneurship world in Latam. In 2012 he founds his first start-up,, changing the way to engage with real estate in the region. Alberto served as Marketing VP for Agora Technologies at Silicon Valley, a company finance by Guy Kawasaki & Nolan Bushnell, where he developed the main concept of Startup Icon. Today, Alberto is the CEO of the holding company that conforms Latam Digital Marketing, and its subsidiaries in Latin America.
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