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Everyone knows their TV and Internet are on a crash course with each other and when these worlds collide, the way we experience entertainment will never be the same. It won’t be too much longer before we’ll all be checking our Facebook, and other time sucking web accounts, for photos and video messages from our friends, while simultaneously watching our favorite TV shows and VOD movies. These viewing experiences will also continue on our mobile devices, out of home networks and into live events.

We increasingly demand a 360 storytelling experience that breathes life into these new, integrated platforms by allowing us the opportunity to participate in our favorite TV shows, online games and other digital content. While technology will continue to be a key component of this new entertainment experience, applications are useless without the spine and structure of a great story, characters and a relevant and entertaining message.

The 360 storytelling sphere of possibilities is merely shallow hush unless each and every digital venue delivers platform specific, customized content that tells a story that reaches, entertains and retains audience loyalty. Future success depends upon STORY STRUCTURE, KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE and STRATEGIC DISTRIBUTION.

PART I: STORY STRUCTURE

We can agree there is already a morass of content that is difficult to manage. Tomorrow will be even more of a challenge as more content, and on more platforms, comes into the fold. Whether we’re talking about brand ideas or entertainment properties, it’s crucial to structure stories that cater to audiences wherever they choose to experience your story.

This is especially true if we consider that, in the 360 story environment, the point where the viewer enters and exits your story is constantly in flux and is left entirely in the viewers’ control. However, if you structure an engaging story with the 360 environment in mind, you can provide a more entertaining experience that (1) stands out in the growing sea of content and (2) creates deeper levels of engagement. Before you begin to think about the technological applications and distribution options, here are a few key questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is my story?
  2. Who is my audience?
  3. Why will my audience care?
  4. How can I build emotional connections between my characters and my audience?

Knowing your story is only half the battle. Knowing your audience and the ways they want to receive your story is of equal importance. Tune in tomorrow for PART II: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.

photo: OhGizmo!

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