How to Break Out of the Screen with Your Story

How to Break Out of the Screen with Your Story

How to Break Out of the Screen with Your Story 371 217 Shlomi Ron

What are you doing to engage your audience outside the screen?

With people bombarded with over 5000 advertising messages a day according to LinkedIn, it becomes more challenging to break through the clutter.

Well, I am not saying ditch your digital strategy completely.

On the contrary, here at VSI, our main premise is to help our clients develop a visual storytelling strategy that combines both online and offline tactics.

This strategy is anchored on heavy customer research to ensure that your resulting narrative, regardless of channel – will feel as it is if your customer’s story is wrapped around your solution.

Can your story make your audience connect
on a human level outside the screen?

This way, out of the 5000 daily messages, your audience will naturally tune in with the same effect when you hear your name called out in a crowd: “Not only, they’re talking about me but they get my problem!”

Put it simply, once your audience gets to know your story on a human level with zero screen mediators, your customer relationship and engagement will exponentially grow.

Not to mention, there is already market sentiment with tech detox and “time-well-spent” movements that acknowledge our over-reliance on technology and the need to find ways for much deeper and meaningful unplugged experiences.

Borrowing from a different industry and I exaggerate here to prove a point, but it’s the same logic that drives high-brow art collectors to freely choose to invest millions in a seemingly meaningless blue paint.


Because they either met the artist or indirectly learned her backstory and the place the piece serves in the evolution of that particular artistic discipline. So the value they ascribe to the artwork is much richer than the explicit aspects.

Thought I was kidding, the above is a real painting by artist Barnett Newman
that Sotheby’s sold an Italian bidder in 2013 for… $43.8 million!

It’s not about the WHAT but more about the WHY and WHO.

In this analogy, your product/service is that “unique artwork” with that special story that separates it from all other competitors.

Having said that, offline or off-screen tactics indeed have a lower reach compared to digital, but this is why you’re applying an integrated visual storytelling strategy.

So each tactic complements and adapts to your buyer persona, her stage in the buyer’s journey, and the platform culture where you choose to interact with them. Think Instagram vs. LinkedIn vs. a live presentation [highlight to tweet].

Going back to exploring off-screen tactics, here are 3 ideas you could start evaluating, regardless of your business type and size:

  • Regional roundtables: These are very effective in creating an open mic platform for customers and prospects where 3-4 hot topics are discussed across tables. It allows your audience to voice their pains and for your team to take stock.
  • Lunch & Learn: Get one of your senior executives to talk about a burning pain point over lunch and invite customers and prospects. Everybody wants to learn something new and network at the same time.
  • Tour guides: Align your topic with either a relevant location in your town if you are a virtual business or at your office if you have a physical address. This educational tour and its “touristic feel” will allow your customers and prospects to get to know you and your story on a human level and this way appreciate your message more.

As you can see, these are simple ideas you can start evaluating as you develop your unique visual storytelling strategy. For more inspiration, check out our recent podcast episode about how a restaurant owner revamped her business by simply interacting more with customers.

Remember, the more you can break out of the beaten path, the more chances you’ll have to bond stronger with your audience and make an impact [highlight to tweet].

What do you think? How are you branching out of the screen to engage your audience? Need help developing more authentic narrative experiences to delight your customers? Schedule a FREE conversation to learn more about our Visual Storytelling Workshop.

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Shlomi Ron

Shlomi Ron is the founder and CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute, a Miami-based think tank with a mission to bring the gospel of visual storytelling from the world of art to more human-centric and purpose-driven marketing. A digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience working both on the agency and brand sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as Nokia, IBM, and American Express. He started VSI to combine his marketing expertise with his passion for visual stories stemming from his interests in classic Italian cinema and managing the estate of video art pioneer, Buky Schwartz. At VSI, he helps brands rise above the communication noise through visual storytelling consulting, training, and thought leadership. Select clients include Estée Lauder, Microsoft, and Cable & Wireless – to name a few. He currently teaches Brand Storytelling at the University of Miami’s Business School. Thought leader and speaker at key marketing conferences. He is also the host of the Visual Storytelling Today podcast, which ranks in the top 10 best business storytelling podcasts on the Web. His book: Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals to Help You Create Richer Visual Brand Stories. Outside work, he is a nascent bread baker, The Moth fan, and longtime fedora wearer likely to jive with his classic Italian cinema interest.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron
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