How to Maximize Your Story Engagement?

Story Obstacles

How to Maximize Your Story Engagement?

How to Maximize Your Story Engagement? 370 218 Shlomi Ron

What’s wrong with the “Right Person, Right Place, Right Time, Right Message?” – for visual storytellers?

We all lived by this mantra for so long. Now it’s time to update its relevancy to visual storytelling today.

Robert Rose, from The Content Advisory, says: “Instead of focusing on the right message, to the right person, at the right time, successful marketers are creating the right value, to the right audience, in their time.”

As I have discussed in a recent blog post, the stakes are high as over 65% of content goes unused because it’s either unfindable or unusable to users (SiriusDecisions).

So, right out of the gate your organic stories have a high propensity not to be seen at all.

I keep preaching that a great story needs to have a detailed setting and time, a clear hero with a meaningful object of desire and a few villains that place traps to your hero along the way. And yes, a final moving resolution.

Well, it so happens that similar narrative tribulations also await your story as you communicate it across channels.

In order for your story to move your audience into action and achieve engagement bliss, your story needs to overcome four obstacles along the way:

1) Message:

Your story could tank because it was not compelling enough. That means it was not the right message your audience was expecting. For example, pushing a story about red sweaters when the color in vogue this season is creamy green. Remember, your story will work only if your customers can see themselves in it.


2) Platform:

Your story misses the mark because it ignored the platform culture it was published on. This obstacle is all about how you package your story on a specific platform. Consider, for example, shoving a 50-slide PowerPoint presentation on Facebook.

Your story tanked?
Sometimes it means your narrative flavor is right but the buyer is wrong.

3) Stage:

Lots of marketers interpret “the right time” as the brand’s Editorial Calendar set by the marketing team. This is partially true. Your marketing team indeed sets the timeline, but it should be your customer’s timeline, not the brand’s. You see, your story could tank if it’s received at the wrong stage of your buyer’s journey. Consider hitting your audience with a pre-mature blatant sales pitch right on first touch, or the Discover stage.

4) Buyer:

Your story could still overcome the previous three hurdles, but the toughest obstacle of all is ensuring your story hits the right buyer. According to DMA, this obstacle carries 50% importance out of all the four obstacles in maximizing your audience response to your story. Just imagine you created a powerful story about a seminal video installation piece to art collectors that are only interested in classic painting.

In my client workshops, I use My Visual Story Framework to ensure my clients’ stories strategically address these four obstacles. It’s quite rewarding to see the story transformation from a mere concept to a full-fledged visual storytelling strategy.

In summary, your story is like a car riding on a winding journey, overcoming four core obstacles en route to true engagement:

Story Obstacles

How are you overcoming these critical obstacles for maximum engagement? Need help maximizing your story engagement? Feel free to call me 305-985-3450 or email me shlomi_at_visualstorytell_dot_com

Shlomi Ron

CEO at Visual Storytelling Institute. After 20 years of well-rounded digital marketing experience, having worked both on the agency and brand sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as American Express, Nokia and IBM, Shlomi has co-founded the Visual Storytelling Institute (VSI) to help business leaders rise above the noise through the power of storytelling and the effectiveness of visual media. Shlomi's new book: Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals To Help You Create Richer, Visual Brand Stories.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron

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