We are human and we have a uniquely human trait that gives stories the power to inspire us, sway us, and yes, encourage us to purchase items. Studies show even though we rely on logic to justify a purchase, it is ultimately driven by our emotions and feelings. And stories are one of the best ways to influence our emotions and feelings. It’s true we are “hardwired for stories.” They bring people together with a shared human experience. From the earliest campfires to the stories on social media today, stories are the way we communicate, connect, and ultimately convince.

Stories Have the Power to Convert

As marketers, one of the most effective ways we can convert customers is by incorporating our brand story into our content wherever possible. Compelling narratives that span both print and digital media help us resonate with prospects and customers to create these emotional connections, build brand resonance, and captivate our audiences, even moving them to share this content with others, strengthened with their implicit approval. That’s powerful stuff.

Let’s explore some of the ways you can integrate storytelling into your print and digital media strategy.

How Should I Tell My Brand Story?

It’s a good question because not all story types work well in all settings. Before going all in on a particular way of storytelling, make sure yours has the right elements—and doesn’t include anything that feels wrong to your audience. Here’s a list of what works—and what doesn’t!

What Works to Reach Your Customers?

These strategies can help:

  • Understand Your Audience: Know the people you are trying to reach; get familiar with their demographics, geographics, psychographics, and any specific preferences regarding your brand. 
  • Be Authentic: More about this in a moment. People can smell phony from a mile away.
  • Go Beyond the Surface: Along these lines, people like deep stories so they can find a connection.
  • Use Pictures: That “picture is worth a thousand words” (and videos are worth far more) adage is extremely accurate.
  • Sketch Out an Outline: Think ahead so you don’t ramble; stick to the point.
  • Give Useful Information: Make the story worth their time. If they learn something or get beneficial information then the time was well spent.
  • Don’t Overtell: Leave room for their imagination to take root.
Related: Your Guide to Repurposing Content

What Doesn’t Work?

On the flip side, here are some big don'ts:

  • Don’t Oversell: People will see through a story that is inauthentic, not on brand and doesn’t invite them in. Be informative and don’t overemphasize your CTA.
  • Don’t Complicate: People have enough complexities to deal with, let your brand’s benefits speak for itself.
  • Don’t Use Business Buzz Words or Jargon: It can’t be authentic if it’s all buzz words and no substance.

Now that you know what not to do, let’s put these all together.

Elements of a Good Story

A good story will captivate a listener and leave them feeling a bit differently from before. Ideally they should view your brand more favorably.

These elements go a long way towards making an impact:

  • Be Interactive: Leave room for dialogue so your customers can feel part of the story, whether on social or through a blog where you can respond to their comments, or by inviting them to vote on a new color or style you’re introducing. Make them part of the story.
  • Hook Them: All good stories start with a bang! Begin where the action is so people are immediately drawn in. Use the “show” versus “tell” strategy to carry the story. For instance, don’t say you’re launching a product; show the behind the scenes work and how the idea started. When you show the challenges and successes, they’ll feel like part of your journey.
  • Have a Clear Arc: Logically tell the story and show how the person overcame a challenge to get what they wanted. Show a satisfying resolution.
  • Tell it Well: Use humor, education, and memorable tactics to keep people interested. Make it believable and relatable.
  • Go Sensory: Make it a rich story; include as many sensory details (see, touch, hear, smell, taste) as makes sense. Build the character as well as you can. The more you can have people visualize the story, the more they emotionally connect.

Now let’s look at getting your story out to your audience.

How Do You Make Your Brand Story Work in Both Print and Digital Media?

Physical Advertising

Direct Mail

In the physical realm, telling a customer story on a brochure or a piece of direct mail can be very effective. With engaging photos and pull quotes that help outline the story, people can quickly be drawn in. Brochures have longer formats well suited for stories, and with modern commercial printing techniques you can create a brochure that embodies the story. You can also connect this to a deeper story online with a QR code leading to a landing page. There, a video can add depth and dimension.

Print Ads

Print ads tell stories so well because they are often housed in a form of stories, whether in a magazine, newspaper, or in other mediums. Brought to life with four-color commercial printing and featuring images along with a story snippet, they can be powerful ways to connect. Like direct mail, blending with digital through a QR code can lead to other ways to continue the story.

Bulletins/Large Signage

Similarly, a small part of a story can be shared larger-than-life on a bulletin or other big sign created through commercial printing, and then directed to a digital channel to keep it going.

Digital Advertising

Emails and Newsletters

These are both great formats for stories since they can quickly pull a reader in. Like the physical marketing formats, they can also connect to a landing page, social media, or other digital channel for further storytelling.


With the benefit of sound and music, videos are one of the most effective strategies for storytelling. Whether posted on social, your website, an email, or another channel, they invite a viewer to feel the story.

Social Media

Videos are captivating. Paired with other peoples’ stories (especially influencers), they can be very convincing. Product and service reviews and unboxings go a long way towards helping people pick products. 


This format is tailor made for storytelling, since it is a longer format that also incorporates images. 


Stories are imperative for your site. Whether they’re your company story, case studies, a telling review, or an employee or customer spotlight, people gravitate towards this content and trust it implicitly.

Related: Ironmark Breaks 100 on Printing Impressions Top 300.

Tell Your Story

We’ve seen how storytelling can create emotional connections, enhance brand resonance, and captivate audiences, and now it’s your turn to create a brand story that works well in print and digital media. If you’d like help crafting stories that help your brand go even deeper with your audience, reach out to Ironmark’s team. As commercial printing and digital media experts, we simplify complexities and are uniquely equipped to tell your story across physical and digital channels. Your story is the bridge that strengthens your connection with your audience. Let us help you tell it well. 

Let's Talk Strategy!

Written by Kate Harris

Kate Harris is a Digital Marketing Account Manager who ensures her client’s growth while exceeding their expectations. Since graduating from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner School of Business & Economics in 2015, she has gained an array of marketing skills while working for major health institutions and financial firms before joining the Ironmark team in 2021. She applies her knowledge of market research, email marketing, marketing automation, social media, and keyword and SEO strategies every day in the digital strategies she puts in place for her clients at Ironmark. These strategies consistently lead to increased brand awareness, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction.

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