From building a narrative to creating a cohesive look, take the fast-track to success with Pinterest’s new Story Pins using this quick guide.
Pinterest’s Story Pins are the newest way to share your ideas on Pinterest. For marketers and business owners, Story Pins allow you to promote a product or brand in a more in-depth way.
Made up of a series of images, videos, text or a mix of all three, Story Pins range from two to twenty slides, opening up potential for connecting with users for longer and leaving a lasting impression.
With many business Pinterest users being given early access to Story Pins, the full roll-out of Pinterest’s newest tool for desktop users is just around the corner. Savvy creatives and business owners should start thinking now about a strategy for creating Story Pins and how to make the most of the tool to connect with new and existing customers.
Here, discover how to conceptualize, size, and design your story pages before you upload them onto Pinterest and reach thousands of potential customers. Whether you’re a creative, a business owner, or a marketer, consider this your ultimate quick-start guide to Story Pins.
Quick Facts to Know about Story Pins
Pinterest first introduced Story Pins Pinterest in 2019 for mobile devices only. Recently Pinterest expanded early access to the desktop format for users with Business accounts. Now Story Pins are being rolled out as a consistent feature of Pinterest for both desktop and mobile.
Story Pins are pins with multiple images and/or videos attached to the cover pin. Story Pins appear in user’s home feeds and are recognizable by the small Story tab at the top left corner of the pin.
Here are the key things you need to know about Story Pins:
- Story Pins can be as short as two pages, and as long as twenty pages. Most marketers use between four and eight images to provide enough pages to build a narrative, while still keeping short attention spans engaged.
- Every Story Pin has a cover image and title, which appears in the home feed.
- Images should be sized to a portrait ratio of 9:16. Pinterest recommends a minimum image resolution of 900 x 1600 pixels.
- Story Pins can consist of images, text, and video files, with BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, WEBP, .mov and .mp4 files accepted. Altogether, the size of all pages can’t exceed 16 MP.
- At the moment, Story Pins are available only to iOS and Android users, meaning that you will have to upload your images from a mobile device. However that doesn’t stop you from creating your page designs using desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop.
- After a Story Pin is published, you can edit the pages within the Story Pin, but you can’t edit the Story Pin cover or tag topic.
Why Should I Use Story Pins?
For many marketers Pinterest can slip under the radar in comparison to Google Ads, Instagram, or other social channels and ad providers.
“Pinterest is an underrated tool for photographers to market their work. Everyone is so focused on Instagram, but Instagram and Facebook work on a feed, so your images get buried quickly. Pins have a lot more staying power and convert to sales more readily.”Offset Artist Darina Kopcok
According to a May 2020 study, 83% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest. For creative businesses especially, the visual format of Pinterest along with its function as a shopping search engine for users makes it a marketing tool with plenty of potential.
Story Pins take the user’s experience of Pinterest one step farther by engaging users for longer. By clicking on a Story Pin, the user is lifted away from the main feed, giving complete focus to not just one image, but potentially as many twenty images and videos focused on your brand story.
You might create a Story Pin if you want to:
- Market a physical product, such as art prints, lifestyle products, clothing, or jewelry.
- Reinforce the message of your brand or product with supporting narrative content. For example, promote a kitchen product by sharing a recipe.
- Build a stronger, more memorable connection with your target customer by engaging them for longer.
- Encourage more clicks to your personal website or online store by linking each page of your Story Pin.
How to Design a Story Pin
Preparing your Story Pins can take time. You will have to think about how to build a narrative throughout your pages.
As for their effectiveness compared to standard pins, Story Pins are in their early infancy and reliable stats are hard to come by. But as an example I created a Story Pin for my own website and it hugely outperformed static pins created in the same week. The Story Pin received more than ten times the impressions of a static pin with comparable content.
The most successful Story Pins use thoughtfully constructed narratives and beautifully designed pages. They also center on a topic that is carefully curated for the user.
Before you start creating your Story Pin, consider which category your Pin will be best suited to, and therefore what audience you will be targeting. Let’s take an example case study, and demonstrate how we could create a suitable Story Pin for that purpose.
Let’s say you are a creative wanting to sell prints of your illustration or photography work.
The top Pinterest category in the US is Art, Art Supplies & Hobbies. Pinterest has also identified Home Hub as one of their top trends for 2020. With increased remote working and improved technology, more people are spending more time at home and looking for ideas about how to improve their home environment for work and relaxation.
With this in mind, we could create a Story Pin that helps situate the prints in a home office setting. The concept for this story is How to Style Prints in Your Home Office: A Guide to Styling Art at Home. We can share visual and text-based ideas about how to use prints in interior design, and link the pins to the homepage of the featured print.
You can draft the designs for your Story Pins in any design program, such as Adobe InDesign or Affinity Photo. Here, I’ve chosen to use Adobe Photoshop.
You can view the completed Story Pin on Pinterest here.
Once I’ve sketched out a basic storyboard for the Story Pin, I’m ready to start creating the page designs for my Pin.
I begin with the cover page, which is the most important page as this is the image or video. This page should entice users to click, allowing them to view the whole story.
I create a new document in Photoshop, sizing the canvas to 900 px in width and 1600 px in height.
I create a folder for the page in the Layers panel, naming this COVER. Inside, I create sub-folders for IMAGE, TEXT, and LOGO.
I use an interior shot from contributor Philipp Shuruev as the backdrop for my cover. I place an image of the print for sale, in this case an illustration by Offset artist Luca Di Battista, into the frame on the desk.
Note that the title of the Story Pin, which will appear when a user hovers over the cover image, will be positioned across the bottom-left area of the image. So, it’s a good idea to place most of your text (if you want to include any) towards the top half of your cover. If you have a logo, placing this on the cover image will help to make your Story Pin feel more branded and professional.
To create a second page for your Story Pin, Right-Click on the COVER folder and choose Duplicate Group. Rename this group PAGE 1.
This slide will contain more text alongside an image, so I’m going to give this slide a slightly different layout.
I replace the image with a different photo (this one by contributor Philipp Shuruev), and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, applying a 12.0 px Radius.
I place a smaller version of the same image towards the top of the page, allowing for narrow margins around the left, top and right sides. I also include a more generous area below, which is where we can place text.
I use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to pick up an accent color from the photo.
Next I’m going to use this to apply to the Fill of a rectangle shape on the lower section of the page.
Engage your reader with a catchy title and a useful tip. Set the text in a contrasting color to maximize readability.
Another print, this time from Offset artist Carly Allen Fletcher, and a logo complete the design.
You can use the PAGE 1 group as a template for other pages in your Story Pin.
Keeping some elements of the design consistent, such as margins, image size, and font size will give your story a unified style and also help you to save time. Instead, switch up the image and color to make a new page feel fresh.
When you’ve finished creating the page designs for your Story Pin, switch off the visibility of all groups except the cover page.
Go to File > Export > Save For Web.
Keep in mind that the maximum file size for the Story Pin as a whole is 16 MB. So, depending on how many pages you have and whether you are using video files you will need to carefully judge the file size of each page. Here, I save the cover image as a JPEG file, optimizing the file size to around 200 KB.
Save each page as its own separate file, ready to be uploaded to Pinterest.
How to Upload Your Story Pin to Pinterest
You can create a Story Pin from iOS and Android devices. Business account users will also see an option to Create Story Pin from the Create menu in the top controls panel.
Go to Create > Create Story Pin.
Upload an image for the cover page.
You will be prompted to give your cover image a title. This will appear when the user hovers over the cover image.
Click on the “+” icon below the cover page to add another page to your Story Pin.
After uploading the image or video for the second page, click on the dark gray symbol of lines of text and a plus symbol that sits over the bottom part of the page.
This allows you to add a title for the page, description text, and a link.
Continue to add as many pages as you wish to your Story Pin.
Next you will need to assign a board to your Story Pin. Choose the board you want to pin the Story Pin to from the menu at top-right. Alternatively, you can save your Story Pin as a draft by clicking the Save button at the top right of the cover image. You can always come back to work on it later.
When you’re ready to go live, click Publish to assign it to your chosen board and publish your pin.
Your Story Pin is published! Great job! The pin will now appear in your followers’ home feeds.
After you’ve published, you can edit everything except the cover image and tag topics. Just head back to the pin and click on the pencil icon at the top-left corner of the description widget.
You can view the completed Story Pin on Pinterest here.
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