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Pinterest Idea Pins: A Beginner’s Guide

Pinterest Idea Pins: A Beginner’s Guide

Whether you’re a startup or an established brand, a marketer or an influencer, you don’t want to sleep on Pinterest Idea Pins (formerly known as Story Pins). The feature, which allows you to share a series of photos and videos—a la Instagram Stories—rather than just a one-off image, is a key tool for engaging Pinterest’s nearly 430 million active users a month.

In this article, we’ll answer the following:

  • What are Idea Pins?
  • When should you use Idea Pins?
  • How can you create Idea Pins using PicMonkey?

What Are Pinterest Idea Pins?

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Try this Pinterest Idea Pin template from PicMonkey.

Initially rolled out as Story Pins in 2019, Ideas Pins are now available to any Pinterest creator (i.e., user with a business account) who wants to grow their engagement on the platform.

Pinterest updated the feature to reflect the fact that Idea Pins do not disappear after twenty-four hours, as Stories do on apps like Instagram or Facebook. That said, Idea Pins function very much like Stories in that users are meant to tap through them, page by page.

Here are some key facts about Pinterest Idea Pins:

  • Idea Pins can include up to twenty pages and feature videos (three to sixty seconds each), photos, text, graphics, animations, and audio.
  • There are several accepted file types: BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, WEBP, .mov, and .mp4. The file size is limited to 20MB for images and 100MB for videos.
  • Each Idea Pin has a cover image and title (up to 100 characters), which is what displays on viewers’ Pinterest home feeds. A small graphic in the top-left corner indicates that it’s an Idea Pin and shows how many pages the pin includes.
  • Viewers can click your Idea Pin and then either wait for automatic page changes, or click back and forth through your pages.
  • The aspect ratio of Idea Pins is 9:16, although you can use images or videos with different aspect ratios. For fullscreen Idea Pins, Pinterest recommends using 1080×1920 pixel resolution.
  • After you post an Idea Pin, you can edit which board or section it’s posted to. You can also turn comments on or off.

When to Use Idea Pins

Example of an Idea Pin template in PicMonkey with a pretty woman in a bathing suit laughing
Another easy-to-use Idea Pin template from PicMonkey.

Idea Pins are an excellent tool for business owners, marketers, and creatives. If you’re trying to build a food empire, for instance, you might use Idea Pins to share recipes or cooking tutorials. If you’re running a boutique travel agency, you might leverage the feature for a dream-getaway guide.

The possibilities are endless. You can use Idea Pins to promote sales, plug your latest blog post, compile fashion or beauty trends, or break down a DIY craft project.

The main advantage that Idea Pins have over regular pins is that they foster engagement. According to internal Pinterest data from 2021, an Idea Pin gets nine times the average comment rate than a standard pin. The downside to Idea Pins is that you can’t link them outward (although you can add tags), which means they’re not a good source for, say, traffic to your website.

But, if you’re looking to market your products and services, build a narrative for your brand, and engage with your viewers for longer periods of time, Idea Pins are a no-brainer.


Tips for Creating Engaging Idea Pins

Tell a story using this PicMonkey template.

1. Create a solid story arc

A good narrative is key when it comes to idea pins. Be sure to give your story a beginning, middle, and end—that way your fellow Pinners are inclined to click through.

2. Use clear, thoughtful copy

Keep your text short and to the point. Choose from hundreds of fonts available on PicMonkey, and/or add text effects like Outline or Drop Shadow to make your words stand out.

3. Make your Idea Pin personal

Idea Pins are a brand marketing opportunity, sure. But that doesn’t mean your pins should be loaded up with market-speak. Talk to your audience in a conversational tone. As with Instagram and TikTok, authenticity is key.

4. Post a pointed call-to-action

Again, Idea Pins don’t link outward. Which means it’s that much more important for you to offer your Pinners a next step. Do you want them to comment? Follow your boards. Nudge them accordingly.


How to Design an Idea Pin Using PicMonkey

Designing one beautiful pin is time-consuming enough—now you’ve got to pull together multiple pages? There are only so many hours in a day! Fortunately, a user-friendly platform like PicMonkey, which was recently acquired by Shutterstock, can help.

Here’s how to create Idea Pins in PicMonkey:

Step 1: Create a Blank Pinterest Idea Pin Canvas or Start with a Template

There are two ways you can get started:

1. Create an Idea Pin using a blank canvas.

2. Or, select an Idea Pin template.

To create a perfectly-sized blank canvas, click Create New > Blank Canvas, then scroll down to the Pinterest section and select Pinterest Idea Pin

To choose from a library of templates, click Create New > Templates, and type “Pinterest Idea Pin” into the search bar. Then, scroll through and select a template that fits your brand and vibe. 

Screenshot of how to select a template in PicMonkey

Step 2: Decide How Many Pages to Include

Just because you can include up to twenty pages doesn’t mean that you have to—or should. Most marketers use four to eight pages in their Idea Pins, which hits the sweet spot between viewers’ short attention spans and their desire to view your beautiful content.

Some PicMonkey Idea Pin templates come with multiple pages (if they do, you’ll see a numbered page icon in the bottom-left corner of the template image).

When you click into a multi-page template, you can view all of the pages and add only the ones that you want, or select the button at the top to add all of the pages at once.

Screenshot of how to add pages in PicMonkey
When you add all of the pages in a template, they appear along the right side of your workspace so you can easily edit each page. Or, you can pick and choose which pages you want to add to your Idea Pin.

Step 3: Customize Text, Visual Elements, and Colors

Now, it’s time to customize your Idea Pin by adding text, photos, videos, graphics, and/or animations (select from a vast library of stock options or upload your own).

You can also personalize the color scheme so it works for your brand.

Screenshot of how to adjust colors and fonts in PicMonkey
Use the left-hand toolbar to adjust fonts, colors, and more.

Step 4: Download Your Idea Pin Pages

Once you’ve got your Idea Pin pages ready to go, download them in one of the accepted formats for Pinterest, and save your Idea Pin somewhere that you can easily find it.

Note: If you’ve included any video elements in your Idea Pin, be sure to download it in the mp4 format so the footage actually plays.

Step 5: Upload to Pinterest

Finally, upload your stunning Idea Pin to Pinterest, which you can do via the app or the website by going to the Pinterest Create menu and clicking Idea Pin.

Upload your pages and add music or audio as you see fit. Write a title, make sure the correct cover page is selected, add any necessary text details, and choose a board.

Hit publish and send your gorgeous Idea Pin on its way!


Cover image via PicMonkey x2 and WinWin artlab.

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