On the podcast this week, I am talking with my good friend, Erin Chase of $5 Dinners, about how she went about getting a million views for story pins on Pinterest.
Now, before you roll your eyes about story pins, let me say that Erin and I had a very targeted conversation on how to use story pins in an overall Pinterest marketing strategy.
We talk about:
- the types of pins you should use
- how to repurpose your content
- what your mindset needs to be going in
- why you might want to be an early adopter of story pins.
Before I jump in with Erin, let me remind you that if you head over to our website, we have a ton of free resources for you. You can download a free image guide and our Pinterest planner, plus sign up to receive our Start or Grow email series.
Using Story Pins on Pinterest as Part of Your Pinterest Marketing Strategy
Early Adoption for Early Success
Erin worked with a business partner to try Promoted pins almost as soon as they became available – they experienced some real success with them. Erin also spearheaded several successful promoted pins campaigns on her own.
For Erin, the return on story pins has been even greater than her ad spend on promoted pins.
She’s racked up over 1 MILLION views on her story pins in a short amount of time! That’s a lot of eyeballs on her content.
Early adoption is not for everyone. But for those who feel comfortable jumping into the deep end without a whole bunch of examples to follow, there can be some huge returns on that investment.
Why Jump On-Board with Pinterest Story Pins Now?
When Erin first heard about story pins, she had the same reaction I imagine most of us did.
With no swipe or click-through feature, what was the point?
Pinterest isn’t Instagram or Snapchat, so why bother with pins that don’t lead to clicks? Erin moved very quickly past that initial reaction.
The reason she decided to invest in story pins early on was because of what she knew had happened in the early days of Pinterest as a platform. Those who started marketing on Pinterest when it was invite-only saw their accounts grow to millions of followers fairly quickly.
Erin had seen that type of success with Facebook groups when they first came on the scene. She started a group as soon as groups became a thing. She grew several groups very quickly. So she decided to bank on the success of that same early adoption strategy with Pinterest story pins.
Pinterest made it very clear that they were going to put story pins front and center on the platform, so Erin had nothing to lose and everything to gain by going all-in, early on.
How to “Hack the System” to Make It Work for You
When Erin was ready to create her first story pin, her first priority was efficiency. She is somewhat of an efficiency queen in everything she does in her business, which is why she has been able to develop several offshoots of her original business and achieve success with them all.
So, she decided to create Pinterest story pins that mimicked Instagram stories as much as possible. Obviously, there are some pretty major differences, but Erin’s priority was to make their creation as easy as possible, and as much like the content they were already creating for Instagram as she could.
She also spent time upfront investigating the best way to hack the outcome she desired from story pins.
If the pinner can’t click on the pin automatically, Erin knew she had to figure out the easiest way for the pinner to find more information about $5 Dinners, as well as the content of the specific story pin they were viewing. She also brainstormed ways to facilitate people binging her content as much as possible.
What Results to Expect
As Erin was forming her strategy for story pins, she hoped that one of two things would result from her efforts:
• She would see increased traffic to her website
• she would see her follower number grow.
Now, my podcast listeners know that I have never encouraged you to even think twice about your follower numbers on Pinterest. It’s long been considered a vanity metric that had no bearing on your success on Pinterest or your income potential.
But with story pins, follower numbers come back into play because the user is encouraged to go to your actual Pinterest account profile page at the end of the story pin.
Give Pinterest What It Wants
I was on Pinterest the other day looking at recipes and I found one that really intrigued me. The story pin had just enough information to get me more interested in it; so much so, that I went to the blogger’s profile and began digging through her Pinterest boards.
Eventually, I ended up on her website, looking for the recipe I wanted. And that is something to remember — if somebody wants what you are offering badly enough, they will go find it on your website.
Erin has seen an uptick in the traffic to her website since putting serious effort into creating story pins. After all, story pins are what Pinterest wants, so they are going to give priority to anyone whose creating them. So adopt this mantra:
Feed the monster.
If Pinterest wants story pins, feed it story pins. But don’t spend hours and hours creating new content for them. Erin is using strictly repurposed content to create her story pins. That way, if story pins end up being a colossal failure, it will only amount to a bit of time that was wasted, not a ton of time that was taken away from other facets of her business.
What Content Should You Use for Pinterest Story Pins?
When it came time to create story pins, Erin had to decide what types of content to use in them.
Currently, she is focusing on three types of content in her story pins-
• existing round-ups that were already created
• step-by-step tutorial posts
• screenshots of Facebook Live videos.
Erin is all about repurposing existing content for her story pins. Erin also advocates using the content in your Instagram stories to create Pinterest story pins.
Early Adopters See Benefits
While a user can’t click a link on a story pin, they can save the pin.
In reality, the vanity metric on story pins is the number of views. The metrics you should really be interested in are saves and follows. When Erin digs into her Pinterest analytics, she can see that six out of 10 saves come from story pins.
The reason this is important to Erin is that when Pinterest releases new options to their users, the people who were the early adopters of a tool are typically the first to get the new features for that tool.
So, if the day comes when Pinterest adds link clicks to story pins, Erin hopes to be one of the first to get that option on her story pins. That alone makes it worth it to feed the story pin beast for now.
I’ve been doing Pinterest marketing for years now and if there’s one thing I know, it’s this: while some of the new ideas and tools Pinterest releases may seem silly or useless, those ideas often go through several iterations before landing on their final format. It never hurts to be an early adopter of a tool because you will be the one to reap the benefits when they get everything figured out.
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Erin’s Pinterest Marketing Plan
I wanted to dig a little deeper with Erin and find out exactly what her pinning strategy is, including how many story pins she is creating every week, how many static pins she is managing, and whether she is incorporating video pins.
Erin basically has three components to her pinning routine:
• Daily seasonal content pinned by SPM
(SPM has been managing Erin’s account for a long time)
• Evergreen content looping through Tailwind
• Video and story pins pinned manually .
Erin is pinning story pins three to four times per week, 100% of them are comprised of repurposed content. She keeps a running list of the content that has already been created as a story pin, as well as content that would make a great story pin.
Introducing Your Audience to Story Pins on Pinterest
I find it interesting that many people I know personally have never seen a story pin in their Pinterest feed. Some people have yet to see a video pin.
So, what do you do to introduce your audience to story pins? And why does it matter?
First, it matters because if a Pinterest user interacts with a story pin, Pinterest will show them more story pins. And that’s what you want. You want your audience to interact so that your story pins get seen more.
Erin gave some great suggestions on how to be sure your people know you’re creating story pins-
• Talk about it in an Instagram story (if you have the swipe-up feature, link to one).
• Cross-promote all of your social media content.
• Give a call-to-action in your newsletter to follow you on Pinterest or to click through to a story pin.
The important thing is to tell your people exactly what you want them to do. Invite them along with you on the path and always make it about them. Continue to offer solutions to their problems and answer their questions.
Risk Assessment for Becoming an Early Adopter of a New Platform Feature
Not everyone is comfortable taking risks. And that is okay! You don’t have to jump in with both feet any and every time a new feature is released on the Pinterest platform.
Erin’s advice is to know yourself, know your risk tolerance, and know your audience. Then, make an informed decision about whether or not the risk is worth it for you. For Erin, the small amount of risk in being an early adopter of story pins is worth it.
If it all falls apart or amounts to nothing tomorrow, she only lost some time and a bit of money (in paying people on her team who help with pins). The benefits, so far, have completely outweighed the risk of early adoption.
It’s okay to be annoyed with the way the tool works (no link clicks) and still take advantage of what it does have to offer.
For Further Listening/Reading: