Coverstories helps visionary brands advertise their stories. Engage thousands of readers in news sites and apps, with open rates of up to 12x the industry average.

Creating your first Coverstory

We designed Coverstories to make it easy for you to showcase the best stories by your brand. Here's our quick guide to get you started.

In the first step, you'll create the cover for your story including a powerful headline.

Step 1. Design your cover

The cover is your first impres­sion. In the maga­zine indu­stry, edi­tors and art direc­tors use the expres­sion stop­ping power’. Covers with stop­ping power make pas­sers-by stop and buy the maga­zine from the news­stand. In much the same way, your cover has be thumb­stop­ping’: so attrac­tive that mobile rea­ders are temp­ted to open your story instead of scrol­ling on.

Choose a strong image
Beau­ti­ful ima­gery is one of the keys to a high open rate for your Cover­story. Use an high reso­lu­tion image of at least 20002000 pixels, ide­ally with some­thing visu­ally stri­king in the middle. When in doubt, go for an image tha­t’s easy to under­stand. Avoid stock pho­to­graphy, very light back­grounds and groups of peo­ple. Illu­stra­ti­ons and indi­vi­dual port­raits gener­ally work well.

Write a great head­line
The head­line is your pro­mise to the rea­der. Keep it sim­ple, use the active tense and if you can, limit the length to six words. To invent a great head­line, it helps to con­si­der ques­ti­ons like: Wha­t’s new? Wha­t’s in it for the rea­der? What can they learn by ope­ning your Coverstory?

Words like you, we, your and our make your head­line more per­so­nal. Inter­ro­ga­tive words like how, why and what can help to boost curiosity.

Pro tip: start with the intro
It may help to write the intro­duc­tion before choosing your head­line. The intro­duc­tion is a short and seduc­tive sum­mary of what’s in store for your rea­ders. It pro­vi­des con­text and gives them a rea­son to dive into the story. This text will appear on top of your arti­cle and can be dis­played by social plat­forms and search engi­nes. You can also think of it as an instruc­tion to yourself: what exactly should this story deliver?

In the second step, you'll create the body of your story, which can include images and embedded video.

Step 2. Craft your story

Get the rhythm right
Did you know rea­ders spend an aver­age of over two minu­tes on rea­ding a Cover­story? You can increase the rea­ding time by making your story as pleasant to read as possible.

Just like in a prin­ted maga­zine, peo­ple rea­ding on screens like to have a visual break now and then. Tha­t’s why recom­mend to cre­ate a rhythm and split up your text in para­g­raphs of around 70 words. Natu­rally you’re not limi­ted to text. Embed­ding video’s and adding ima­ges is highly recommended.

To get the most out of Cover­sto­ries, alter­nate text seg­ments with other ele­ments like ima­ges, quo­tes, info­boxes and embed­ded video. Below every con­tent block you’ll find a small pop-up menu for adding new segments.

Add a new segment by simply hitting the + below an existing one.

To the left of every seg­ment you’ll find a drag-option to change the order of your story. On the right, you’ll find opti­ons for dele­ting and dupli­ca­ting.

The markup menu pops up when you select a piece of text.

Selec­ting a piece of text will show a mar­kup menu. Here you can change the text to ita­lic or bold, add a link or turn it into a sub­hea­ding. Par­ti­cu­larly when you’re light on ima­ges, con­si­der using sub­hea­dings and kee­ping your para­g­raphs short.

Pro tip: add a nut graph
Your first para­g­raph will often grab your rea­ders’ atten­tion with an anek­dote, a bold sta­te­ment or an intri­guing ques­tion. The second, known among jour­na­lists as the nut graph needs to be more infor­ma­tive. This para­g­raph is your story in a nuts­hell. It’s the ideal place to ans­wer the famous 5W’s: who, what, why, where and when. Here you make your case in a powerful way, con­vin­cing the rea­der of your story’s importance.

Complete your Coverstory with an attractive call to action.

Step 3: Choose your call to action

Pic­king the right call to action will help you reach your mar­ke­ting and com­mu­ni­ca­tion goals. When the rea­der rea­ched the end of your story, you have the per­fect oppor­tu­nity to invite them to do some­thing. The call to action box sends your rea­der to a web­page of your choice. 

After get­ting and kee­ping your rea­ders’ atten­tion with the help of Cover­sto­ries, here’s the chance for cle­ver con­ver­sion, turning your rea­der into a fol­lo­wer, user or customer. 

The main ques­tion is: where do you want rea­ders to go? Sim­ply put in a link and add but­ton text, a descrip­tion of your offer, an acti­va­ting head­line and an image showing what you’ve got.

Here are a few popu­lar call to actions:

Sign up for our event
Sub­scribe to our news­let­ter

Order your tic­ket
Plan your visit

Down­load the app
Become a sup­por­ter
Read our whi­te­pa­per
Get in touch
Start your trial
Com­plete the ques­ti­on­naire
Make a donation

Step 4. Publish your Coverstory

After com­ple­ting your call to action, you’ll get to see a pre­view of what your Cover­story looks like in the media and when ope­ned fulls­creen on mobile. 

By sha­ring the pre­view link, you can invite clients or col­lea­gues to check the con­tents of your Cover­story before publis­hing it. Click on Cover’, Story’ or Action’ in the navi­ga­tion bar at the top to go back and make last-minute improvements.

The Publish switch turns on your Coverstory: it is now online.

Your audience won’t dis­co­ver your publis­hed Cover­story until you acti­vely pro­mote or share it. In the Cam­paigns tab you can book a paid Cover­sto­ries cam­paign in the media of your choice. We also pro­vide seve­ral sha­ring opti­ons which require no budget.

Social sharing and embedding.

The social sha­ring but­tons allow you to share your new Cover­story on your Facebook, Lin­kedIn or Twit­ter account instantly.

With the embed but­ton on the right, you can insert your Cover­story on your own web­site. All you need to do is paste the Cover­sto­ries embed code in the HTML of your own page. This will show your visi­tors the cover of a sin­gle story.

If you pre­fer to dis­play every active Cover­story by your brand, click on your brand name in the side­bar on the left. In the brand set­tings menu, you’ll find a simi­lar embed but­ton that lets you show all your Cover­sto­ries simul­ta­neously, in a deck of cards’ design.

Pro tip: share the short link in e‑mails and chats
On the bottom of every Cover­story, below the call to action, rea­ders find social sha­ring opti­ons as well as a field with a short URL, which can be copy-pasted with one tap.

This short link is a quick and sty­lish way to share your Cover­story in a chat or an e‑mail.

We’re always loo­king for ways to make this guide more help­ful. Do you have any ques­ti­ons that aren’t ans­we­red here? Please reach out to the Cover­sto­ries team.

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