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Do you know how to add links to Instagram stories?
Instagram has become the leader in social media marketing for all sorts of industries and niches; if you’re looking to connect with your target audience, Instagram can help you do it.
That said, driving traffic to your outside links and websites has been notoriously difficult on Instagram, specifically because they don’t allow you to link to any outside web links on your content.
This has caused difficulties in getting Instagram users to check out your blog, website, or online store aside from them having to navigate back to your bio to click on it, as this is the only place that Instagram supported clickable links.
Around 2018, Instagram began offering certain users a different alternative, one that you may have noticed— the swipe up feature.
This allows users to create a clickable link that is directly connected to their Instagram story.
As you can imagine, this is a big move for many brands, businesses, influencers, and more, but you may have noticed we said certain users.
That’s right— unfortunately this feature isn’t available to all users of Instagram; you have to meet certain criteria to be eligible.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some different factors in Instagram story links, including:
- Clickable links in stories
- How to add link to Instagram stories
- How brands use links in their IG stories for higher success
- Alternatives to Instagram story links
This post will help you understand the different possibilities that you have for increasing your click-through rate (CTR) and directing traffic to your outside websites. Let’s do it!
Clickable Links in Instagram Stories
As we mentioned above, clickable links in Instagram stories aren’t available to every user, and we’ll discuss the requirements in just a bit.
That said, there are many different purposes for using the swipe up feature on Instagram, giving your story viewers access to clickable links:
- Unveiling new products
- Behind the scenes videos
- Link to sign up list
- Product page links
- Online stores
- And more!
This feature began testing in 2016 and was finally completely rolled out in 2018, but still remains exclusive to users that:
- Are verified on Instagram
- Are business accounts with over 10,000 followers
These are the only two ways that you can have access to add links to your Instagram story with swipe up.
Even still, this is a goal that you should set for your account as it is an extremely valuable marketing tool and increases your CTR as well as conversion.
How to Add Links to Instagram Stories
If you find that you meet the criteria and want to know how to add an Instagram link to your story, we’re going to give you the play by play in this section.
That means you have to be a business account with 10k+ followers or a verified user.
If you don’t meet this criteria, don’t worry— we’ve still got some alternatives for you in the final section so that you can take advantage of marketing and funneling IG users to your outside website.
Here are the 3 simple steps to adding links to Instagram stories.
Step 1: Create an Instagram Story Post
You can create either a video post or a static photo post on Instagram stories, but you’ll get more attention if you use a video.
The idea is that you want to create something irresistible and eye-catching for your followers so that they are focused on this one piece of IG story content, and are more likely to then swipe up.
You should include the following things if you want to capture your audience’s attention:
- Eye-catching visuals: use high-quality Instagram videos or photos in your content. You want a clear focal point of your story with crisp and appealing colors that match your brand image.
- Persuasive Calls to action (CTA): make sure that you encourage people to take action from your story. Capture their attention and make sure that you give them a reason to navigate to your outside link. For instance, want them to check out your latest blog post? Create a catchy hook and then use a line like, “want to know more? / do you agree? / curious? / sound like you? / etc.” and include “swipe up to find out or check it out. You can also use catchy GIFs to help get attention and encourage action, such as using arrows or funny images. Mentioning other users in your content can also expand your audience pool and reach more people. All of these CTA features should be added before you post your Instagram story to your feed.
The goal here is that you should be focused on the user experience and how you can captivate your audience and make them want to check out your link. If you were a user, would you click? Why or why not?
Step 2: Click the Chain Icon in the Top Right Corner
After you’re happy with your Instagram story and what you’ve created, you’ll see an interlocking chain icon at the top right of your story screen. Tap that icon to access the IG swipe up feature.
Step 3: Enter the URL and Upload Your Story
Once you have the URL entered, test it out and make sure it works.
This is vital— if the link doesn’t work, that looks terrible for your brand and can lower your credibility.
You should try to use this feature as much as possible when relevant— don’t simply plug links in with no relevancy. Be thoughtful in your marketing efforts and make it look seamless and fluid.
You can track your link clicks from IG stories by using a URL shortener service like Bitly or Goo.gl.
How Brands Use Links in Instagram Stories
If you’ve browsed IG stories lately, there’s no doubt you’ve come across a variety of posts that use the swipe up feature.
Brands and businesses use this because their views, CTR, lead generation, and conversion all make huge jumps when the feature is implemented.
The average rate of swipe through using this feature is a whopping 15-25%, which is huge; that’s just the average! You can experience even more, as many brands out there have.
So, how should you implement IG story links into your content? Here are some things to consider:
- Did you write a new post on your blog, or a guest post on someone else’s blog? Tease your blog post in your IG stories and link to it.
- Do you want to promote other social media networks that have little traffic or engagement? Feature it and link out to your Twitter, Pinterest, or other sites that need some love.
- Did you upload a new YouTube video, or content on another platform that you want users to see? Tease it and link out to it.
- Advertise your affiliate products or services and use your affiliate link to send your followers there, helping to monetize your Instagram through affiliate marketing.
- Want to create a cross-platform sweepstakes or contest? You can let your IG followers know about some giveaway or contest that’s happening using swipe up; this is a great way to direct traffic to an outside site, and 70% of marketers have implemented this feature.
- New product launch? New details about an event? When you have something awesome that you want people to be a part of, use the swipe up feature to link out to it. You can choose which page they go to, helping to get them directly where you want them to go.
These are just some examples of how to add links to Instagram stories, but the possibilities are really endless. Be creative and always think of what would be most effective in getting your particular viewers over to your outside content.
Don’t have the swipe up feature yet? Don’t worry! We’ve got 3 alternatives coming at you in the next section.
Alternatives to Instagram Story Links
You’ll still be able to use Instagram stories and regular Instagram posts for traffic funneling, even if you don’t have the swipe up feature just yet.
Here are three easy ways for you to use Instagram stories for marketing on Instagram:
1. Add the link in your caption on your Instagram post. While users won’t be able to click on it directly there, they can type it into their browser and still get access. Takes a bit more work, but it’s possible if they’re really intrigued!
2. Add the link in your bio and direct users to your bio to click. This is the most popular method for those that don’t have swipe up (and even if you do, you should still be using this strategy). If you have multiple external links, use a link organizer like linktr.ee to help you create a link directory in your Instagram bio. Also check out Instagram accounts like @buzzfeed to see how they do the link in bio.
3. Give directions on how to find the website or profile. If you want to direct someone to your website, you could write something like “Google: (insert instructions here)” or “Facebook Profile: (insert username here).”
This will allow people to easily find it without dealing with any links.
All is not lost if you don’t have the Instagram story swipe up feature; you can still take advantage of links and funneling traffic on Instagram, you just have to be insistent and create really strong content that entices users to go the extra mile.
Final Thoughts: Instagram Story Links
It’s clear that the swipe up feature on Instagram stories is an extremely effective way to direct traffic to outside websites, allowing you to increase conversion, CTR, lead generation, and more.
If you don’t have the feature, work on building up your audience to the 10k mark under a business profile.
You’ll then have access to all of the glory that is swipe up. And remember, even if you do have the feature, don’t forget to take advantage of “link in bio”!
The secret to success on Instagram is to have a well-rounded strategy that takes advantage of all the features available to you.
Knowing how to add links to Instagram stories is one of them.