As Instagram Stories continue to maintain their popularity, many brands have used features like the swipe up link as part of their Instagram marketing strategy.
Adding a link to your Instagram Story swipe up allows you to be more tactical with your Stories, leading to even more clicks and conversions.
As of August 2021, Instagram has retired the swipe up feature and added a new link sticker for Stories.
Read on to learn more about the current state of linking on Instagram Stories and how to use it effectively in your strategy.
What was the Instagram swipe up feature?
Instagram features move fast, so it’s no surprise if you feel like you’re missing a few details when it comes to Stories linking updates. Since Instagram doesn’t offer much in the way of adding links to posts, and your link in bio is best used for top landing pages, Stories swipe up links had become popular as a way to more freely link to individual pages and more timely pieces of content.
Most IG power users are probably still adjusting to the difference, but when a swipe up link was added to a Story, viewers could simply tap on the arrow at the bottom of their screen or swipe up on the Story to access the link right in the app.
Here’s a previous example of a swipe up link from Sprout Social’s Stories:
What link stickers in Instagram Stories look like now
With the update to add link stickers, you can forget the swipe up motion or bottom of the screen tap, and creators can now add a link anywhere in the Story space. Here’s an updated Sprout Story showing the much more visible placement.
To use link stickers, you’ll need access to the feature. If you’re not sure you have this, read on to the next section to learn more about the criteria. If you do have the link sticker, then you can find them available with the rest of your typical sticker options to add a link to your Instagram Story.
How to get access to Instagram Stories link stickers
Similar to the previous Stories swipe up link feature, there still are some limitations on who can add links to their Instagram stories.
Right now, the criteria haven’t changed from swipe up. In order to guarantee access to Instagram link stickers, your account:
- Must be a verified account
In addition to these criteria, Instagram has been testing allowing these stickers for other users since summer 2021. It’s not completely clear how accounts are selected for the test or if a complete rollout of link stickers for all users will occur.
How to add a link to your Instagram Story
If you have access to Instagram link stickers, start creating your Story and tap the sticker icon to access the tray of sticker options. You’ll see the link option as one of the stickers you can use.
Once you tap it, the window that allows you to add a link to your Story pops up. Add any link to your website, whether it’s a blog post, a landing page or a piece of curated content you’re sharing with your audience.
From here, you can finish up your Story with any other design details and publish as usual to include a link in your Instagram Story!
Ways to effectively use Instagram Story links
So you know, how you get access and add link stickers to your Instagram Stories.
Now let’s talk about various ways you can take advantage of this new feature to increase engagement from your Instagram account.
Get more tips on how to enhance your Instagram Stories with these guides:
- Instagram Stories: Best practices and inspiration to engage your followers
- Instagram Story ads: Rules and best practices for impressive results
- How to Use Instagram Stories Analytics
Promote blog posts and content
Want to promote your recent blog post? Creating a graphic and sharing it on your Instagram Story is a great way to get even more social traction to your content! Just be sure you’re on top of Instagram’s Story dimensions when you create your visuals. Remember that not all mobile devices have the same dimensions, so it’s important to create graphics within the right guidelines.
When you create your graphics, be sure to include relevant visuals to your blog content and keep your imagery on brand. Here, America’s Test Kitchen highlights recent content with both a poll sticker and a link sticker to maximize engagement
Using similar fonts and colors to your overall brand helps with brand strength and recognition, especially when users are scrolling aimlessly through Instagram Stories.
You can keep track of your Story swipe ups in your Instagram insights.
Another great way to use the Instagram link sticker feature is by promoting your products. After all, Instagram is a visual platform, so use it to share stunning, professional photos of your products with a direct link to their product page.
Take a look at how Equinox+ highlighted the link to their service prominently in their Stories with the new sticker option. Compared to swipe up, it’s easier to center the sticker and arrange design elements to highlight it visually.
Promote virtual events
If you’re putting on a virtual event and you’re trying to generate a larger turnout for it, use the swipe up feature to attract registrants. You probably already have promotional graphics for it, so share your graphics to your Stories and include a link to the registration landing page.
You can easily share your Instagram posts to your own story by tapping the share icon and selecting your Story. This can be a great way both to add links to Instagram posts and get people who are viewing your Story to click to your feed.
Promote landing pages
Whether you’re creating a sales or service page or an informational landing page, it’s incredibly important to get it in front of your potential customers’ eyes.
These types of webpages are transactional pages, meaning their purpose is to reel visitors in and get them to sign up or make a purchase.
Take a look at this Instagram story promoting and linking to an online course sales and landing page.
And by the way, as we can see with this example, past Stories, such as those saved in highlights, may still refer to swipe up. Don’t worry too much about this – Instagram has preserved the ‘see more’ clickable link at the bottom of previous highlight Stories so your viewers can still access links the way you originally intended.
Whether you recently posted a new video to IGTV, YouTube, Facebook or directly to your website, you can easily increase views by sharing a link on your Instagram Story.
Here’s an example of a user sharing a thumbnail of her recent YouTube video on her Instagram Story. The Story links directly to the video so her Instagram followers can immediately watch it.
Once you unlock the Instagram Stories link sticker feature, you can bring your cross-platform promotional content and strategies to your Stories.
Simply create a graphic in Instagram story dimensions, upload it, add a link and publish. Voila! And now you’re able to send followers from Instagram to a video, another social network or your website.
Promote lead magnets
Trying to grow your email list? Promoting lead magnets and email list sign-ups is another great use of the Instagram Story link.
Or, invest in Instagram Story ads, like this example below, that adds an easy-to-use signup form, rather than a signup page that users have to navigate through.
How to get more traffic from Instagram Story links
Now that you’re getting ready to take full advantage of links in your Instagram Story, it’s important to note a few tips that can help you to increase Story clicks to your website and other promotions.
Include a call to action
First, you should include a call to action right in your Story. While the link sticker is more visible than swipe up, users might still be used to the swipe up action so it doesn’t hurt to draw more attention to your link with graphics and design choices.
Post Stories often
As with any platform, the more consistently you post, the more reach and engagement you’re going to receive. If users watch your Stories often, your brand will appear towards the beginning of their Stories feed.
But if you take a long hiatus from posting Stories, you could lose your place in their feed, losing dedicated viewers and potentially loyal customers.
Once you start working on an Instagram Stories strategy, try to keep up with it so you don’t lose that hard work and viewership.