There’s no way you haven’t heard of Instagram Stories; easily one of the biggest social media features in the world for both personal and social users and businesses alike. With the average Instagram user now using the IG app for an extra ten minutes, on average, since the introduction of the feature, this is the prime way to connect with users and get your content in from of them.
You probably already know how to add a link to an Instagram story.
However, while this is a very popular and creative feature, getting traffic, leading people onto other places, such as a sales funnel, or basically giving anyone else the ability to go further with what you’re offering, the feature is very limited. It’s only if you have over 10,000 followers, or you’re a verified Instagram user, that you’ll be able to use the Swipe-Up link feature.
So, if you don’t have 10,000 followers and you’re not verified, how can you get links into your stories? It doesn’t matter what this link is, whether you’re driving traffic to your website, promoting a new product, or highlighting a new event, today we’re going to explore and detail the best ways to make that happen through your stories.
#1 The Swipe-Up Link
While you may not have the ability to use this feature, it’s still a genuine way to get a link into your Stories, and the hopes are you’ll one day reach the criteria, and you’ll be able to add swipe-up links yourself. Let’s explain quickly how it works.
First, you check to see if you meet the criteria. If you do, make your Instagram Story, and in the creation tool where you can edit and add text etc., you’ll find the link icon. Click this, paste in your link from your device’s clipboard, confirm this is the link you want to use, and then publish your Story!
That’s literally how easy the feature is to use!
#2 Send a DM
One of the best and most intimate ways you can get your link to people is by asking them to send you a DM requesting the link. This is great for smaller pages, but it’s worth remembering that even some massive social media gurus are still using this trick.
What you’ll love about this approach is the fact it’s fast and easy, but it also gives you the ability to see who is requesting access to your content. You can then use this opportunity to get to know your audience and even if they have questions for you that they may not have otherwise voiced, you’ll now have the opportunity to engage with them.
This can have infinite benefits and creating a solid and loyal audience around you that know you’re connected with them on a personal level is a fantastic opportunity for an Instagram business to have.
When you’re creating your stories, all you need to do is take a picture from the page or content you’re trying to link too, just as an image or a screenshot of your new blog post or latest product, and accompany some text requesting that anybody interested can simply DM you.
Remember, the ability to DM is located directly at the bottom of your Story once it’s been published, so just point an arrow down there to make it super easy for anybody to get in touch. Another great trick, so people don’t have waste time writing out a message is to instead ask them to send you an emoji of your choice, so you know this is what they are asking for.
Try to make it an obscure emoji, so you’re definitely sure they’re asking for the link and it’s not just some kind of spam.
#3 Take Advantage of IGTV
Hand’s down one of the best and most popular forms of sharing a link is via the IGTV network. IGTV has never been more popular than it is today, especially since video content is taking over the world, and if you’re trying to share your content, your ideas, and your links, then this is the way for you.
Just like in the Instagram Story feature, you’ll have the ability to add a ‘link’ button, and have the swipe up link feature, although you don’t need to be verified nor have 10,000 followers to use it. Just add the link into your caption and away you go; although the process is a little bit more long-winded than the others.
Since you’re putting your link in your IGTV caption, you’ll need to create your IG TV content, then add the link into the caption. Now people can either access your link through your IGTV content, or you can then share a link in your Story to your IGTV content, and then they’ll be able to tap the link from here.
Remember to make your caption obviously clickable with the text you choose to have there, such as a sentence along the lines of ‘Download your template spreadsheet today’ or ‘Check out our latest sale offers here’, so your audience knows to click here and see what you’ve got.
#4 Utilizing the Poll Feature
We all know about the Facebook Poll feature, and the chances are your business has used it already to promote something or to get information from your community and followers with, but have you yet used it to promote a link?
Using a simple bit of text, you can ask something like, ‘Hand’s up if you want the link!’ or whatever sentence along these lines you want to use that reflects your brand and page voice, and then use the Poll feature to say Yes or No. Then you can send the link to whoever says yes. It’s that simple.
“Don’t forget to use a nice image or promo on your Story to draw people in and make them want to see what you’ve got to offer. This is a really nice and easy way to get your link out to people, and same as using the DM approach, you get to connect with your followers on a 1-on-1 basis, which helps to create an intimate community” reminds Sarah Meanie, an Instagram blogger at DraftBeyond and Researchpapersuk.
The only real downside to this approach is that after people have answered your poll, they’ll be able to see the percentage result. Let’s say one person says yes and 50 people say no, this is going to look a little poor on your behalf. However, in most cases, you’ll find people who don’t want the link won’t click no, they’ll just skip the Story.
You could amplify this by removing the no option altogether and instead of having something like “do you want the link?” and then having answers like ‘Yes’ and “Hell yes!” This is a good approach because you only have positive answers, and anybody who’s not interested can simply skip over the next Story.
#5 Add a Link in Bio
Perhaps the most common form of adding a link to your Instagram Stories comes in the way of adding a link into the bio of your profile. Since Instagram allows you to add a website link into your profile description, you can simply change this URL address to fit whatever you want and to link to anywhere.
Using this, add your Instagram Story content with whatever you like, whether you’re uploading a video, an image of something, or a preview of a blog post, and then add a bit of text or a sticker that says, ‘link in bio’. If you search ‘link in bio’ in the sticker archive, you’ll find a ton of fancy-looking animations that look much cleaner and might suit your style.
When you say link in bio, people generally know what you mean by this and will know where to look. You may also want to use a service like bit.ly to condense your links and make them look a lot cleaner and more professional. When you head over to a website that’s got a long messy URL, it can make your profile look messy at the same time, which could be off-putting to new followers.
“While on this topic, you may want to make the most of your single link space in your bio by using a service like Linktree. Linking services like this used to be quite popular, and while they’re not so much anymore, you can still use them if it suits you,” shares Barry Turner, a social media marketer at Writinity and Last Minute Writing.
“The idea is that Linktree will give you a paged profile in which you can add as many links as you want for people to click on. You then link the Linktree page to your Instagram profile, effectively turning a single link into multiple links, usually around five or six.”
Within these links, you can have the link you wanted to direct to from your Story, plus access to your store, your Amazon page, your website, your email mailing list, and much more. It’s nice to get creative here, but this does mean more tapping for your audience, which can put them off.”
#6 Caption Links
As you know, you can’t put clickable links in your Instagram captions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share short links. This method isn’t really recommendable because the other clickable link approaches we’ve mentioned here are far better and will get much more engagement, but in some circumstances, this may be the approach that works best for you.
What you need to do is take your long messy URL and chuck it into a link-shrinking platform like Bit.ly. Here, you’ll be able to customise your link into something cleaner and more approachable. Let’s say you have a sale page you want to link too. You can use Bit.ly to shrink the URL down into something like ‘www.bit.ly/WinterSale1’.
While you’ll get far fewer people going out and typing this link into their web browser, simply due to the amount of effort it’ll take (yes, we’re really here at this point in time), you will still get people do it if they’re really interested, so make sure you’re making it worth their time.
Don’t forget, if you’re advertising a product, in most cases you won’t even need to add a link since you can easily add shoppable stickers to your stories and then market your product through here. This means your audience can tap on the sticker, rather than having to follow through to your website.
#7 Sharing via the Chat Feature
One of the more recent additions to the Instagram Story sticker collection comes in the form of the Chat feature. The chat feature places a sticker wherever you want on your Story and then allows people to get a link via a private message. This is a super-handy feature compared with the other methods we’ve spoken about already because you don’t need to individually send the link to people.
Instead, everyone gets a single message with the link at the same time, although you are limited to 31 people per chat since this is the set Instagram limit. If you want to ‘bypass’ this limit, all you need to do is create multiple Stories that are aimed towards different people, and each has its own chat sticker.
This means more people are gaining access to your link in different ways, and therefore more chances for people to engage with whatever you’re offering. You can simply add a chat sticker to your Instagram Story using the usual method of adding a sticker.
Once you’ve added the sticker, the group chat will be created as soon as your Story is posted. Now, as soon as the group chat has been created, open your DMs, open the group chat that should be at the top, and then turn off the ‘Approval Required to Join’ option, so anyone can join when they click the sticker.
Now post the link in the chat and watch everyone come in and get it!