Linking on Instagram: How to Link in Instagram Stories

Over the past few years, Instagram has skyrocketed in popularity, with users spending 28 minutes on average using the platform each day. Over the years Instagram has rolled out various new updates from capability for video, slideshows, and Instagram stories. The question many users have been asking is how to link in Instagram stories. Let’s discuss why this is so important, find out if your brand’s Instagram account has the ability to add one, and what you can do if the option is not yet available for you.

Why marketers should care about adding an Instagram Story link

From a marketing perspective, the main difference between Instagram and other popular social media platforms is that it’s not yet a direct selling tool.

This is because, in the past, Instagram only allowed users to include one link within their profile bio, rather than under each post like on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The only way to get users out of the app was through this one link. This created a tricky situation for marketers that wanted to use Instagram to promote their business.

In the last few years, the company has rolled out Instagram Stories – much to marketers’ delight. Through this new feature, users are able to embed a link directly into an image or video which is available for 24 hours or that can be saved into to their profile’s highlights.

When users link within their story, it creates a smoother customer experience by bringing them directly to the site mentioned, rather than having to navigate to the bio before visiting the URL. Since this introduction, there have been many questions surrounding how to add a link to an Instagram story and how to make the most of this new feature.

What do links in Instagram Stories look like?

As you’re flicking through Instagram Stories at the top of your home screen, on occasion, you’ll come across ones that have the option to “See More.” There are a few different ways brands utilize this feature.

Vox.com created an Instagram Story that has the sole purpose of driving its audience to swipe up and see more. This is a good tactic if you’re trying to bring your followers to a landing page that covers multiple subtopics around one major topic. Say swipe up to see all of our women’s sale, or our full makeup line, rather than one specific product.

Another option many brands consider is to simply showcase a product or article, encouraging the audience to ‘swipe up’ and find out more. Starbucks recently did this, for its new seasonal product release.

There’s also a hybrid option – which you can see demonstrated by the New Yorker Magazine below. The magazine used the call to swipe up option alongside a caption that prompts the audience to learn more.

Notice the CTA, for every example is “see more.”  When the user swipes up, a popup will appear for the site they are going to visit. These embedded links create a direct connection from an Instagram story to your website – or wherever you’re trying to bring your audience. Linking in stories increases the number of touchpoints between you and your audience while also creating fewer steps to get them to your website.

How to Link in Instagram Stories

Linking in Instagram Stories is not hard to do, the catch is that you first need to have a business profile – as opposed to a personal account. You also need to have over 10,000 followers.

If you meet both of these requirements, here’s how to add a link into an Instagram story. If not, don’t worry, we’ve got some workarounds! 😉

1. Decide what you want to post

Is this going to be an impactful image that links to a blog on your website? Or, will it be promotional, and bring your audience to a sale on your site? Or…maybe a cat video? Because…well… who doesn’t like a good cat video to break up their day?

Anyway, you can use any image or video stored on your phone from the last 24 hours, or taken directly within the Instagram Stories feature. Think about what works for your brand, and if adding a link to it will enhance the content.

Now that the hardest part is over, let’s get down to business. Tap the top left circle (you’ll see your profile photo as the icon) on your timeline, where you would normally add an Instagram story.