Instagram’s Stories feature is used by over 500 million accounts, and a third of Instagram’s most viewed Stories are created by brands (Instagram). It’s clear that this feature has caught on with the Instagram base and businesses can use it to increase awareness and engagement with their audience.
With all of this, however, the question arises: How can brands make the best use of stories to increase traffic and conversions for their company? It starts with knowing how to use the Swipe Up feature to add links to Instagram Stories so that you can promote your website. Let’s dive into that now.
What is the Instagram swipe up feature?
The Instagram swipe up feature enables Instagram users to add a link to an Instagram story. Users viewing the story can simply swipe up to open the link.
You can post exciting content about a new product, service, or event and then encourage your audience to “swipe up” for details. This gives brands a low-friction way to drive traffic from the Instagram platform, and it allows users to more seamlessly interact with brands directly from those brands’ stories.
Who can use Swipe Up on Instagram?
The Swipe Up feature is for brands and Instagram users, so Instagram limits availability to those who meet three criteria: you must have a business profile, it must be a verified account, and you must have at least 10,000 followers.
If you meet these criteria, read on to learn how to add a link on your Instagram story. If you don’t meet the criteria, click here for your alternative options.
How to add swipe-up to Instagram Stories
- Check if you have 10,000 followers or a verified account.
- When uploading to your Instagram story, click the icon in the top right that looks like a chain.
- Click “+ URL” to add a link to a webpage.
- Enter the URL in the text box.
- Click on “Done” in the upper right corner.
- When you’re ready to publish, click the + Story button in the lower right corner.
1. Check if you have 10,000 followers or a verified account.
Otherwise, you will not be able to complete the following steps.
I used the official HubSpot Instagram account for these instructions as my personal account is not verified (I also have, you’ll be surprised I don’t have 10,000 followers …).
2. When uploading to your Instagram story, click the icon in the top right that looks like a chain.
3. Click “+ URL” to add a link to a web page.
This is a great way to choose which link to add to your story. If you want to link your story to your IGTV video, you can choose this option instead.
4. Enter the URL in the text box.
This is the page the user will be taken to when they swipe up on your story. You should copy it into the text box labeled “URL”.
5. Click Done in the upper right corner of the screen.
From there, you will be asked to go through the process of publishing your story.
6. When you’re ready to publish, click the + Story button in the lower right corner.
Your published story now has a “Show More” swipe-up link.
Here’s how to add a link on Instagram if you don’t have 10,000 followers
If you want to promote products outside of the platform, you may need to get a little creative. Here are your options:
1. Direct your audience to an IGTV video.
IGTV (Instagram TV) is an app that allows you to create Instagram videos with a minimum length of 1 minute and a maximum length of 15 minutes (via mobile phone) or 60 minutes (via web). However, unlike regular Instagram posts and stories, IGTV lets you add clickable links to the video description.
While stories get more exposure than IGTV videos, there is a tactic you can use to create a story that promotes the IGTV video with your link. That way, you can click through your story to a certain extent.
2. Direct your audience to the link in your bio.
Instagram also allows you to put a link in your profile bio. In many cases, this property is best used to list your website’s home page. However, if you want to drive traffic to a specific page, you might be able to add the promo link and then include “link in bio” on your Instagram story to direct people there.
The biggest downside, however, is that you can’t promote multiple links at once, so you have to tailor the link you put on your bio with the content you are creating.
Either method can result in lower conversions as the user must take additional steps to access the links. However, they are both excellent ways to get traffic from Instagram while building your audience of 10,000 followers.
Examples of Instagram swipe-up links
1. @ Detoxinista Recipes
Food bloggers like @Detoxinista use the swipe up link from Instagram Stories to embed recipes on the platform. They wisely post pictures of delicious looking food, which encourages users to swipe up to learn how to cook it themselves. The link is not a direct advertisement, but users are directed to Detoxinista’s website, where they can find their cookbook and familiarize themselves with their brand.
2. @Blavity #worldnotobaccoday
Blavity is a media company “created by and for black millennials”. They provide their audience with news, editorial and lifestyle content that informs and entertains. In a recent campaign with L.A. Quits, Blavity sponsored World No Tobacco Day to raise awareness of the harmful effects of smoking. On the left you will see the call-to-action “Swipe Up”. This will direct users to L.A. Quits’ website for resources for healthier tobacco-free lives.
3. @Alifedotowsky garments
If you’re a Bachelorette fan, you may have noticed the growing trend among Bachelor and Bachelorette candidates to become product influencers and embed swipe-up links in their stories. As a fashion and style blogger, Ali often takes photos or videos of outfits she wears with swipe-up links so that users can buy the items online. It also often takes into account discounts when users swipe up, which gives another incentive for the user to purchase an item from a brand’s website.
4. @ Popsugarfitness Summer Sculpt Series
One of the most effective ways to use the swipe up feature is to offer something of value to your followers for free. @Popsugarfitness, for example, launched a Summer Sculpt series with a tempting offer – “Swipe Up for a 10-Minute No-Equipment Booty-Shaping Workout”. Who could say no to that? Ideally, as they get more value from your website, users will spend more time on your website and become stronger brand advocates.
5. @TheLipBar cosmetics
The Lip Bar is a beauty brand that makes inclusive, vegan and cruelty-free cosmetic products from lipstick to tinted moisturizer. In this Instagram story, The Lip Bar is promoting its summer sale with the slogan “Are you ready for summer?” If you swipe up on the story, you can view one of their advertised products.
6. @Reebok Be More Human Campaign
Reebok has launched a powerful and contemporary campaign called “Be More Human” that celebrates the empowerment of women through fitness. In their Instagram stories they draw attention to the campaign by showing famous women like Gigi Hadid or Danai Gurira and if you swipe up, you can find out more about Reebok’s campaign and how you can get involved. There is an option to buy t-shirts or donate money on the website, but it is evident that Reebok is committed to primarily focusing on its messages, a noble pursuit.
Increase traffic from Instagram
Instagram is a thriving platform that your customers are likely to be on. It only makes sense to use these tactics, as well as other Instagram strategies, to increase your brand awareness and grow your business.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for completeness.