Over 500 million accounts use Instagram’s Stories feature, and a third of Instagram’s most viewed Stories are created by brands (Instagram). It’s clear that this feature has resonated with the grassroots Instagram, and businesses can take advantage of it to increase awareness and engagement with their audience.
But with all of this the question arises: how can brands make the most of Stories, with the goal of driving traffic and conversions for their businesses? It starts with knowing how to add links to Instagram Stories with the Swipe Up feature so that you can promote your website. Let’s dive into it now.
What is the Instagram Swipe Up feature?
The Instagram Swipe Up feature allows Instagram users to add a link to an Instagram story. Users viewing the story can simply “swipe up” to open the link.
You will be able to post exciting content about a new product, service or event and then encourage your audience to “swipe up for more details”. This gives brands a frictionless way to drive traffic from the Instagram platform, and it allows users to more seamlessly interact with brands directly from those brand’s stories.
Who can use Swipe Up on Instagram?
The Swipe Up feature is intended 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 subscribers.
If you meet these criteria, keep reading to learn how to link to your Instagram story. If you do not meet the criteria, click here to discover your alternative options.
How to Add Swipe Up to Instagram Stories
- Make sure you have 10,000 subscribers or a verified account.
- When uploading to your Instagram story, click on the icon in the top right that looks like a channel.
- Click “+ URL” to add a link to a web page.
- Type the URL in the text box.
- Click “Done” at the top right.
- When you’re ready to post, click the “+ Story” button at the bottom right.
1. Make sure you have 10,000 subscribers or a verified account.
You won’t be able to complete the steps below if you don’t.
I used HubSpot’s official Instagram account for these instructions, since my personal account is not verified (I too, you’ll be surprised to learn, don’t have 10,000 followers…).
2. While uploading to your Instagram story, click on the top right icon that looks like a channel.
3. Click “+ URL” to add a link to a web page.
This will allow you to designate the link to add to your Story. If you want to link your story to your IGTV video, you can choose this option instead.
4. Type the URL in the text box.
This will be the page the user will be directed to when they swipe up on your story. You’ll want to copy it to the text box labeled “URL”.
5. Click “Done” at the top right of the screen.
From there, you’ll be prompted to go through the process of publishing your story.
6. When you are ready to publish, click on the “+ Story” button at the bottom right.
Now, your published story will have a “Learn more” link swiping up.
How to link to Instagram if you don’t have 10,000 followers
If you want to promote products outside of the platform, you might need to get a little creative to do so. 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 that are a minimum of 1 minute long and a maximum of 15 minutes (via mobile) or 60 minutes (via web). Unlike regular Instagram posts and stories, IGTV allows you to add clickable links to the video description.
While stories get more attention than IGTV videos, one tactic you can use is to create a story that promotes IGTV video with your link. This will allow you to get a certain level of clicks from your story.
2. Direct your audience to the link in your bio.
Instagram also allows you to drop a link in your profile bio. In many cases, these real estate are best used to list the home page of your website. However, if you want to drive traffic to a particular page, you can optionally add the promotional link and then include the “bio link” language in your Instagram story to direct people there.
The main downside, however, is that you wouldn’t be able to promote multiple links at once, so you’ll have to coordinate the link you place in your bio to match the content you’re currently creating.
Both of these methods can result in lower conversions due to the extra steps the user has to take to access the links. However, these are both great ways to drive traffic from Instagram as you grow your audience to 10,000 subscribers.
Examples of swipe up links on Instagram
1. @Detoxify Recipes
Food bloggers like @Detoxinista use Instagram Stories’ Swipe Up link to embed recipes on the platform. They judiciously post images of delicious food, which prompts users to swipe up to learn how to cook them themselves. The link is not a direct advertisement, but users are taken to Detoxinista’s website, where they can find their cookbook and learn about their brand.
2. @Blavity #worldnotobaccoday
Blavity is a media company “created by and for black millennials”. They provide their audiences with information, editorials and lifestyle content that informs and entertains. In a recent campaign with LA Quits, Blavity promoted World No Tobacco Day to raise awareness about the harmful effects of smoking. You will notice the call to action “Swipe Up” on the left. In doing so, users are directed to the LA is leaving the site where they can get resources to live a healthier tobacco-free life.
3. @Alifedotowsky Clothing items
If you are a Bachelorette fan, you may have noticed the growing trend among Bachelor and Bachelorette applicants to become product influencers and incorporate Swipe Up links into their stories. As a fashion and style blogger, Ali often takes photos or videos of the outfits she wears, with Swipe Up links for users to purchase the items online. It also often incorporates discounts if users swipe up, further enticing a user to purchase an item from a brand’s website.
4. @Popsugarfitness Summer sculpture series
One of the most effective ways to use the Swipe Up feature is to give your followers something of value, for free. @Popsugarfitness, for example, presented 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 users derive more value from your site, they will devote more time to it and become stronger brand advocates.
5. LeLipBar Beauty products
The Lip Bar is a beauty brand that creates inclusive, vegan, and cruelty-free cosmetics ranging from lipsticks to tinted moisturizers. In this Instagram story, The Lip Bar promotes its summer sales with the slogan “Are you ready for summer?” By swiping over the story, you can see one of their promoted products.
6. @Reebok Be more human campaign
Reebok has created a powerful and timely campaign called “Be More Human”, celebrating the empowerment of women through fitness. On their Instagram Stories, they raise awareness of the campaign by showing famous women like Gigi Hadid or Danai Gurira, and when you swipe up you learn more about Reebok’s campaign and how you can get involved. On the site, it is possible to buy t-shirts or to donate money, but it is obvious that Reebok is committed to staying focused on its message above all, a noble quest.
Generate traffic from Instagram
Instagram is a thriving platform, which your customers are probably on. It makes sense to use these and other Instagram tactics to build awareness of your brand and grow your business.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for completeness.