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Instagram marketing is popular and successful, with 92 percent of marketers rating Instagram as the most effective marketing platform. While this makes Instagram a land of opportunity, it also makes it a challenging market to crack. With so much activity, it isn’t always easy to gain recognition, drive traffic and make sales. Fortunately, Instagram Stories has provided new and exciting opportunities for Instagram influencer marketing.

What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories, or Insta-stories, launched in August 2016. The feature was immediately successful and quickly adopted by many users.

The purpose of Instagram Stories is to give users the opportunity to share living slide shows that are constantly changing. When creators add new content, it appears in a bar at the top of their feed for 24 hours. Additionally, a colored ring appears around their profile pictures. Anyone accessing a story has the option to view each piece of content in chronological order, or to skip backwards and forwards. As content is temporary, and there are no public likes or shares, marketers must find new ways to leverage the power of stories.

What Are Instagram Story Links?

Instagram story links are a powerful tool for getting more out of your stories. Creating a link adds a “see more” option to the bottom of the story. When a user swipes up, they open the link you’ve created. For example, if you add a link for a website home page, a user who swipes up gets directed to that page.

Story links are a useful way to move a user from an advertisement for a product to the online store where you sell that product. In effect, potential customers have the opportunity to make a purchase while the idea is fresh in their minds. This helps to drive sales as users who delay are more likely to change their minds or find a more easily available alternative.

What Are the Benefits of Instagram Story Links?

Instagram Stories is a hugely successful feature that encourages people to use the app longer and more frequently. The feature has increased the amount of time people spend on Instagram by approximately 10 minutes. Some users are on the app for up to 28 minutes at a time.

The success of Instagram Stories makes it obvious it’s a potentially useful tool for marketers. The trick is finding a way to employ the feature, so it funnels users into the sales pipe. That’s where story links play a part.

The ability to add links in stories has numerous benefits:

  • Extra links: Before the “swipe up” feature, it was only possible to have one clickable link on your Instagram account in your profile. Story links make it possible to embed links in your content, so users are never far away from the place you want them to be. This is more convenient for the user and more efficient for you as you don’t need to worry about directing people to your profile.
  • Driving traffic: Inbound marketing usually relies on great content. However, once users have found that content the focus switches to driving those users to your target location. Story links make it easier to direct users away from social media to your own website, which is ultimately where you want them to go.
  • Increasing sales: A link turns an advertisement into a portal to your online web store. It’s possible for users to go from seeing an advert to making an order in just a single swipe. This has the potential to increase sales by making the purchasing process more streamlined and efficient.
  • Finding leads: Story links are a good way to direct users to a newsletter registration page, or a part of your site that asks for an email address.
  • Gathering data: If you track how many people swipe up, you get some useful marketing information to improve subsequent campaigns. For example, if you employ different influencers to run stories with links to your site, it’s possible to evaluate which influencer generated the best return.
  • Building engagement: If you’re using influencers in your stories, it’s possible to build on that relationship through story links. For example, swiping up on an influencer advert could take the user to a guest blog from that influencer on your site.

How Do You Add Instagram Story Links?

While everybody has access to Insta-stories, not everybody is allowed to use the “swipe up” feature. You’re eligible if you meet one of two criteria:

  • You have a verified account
  • You have a business account with over 10,000 followers.

If you’re eligible, adding a story link is simple. It takes just four steps to unlock this powerful marketing potential.

1. Create Your Story

From your main Instagram feed, tap the camera icon. You have the option to take a new picture or video. Alternatively, swipe up to access your library of content.

2. Add Your Link

Tap the chain icon at the top of the screen, and then tap “+ URL.” Type the URL you want to direct your visitors to, and then tap “Done.”

When selecting your link, think carefully about what you want your story to achieve. If you want to drive sales, point the link to your online store. If you want to sell a particular product, point to that product page. If you want people to sign up to a newsletter, point them to your registration form. It’s also worth using a link that tracks clicks, as this information helps you measure success.

3. Add a Call to Action

Although adding a link creates a “see more” link at the bottom of your story, this isn’t very clear. It helps to add a bold call to action to your story so users know they have the option to swipe up. The call to action must make it clear what users must do and why they should do it. Some examples include:

  • Swipe up to learn more
  • Swipe up to order now
  • Interested? Swipe up for more information
  • Register now – just swipe up!
  • Swipe up for great deals

4. Submit Your Story

Having added a link and an obvious call to action, your story is ready to launch. To publish it, click the “+ Story” option.

Final Thought: Living Happily Ever After

Statistics reveal Instagram users share an estimated 100 million photos and videos every single day. When dealing with numbers of that size, it’s clear you need to employ every trick and tactic available to strengthen your position. Introducing links to your Instagram stories is just one way of enhancing your Instagram influencer marketing strategies. Get it right, and you could drive the traffic and sales to ensure your story has a happy ending.