How to Add Links to Your Instagram Stories (And Why You Should!)
Instagram has maintained its status as a social media mega-force for several years running—quite an accomplishment in this ever-changing digital landscape! And yet, we entrepreneurs, bloggers, and businesses have become frustrated by the platform’s limitations, especially when it comes to linking back to our own websites. Many of us post a single link in our bios, but this workaround can feel clunky and limiting.
Then Instagram Stories changed everything.
This feature was rolled out in August of 2016, and gave users the ability to create short videos or photo series that disappear after 24 hours. Stories are highlighted in the top bar of all user accounts, so they organically receive more attention than regular photo posts. Shortly after the rollout, Insta began allowing users with verified accounts to seamlessly post links within their stories, and since May of 2017 more and more accounts have gotten access to this in-demand feature. Clickable links within Instagram Stories are now also available to many business profiles (not personal ones) with 10,000 followers or more.* Which means that, for the first time, a high-visibility post can link back to your website, blog, or Namastream product seamlessly and easily.
So how can you take advantage of this outstanding promotional feature? Let’s start with the basics.
How to create an Instagram Story
Before you dig into adding links, you need to know how to cook up an InstaStory. The steps are fairly simple, but have changed with recent updates, so here’s the rundown:
Tap the camera icon in the top left of your screen, or swipe right from anywhere in your Instagram feed. You can create a new image, or use any image you’ve created within the past 24 hours.
Tap the white circle icon at the bottom of the screen to take a photo, or tap and hold to record a video.
Next, you can draw, add text, or include a sticker with your photo or video. Tap Undo to remove a drawing effect or Done to save it. To remove text or a sticker, drag and drop it on the garbage can icon at the bottom, center of the screen.
You’re almost done! You can tap Cancel to discard your photo or video, or Save to save it to your phone. When you're done, tap the plus sign to share to your story.
Want to add multiple photos or videos to your story so it plays like a slideshow? Just repeat the above steps in quick succession. Every image you add in a 24-hour period using the Stories functions will become part of your current story.
Regret adding something to today’s story? Tap the three dots at the bottom right corner of the photo or video, hit Delete, and then confirm.
On the flip side, if you you want everyone to have access to the components of an InstaStory permanently, you can add them to your profile grid. Just open your Story, tap the three dots at the bottom right of the photo or video, then tap Share as Post. Tap Share, and into your feed it goes!
How to add a link to an Instagram Story
If you’ve got access to the linking feature, adding a live link to your most recent blog post, your website, or even another social media account is a cinch. Here’s how:
Begin creating your Story as you normally would
Once you’ve created or selected a new photo or video, you’ll see four icons at the top of the screen - a chain link, a smiley, a pen, and a text (Aa) icon. Tap the chain link.
A new screen will appear that gives you a field for entering the destination URL of your choice. Since Instagram doesn’t give you any tracking capabilities or metrics, consider using Bit.ly to monitor your link’s performance.
Once you’ve added a URL to your story, the chain link icon will appear in a solid white circle to indicate your story includes a link.
Once the link is in place, you can continue editing the elements of your Story by adding text, filters, or stickers. To ensure that viewers are aware of the live embedded link, be sure to include a call-to-action in your story text that directs them to it. Something as simple as “Swipe up for the full post” or “Tap ‘See More’ below!” works beautifully.
How to leverage your Instagram Stories links to drive traffic
Adding links is a HUGE first step toward connecting your Instagram account to your blog or website. But incorporating a link and nudging users to click often isn’t enough. You need to create strategic content that actually entices them to want more, and actively seek out your link.
One simple strategy is to create a new InstaStory every time you’ve published a new blog post. Grab the header image from your post, or just create a slide that features the post’s headline in bold, artful text. Consider creating a graphic element that says “new blog post” that you can pop onto any InstaStory slide serving as a blog-content alert. And don’t forget that call-to-action!
Tutorials and DIYs can also serve as fantastic teasers on Instagram Stories. If you’re demonstrating a series of yoga poses, include a short video and a few stills on Insta, then create a final slide that directs users to your site for full instructions.
You can also tease exclusive content, product launches, or sneak peeks at new projects. Create a short video or a few slides that will pique curiosity, then make your final frame a link to your Namastream site.
And, of course, Instagram Stories creates a superb platform for plugging your services .... though be sure to do so in moderation. If every Story you share is a promo for your wellness business, your followers will become disenchanted and stop viewing your stories. But if you incorporate a variety of posts and ensure that your promos have the same engaging, fun tone as the rest, your fans will welcome them. Again, use overlaid text and calls to action to get the most out of your Stories.
Awkward as it may feel, keeping a fresh link in your Instagram profile that directs followers to timely content or information is still a smart move. But if you really want to leverage your Insta following and increase traffic to your site, tinker around with Instagram Stories links. More than 200 million people use this feature every single day, so it’s a savvy, effective way to lead your followers back to your website or blog.*
Haven’t hit the 10K mark yet? Consider joining an Instagram pod to boost your follower count!