Stories account for nearly half of all content posted on the Instagram app.
And, for the longest time, Instagram marketers were like tigers in a cage — we could see the potential, but couldn’t truly capitalize on it.
Enter Instagram’s new swipe up feature.
The swipe up function is relatively new and solves the crippling “no links in Stories” problem for marketers.
Historically, brands have only been able to link to their Instagram bio in a Story. Instagram swipe up now means you can link directly to your products.
However, there’s a few criteria to meet before you can add swipe up links to your Instagram Stories.
This article will give you a complete walkthrough of what swipe up is and how you can start adding links to Instagram Stories to drive traffic to your website and products.
What is the Instagram swipe up tool?
Here’s the issue…
You can’t put links in an Instagram post. Instead, Instagram app users can only put one link in their bios.
Not only does this mean constantly switching bio links depending on your social media campaign, but performance tracking is a nightmare.
Cue the Instagram swipe up feature.
Swooping in to save the day, Instagram’s swipe up function allows users to promote using links on Instagram Stories.
Dropping a killer promotion or a new YouTube video for your hungry fans? Link directly to specific content in a swipe up Instagram Story.
Viewers can either tap the arrow or swipe up to go directly to the link.
What are the requirements to add Instagram swipe up links?
Unfortunately, swipe ups aren’t for all and sundry. The swipe up function is reserved for the Insta elite.
There’s two ways you can access the swipe up function…
Firstly, you either have an Instagram Business Account and you have 10K followers.
Alternatively, an Instagram user can access the swipe up function if they have a verified account. According to Instagram, a verified badge means “Instagram has confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”
How to add a link to an Instagram Story
It’s a breeze to add a swipe up Instagram Story link. Simply follow these steps:
- Meet the Instagram swipe up requirements
- Click to add a new Instagram Story
- Click on the Story link icon in the top bar (fourth in from the right)
- Next, hit ‘+ Web Link’ and add the URL
- Click ‘Done’ and you’re all set
Remember to keep links near the beginning. As long as your story is five frames or less, you’ll see 75% of viewers will stick with your story. Any longer than that, and attention drops off considerably.
How to get swipe up on Instagram without 10k followers
Nowhere near the 10K follower mark? Never fear! There are still plenty of ways to link Instagram followers to your products and content.
Try these alternatives to the swipe up feature on Instagram.
#1 – Monthly bio link campaigns
If you don’t have 10K followers and you’re not verified, you’re stuck working with the single bio link.
To make the most from this link, channel monthly posts and Story campaigns to a particular product or piece of content. Link this product or content in your bio and direct viewers to your bio link.
Use Instagram insights to work out the types of social media content and/or products your Instagram followers engage with best. Start by linking to similar products or content in your monthly bio link campaigns.
#2 – Bio link tools
Bio link tools like Linktree and Flowpage allow you to create a simple landing page with several links. Use the URL from this landing page as your bio link.
Fans click on the bio link which leads to your customized landing page listing a variety of links to different products/services/content.
Make sure you regularly test your Linktree links as Instagram sometimes marks bio link landing pages as spam. You don’t want a broken link in your bio.
#3 – Tag products in your Instagram shop
Tag products from your shop in your Instagram Stories.
Viewers click on the tag to head to the product in your shop. From here, users can click the ‘View on Website’ button to head straight to the product page on your website.
Try using product videos on your Stories to show fans the value of your products. Since 84% of buyers say they’ve been persuaded to purchase a product after watching a brand’s video, Instagram Stories are ripe for conversions.
#4 – Ask questions and DM links
Foster interactive engagement with customers by asking questions or adding voting polls to your Instagram Stories.
As each Instagram user interacts, you’ll be able to monitor responses.
Reply to these responses using a direct message (DM) to engage potential customers on a one-to-one level.
For example, if you’ve asked customers which product they prefer, A or B. Send a DM with a link to product A to all those who selected this option and a link to product B for all the B-lovers out there.
#5 – Boost your Instagram followers
If you’re itching to take advantage of the swipe up feature, you’ll need to ramp up your Instagram following to cross that 10k follower threshold.
Try monitoring your Instagram insights to see your top demographic. Where do users come from, how old are they, and when do they interact with posts most often?
Personalize content to better target your key demographics.
Also consider a coherent Instagram aesthetic to show off your brand’s personality.
Look at Hootsuite’s Instagram page, for instance:
Notice how the overall branding, color palettes, fonts, and graphics of each Instagram post are consistent with Hootsuite’s brand image?
Pair a sleek aesthetic on your Instagram feed with content that educates, entertains and engages.
For example, 20% of all impressions come from Instagram Stories, and nearly half of all Instagram Stories users say they want to laugh at the content they see on Instagram. Try adding funny content to boost engagement on your Instagram Stories.
3 epic Instagram swipe up examples to copy
#1 – Gary Vee
Business guru and CEO of @vaynermedia, Gary Vee uses Instagram Stories to direct fans to his latest podcast content:
Notice how Gary uses minimalist branding to make it clear what and who the podcast features, along with the familiar podcast thumbnail. Since Gary only has a couple of seconds to promote this swipe up, clever use of whitespace helps to keep the message clear.
He also gets away with a lot less investment in design as he’s Gary Vee. The rest of us may have to work a bit harder to grab the attention of Instagram users.
#2 – Zero Waste Store
Zero Waste Store encourages its 260K followers to buy with a swipe up promotion.
Team swipe ups with discount codes and limited-availability free products to increase urgency and encourage conversions.
#3 – Shayla Quinn
Founder of Namastshay and Instagram influencer, Shayla Quinn uses Instagram Stories swipe ups to send her latest videos to her 45K followers.
Notice the hand-written ‘swipe up’ call-to-action. This helps to direct fans to take action by clearly directing viewers to the next (conversion-oriented) step.
Clearer about how to add links to Instagram Stories with swipe up? You should be.
As you can see, swipe up is a killer tool for linking customers directly to your products, blog posts, podcasts, and more.
Make sure your swipe up Stories are clear, as viewers only have a few seconds to decide whether to swipe.