How to add a link to Instagram Story

January 17, 2018
Kyra Goodman

Instagram gives you only one way to post a link on their platform. This guide shows you how to drive the most traffic to that link, and how to set it up.

Instagram gives you only one way to post a link on the platform. This handy guide will show you how to set up your Instagram account so you can drive the maximum amount of traffic possible to your key landing pages.

The Instagram app is ideal for driving awareness, generating engagement, and building online communities. But some marketers are learning just how to unlock more advanced features on Instagram to drive leads and generate sales – and fast!

This guide will show you how to add a link to an Instagram Story, allowing you to leverage your social media presence, drive traffic to your site, and, ultimately, get your content working harder.

Are you wondering how to add a link to an Instagram Story?

Want to know how to add a link to an Instagram story and convert followers to leads or customers?

Much as we all love using the Instagram app, it’s been an ongoing struggle for users – and particularly businesses – using the platform who want to direct their audience back to a specific website.

For years, one of Instagram’s biggest barriers as a social media marketing tool has been that links in Instagram post captions aren’t actually clickable. That means that adding a link to your caption is pointless.

The only clickable link on Instagram is the link in your profile. That means many marketers still have to create a post or Story and use a clunky call-to-action asking their audience to visit their link in bio. If the user is interested enough, they need to click back to the brand’s profile and then click to their website – which, for many of us, proves to be way too much work!

All in all, it’s certainly not the most streamlined process – unless, of course, you know how to get around it!

After Instagram Stories were introduced, Instagram made it easier for some businesses to add link stickers within their Stories using a swipe-up feature. But, unfortunately, not all businesses can take advantage of this feature.

For businesses that ultimately want to cultivate and convert their Instagram audience, this lack of clickable links can be a significant limiting factor. After all, quick, clickable links are the key to leading your audience down the path to conversion.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re using desktop, mobile, iPhone, or Android; in this guide, we’ll show you how to add a link sticker to an Instagram Story – yes, even if you’re only just starting out on the platform! These quick hacks will help you make the most out of your Instagram account. But read carefully – the method (or methods) you use will vary based on the type of profile you have as well as your overall Instagram marketing strategy.

1. Who Can Add Links to Their Instagram Stories?

First of all, can you add links to your organic Instagram Stories? Well – maybe, and maybe not! When Instagram first released clickable links in Stories, they only allowed verified accounts to participate (in other words, those profiles with that magic blue tick!).

But, as of 2017, Instagram Business profiles with over 10,000 followers now also have access to the Instagram swipe-up feature. For those lucky users, adding an Instagram Story with a link is easy, and is a sure-fire way to drive traffic to your website, blog, or personal profile.

If you don’t have 10,000 followers yet, there’s no need to start pulling out hair! Instead of stressing out about your follower count, keep reading. There are a few sneaky ways to add an Instagram swipe-up link sticker to your Stories without obsessing over your follower count. Stay tuned – more on this later.

Example of an Instagram verified account

2. How to Add a Link to Your Instagram Story

The link sticker tool is the key to driving traffic to a variety of pages, especially when you have simultaneous promotions or campaigns running. Learning how to add a new link sticker to an Instagram Story is a crucial stepping stone if you’re looking to leverage your Instagram account as one of your key social media conversion platforms. The best part? It can all be done directly from the Instagram app.

If you’ve already got a verified account, a creator account, or you’re a Business account with over 10,000 followers, the process for adding a link sticker to your IG Stories is super simple.

  1. Snap a photo or video in the Instagram Stories window or upload an existing piece of content already stored on your device. Then, swipe up in the same way you would access location tags, product tags, or the other sticker icons and gifs within the sticker tray.
  2. To add a link to an Instagram Story, click on the link icon (that looks like a chain) located on the top right-hand corner of your screen.

Enter the destination URL for your Instagram Story in the link space. If you want to track your links, be sure to use a UTM or a link. When you’re done, tap the checkmark in the top right corner.

  1. Continue editing your Instagram Story with text, filters, or by using the sticker feature, or simply click Next to post. Ideally, you should also add text with a short call-to-action (CTA) encouraging your viewers to check out the link. The “See More” button at the bottom of linked Stories can be difficult to spot, especially for new Instagram users, so additional text can compel users to swipe. Adding a simple reminder can also help boost click engagement.

If you want to be able to track the link activity coming from your Instagram Story, be sure to check your stats regularly using Failing that, you can also see clicks within the Insights section on the Instagram app.

3. Adding a Link to an Instagram Post with Sked Social

If you already use Sked for scheduling your Instagram stories, it’s super easy to add a link to your Instagram story while you are already in the process of uploading and scheduling your content as normal.

Sked Social is one of the only social media schedulers that actually posts your Instagram Stories for you, instead of sending you a reminder to post your Story.

This gives you the freedom to truly “set and forget” your social media content – at least for the weekend, anyway!

To start scheduling your Instagram Story, simply:

  • Log in to Sked Social
  • Hit the “Create post” button on the top left-hand corner of the screen
Instagram scheduling in Sked Social
  • Click the button that says “Switch to Story, Reel or IGTV post”
Switching on Instagram Story scheduling in Sked Social
  • Add your image/s or video/s
  • Add the link you want to direct users to
Adding swipe up URL in Sked Social
  • Add your post to the queue and save!

It’s really that simple, unless, of course, you don’t have a Business profile with over 10,000 followers. But if not – don’t worry – there are still plenty of other options you can explore to get users to click to your site!

4. Adding a Link to Instagram Stories for Accounts Without 10,000 Followers

Don’t have 10,000 followers on Instagram yet? Don’t worry. It can take a long time for profiles to build up their follower count, especially for newer Instagram accounts or businesses. But never fear – there are still a few other creative ways to direct your Instagram followers to your links. Users used to be able to add links within IGTV videos. Now, unfortunately, IGTV videos are a thing of the past, but you can still utilize your Instagram profile and get creative in order to get people clicking!

Adding a link using your profile URL

Remember when we mentioned the clickable link in your Instagram profile? That is the key to posting clickable links for free (or for less than the cost of a promotion).

At the very least, businesses should include their website link in their profile, in case a follower wants to learn more. But if you’re not already getting many clicks to this profile link, how can you increase clicks?

Further, how can you use this limited space to share Instagram posts that refer to different (yet specific) URLs? Here’s how.

If you want to keep things simple, every time you post you could update your profile link to reflect the caption for your most recent post. For example, if you posted a photo of a new product and said in the caption, “Learn more in the link in our profile” or included the link emoji (🔗), followers would then head to the link in your profile.

The downside of this option is that every time you create a new post, you have to update your profile link. This is a clunky process that can get old really fast!

It also means that your posts age quickly. As soon as you post a new piece of content that references a different link, the instructions in your old post become irrelevant. If a follower looks back on your timeline and views old posts that also refer to the profile link in the caption, they could become confused or unable to access the matching URL.

Another great link option used by countless brands and influencers is a tool like Sked Link. Sked Link is a free tool that helps you optimize your Instagram profile link space. It generates a custom URL that you place on your Instagram profile. When followers click the Sked Link, they’ll have access to a customizable branded page that can feature several links of your choice, not just one!

This means you’ll never have to change your Instagram bio link ever again. This overall link can stay the same while still directing users to a variety of pages. All you need to do is change the links in your customizable Sked Link menu if you want to direct to, say, a new product or piece of content.

In Sked Link, businesses can share links to their website, their email list, product pages, or popular blog posts. The best part? This tool is absolutely free and great for driving more traffic, sales, newsletter sign-ups, or taking advantage of other opportunities. Sign up for a Sked Link account here

Run an Instagram Promotion

For a super direct way to add a link to an Instagram Story, why not run a paid promotion? If you haven’t dipped your toes into Instagram advertising but you’re already seeing success with Instagram, Instagram ads could be a great option to integrate into your overall social media marketing strategy.

Unlike other platforms, paid social is relatively easy to learn, and there’s no minimum spend (unless, for instance, you’re trying to stretch a very small budget across a long period!).

If you’re truly trying to leverage Instagram to grow your business, investing in a small promotion could be a good way to jumpstart clicks, direct traffic to your website, and even generate leads and sales.

Using Instagram advertising, you can choose a targeted audience, access detailed insights, and ensure that your Instagram Story includes a clickable link.

Instagram promotions are simple. Here’s how to get started promoting a feed post on Instagram Stories.

  1. To start off with, if you haven’t already converted your Instagram account to a Business profile, you can do so in your Instagram Settings. Changing to a Business profile is very easy, yet it means that you’ll have access to advanced analytics and tracking capabilities, your profile will have a button for your followers to access your contact information, and you’ll have the ability to promote your posts. Plus, changing to a Business profile will make your profile look far more professional. Changing your profile is free. What business wouldn’t want these features?
  2. Next, head to Facebook’s Business Manager and set up a Business Manager account, if you haven’t already done so
  3. From there, you can create ads with the Traffic objective or Conversion objective and direct users to any URL you wish. Head to our step-by-step guide for more details on how to set up Instagram Stories ads

If you want to learn more, Instagram offers several free online learning modules that can teach you the basics of Instagram Advertising, even if you’re just starting out with social media marketing.

You can start small with more conservative budgets to test different ad placements and see what works for you. It might take some testing before you start to see any meaningful results, but the benefit is that you’re able to access new audiences on Instagram who aren’t already following you.

Despite how inexpensive this option can be, paid promotions can still take time and can end up costing a lot, depending on how cost-effective your ads are, how competitive your niche is and how advanced your targeting is. Thankfully, there are a couple of free ways to do the same thing.

Send a Link via Direct Messaging

Finally, if you’re feeling a little creative, why not entice your followers to ask for a link via Instagram’s Direct Messaging feature? But how? Well, it’s simple.

  1. First up, you’ll need a compelling offer. Maybe it’s a discount code, a downloadable guide, or just a kick-ass, super-helpful blog post. Grab the link for your dedicated web page that houses your offer or content
  2. Next up, create an Instagram feed post or an Instagram Story that tells followers about your offer. You could straight up ask users to Direct Message you if they want the link, or create a poll asking them if they want to get the link
  3. Finally, see who responds! Then send the link to whoever responds positively to your Poll or asks for your link. This method is ideal because it increases your engagement rates while opening up a direct line of communication with your customers. As a result, they’ll feel more comfortable asking you questions, which might lead to increased traffic, a sign-up, or even a conversion

5. Why Effective Content Can Guarantee Clicks on Your Instagram Stories Links

Okay, so now you know how to send links to your followers and add a link directly within an Instagram Story. But how can you get users to click on the link stickers in your Stories?

Let’s talk about the kind of Instagram content that can entice users to actually click on your links! Because clickable links require that little bit of extra effort for your followers, you want to ensure that every single link you post provides value!

If you use Instagram regularly yourself (which you probably should if you’re using it as a marketing channel!), think about the Instagram Stories links you typically like to click on. Perhaps you usually click on links to sales, or interesting articles? Chances are your followers are going to behave in a similar way.

Don’t get overzealous with your links – you should never add a link sticker within an Instagram Story purely for the sake of it. Every action you take should serve your business goals, and, it goes without saying, your specific social media marketing goals.

Here are a few creative ways to add links that can boost the value of your content while serving value to your viewers.

Share a teaser for a new blog post

If your business has a blog, you’ll want to drive traffic from as many sources as possible. Just because Instagram is a mostly visual platform doesn’t mean you can’t share your blog! Post a teaser image or video on your Story, and share the most enticing parts of your blog.

Think about what the blog will give readers. Perhaps your blog:

  • Is a “how to” showing readers how to do something
  • Shares secrets or tips on how readers can do something
  • Shares a story from a well-known public figure
  • Features the latest news or updates on a situation that’s unfolding in your area

Therefore, your “teaser” could include a juicy snippet from an interview, the first step of a how-to article, or just what the reader will get from the blog. Remember, you want to “tease” your audience, not share the whole story! The idea is to provide value and get them wanting more.

Encourage appointments or bookings

If you’re a service-based business that doesn’t have many product photos to share, that’s okay! You can still leverage Instagram to build your business, and adding link stickers to your Instagram Stories can definitely help in this regard!

Simply post a photo or Story update that encourages your followers to check out your service, and include a link directly to your appointment booking page. With this one, it’s important to drive urgency by reminding users that you only have a few appointment spots left or sharing a story about how your service helped others.

Promote your email list

Use an Instagram post or Story to entice users to join your email list or newsletter. Tell your followers directly what is available by signing up to your newsletter. What can they stand to gain? Maybe it’s exclusive content? Maybe it’s a discount? Maybe it’s a birthday gift for them? Either way, just “signing up” to your newsletter isn’t incentive enough. Give them a reason.

When you promote your email list, make sure you make it as easy as possible for your followers. Link directly to the landing page where followers can sign up. At that point, they will officially become leads and you’ll be able to communicate with them even more easily!

Promote your products and services

If you’re promoting your products and services, it is essential to grasp how to add a link sticker to an Instagram Story at every available opportunity! That said, while you can definitely use Instagram to promote your products and services, don’t overdo it. Otherwise, your followers may lose interest and unfollow you. No one wants to be that sleazy Insta-salesperson!

Your Instagram isn’t a sales flyer or a catalog. Not every single post or Story that you publish should be used for promotional purposes. When you do post about a product or service, keep it on-brand and be sure to link directly to that product page. Even if you don’t have 10,000 Instagram followers, if you have a Facebook shop and have your products correctly imported, you can tag your products in your Instagram Story posts and your regular posts.

6. Final Thoughts

Instagram can become an essential tool within your marketing funnel. There are many ways to leverage clickable links and market to your followers simply by learning how to add links on Instagram. Depending on your profile level, resources, and posting strategy, any of the above methods could work for your business.

Leveraging the Instagram swipe-up feature can transform your Instagram marketing strategy. When used creatively and effectively, adding a link to your Instagram Stories can work wonders in driving traffic and converting followers to leads or customers.

You could go from using Instagram simply as an awareness tool and turn it into a hard-working lead generator or one of your key conversion platforms.

Now that you know how to add links on Instagram, why not start saving countless hours in your social media workflow by signing up for Sked’s 7-day trial? Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Instagram Stories, videos, and more. Tag locations, users, and products, and manage all your hashtags in one place to save hours every week and turn your social media marketing from ad-hoc to amazing.

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