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, wellness creators, 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, Instagram began allowing users with verified accounts to seamlessly add a link to an Instagram Story. Clickable links within Instagram Stories are available to many business profiles (not just those with 10,000+ followers). Which means that, for the first time, a high-visibility post can link back to your website, blog, or Marvelous studio 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 create an Instagram Story. The steps are fairly simple, but have changed with recent updates, so here’s the rundown: When in your Instagram feed, tap the Plus [+] icon in the top right of your screen and choose story, or swipe right from anywhere in your Instagram feed. You can create a new image or video, or use any image(s) or video you’ve previously created in your camera roll on your phone. Videos longer than 15 seconds will split into multiple stories. You then have the following options:

  • Tap the down arrow to the left of your screen, this will display multiple options for creating your story including, Boomerang, Layout and Hands-free.
  • Tap the white circle icon at the bottom of the screen to take a photo, or tap and hold to record a video.
  • Next, tap [Aa] to add text, click the smiley face icon to show a grid of options of what you can add to your story, including Location, tagging another Instagram account, add stickers or music clip, and so much more
  • Tap Undo to remove a drawing effect or Done to save it. To remove text sticker, or music clip, drag and drop it on the garbage can icon at the bottom, center of the screen.
  • You’re almost done! You tap Save to save it to your phone, if you’ve changed your mind about posting, tap Cancel to discard your photo or video, or when you’re done and ready to post, tap the Arrow in the bottom right-hand corner.

How to add to your Instagram story

Adding another image or video to your story is simple. Just follow the above steps! 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! You can also add a story to a highlight that appears in your Instagram profile by viewing your story and clicking Highlight in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

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 really straight forward. Here’s how to add a link to Instagram Story:

  • 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 text (Aa) icon, a smiley, 3 stars, and 3 dots. Tap the smiley and look for the chain link symbol with the word “Link” next to it.
  • 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 to monitor your link’s performance.

Once you’ve added a URL to your story, the chain link icon will appear next to the URL you just typed out. By tapping the link you can change the color. You can also move it around your screen, and adjust the size. 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 “Tap here to sign u!” with an arrow sticker point towards the link, works beautifully.

How to leverage your Instagram Story 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 Instagram Story 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 Marvelous 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. Using a free one-link landing page such as is perfect for this. But if you really want to leverage your Instagram 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. According to an Instagram survey, 50% of people have gone to a website to purchase a product or service after seeing it in Stories. Once you learn how to add a link to an Instagram Story, you can drive traffic to your website and increase conversions and sales. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on everything you need to know about adding Instagram’s new link sticker to your stories. Schedule your Instagram posts, carousels, stories, and reels with Buffer
Visually plan your content calendar and make your profile a «must-follow» with Buffer’s suite of Instagram scheduling and analytics tools.

What Are Instagram Stories Link Stickers?

Instagram recently replaced the ‘swipe-up´ link option from stories with a clickable link sticker. Previously, the Instagram swipe-up feature could only be used by accounts with over 10K Instagram followers. But now, any Instagram account, regardless of its size, can add a link to Instagram Stories! So you don’t have to be an influencer or have a verified account to take advantage of the sticker feature. Link stickers appear on your screen just like any other Instagram Stories sticker — but with a clickable link icon. Example of how several brands use link stickers in their stories. Source: Instagram They are easy to customize based on your content and branding. You can move them around, rotate and resize them, or change their color. And when Instagram users tap on a link sticker, they are taken to the landing page of the URL you linked to. Example from Fenty Beauty’s Instagram Account

How to add link stickers to your Instagram Stories

Adding link stickers to your stories is quick and easy to do. Just follow the steps below. 1. Open the Instagram app on your phone and tap the plus icon in the upper-right hand corner. Next, select Story from the menu and then upload a photo or video to create new content. 2. Select the sticker icon from the sticker tray and then choose the link sticker from the options available. 3. Paste your URL in the link field and then tap done. 4. Adjust the color and size of your link to match your brand aesthetic.

Ways to use Instagram Link Stickers

Now that you know how to add a link to an Instagram Story, you can use this new feature to promote different types of content.

Promote blog posts

Before Instagram introduced link stickers, it was tricky to share links to articles, especially if you didn’t have access to swipe-up links. But now, it’s much easier to get your followers to click directly to your blog. Example of how HoneyBook uses link stickers to promote its blog posts

Direct people to specific products

Make it easy for your fans to buy products you showcase in your Instagram Stories. Whenever you post a video or image of something you sell, include a link sticker that takes your customers directly to the product page on your site. How Herschel uses link stickers to promote its products

Encourage people to book your services

Use Instagram Stories to share photos or videos of your service in action, answer questions about the service, or feature happy customers. Then, add a link sticker to send people directly to your booking page. Freshii shares photos of its meals along with link stickers for customers to make an order Whether you’re using your website to promote an event or an external tool such as Facebook Events or Google Events to keep track of RSVPs, be sure to add a link sticker to your Instagram Stories so your fans know exactly where to sign up. Insomniac Events uses a link sticker to send customers to its website to purchase event tickets

How to get the most out of the Instagram Stories link sticker

Make link stickers an effective part of your social media marketing strategy by keeping some of the following tips in mind.

Use link stickers to engage with your audience

One of the best things about link stickers is that your followers can react to and respond to your stories. This option wasn’t available with the previous swipe-up feature. You can use link stickers in your stories to promote your products and engage with your audience at the same time. For example, you can engage your followers with carousel posts, polls, or by asking questions. Sakara Life engages its audience by combining carousel posts and polls along with link stickers in its Instagram Stories

Align your link stickers with your brand’s aesthetic

Another advantage link stickers have over the old swipe-up feature is they can be sized and placed anywhere in the story, so make sure they align with your brand guidelines and visual aesthetic. To help you stay consistent and on-brand, you can create templates for your Instagram Stories in Canva, and then when you’re ready to go live, just add the link sticker in a spot that doesn’t interfere with your message or aesthetic. Here’s an example of how we use link stickers in our stories to match our branding

Drive traffic with a clear and strong call to action

With link stickers, you can be more creative and impactful with your CTAs. For example, rather than just saying «swipe-up,» you can now use a variety of more deliberate wording like «see more,» «learn more,» «try it out,» «see why,» etc. And because you have greater control over where in the story your link goes, you can also be more deliberate with your CTA placement and create eye-catching stickers that grab attention and compel your followers to take action. To drive followers to its Pinterest Account, Apartment Therapy has a strong CTA and an arrow pointing to its sticker link Every day, 500 million people use Instagram Stories. That’s a lot of potential eyes on your Instagram Business account. Adding convenient links to your Instagram Stories is an extremely effective way to drive more people to your website. Whether you’re selling products, offering services, or promoting content, Instagram Stories Link Stickers give people a hassle-free way to see more of what you have to offer. Did you know you can schedule Instagram Posts and Stories ahead of time with Buffer Publish? Now that you know how to add a link to an Instagram Story, you can step up your Instagram game even further by planning out your Stories in Buffer. Sign up for a free trial and get started with Buffer, the all-you-need social media toolkit for small businesses.

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Customizing Your Links

There are a couple of changes that you can make to your Insta links. If you want to display a word or phrase to draw in your audience, you can alter the sticker text after adding the URL. So, instead of the full website domain, you can display text that’s more personalized, catchy, or relevant—whatever you want! After you create the desired text and hyperlink, you can change the color of the link sticker. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to personalize the color fully, but there are four variations to choose from by tapping through.

Are There Any Other Limitations?

The main limitation to links in Instagram is that you can only add one link to each story, so if you want to share multiple links this way, you also have to share multiple stories. Aside from this, there are link limitations across the entire platform. Similarly to stories, you can only include one link in your bio section. They also don’t allow clickable links at all in post captions or comments, so any link that you share on your feed is plain text and your audience is required to copy and paste—which is also made near-impossible and might deter people from going to the URL. If you have multiple links to share, either through stories or posts, there are workarounds! You’ve probably come across posts where the page owner redirects you to their bio via a ‘Link in Bio’ caption—maybe you’ve even seen it on the Smallpdf profile! There might be some limitations depending on which provider you use, such as how many active links you can have at a time, but it allows you to share multiple clickable links while still only having one link in your bio.

Why Would Instagram Impose Such Restrictions?

Instagram likely wants to restrict users from exiting their platform. By doing so, Instagram can maximize the engagement level of their core user base within the app. All forms of engagement: comments, shares, and likes are produced solely on the platform. For businesses, the insert link function to stories allows brands to establish sales/marketing activities straight from the app itself—solidifying Instagram as a profitable acquisition channel. Shops can post links to their e-commerce, event organizers can share links to sign-up pages, and bloggers can generate traffic to their, well, blogs! It’s a rather smart move, considering how the app’s popularity has thrived over the last couple of years. You’d be surprised at how much time you spend on Instagram by just glancing through the newsfeed throughout the day. To check this data, open up your profile, and hit the ‘Your activity’ tab.

Making Digital Work Easy

Whether you’re still working from home or simply want to move away from physical documentation—we’re right there with you. It’s not always a smooth transition, but digital work shouldn’t impede your productivity. In fact, it should do the exact opposite, which is where we come in. Smallpdf has 20+ tools to compress, edit, and sign electronic documents in a heartbeat, through the online platform, Smallpdf Desktop App, and Smallpdf Mobile App—particularly useful if you work with social media and spend a lot of time on your phone! If your daily workload has anything related to PDFs, please check our tool chest out—you’re in for a treat!

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