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Jul 01 2021

How to use Instagram’s “Swipe Up” Feature

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Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users, so it’s no surprise it’s one of the most popular platforms for social media marketing. With more than 500 million daily active users watching Instagram Stories on the app, the platform has become a prime location for brands and influencers to share content, boost awareness and generate more sales and leads. 

With Instagram Stories becoming more and more popular, Instagram implemented the “Swipe Up” feature. Available to users with a verified account or a business account and more than 10,000 followers, it allows users to add a link that followers can swipe up on while watching their stories. 

The Instagram Swipe Up link feature allows brands to promote specific products, content, sign-up pages or landing pages that followers can access through Instagram Stories instead of the standard “link in bio”. The links can be changed from story to story, making it a game changer for brands and Instagram influencers.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are images, videos and links that users share with their followers for 24 hours. Stories are published separately from photos and videos in a user’s profile grid. 

The Instagram engagement and added value on Stories are high from a brand, influencer and general user’s perspective. But as with any post on Instagram, you need to find the best time to post on Instagram to ensure your Stories receive the maximum engagement. 

Instagram Stories are a great way to encourage others to see content they may have missed. Users can repost Instagram grid photos, Instagram Guides, Instagram Reels and IGTVs to their Stories.

How to access the “Swipe Up” feature

As said, there are two ways users can have access to the Instagram Swipe Up Story feature. 

The first way to access the feature is to have a Business Account with over 10,000 followers. 

The second is to be a verified creator. This means celebrities, public figures and brands that do not have over 10K followers but are verified can still access the feature.

How to add a “Swipe Up” link to an Instagram Story

Step 1: Start an Instagram Story

Open your Instagram Story and either upload an image or video or create one directly in the Instagram app. 

Once you have reached the threshold of the criteria that gives you access to the Instagram Swipe Up feature, a link icon will appear at the top of your Story editor.

Start an Instagram Story - instagram swipe up

Step 2: Click the link icon

Tapping the link icon will make the page that allows you to add a link to your Story pop up. Users can add any link to the Swipe Up link, whether it’s to a landing page, blog post, curated content or other CTA page. 

Within this linking page, influencers will also input information about brand partnerships if they are sharing sponsored content. Doing this adds that “paid partnership” label to stories, but it also limits users’ ability to edit a Story.

Step 2: Click the link icon - instagram swipe up

Step 3: Upload your link and press Done

Clicking the + Web Link button, adding in your URL and tapping Done will successfully share a link using the Swipe Up feature.

Step 3: Upload your link and press Done

Step 4: Add a call to action

Once you have your link uploaded, you need to add a call to action. This can be as simple as a GIF or sticker that says “Swipe Up” or an arrow pointing upwards. It needs to be something that entices users to swipe up and discover the link.

Step 4: Add a call to action

Ways to use Instagram Swipe Up

Promote lead magnets

Using lead magnets is a great way to encourage people to sign up to your business’ email list. By using a Swipe Up Instagram link, you can directly guide viewers to your lrad magnet landing page or sign-up page. 

Instagram also offers Instagram Story ads that allow creators and brands to add a sign-up form on the Swipe Up link, rather than redirecting to a landing page.

Promote products

Swipe Up links are most commonly used to promote products. For influencers in particular, the Swipe Up links allow them to add their own affiliate links to a brand’s landing page or specific products. 

Instagram is a visually-driven platform, so it’s a natural location to promote products. You’ll want to make sure your Story content is eye-catching and high-quality so users will stop and take notice of your Story, rather than continuing to swipe through.

Promote events

Adding a link to an Instagram Story can be an efficient way to promote an event – whether it’s virtual or in real life. Having an exciting story post alongside a Swipe Up link will allow users to easily register or purchase tickets, without leaving Instagram.

Promote blogs and other content

Swipe Up links are a good opportunity to increase traffic to new blog posts or article content. When creating a Story to promote a new blog or article, you need to make sure you have the right Instagram Story dimensions so your content fits the screen. Visuals used should be relevant to the blog post, and the colour scheme should match your brand’s theme to increase recognition.

Instagram Swipe Up best practises

Now you know what you can use a “Swipe Up” Instagram Story for, we have provided some best practices to ensure your Swipe Up links have maximum impact.

Create an interactive Story

Interactive content on Instagram generally receives high engagement. An interactive Story could involve running a Q&A or poll to get viewers involved with your content. When you give viewers a reason to engage and interact with your brand, they will be more inclined to check out your Stories and find new ways to connect.

Save your story as a highlight

Highlights show on a user’s profile, just above regular grid posts. Highlights enable users to keep Stories on their profiles rather than have them disappear after 24 hours. They are great for driving traffic as users can repeatedly access your story whenever they want and follow your CTAs to boost engagement, conversions and sales.

Post a teaser in your main grid feed

While most users always look at Instagram Story posts, not many pay full attention to the content within them. To ensure your audience isn’t missing out on your Swipe Up Story links, make a grid post so it shows up natively in your followers’ feeds. By creating a grid post, you can generate interest and curiosity which will lead to a sense of FOMO since Stories are only available for 24 hours (unless saved to a highlight).

How to add links if you don’t meet the Swipe Up criteria

Using IGTV

IGTV is an Instagram extension that allows users to create and share longer videos. IGTVs must be at least one minute long and can be up to 15 minutes when uploaded from a mobile device, or up to 60 minutes when uploading from a web browser. 

Users wanting to use this method need to download the IGTV app, and either create a new channel, or “Continue as…” their own Instagram account. Users then create a video promoting whatever they want to drive Instagram traffic to. As with traditional Stories, creators should still add a call to action to encourage users to click the title link. 

Once the video is created, it needs to be uploaded to the user’s IGTV channel. It can then be previewed and a cover photo selected before adding a video title and description. 

The title you choose should be a call to action for viewers, making them want to click. In your description you can add in the URL of whatever you want to drive traffic to. Then, you can post the video. 

After this, users can promote the IGTV in an Instagram Story. Viewers can swipe up on the story to access the IGTV, and will then be able to access the link in the top left of the IGTV video.

Instagram Story Sticker Links

Instagram Story Sticker Links

Instagram has begun testing a new link sticker for Stories, meaning any Instagram user can add links viewers can tap. The test comes as Instagram wants to learn more about how people use links on the platform. 

Sticker links will also allow Story viewers to respond to the story, something they are unable to do with Swipe Up Instagram Stories. 

This new method of linking is beneficial for smaller businesses and creators that have less than 10K followers, but a highly engaged audience. It allows them to redirect followers to external links and content, potentially increasing traffic and sales.

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