Social media is a tricky place. You may have noticed when viewing the Instagram stories of popular people and brands, they often include links. In ab Instagram story, an option at the bottom appears to See More and swiping up reveals a new webpage. You may often be scrolling through the main Instagram feed and see some sponsored posts with official links underneath the image.
Yet, if you go hunting through your Instagram feed to figure out exactly how to add your own links, chances are you’ll end up disappointed.
Instagram marketing is picking up speed like a rocket and marketing managers and social media managers are constantly emphasizing the importance of Instagram traffic for your online store or webpage. So, how exactly can you add links to your Instagram stories and posts?
Here are the best options to add a link to Instagram stories and posts.
Unfortunately, only popular Instagram accounts and brands are currently able to add links to their Instagram stories. You have to be “verified” which is a status you can not request from Instagram at this time. They instead need to come find and verify you at their own will, which won’t happen if you have a small following or aren’t someone of public interest.
You can certainly type a link in the text you overlay on your story, but it’s not clickable to your audience.
Hopefully Instagram decides to let everyone use this feature soon rather than just public figures and brands. That very well might be that case thanks to Snapchat’s recent update adding support for links.
2. Add a Link to Your Instagram Posts
Unlike Instagram stories, it is possible to add links to your Instagram posts. However, it’s not exactly easy either.
You can type any URL you want in the caption of your photo, but it won’t link anywhere. The only official way to add a link directly to your Instagram photo is to pay up. See, Instagram lets advertisers include links … because money.
If you’re really trying to promote a website or link somewhere through your Instagram, the best way is to just give in to Instagram’s advertising platform. You can boost a post for as little as $1, and the post will include a link you provide with analytics too.
To advertise with Instagram, you first need to convert your personal account into a business account. Don’t worry, this won’t change anything. It just adds some extra features like analytics tracking, phone/email links (optional) and of course the ability to boost posts.
Do this by going to your profile and tapping the Settings icon, then scroll and select Switch to Business Profile. Tap Continue a few times to eventually make the transition. Now go to any photo on your profile and tap the blue Promote button. You’re taken to Facebook where Instagram handles its advertising. Here you can add a link and submit your payment.
If you’re really trying to promote a website or link somewhere through your Instagram, the best way is to just give in to Instagram’s advertising platform.
Unfortunately, this is a pretty unorthodox way to simply add a link to an Instagram post, but it’s the only direct method. Of course, if you don’t want to pay for an “ad,” I don’t blame you. There are some less effective, but free workarounds to this. See below.
3. Add a Call to Action in Your Instagram Story
Sometimes, followers get confused about exactly what they should do to follow your page or how to navigate to the link you are putting in your story.
To avoid this, you can add a CTA or Call to Action in your stories to inform your audience about what they should do to click on your link and navigate to the page you intend them to go to.
In order to add a Call to Action, you need to generate a clickable link and put them in your story post and write the action (swipe up, double tap or click on this circle) to educate your audience and drive traffic.
Note: At times, adding a huge link can get tricky. Use Bitly to shorten your URL and add the generated short link in Instagram.
While Instagram doesn’t yet support links in Instagram posts for average users like you and me, there are some workarounds. They’re not perfect, but at least the end result is a link even if it’s not where you want it to be.
If you want to keep it simple, you can always just update the link in your bio. Instagram allows for one link that shows up on your profile. Every time you want to include a link with your Instagram post, go to your Instagram profile and check the link in the bio. Then in the caption of your Instagram post, point viewers to your profile to click through for the desired content. Say something like “Link in bio” or include the link emoji.
Another free option is Linktree.
This method does limit your links though. Since you have to update your bio every time you post a new image, anyone viewing your old images in search for a link might be confused when your updated bio takes them somewhere else.
Another free option is Linktree. It’s a free service that allows you to create a mini website for your Instagram page. There is no web design knowledge required as the layout is essentially just a list of links. You can add as many links as you want there, plus track to see how many clicks they get.
First sign up with your Instagram account on the Linktree website. After that, paste your Linktree URL in your bio as the sole website. Update your Linktree with a new link every time you post a new photo, and then just put in the caption “link in bio” as always. With this method, at least you don’t have to change your bio every time, plus you get some analytics.
As you can see, Instagram’s options for linking your photos are currently less than ideal. Hopefully in the future Instagram sees how tedious it is and makes some much needed improvements.