November 21, 2016
The new features recently added to Instagram Stories have brought with it an exciting tool for digital marketers. Companies can now add links to their Instagram Stories posts that can direct users outside of the photo-sharing app. With this new feature, it will be easier for brands to sell products and services via their Instagram accounts.
History of Instagram And Links
This new update marks the first time Instagram has allowed links beyond user bios. Before, brands would have to direct viewers to a link by adding phrases like “link in bio” in their posts. Viewers would have to go through the tedious process of navigating to the brand’s profile and then the bio to access the link. Due to the limited space on user bios, a link would usually only apply to the most recent post. Hence, links that were related to previous posts would have to be deleted to accommodate a new one. Now that a creator can add a link when uploading a photo or video post on their Instagram story, the process of directing viewers to other sites has been streamlined.
As of now, this link feature can only be used for Instagram Stories posts. Posts that appear on Instagram’s feed will not be able to include links to websites, only ads are allowed to do that for now. Another drawback is that the availability of links will be temporary, since posts uploaded into an Instagram story only last for 24 hours. Additionally, only verified accounts will have access to this tool and there are no plans to expand access yet. And last but not least, creators will not have the ability to design their own links. In an effort to avoid clutter on posts, Instagram will not allow URLs to be shown. Instead, links can be accessed by swiping up or tapping a “See More” button found at the bottom of a post.
The Possibilities Are Significant
Since this new feature has just been added and will likely evolve as time goes on, definitively listing its benefits is not yet possible. Still, despite a few current limitations, there are notable ways companies could possibly utilize this new tool for their benefit.
1. Easily Monetize Instagram Campaigns
Companies can now use their Instagram accounts to drive sales and conversions. Through posts, they can conveniently direct viewers to their official websites or product pages. This power is not only limited to the brand, but also to the influencers they collaborate with. Influencers can now also link their followers to exterior sites. As a result, a brand’s Instagram content can directly lead to a conversion or purchase. These conversions can be tracked and measured, so now it is simpler to quantify an Instagram campaign’s return on investment.
2. Connect Multi-Platform Content
Despite Instagram’s added monetizing capabilities, it remains a discovery platform for consumers. It serves as an app where people are introduced to brands and learn more about them. However, with the new linking feature, Instagram content will no longer be isolated. Posts can now be connected to other content platforms such as other social media accounts, blogs, and video-sharing accounts. A content campaign that is presented through multiple platforms can at last be efficiently seen in its entirety by a brand’s Instagram audience, giving them an in-depth experience they would not have been able to have before.
Our South Florida advertising agency knows what a powerful platform Instagram can be. With its new ground-breaking updates, Instagram is set to become an even more valuable tool for companies’ content marketing and social media strategies. Call us today to learn how our team can utilize social media and other digital tools to elevate your brand.