How to Boost Engagement with Instagram Stories Link Stickers

By Jessica Worb

Published October 12, 2021

7 minute read

Swipe up links have left the building and Instagram Stories Link Stickers have officially entered the chat.


Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

Instagram Stories Link Stickers are here!

This new linking format has many benefits for brands and users alike — but as with any big change, it may take a while for users to adjust. 

This explains why you might be experiencing a dip in your click-through performance right now.

Find out everything you need to know about the new link stickers, along with three ways to draw more attention to your link stickers and land those all-important clicks.

What Are Instagram Stories Link Stickers?

Instagram has officially retired swipe-up links and replaced them with Instagram Stories Link Stickers. Now, rather than seeing links at the bottom of the screen, link stickers appear on screen just like any other Instagram Story sticker – but with the addition of a link icon!

Another key difference between "swipe up" links and the Instagram Stories Link Sticker is that link stickers display the first part of the destination (i.e the domain), which allows for more transparency:

And the best part? Now Instagram Story viewers can actually react and reply to stories that include links (unlike before). 

Though, if you’re worried about existing Instagram Highlights or paid ads that include "swipe up" links, don’t fret! Instagram hasn't removed those links — they still function properly. 

How to Get the New Instagram Stories Link Sticker

Just like its predecessor, accounts with over 10K followers or accounts that hold a coveted blue check have access to the new Instagram Stories Link.

According to TechCrunch, “Instagram says it’s evaluating whether to expand link access to more accounts in the future.” So if you don’t fall into either of the above two categories, sit tight.

Until then, if you do have access to Instagram’s latest feature, follow these steps to add an Instagram Stories Link Sticker:

#1: Head to the Instagram Stories sticker tray and select the link sticker.

#2: Paste your link into the link field.

#3: Switch the text and color by tapping on the sticker.

It’s that easy!

Don’t have access to link stickers? No problem. There are ways to work around it. You can still drive a ton of traffic from the platform by taking advantage of the link in your Instagram bio. 

For example, you can share snippets of blog content or your outfit details Instagram Stories and encourage your audience to click the link in your bio to shop or read more. by Later allows you to create a landing page with multiple buttons and a fully clickable version of your Instagram feed — that you can pop straight in your Instagram link in bio.

It’s like a mini website, but for your Instagram account.

You can set up right now for free – no trials or credit card needed!

3 Tactics to Drive Traffic Using Instagram Story Link Stickers

#1: Include a Strong Call-to-action

With the new Instagram Stories Sticker Links, call-to-actions (better known as CTAs) are more important than ever.

Brands can no longer rely on the arrow at the bottom of the screen or saying “swipe up to read” to encourage clicks.

The best way to draw attention to your link is through the use of text and GIFs

Especially since the feature is in its infancy, there’s an opportunity to be creative with how you bring attention to your links. 

Consider writing “tap to read” or “click to read”, so long as it’s clear where the link is and where your audience should click.

Take Sephora for example. See how they used both text and an arrow GIF to direct their audience:

With the use of text and GIFs, you decide how to bring attention to your link. 

Maybe it’s including a "Read More" GiF like Daily Hive Vancouver or designing a branded template (more on that later!) like Comments by Celebs. Whatever you decide, remember to keep CTAs on brand and try new things.

TIP: Not everyone got a chance to mourn swipe up links. Keep your audience in the know by addressing how you'll be using link stickers moving forward and what they should expect.

#2: Create Templates That Draw Attention to Link Stickers 

One of the best ways to drive traffic from your Instagram Stories Link Stickers is by using branded templates.

Whether you’re sharing an article, affiliate link, or a landing page, it may be difficult for users to actually notice, find, and ultimately click the link.

Rather than leaving it up to chance, draw attention to your link by creating a dedicated space for your link sticker to sit. 

Take Later’s Instagram Stories for example. Our story template which promotes blog and YouTube content includes an empty oval space near the bottom of the screen to add the link sticker to. 

And P.S. you don’t have to spend hours creating designs either — there are easy to use tools like Canva and GoDaddy Studio that have tons of Instagram Stories templates to choose from. 

Just be sure to create a template that has a clear, dedicated spot for your link sticker. 

And if you want to save even more time, schedule your pre-made Instagram Stories templates with Later. 

When it’s time to post, all of your prepared content is ready and waiting for you in the Later app, so you can publish even the most sophisticated of templated stories in minutes.

All you have to do is add the link sticker in its designated spot and you’re ready to go live!

Start scheduling your Instagram Stories with Later today, available on all paid plans.

#3: Get Creative With Text Overlays and PNG Stickers

Because there are only a few link color options available — you may find they clash with your aesthetic, or don't stand out as much as you'd like.

Adding a text overlays or a PNG sticker over the top lets you hide the original link and ensure your Stories don’t take a dip on style. You can even add some click-enticing text too – it's a win-win!

There are two easy ways to do this  – the first is on Instagram itself, and the other is with an external app like Canva or GoDaddy Studio.

To add a text overlay on Instagram:

#1: Paste your link in the field and move it to where you’d like on your story. 

#2: Select the text tool and type a CTA that will encourage your audience to click.

#3: Select the color picker tool and choose a color.

#4: Move your text over the sticker.

To create an Instagram Stories Sticker Link PNG sticker:

If you want to include an on-brand link sticker, you can create a PNG image. For the hack below we used the GoDaddy Studio mobile app.

#1: Open up GoDaddy Studio and select the "Transparent" option.

#2: Select a shape and adjust the corners and color.

NOTE: You may need a GoDaddy Studio Pro account to include a shape behind your text. 

#3: Type your text, select your font, and change the color.

#4: Place the text on top of the background.

#5: Once you’re happy with your PNG sticker, tap "Save".

#6: Open up Instagram and add a link sticker to your story.

#7: Select the "Add from Camera Roll" sticker and find your recently saved PNG.

#8: Place your PNG sticker over top of your link and that’s it! You’ve successfully hidden your link.

Just like anything on social media, the new Instagram Stories link stickers will take some getting used to, and you may see clicks decline during this time.

But with the above tactics and some audience education, you’ll soon see a shift in engagement levels.

Keep experimenting!

Ready to grow your business with Instagram Stories? Start scheduling your Instagram Stories with Later it’s totally free!

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!


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