If you’ve been watching Instagram Stories recently, you’ve probably noticed something different; something new. It’s not the new face filters or location stickers, it’s an update that is changing the influencer marketing game on social media and making Instagram Stories more lucrative for brands.
The Instagram app recently released a new algorithm update that allows popular influencers to include a link within their Instagram stories, and it has caught several brands’ attention. Not only does this provide their followers with a direct link to a company’s website or product page, but it also allows the brand to monitor the traffic generated by each influencer.
Which Influencers Can Link Within Their Instagram Stories?
Influencers are eligible to link within their Instagram Stories if they meet two requirements: their account must be set up as a business profile and they must have more than 10,000 followers. Instagram profiles no longer need to be verified to include a link within their Instagram story, which was a previous requirement Instagram used to possess, they just need to be popular enough that they have at least 10,000 followers.
Pro Tip: if your brand is currently running an influencer campaign and working with influencers that meet those requirements, make sure to incorporate Instagram Stories into your marketing strategy. In addition to posting a photo on their profile, request that influencers create an Instagram story tagging your brand’s Instagram account and linking to your brand’s website.
What’s The Difference Between A Business Instagram Account And A Personal Instagram Account?
There are only a few differences between a business profile and a personal profile, and the first difference that you’ll notice is that your profile must be made Public before you’re able to switch your account from personal to business.
Once you’ve changed your profile, you are required to connect your Instagram account to a Facebook page, which imports contact information including a phone number, email address and address. Once this information is added, a clickable Contact button will appear on your profile and it will give the followers access to your contact information.
Related: How to Master the Art of Instagram Influencer Marketing
Business profiles also give users access to Instagram’s business analytics tool called, Insights. This tool gives influencers perspective into how their content is performing in terms of impressions, reach, and additional follower information within a one-week span.
This tool will only provide analytical information from the photos and posts users created after they switched their account from personal to business, as the insights tool is only accessible for business accounts. Lastly, business profiles that meet the following criteria are able to link out to other websites within their Instagram Stories, regardless of whether their story is a photo or video.
Pro Tip: ask the social media influencers you are partnering with to post at a time they typically receive the highest amount of engagement on their photos, whether it may be a certain weekday or specific time of day, to boost engagement on the post they are partnering with you on.
How Can Instagram Stories Benefit Your Brand?
Although the photo or video on an Instagram Story only lasts for 24 hours and the influencer is the only person that can initially view how many people see the post, this social media update is considered a new referral channel that has the ability to drive traffic back to your website. As long as your brand’s website is mobile-friendly, users will be able to click into your website and browse as they please.
Prior to working with influencers, it’s crucial that you create a custom UTM link for each individual influencer you partner with. A custom UTM link will allow you to monitor traffic from Instagram users clicking the link and potentially converting on your website by using Google Analytics.
Related: Why Influencer Marketing is an Invaluable Tool for Emerging Brands
Google Analytics will also allow you to see the number of new visitors clicking onto your site from the custom UTM link and the average duration that visitor is spending on each landing page. Additionally, the UTM link will allow you to compare the success metrics of each influencer and allow you to analyze which Instagram user is generating the most traffic back to your website.
Pro Tip: request that each influencer includes a “Call to Action” (CTA) encouraging their followers to click the link attached to the photo or video on their Instagram story. This will encourage users to click the link attached to find out more information about your brand or a specific product off the platform.
The Instagram app is becoming more lucrative for brands because it provides the brand with unique, high-quality content that can be repurposed to support their marketing efforts and it allow the brand to drive real, actionable results both on the social media platform and on your website, instead of solely using Instagram as a brand awareness play. Instagram posts and Instagram stories are now impacting a brand’s bottom-line and have the potential to show a direct return of investment (ROI).