Instagram is an amazing platform, it’s been consistently keeping it‘s users engaged through the numerous new user-friendly features over the past few years, stories to compete with Snapchat, IGTV to give longer form content platforms a run for their money and most recently rivalling Tiktok and giving us even more ways to increase our engagement with the new Reels feature.
BUT how do you include external links in your content without investing in ads when you can't visit links in captions?
Creating organic (content without any ad spend behind it) which drives viewers directly to any website from Instagram is a bit of a head-scratcher. You can’t follow a link from an Instagram caption, the only live link is website field in the bio. Unless you're a verified account or have that magic 10k followers and can add a swipe up to your stories.
The one link we can depend on is the trusty link in bio. This is where brands, businesses and individuals are turning to specially developed SmartLink tools to maximise the effectiveness of this single link. I’ve done some research lately into which are the pick of the bunch, so wanted to share them with you. So in no particular order....
linkin.bio - Instagram scheduler and analytics platform Later (previously Latergram) have developed a super simple, and visual link tool which offers users all images from the Instagram feed, set out simply with a clean look, each image can then link to separate locations. There is a free version but it does include the Later branding, however with Later being a great platform for managing Instagram investing in the paid version of the tool could serve as a double whammy. Brands such as Wedgwood, Marketing Week and Stylist Magazine are all currently utilising linkin.bio.
2. Tap bio
This platform is actually the one that we ended up going for my client. I really like the visual nature of this one. It's great for clicking through to recipe content, which is exactly what we needed. Take a look at the Kerrygold UK Instagram page here to see it in action.
Probably one of the most popular tools, the one we tend to think of and longest running SmartLink tool. Also really useful if you’re hoping to direct to a number of different links from Instagram. Not so visual, the most common set up shows a list format, which could be used the direct to blog articles, website links or other social platforms etc. ASOS is currently using this tool really simply, as do Foo Fighters.
Talking of the Foo Fighters, this is one I came across when looking at music industry specific solutions. Linkfire is a way in which to bring together all streaming services, album release pre-saves, links to gig ticket sales, podcasts and more. linkfire has only recently introduced a lower price band option so smaller , upcoming bands can now utilise with limited functionality.