Your Instagram bio is a small window of opportunity to tell prospective followers and customers everything they need to know about your brand.
When you break it down, you essentially have 150 characters to cover an entire mission statement, value proposition and CTA.
One of the most important elements you can add to your bio is a link. This is where you’ll be prompting your audience to go, so it could be to your website, online store, or another social channel. Whatever the case, it has to be well-thought-out.
Adding a link in Instagram is really simple. All you need to do is:
1. Head over to your profile
You’ll be able to access your profile through the person icon. On desktop, this will be in the top-right hand corner of your screen, and in the mobile app you’ll see it along the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.
2. Open your editing settings
Beside your username, you’ll see an “edit profile” button. By clicking on that, you’ll be able to customize or edit any of the information you can see on your main profile page- not just the link.
3. Add your link!
Third from the top, you’ll see a form field labeled “website”- here’s where you’ll be adding your link (just to note, it doesn’t have to be your website, you can add a link to anywhere you want).
And hey presto, you’ve added a link to your Instagram bio!
So, now that we have the basics down, let’s talk about the type of link you need to be adding to give you the best chance at converting profile visitors to happy (and hopefully paying 😉 ) customers.
What types of links are there?
So, you might be wondering how many types of links there could possibly be.
I’m here to tell you, there are quite a few. And the difference between them is veerry important.
Obviously, you’re not going to want to have a long, ugly URL sitting underneath your perfectly worded Instagram bio, which means you’re going to want to opt for a short link.
Within short links, you have a choice between what’s known as a generic short URL (like butt.ly or teenyurl) and a custom short URL (or a branded link, like YourBrand.is/Better).
Which of those do you think looks better? (The branded link, obviously.)
Check out how global fashion brand, Marc Jacobs use their marcjacobs.social domain to turn the link in their Instagram bio into a real show-stopper:
Given that Instagram is all about visual marketing, you need to make the most of any visual elements in your profile that you can- including your link.
To take this one step further, you can actually turn that single branded link into a doorway to multiple destinations. Say, for example, you want to send your prospective followers to a specially written by acollege essay writing servicerelevant blog post, that describes your marketing idea in the best way. Or video you just published. But you also want them to visit your website, aaaand you also want them to check out your other social media channels. It’s the marketer’s dilemma.
With certain bio link tools, you can host the links to all of these places on a customizable page that displays when your single bio link is clicked. Meaning your audience can choose where they want to go, and still have access to your other destinations when they come back.
Link.Gallery, for example, is a tool developed by link management platform, Rebrandly to do just this. You can host unlimited links on a page that’s designed to suit your brand. What’s not to love?
The benefits of using a branded link in your Instagram bio
Aside from the obvious reason of a branded link being more aesthetically pleasing than a generic one, there are a whole host of other benefits associated with using them. Let’s take a look at what they are.
1. They’re memorable
Let’s take the example we used before: YourBrand.is/Better. Seems easy enough to remember, right? Well, statistically, it is.
Having a memorable link in your Instagram bio means that even if passersby choose not to click on your link at that moment in time, the chances of them remembering it and being able to type it directly into a browser at a later stage is way more likely than if you had a generic link with a randomly generated string of letters and numbers, like this: butt.ly/ir83yhe9.
Another reason this is important is that it encourages word-of-mouth referrals, which is one of the best forms of promotion a brand can get. If someone happens to be telling a friend or colleague about something they saw on Instagram the other day and your link pops to mind, it makes the user journey super simple, which can result in happy future customers.
Popular fast-food chain, Panda Express use the branded link pandaex.press/OrderNow3 in their Instagram bio, making it easy for their customers to quickly and easily order food from their website.
2. They’re editable
Imagine you’ve used a generic link in your Instagram bio and it directs to a single destination, like, say, your latest blog post.
Now, say you update your blog and want to swap out that link for a link to your new post.
Now, imagine you have to do that every. single. time. you publish a new blog post. Nightmare, right?
Even if you’re just using a single branded link in your Instagram bio, with a link management dashboard, you can edit the destination URL of that link at any time, without having to actually swap out the branded link in your bio. But even better still, if you’re using a bio link tool like Link.Gallery, you can edit any of the destination URLs on your custom page without having to open your Instagram bio at all.
3. They provide in-depth analytics
While generic links offer basic tracking functionalities like how many clicks your link has gotten, there’s not a whole lot you can really do with that.
With branded links, you can see anything from the time of day or date the link was clicked, whether the clicks were unique or non-unique, what browser or device they were using- the list goes on.
This data is super useful for seeing what types of content your prospective followers are interested in seeing, which will ultimately help you with your targeting strategy. Play around with the links you’re including to test and optimize the best path to conversion.
4. They help you grow your audience
Branded links also have the added benefit of having retargeting functionality.
Just wait for it, this is really going to knock your socks off.
Essentially, what this means is that you’ve added a little tag to these users and filtered them into your retargeting audience in Google Analytics, so you’re able to follow them around the internet with retargeting ads at any point. Given that only 2% of users purchase on a first visit, this is the perfect way to re-engage them when they’re in a better position to buy.
For example, if you’re shopping online and you look at a pair of sneakers, but you decide it’s just not the right time for you to buy them, you’ll notice that a few hours, or even days later you’ll be browsing through Facebook and see an ad for that exact pair of sneakers with the caption ‘still interested?’. This is retargeting done well.
Now for the mind-blowing part.
Unlike traditional retargeting, you can actually pixel people who click on your links with a technology called link retargeting– even if those links don’t direct to your website, or a property you own.
By adding your retargeting pixel to your links, you can send people to some media coverage you got on a national news site or a partnership project that’s hosted on your partner’s website and still be able to add them to your retargeting audience. The opportunities are endless!
Bonus tip: These 100 free Instagram Photoshop actions are real lifesavers for those, who like Instagram filters and want to turn a photo into a masterpiece quickly and effectively.
Over to you
So, now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of why that little link in your bio can be a massive marketing asset, why not try it out for yourself?
We’d love to hear about how you use branded links to inform your Instagram marketing strategy. Let us know what your favourite features are in the comments!
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This article is about:
- How to add a link to your Instagram bio
- What type of link you should add to your Instagram bio
- Branded links vs generic short links