Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users who share anything from pictures of what they are having for dinner, to vacation photos, to short videos of funny animals. With that kind of viewership, 48.8 percent of brands in the U.S. are using Instagram as part of their marketing strategy to help promote their brand.
But using the platform for business can be limiting for those who want to do more than promote their brand and drive follower traffic beyond a single page on their website. Instagram only provides a single opportunity to feature a clickable link to share with followers–the link in your profile. But, with the growing number of businesses using the platform as part of their marketing strategy, new tools and applications are being developed to overcome the current limitations and help businesses promote more than just their brand. We recently took the time to check out one of those services and evaluate its potential.
Using Link In Profile to direct your followers to multiple URLs.
One of the downsides of using Instagram for business is that you are not able to add links within the caption of your post to redirect followers to a site outside of Instagram. You can paste in a URL if you want, but it won’t be clickable.
Currently, you can only add a single clickable link within the bio section of your account, and that is typically used to direct followers to the homepage of your website. This would be fine if you only wanted to direct people to one page of your site. But let’s say I had an online store that sold shoes, and I created a post that featured spring sandals on sale. A follower would have to go to my bio, click the link to my site, and then manually perform a search for the item.
Link in Profile changes the way you utilize the URL in your bio. It allows you to add multiple links to direct your followers to exactly where you want them to go by creating a unique landing page for your profile. That page features all posts that have URLs associated with them showing an image, title, and description. From there, followers can just click on the image to take them to the exact location where you want them to be. Using my example above, that would mean that it would link to the product page for my spring sandals.
This is an ideal tool for featuring specific products on your site, but it can also be used to promote affiliate sites, blogs, and services too.
The set up and cost of using Link In Profile.
Getting set up with Link In Profile is easy and can be done in the time it takes to refill a cup of coffee. Go to Link in Profile and click on ”Start a Free Trial.” It will then ask you to authorize your Instagram account, and automatically create a landing page for your profile with any posts that contain links already populated. You will then get an email that has all the necessary links to your profile along with a YouTube video on how to edit your landing page.
The cost is $9.99 per month or $99 for the whole year, and both options start with a 30-day free trial of the service to make sure that you are satisfied. Cancellation is simple if you decide during the trial period that the service doesn’t work for you. Once your account is cancelled, the only modification you will need to make is to update the link in your Instagram bio to direct your followers to your business’s website again.
Our thoughts on the potential of using Link In Profile for your business.
The Link In Profile tool is helpful for social media marketing, but definitely not perfect. For instance, although it tracks the number of clicks you receive on each post, clicks are currently the only analytic to help gauge success. In addition, the landing page is not customizable. The order of your posts and the look of the page are fixed, and the lack of a follower search feature can be a real deficit if you have a large number of posts. However, Link in Profile is already looking to improve and make changes, and over the next month will be releasing an update that will allow you to pin a post to the top of your page.
Overall, I would recommend the Link In Profile tool for Instagram because it is easy to use, simple to integrate, and an affordable way to help promote your brand. But the advantages you will receive from using the tool will vary, depending on whether you are a B2B or B2C.
For a B2B company, it can help you promote your blog, case studies, and highlight services. Because people are more likely to review that type of information during the research part of the customer journey, it is not likely to land you a big sale, but will serve for building brand awareness.
For a B2C company, it can help you highlight products, promote specials, and showcase your brand visually. Because followers are more likely to consume what they see, the Link In Profile tool naturally leads them down the path to purchase, taking them directly to where they can impulsively click the “buy” button.