Swipe up on Instagram without 10K followers? I'll tell you how!

As a blogger, I have experience knowing how frustrating it can be to not have 10K followers yet (follow me! @mariamaymarketing). Without being able to directly link within your Instagram story, it can be frustrating for users to have to take additional steps to get to your link. Also, it doesn’t create the best user experience, as they can get distracted or be unsure as to where to go to find the link to your latest blog or video. Here’s an Instagram hack I learned to help you get the affect of a swipe up link, without having 10,000 followers.

Step 1: Create an IGTV channel

Wix shares a quick blog post on how to set up your own channel. Basically the steps are as follows:

  1. Click on your avatar (from the main page) which will take you to your account.

  2. Click the “+” in the right hand corner to add a new vid.

  3. Select a vertical video from your camera roll.

  4. Add in your title and description.*

  5. Link your video to an external page.*

  6. Create a thumbnail for your video so your channel stays neat and organized.

  7. Hit that post button and you’re all set.

*These points are key in the following steps.

Step 2: Create assets to align with IGTV

IGTV Video with direction


The first asset you’ll require is a video to play. You can choose to make a video of you talking about your latest blog post or YouTube video or use a static image, stretched into a video format. Here are some examples of the two options:

I use an app called Splice to turn my static image into a longer video. NOTE: An IGTV video must be at least 10 seconds long, This means if you’re making a video of a static image, ensure it’s at least 10 seconds long. Alternatively, get chatty and make sure your clip follows the guidelines!

In this video, you will have to indicate that someone should be clicking the top title to open the description, where a link to your external website lives. If you’re speaking in your video, you will have to point to the upper left side of your video to indicate the space. Alternatively, if you’re making a static image, you can use the same technique just with words, similarly to the example provided.

Instagram Story Asset to match

Since the plan is the link from my story to this IGTV video, I want to ensure that my assets look best. This means that I create an Instagram story image that will then link out to my video. I typically use the same structure for my image that follows this style.

This structure introduces the topic of the blog. In this circumstance, the focus is on vegan influencers and exactly who you should follow. This asset has enough space to also add a “swipe up” gift above the box of text. This will encourage users to swipe since it might not be inherently obvious that they should.

Upload your Assets

Now, you will create a new IGTV video by clicking on your channel and pressing the “+” symbol. Upload your 10+ second video and add a cover photo. You can choose to use the thumbnail that it chooses from your video, but I suggest using one that is curated to fulfil your brand. Now you can add your details.

Step 3: Add your external link to IGTV

Now that you’ve created a path through your imaging of how your audience will click on the title of the video to reveal a description box, you have to fill up the box! Use the title “CLICK HERE TO VIEW” to point them in the right direction. Then, you can add a quick description to help with your search engine optimization. Don’t forget to add your link and now your followers can click through.

Step 4: Link your Instagram story with IGTV

The next step is to add your link to your IG story. Now, when you create a story you will see a link icon beside the stickers icon. You can click the link, then IGTV and add the specific IGTV video you want to link in your story. Add a swipe up link and you’re all done!

Step 5: Create the best user experience

As a user, they will see that you have a new story with a swipe up link. They swipe up, and are told to click the title of the IGTV video to reveal the description of the video. They can then see the link that will take them to your external site. Although it is a couple of steps, since the swipe up is right at their fingertips, they are more likely to click through than going to your profile’s link. A great part of using this method is that you can then track how many people have viewed your link by seeing the views in the video. Use hashtags, key words and search engine optimization techniques to get more eyes on your video as well!

If you have any questions about this process, be sure to shoot me a comment! Happy Instagramming!

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