October 13, 2021

How to Link into Your App From Instagram Link Stickers Using Your Brand’s Domain

Instagram Swipe-Up Replaced with Link Stickers

Does your brand have more than 10,000 followers? If so, you’ve probably been using the “swipe-up” feature to link into your app or maybe you’re thinking about such a campaign. Marketers around the world are using URLgenius links to link into their brand apps from Instagram stories to avoid that pesky web login which hurts conversion.

Your app deep link will open your app if it’s installed while falling back to your website or the right app store when it’s not depending on how you set the link. You can even track installs and attribute then to your campaign via the Apple App Store and Google Play all without needing technical resources or 3rd party tracking SDKs.

For brands with apps, deep linking from Instagram stories is becoming a popular and powerful way to drive app installs and app re-engagement. It’s time, however, to say goodbye to the “swipe-up” call-to-action! In case you missed it, the “swipe-up” action for stories is now being replaced with “Link Stickers”.

The new Link Sticker feature started appearing on some Instagram accounts on August 30, 2021. If you don’t see the change yet, you will soon and don’t worry you can still use URLgenius links open your app and drive installs. The difference is that the URLgenius domain will be a lot more visible. To maximize conversion, you can easily use your brand’s domain for your URLgenius links and don’t worry it’s easy to setup. This post will take you through the steps and give you some campaign ideas.

How are Link Stickers different and why use your brand’s domain?

Most Instagram users are accustomed to creating stories and adding stickers for mentions, questions, location, music, polls and more. The Link Sticker is similar in that it lets you place a link on the story as your call-to-action. Like other sticker types, you can toggle between different font styles and sizes and then you can drag it anywhere on the story. All of that is great for maximizing engagement with your audience.

If you’re using a technology platform like URLgenius for your call-to-action, however, the domain for that link is now front and center. That’s ok but your audience may not be familiar with the URLgenius domain and some of your visitors may hesitate to click on a link that is not familiar. To maximize conversion, make sure to use your brand’s domain for all your Instagram Link Stickers. This applies when you are deep linking into your brand’s app, a 3rd party app or another social app like YouTube or TikTok.

The example below shows a Instagram Link Sticker that uses the URLgenius domain vs the retailer’s domain. The app deep link is set to bring the user to page that lets them choose between the retailer’s app or website. The link will behave the same whether it’s branded or not but using your brand’s domain is a best practice.

Instagram Link Stickers and App Deep Links

Using your brand’s domain presents brand continuity to your audience and it simply looks more professional. Perhaps more importantly, using your brand’s domain will inspire trust in the link and that will lead to higher conversion helping you reach your goals faster. Plus if your brand domain deliver’s great SEO performance and a great quality score from Google, why not leverage that strength by using your brand domain for your app deep links which helps drive more targeted traffic to your site.

How to setup your brand domain for Instagram Link Stickers

To use your brand’s domain for your URLgenius links, you simply have to follow these steps. You don’t need to install anything and you don’t need any technical resources. You just need to contact the company or team that manages or hosts your website. There is a simple step to complete on their side before the switch can be made.

First, choose a word for the subdomain that will be used for your URLgenius links. Make sure it is a word that is broad enough linking to different apps. Popular subdomains for app deep linking include “app”, “go”, “social” and “links”.

Second, once you settle on the subdomain, ask your website hosting provider or your web team to create what’s called a CName record and have it to point to the URLgenius servers. Confirm the following settings for the CName record:

  • Make sure the type of record is set to “CName”
  • You don’t need an “A” record
  • Make sure it is set to “DNS” only not “Proxied”
  • In the “Name/Host” field enter the word for the subdomain not the full path
  • Set the destination to >>

Once the CName record is in place, go to the settings for your URLgenius account and enter your request.

Instagram Link Stickers and Branded App Deep Links

Once your enter your request, you will receive an email notification that the process is being finalized. That means your request is in the queue for approval and the domain for your URLgenius links will be turned on shortly!

Instagram Link Stickers and Innovative App Deep Linking Campaigns

Instagram Link Stickers combined with app deep linking help marketers create a unified strategy for app, web and social media. These are just a few of the trending campaign strategies from URLgenius marketers that are using a branded domain with Link Stickers to increase consumer engagement and in-app conversion.

App Install Campaigns

Increasing app installs from social media including Instagram is easy and you don’t need special software or SDKs. All you need is an app deep link that is able to get out of Instagram’s embedded browser. Create a Link Sticker with URLgenius and your brand’s domain that will route your visitor user to the right app store depending on the device clicking the link. You can track installs from this type of campaign via the Apple App Store and Google Play. You will quickly discover what percentage of the people clicking on your Link Sticker already have the app installed. Set the link to open the app to a certain screen related to your Instagram story.

Influencer Campaigns

Influencers have become an extremely important force for driving consumer engagement and sales. If your brand works with influencers, you can provide them with a branded app deep link that can be used on their Instagram Link Stickers to promote your app. This is a great way to include your app in your social media initiatives. Be sure to provide each influencer with their own unique app deep link that contains app install tracking tags so you can determine which influencer drives the most app installs and app re-engagement.

Cross-Network Social Promotion

If your brand has a lot of followers on Instagram but your other social channels are just getting started, link to your other social profiles from Instagram Link Stickers. For example, linking to YouTube from Instagram is a popular cross-network tactic either from Link Stickers or from your Instagram profile. What some marketers may not realize, however, is that regular YouTube links cannot open the YouTube app from Instagram. Instead, your visitors are sent to the YouTube website where login is required to engage. Always use a URLgenius app deep link when linking to YouTube channels or videos or to other social networks including Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch etc.

In-App-Only Content

Mobile apps are often aligned very closely with a brand’s website. For example, a product link on retailer’s website is typically aligned with a screen in the app for that same product. Sometimes, however, a campaign may contain in-app only content or content that is not on the website. Marketers can link to in-app only content from Instagram link stickers using an app deep link. In fact, you could link to any screen or feature in your app as long there’s an address in the app for that screen. This screen address in the app is also called a “URL scheme” or an “intent scheme” for Android. Marketers are linking not only to product pages but to unique, in-app-only features like augmented reality lenses.

These are just a few of the innovative campaigns that marketers and agencies around the world are implementing with URLgenius app deep links. Instagram link stickers present marketers with a great opportunity to increase targeted, app installs and app re-engagement from your social media audience. To get started, enter the link to your app on the App Store or Google Play into the URLgenius home page.

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