As marketers, it can be difficult to keep track of the constant outgoing content for your brand(s). Luckily we were blessed with the heavenly gift that was scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Zoho and Sprout Social. However, in my experience, these tools haven’t fully pivoted with the consumer shift to Instagram. Especially as marketing becomes more about visual, videos, and influencers (especially that pesky link in bio issue).
Using a link in a bio for an Instagram account has become vital for commerce and brand awareness. As people find your business’s account, they can immediately go to your site to learn more or purchase your products. If you have ambassadors posting on your behalf, you can have them all use the same link for more cohesive marketing. However, if you handle multiple clients, campaigns, or press initiatives, having to switch out links constantly can be confusing and lead to error. And, unfortunately, unless you have over 10,000 followers on your business account, the “swipe up” link feature in Stories is not accessible.
As someone who faced this struggle professionally, I decided to do some digging on platforms that focused more on Instagram. After some research, I have found a tool that might solve that issue: Later.
Later allows you to schedule posts for all platforms, but mainly focuses on visuals for your accounts. I signed up for a free account to review the interface and features(If you don’t want to set up a free account, Later has a video overview to provide a better idea). It comes with a desktop and recommends downloading the mobile version. I uploaded a few photos from my phone on the app and it automatically updated on the desktop version. This is a vital piece for different teams who might be traveling to collect content. Also as you schedule posts on the desktop or mobile version, the photos are removed from the library, preventing issues of duplicating content.
How to Publish with Links…
Once I set up my media library (the free version only lets you upload a certain amount, so I stuck with three images), I created a test post to see how it would look. Only business profiles can set up auto-publish so I had to post mine manually through the app. However, if you are on a personal profile you can set up push notifications to alert you when it is near or past the time you intend to post.
Now, connecting links with a free account takes a few steps. First can create a custom linkin.bio URL that will live in your Instagram bio profile. On the desktop or on the app version, add the link you want associated with your post. Once you manually publish your content on Instagram, click on your bio link. There you should see your post along with a “click to visit website” button. From there it should take you to your desired content.
The best part is that you can connect all your posts through ONE link in the bio with the platform. For those of us posting blogs or news content to Instagram accounts, this will make it easier to track. This prevents constantly switching out links in the profile bio and less error. One example of the universal link put to use is Elvis Duran’s Show Instagram account. Using Later, they placed all their interviews and celebrity gossip in one central location.
While I only tested the free plans, Later seems to have potential. The simple interface is great for new businesses or individuals looking to break into the saturation of influencer culture. If Later does not seem like it would work for your business’s needs or budget (plans start at $19/month), there are a plethora of other apps/platforms that can do similar tasks. It may not seem like a necessary investment at first but having an automated platform is beneficial when leveraged properly. This will allow your team(s) to have an easier time rolling out creative content. It will also make campaign launches easier with less lifting so the focus can be on client or customer needs.
Disclaimer: This blog is a personal review of the tool Later, and is not, in any form, an official endorsement of the product by the AMA New Jersey chapter.