Why Instagram’s “Swipe Up” Works

By Posted in - Public Relations & Social Media + Influencer Engagement on February 21st, 2020

Confession time. We at Clairemont Communications aren’t immune. We have all been responsive to well-placed marketing ads — not the least of which are Instagram’s Story ads.

Story ads wield serious marketing clout. According to VidMob, 60 percent of millennials watch Stories, and one in four millennials and Gen Z-ers consult Stories for products to buy. Social Media Today noted that, “Facebook also found that Stories placement lead to a 35 percent increase in brand outcomes.”

That’s a noteworthy sales heft.

So what makes Instagram Story ads so effective?

  • Hyper-Targeting: Much like Facebook ads, Instagram Story ads allow you to choose objectives based on where your targeted customer falls in the sales funnel. (Just trying to make a first impression? Seeking to close the deal with a warm customer?) You are able to customize your audience based on demographic, psychographic and behaviors, and of course, maximize the Facebook pixel to create effective look-alike audiences.
  • Re-Targeting: Similarly to a well-placed Facebook ad strategy, Instagram Story ads can leverage your website traffic and target buyers who were browsing your products … but just didn’t purchase. It has worked. Yours truly may or may not have bought a sweatshirt that kept magically popping up in her Instagram Story ad sequence.
  • Visual Appeal: The marketing adage states that “diners eat with their eyes first.” The same applies to almost any product. Instagram’s Story ad platform allows for a highly visual medium designed to tout your product (and a strong call to action).
  • Ease: This one is the clincher. Literally, all one must do is swipe up to connect to the product page. At that point, add the item to your cart, punch in a credit card number (or approve Apple Pay) and mailing address, and wait for your purchase to arrive. No typing in URLs. No Google searches. Just suh-wipe up.

To prove our point, here are a few guilty pleasures that each of our team members recently purchased on an impulse via Instagram Story ads.


“I bought this ice roller when Ashley Streicher (@streicherhair) posted a video of her rolling her face after a night out in an effort to de-puff and look fresh. This spoke to me. I keep it in the freezer and use most mornings – whether or not I’ve had that extra glass of wine the previous night!”


“I purchased this via a blogger on Instagram just hours after my favorite coffee mug shattered on the floor. Right place at the right time.”

CHERITH“Soooo … I often begin my workday from the bed after the alarm, checking emails and social media accounts. I have a big love for Friends, and when this classic joke showed up on my Instagram feed (How did they know!?), I just did the swipe thing before I was even fully awake.”


“My recent impulse buy was this sweatshirt. I purchased it because everything on the website was 50 percent off, and the woman running the company is suspending the store until June.” (SCORE!)

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