Short links take long and ugly URLs and condense them down to something that looks more friendly, clean, and reasonable. If you use social media, you’ve probably seen short links, and you may have used them yourself when you shared an online post or news piece with Hootsuite (ow.ly), Bitly (bit.ly), Twitter (t.co), or Buffer (buff.ly). These services use a generic short link—links that have been shortened and contain the domain of the tool you’re using or a domain that someone else owns.
Short links can be used anywhere a shorter link is better than a long, unwieldy link. Use them in your emails or on your website when you ask clients for a Google review (you are asking your clients for reviews, aren’t you?). Use them when you share a post from your company blog to your social media. Use them when you share a third-party news story or informational piece that you think clients and potential clients will find beneficial on LinkedIn. Use them to drive traffic to your product or book page on Amazon. Anything you direct people to can benefit from a short link: podcasts, live events (Facebook, Eventbrite), radio shows, Instagram, etc. You can also use short links in your print marketing.
But what if you take things a step further. What if every time you shared something using a short link, you also increased your brand awareness and reinforced your company’s name in people’s minds? What if you were able to make your links more trusted and boost your click-through rate? You can do this with branded links.
A branded link is a link that has been shortened and includes your own custom domain rather than someone else’s domain, something like “yourbrand.link/keyword.” Big (and little) brands use these links in their marketing—Adweek uses adweek.it; Apple News uses apple.news.
These links create brand recognition and awareness as people associate the content with the branded short link, even when that content has been created by someone else. When you share a story you found in Apple News, the link you paste into an email, for example, starts with apple.news, though the story itself is from a website like CBS News or Vox.
Branded short links are trusted more and receive up to 39 percent more click-throughs than generic short links, according to research by Rebrandly. Branded links add to your credibility, and they look impressive to your clients. In addition, you gain access to valuable statistics about link performance, including tracking and detailed analytics, and you may get a lift in your search engine results.
You can use branded links pretty much anywhere, including services like Buffer and Hootsuite.
Everything you can share with a generic short link can be shared with a branded short link, and the link will perform better for you and your branding.
Contact us to learn more about branded links and how we can help you integrate them into your current marketing.