URL shorteners or branded links?

URL shorteners or branded links?


In a world that’s driven by branding, it would make sense that people want to brand as much as they can. So what happens when you’re sharing links?

Well, some link shorteners already offer the option of customizing your shortened URLs with your own brand name. This is different from traditional URL shortening tools like tinyurl or bitly, which simply shorten the URL without involving personal branding on them. So if you see ‘ shor.tly/dq2st ’ followed by “Brandname” instead of the default “tinyurl,” then this has been customized with your brand name on it! 

But why limit yourself to only using one tool when there are others that offer the same customizability?

URL shorteners like bit.ly, goo.gl and others also give you the option of adding your own branding to shortened URLs if that’s what you desire.


The bottom line is that each URL shortener has their own functionality you should investigate before making a choice about which one would be best for your needs. You just need to know the features they offer so that when it comes time to choose between URL shorteners or branded links, you can make an informed decision!

Note: this was not taken verbatim, but I wanted to share this idea with everyone in case anyone wants to use it (or modify/refine - comments are open!).


From http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2014/01/url-shorteners-branded-links/ **********

2 tips to protect your brand name before sharing links online originally posted on Branding Magazine & reposted w/ permission from Mandy Klopper, Digital Strategist at Engine Digital Marketing Agency - Please note that these are not my opinions or advice - they are the editor's notes for this article:

1. Check how it looks in various browsers before publishing anywhere. If you’re using a tool like bitly, make sure you see what the shortened URL will look like in all browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE). You don’t want there to be a jumbled mess of letters and numbers.

2. Another good tip before sharing a shortened URL is to include a description or preview text, even if it’s very brief. That way you can instill confidence in viewers before they click on the link, mentioning what page they will be directed to when they do click. This is especially helpful with links that might look unreliable or suspicious otherwise.

What links exist?

There are three main types of links: branded links from tools like bitly/TinyURL, redirects from social media sites (Facebook, Twitter) and direct links which usually have no tracking through them at all so there is no data for marketers to access - everything depends on your attribution strategy as a result.

What are social media redirects?

Some sites, like Facebook or Twitter can automatically take users who click on a link to other pages and have them redirected through their site - it is supposed to be the safest place for your readers. However, you lose all data if someone uses this kind of redirect. You also don’t know how many times that person has seen your post or page before clicking on it because each time they access it via another platform you have no data. If one day they click back from Facebook to your website again, you still won’t see any previous data about what they did or didn’t view etc., so there isn’t much insight into the effectiveness of certain campaigns if using social media redirects.


What is the purpose of a digital marketing campaign?

The three main benefits of a successful digital marketing campaign are: increasing brand awareness, building trust and engaging with your target audience. These might seem like vague objectives to some marketers but in truth, they’re really not that hard to achieve if you have the right strategy in place for your business. Digital channels can be extremely effective when it comes to reaching new people daily and sharing information that is relevant to them - it’s no wonder why social media has taken off in such a huge way over the past few years [I give my personal opinion about why I think social media has become so popular]       

** How do I create a branded link that I can share?

The bit.ly link below is a shortened version of the original article by Mandy Klopper, Digital Strategist at Engine Digital Marketing Agency - click on it to read the full, published version of this article :)

When you want to create a new branded link, there are a few things to take into consideration: 1. The domain name – make sure it fits with your own website and isn’t too long as people don’t have time to read through super lengthy URLs. 2. The keywords – these will help improve SEO for your site as well as making it easier for users who find your site online via search engines or other means. 3. Make sure that any custom URL is easy for you and your team to share and remember. Something like ‘Brandname.link/keyword’ is an easy one for users to remember, but if it’s too long then try shorten it by adding some numbers or symbols (e.g. Brandname#keyword).

What about branded links vs. shortened URLs?

A lot of marketers prefer to use a platform like bitly, tinyurl or goo.gl instead of investing time in their own custom short URL - they can choose from a variety of different domain names and make sure that everything looks the way they want it on any device (smartphone, tablet etc.). These platforms might not be difficult to set up, but there are lots of negative aspects to using them that you should consider, including: - You have no control over the link – if a user clicks on it and gets directed elsewhere then there is nothing you can do about it. The URL might be a bit.ly but ultimately the platform still has full control of where your users will be directed unless they have their own custom short URL. This could be a problem if it’s not what you agreed upon or if the user gets directed somewhere completely different from your website, which does happen quite often as these platforms are used by millions of people online every day so something like this could result in hundreds/thousands of dollars lost for your business.

- If another brand starts using that bit.ly domain name

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