Sharing content on social media is an easy way to attract new followers, get likes, and position yourself as a well-informed expert.
But sharing links from other websites can sometimes hurt your professional branding.
- What’s A Branded Shortlink?
- Why Do I Need A Branded Shortlink?
- How It Works
- How To Create Your Own Branded Shortlink
- Create Retargeting Ads Using Shortlinks
- Wrapping Up
Just take a look at these tweets so you can see what I mean:
Great info to share! But can you guess what social sharing app they’re using?
That’s right, Buffer. The buff.ly was a giveaway.
Thumbs up for sharing your fellow blogger’s content!
But this one’s a little less sophisticated. She’s using bit.ly to shorten the URL, probably serviced by another social sharing app, too.
The original URL must have been painfully long, like this:
Did you even catch the link in this tweet? The whole composition looks like a mess.
These people are probably using automation apps that let you copy-paste links for sharing, without giving much thought to how your tweet is gonna look like.
What’s A Branded Shortlink?
Let’s take a look at CoSchedule’s tweet:
See what they did with the fancy-schmancy cos.sc/2N6XxER?
Now that’s a good-looking tweet composition!
That, my friends, is a branded shortlink – which can make all the difference between looking like an automation bot and marketing yourself as a genuine brand on social media.
Why Do I Need A Branded Shortlink?
But there’s more value behind paying for another domain and link shortening service.
You’re not just spending cash on looking cool (though that’s a major reason).
Branded shortlinks help you become a marketing genius by:
- Tracking clicks for improved analytics
- Embedding retargeting pixels (for advertising purposes)
- Boosting confidence in your brand
- Establishing online credibility
- Increasing shareability
Let’s dig deeper into each one.
Get insights on analytics
With shortlinks, you can see which of your shared links are getting clicked and read.
Usually, when you share on social media, you don’t know what else happens. Is anybody even clicking on the stuff you’re sharing?
But with analytics, you’ll know what your audience is interested in consuming.
You can keep sharing the types of articles and info that get attention.
Bonus Pro tip: You can re-share the links that get the most attention, so you don’t always have to be looking for new content across the web.
Take advantage of retargeting ads
If you’re planning to use ads, you can cut costs by advertising only to those who have clicked on your shared links.
You won’t even need to drive traffic to your website before you can start retargeting visitors. Just get people to click on your links!
For more info on retargeting ads and what they do, take a look at this video from Neil Patel:
Boost confidence in your brand
How serious is your brand?
Are you demonstrating prestige, or do you come across as yet another cheap, DIY brand that can only afford free services?
Free services are cool, don’t get me wrong, but using them comes with the cost of weakening your brand.
Pro tip: Remove your service provider’s branding so your audience can focus on just you – even if you’re sharing somebody else’s content.
A recent experiment by Rebrandly showed that branded shortlinks could increase your click-through rates by up to 39%.
And that’s because you look more organized and give the impression that you are a legit business.
Credibility is implied when you’re using your own domain and not “renting out” some other digital property.
How It Works
Here’s one of my recent tweets with a branded shortlink:
After posting tweets like this, it felt like I was in the same club as CoSchedule and Youtube.
But there’s more to that geeky feeling of doing something that less-than-average people couldn’t do.
How To Create Your Own Branded Shortlink
The process of branding your own shared links is easier than eating peanuts.
It takes only three steps. And you can get this done without a monthly subscription, plus a ton of other cool features, which I’m excited to share with you.
What you need
- A purchased domain
- Shorby (affiliate)
Note: Shorby markets themselves as a smart page builder that supercharges your Instagram bio links. Using custom domain for shortlinks is just a minor feature, really. So you get more value by choosing Shorby over other URL shortening services. Just sayin, okay?
The smart page is a game-changer. It can actually be a mini self-hosted website. Take a look:
Okay, back to the tutorial.
- $5 a year for a domain via Hostinger (I got miawrit.es)
- $29 a month via Shorby (affiliate) or a $78 lifetime deal on AppSumo (referral link)
- Purchase a domain from your service provider. I got mine from Hostinger.
- Go to Shorby and edit your project information.
- Open the setup help document and you’ll find DNS values. Plug these values to your domain management settings.
Just sayin’: If your domain provider has customer service as awesome as Hostinger’s, they can do this all for you via chat support.
After confirmation, you’re all set! You can now create and share branded shortlinks.
Create Retargeting Ads Using Shortlinks
You can selectively advertise to people who clicked on your shared links by using retargeting pixels.
You just have to:
- Curate awesome content from other websites
- Share links using your branded shortlink (with retargeting pixels)
- Create ads with a custom audience of people who clicked on the links you shared
That means you can use content from high authority websites as your prospect magnet.
You don’t even need to produce your content!
Best part? All this magic happens while giving yourself a handsome branded URL.
This was intended to be a really short tutorial, but I get so excited whenever I share really cool stuff (aka my best practices.)
If you have any questions or comments about this post, start a discussion by adding a comment below!
In the coming days, I’ll write more about generating leads from social media.
So don’t forget to subscribe for updates so I can let you know when the good stuff is up.