Branded Links: A Novel Way to Showcase Your Brand

06/02/2017 09:19 am ET

By Federico Schiano di Pepe

In the digital age, it’s a challenge and to get your brand name out there to the people who are most interested in it. We live in a world that’s saturated, with thousands upon thousands of pieces of content being produced and shared daily. That means stark competition for customers’ attention -- and there are no shortage of new ideas (whether good, bad or ugly) being employed to achieve this.

As digital marketers, we are storytellers. And what’s the hallmark of a great storyteller? Captivating your audience. With so much time, energy and, in a lot of cases, money spent developing insightful content, why is there a less than zealous concern for the way we share it? Spending just a couple of extra seconds to create a branded link might make the difference between attracting new followers and attracting none at all.

In a world where novelty is key, branded links have emerged as one of the newest ways to showcase your brand. A branded link is made up of three different parts, so it might look something like MrPencil.social/scoop. In the first part, you feature your brand in the domain name. In the second, you incorporate something about your brand’s purpose in the TLD (the part that comes after the dot, or "the dot something.") Finally, you tell your users something about where you’re planning to take them in the URL slug or slashtag (the part that comes after the slash). With near-endless possibilities for creating and customizing your branded links, digital marketers and influencers around the globe are widely adopting them.

A Brand Opportunity 

Your brand is the heart and soul of your company. It’s likely that by the time you’re sharing content online, you’ve figured out what your brand should look and feel like, or you’re close to it. Branded links can serve as an extension of your brand’s ethos.

Regardless of the industry your brand sits in, it’s likely that there is a TLD to suit you. What’s more, you can acquire and then employ multiple extensions to use when you’re sharing categorically different pieces of content. Branded links with customized domains allow anyone, whether a traditional institution or an innovative startup, to share content in a way that’s true to their audience and true to the brand. In my own company, we use the .link extension as a go-to for sharing content with followers.

Finally, they provide an opportunity for you to show off the brand personality you’ve worked so hard to develop with something a bit more memorable to your audience. If you’ve spent any amount of time and energy cultivating a brand presence, then surely it’s a missed opportunity to use a generic, anonymous link when sharing your thoughts. While there are no shortage of URL shortening services to choose from, Rebrandly is unique in allowing users to register custom domains to display their brands or connect existing domains, as well as other useful shortening and retargeting services, all for free.

Trust and Clicks Go Hand in Hand

If competition is the name of the game, then companies need an edge that will keep customers coming back for more. After all, I know from personal experience that we’re more likely to engage with a brand we believe in and care about.

Increasing your credibility online is one of the most important ways to build a community, and the most successful brands place heavy emphasis on credibility. Obtaining customer reviews and testimonials, strategic content marketing, interactive marketing campaigns and ongoing customer engagement are all essential in building a transparent brand that brings customers back again and again. Smaller companies, bloggers and budding influencers are likely even more focused on building trusting relationships with their followers. On the other hand, multinational companies and big brands need to retain the top positions in their respective markets -- positions that they’ve earned after years of building trust with customers.

Branded links not only stand out at first glance, but they also indicate to users where you intend to take them, encouraging them to click. No longer do users need to feel weary, wondering if they’re going to be lead to a spam site or following clickbait. In the sea of noise that is social media, the ability of branded links to make an immediate impact customer engagement is a rare lifeboat for marketers vying for the center stage.

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Founder of CoContest Inc., the first crowdsourcing marketplace for architecture and interior design online.

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