Why Every Business—Including Yours—Needs Branded Links

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Branded links are powerful marketing assets. Businesses of every size and within every industry leverage them to power their social media, digital marketing, and customer service efforts.

At Bitly, we’ve seen many different ways our customers have applied—and benefited from—branded links. In fact, some customers require up to 3M unique links a day which we they use across their website, marketing strategies and social media…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.Thinking of getting started with branded links? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Branded Link?

Let’s start by talking about what makes a branded link a branded link.

Every link, whether branded or not, has a protocol, domain name, and path.

For example, a generic Bitly link might look something like: bit.ly/2KEOXNx

Here, “bit.ly” is the domain and the alphanumerics that follow are considered the path. Branded links follow the same structure but instead of the “bit.ly” they have a unique domain name. A business that uses branded links can include their name in the link, or another word that best represents what they’re all about.

Businesses that Use Branded Links

Even if you haven’t heard the terms “custom links” or “branded links,” you’ve likely seen them out in the wild. Businesses use these links on social media, in SMS messages, at live events, and on printed materials, among many other ways. Here are just a few brands that use them.

– ESPN uses es.pn
– New York Times uses nyti.ms
– BuzzFeed uses bzfd.it

Why Brand Your Links?

So we’ve covered what branded links are, now let’s talk about why you should use them. For businesses and influencers alike, there are many reasons. Here are a few.

1 – People trust them

Since branded links replace the “bit.ly” with the name of your choosing, your customers recognize the source. This helps to build trust between your audience and your business.

2 – They get more clicks

And when your audience knows they can trust your links, they’re more likely to click on them. In fact, they’re 34% more likely to click on a branded link than a generic link, which results in an increase in exposure to your content.

3 – They show your audience where you’re sending them

Remember the example above of the anatomy of a link? When you edit the path of a branded link (which we like to call the “back-half” of the link) you give people a preview of where you’re sending them, further building trust and boosting click-throughs.

Find out 5 ways you can use branded links to boost click-throughs

4 – They increase awareness of your brand

With Bitly Enterprise, you can leverage the power of auto-branding. Auto-branding keeps your unique domain name in the link, even when another user shortens it using Bitly. This ensures no matter who shares your link, your brand remains front and center.

Are Generic Links Bad?

Generic Bitly links—bit.ly links—are powerful in their own right. Thousands of our free and paid users use generic links every day to connect with customers and analyze their cross-channel performance. Generic Bitly links are just as safe and secure as branded Bitly links.

With so many generic links on the internet, branded links stand out. And, as we mentioned above, they outperform generic links. So while generic links aren’t bad, from a performance and brand building standpoint, custom branded links are even better.

Want to learn more about optimizing your brand’s links? Visit our website.

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