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Posts tagged with ‘bitly’
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Introducing Audience Data: the newest feature of Bitly Brand Tools that unlocks the value of social data

This was written for the Bitly blog by Vivin Williams, our VP of Product.

Our mission at Bitly is to empower marketers to make better decisions by providing insight into the connected world. We wake up everyday thinking of ways to help our users amplify their brand and drive deeper engagement with their audiences.

We are excited to launch Audience Data, the newest Bitly Brand Tools feature that provides marketers with a better understanding of the value of their social efforts.

Bitly Audience Data

In addition to the standard social engagement metrics that marketers already track, we now provide a view of the audiences brands are building as a result of social activity, across a brand’s owned and earned efforts.

A brand’s Bitly audience is composed of users who have clicked on the brand’s Bitlinks. This includes links:

  • Shared by the brand, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, any social platform, the brand’s website, or any other owned and paid media efforts, regardless of whether or not it points to content the brand owns.

  • Shared by other Bitly users anywhere across the internet that point to the brand’s owned content.

Brands can now use their audience to optimize marketing ROI and help tailor the right messages to a brand’s audience at the right time, as that audience moves from prospects to customers to advocates.

So, how can marketers take advantage of Audience Data?

Start encoding with Bitly today. By encoding with Bitly today, marketers are building the robust audience profiles that they can activate through the next set of Bitly tools.

What’s next for Bitly

Smart marketers know that the best marketing requires a deep, well-rounded understanding of a user, and the importance of using social media to reach and grow an audience.

Over the coming weeks, we will be rolling out additional tools for brands and publishers that will enable the ownership of audiences and the delivery of targeted messaging across all channels (Owned, Earned or Paid) and platforms (Social Media, Web or Mobile). By encoding Bitlinks now, marketers ensure they will have a robust audience to target in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bitly Audience Data or how Bitly can help your brand unleash the power of the link, visit bitly.is/BuildingAudience. If you’re an existing Bitly Brand Tools customer, contact your Customer Success manager to learn more.

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A Day with Bitly

Bitlinks may be short, but Bitly is big. With more than 600 million Bitlinks created each month in nearly every country in the world, there is a lot of power behind this platform. Take a look at what goes on at Bitly every 24 hours in the infographic below. 

 

A Day With Bitly

Interested in harnessing the power of the link for your brand? Click here to learn more about Bitly Brand Tools. 

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Introducing 2-Step Verification for All Users

The post was written for the Bitly Blog by Dan Touchette, our director of product management. 

At Bitly, we’re dedicated to protecting the security of our free users and our Bitly Brand Tools customers. This dedication is the reason why we’re excited to announce the launch of 2-Step Verification as an enhanced security feature. We’ll be joining companies like Google, Twitter, Dropbox and Microsoft, among others, who have introduced 2-Step Verification for their users.

2-Step Verification adds an additional layer of protection to your Bitly account by sending and requesting a one-time security code upon login. With 2-Step Verification enabled, your account cannot be accessed unless someone knows your username, password and has control over your mobile phone.

Interested in setting up 2-Step Verification?

You can find the option to set up 2-Step Verification on the Settings/Security tab.

1) Click the “Enable” link under the 2-Step Verification header

2) Enter the phone number you would like to receive your security codes

3) Upon receiving the security code, enter the code to verify your phone number

If you have any problems accessing your account, you can reach out to your Customer Success manager or to support@bitly.com to disable 2-Step Verification.

When disabling 2-Step Verification, you will be asked to prove you have ownership over the account. For Bitly Brand Tools customers, you can see which sub accounts under your master account have enabled this extra security feature.

As a company committed to constantly improving the security of our products and our service, we’re thrilled to be able to offer this functionality to better help our users and customers.

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Unleash the power of Custom Bitlinks

We have recently rolled out some changes to Custom Bitlinks, which allow you to customize the back-half of your Bitlinks to extend your branding, tailor your messaging and increase engagement. We understand how valuable this feature is to our users, so we’ve redesigned this feature to make it even easier to create and share Custom Bitlinks.

Since rolling out the change, we’ve seen a 70% increase in the number of Custom Bitlinks created and a significant increase in the number of Custom Bitlinks being created per Bitly account.

Learn how to take advantage of this feature to start creating your own Custom Bitlinks! 

Custom Bitlinks

We’ve had customers and free users capitalize on the ability to customize their Bitlinks to announce deals, incentivize their links with calls-to-action and educate their audience about the content behind the Bitlink. If you’re a Bitly Brand Tools customer, you have your own unique namespace. This means you can use any word to create your Custom Bitlinks.

When you pair Custom Bitlinks with your Branded Short Domain, you have an unlimited number of branded link options for shortening and sharing. With Bitly Brand Tools, Custom Bitlinks are completely customizable: you can redirect your Bitlink to a new long URL or change the keyword associated with your Bitlink. Paired together, these powerful tools allow companies to extend their branding to the entire shortlink.

As a company that is committed to helping everyone unleash the power of the link, we will continue to unveil new product updates dedicated to improving Bitly for all our users. Stay tuned!

Interested in learning more about Branded Short Domains, Custom Bitlinks and Bitly Brand Tools? Click here to learn more.  

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Four things marketers should know about the future of web design

Identifying trends in web design is like shooting at a moving target. Technology and audience behavior on the web continue to evolve, forcing the best practices in design to change as well. As we continue to improve the Bitly experience for all of our users, we started thinking about the importance of design in product development and in marketing.

We sat down with John Ashenden, founder of H1 Studios, to discuss trends in web design. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Minimalist design and longform sites will continue to be popular - As screens have become sharper and consumers have a better understanding of interfaces, designers have the freedom to simplify and experiment with design. One result of this is flat or minimalist design, where designers strip out everything unnecessary and focus on key facets that will elevate the message and the content. As technology evolves and devices have sharper screens, users have a greater appreciation for higher resolution assets. Minimalist design incorporates simple vector assets, which scale and shrink nicely, compared to clunky bitmap images or heavy gradients, shadows and other complex styling. Since users are more educated, designers have more freedom in their design. As mobile web usage continues to grow, longform sites grew in popularity because of how easy it is to navigate using a thumb rather than a mouse (but more on that later).

  • It’s all about the message - Marketers should always focus on content and the message, allowing the design to compliment rather than compete. It’s important to understand that the message and the design are as much unrelated as they are intertwined in their objectives. With the minimalist design approach, the focus of the site isn’t the animation or the imagery - it’s the message. In the creative community, the priority is always how to highlight the message in the best way possible. In the future, we’ll continue to see an emphasis on content and a continued simplification of design so it will feel clean, sharp and out of the way. Good design gets out of the way and elevates the dialogue.

  • Marketers must measure - If your business is dependent on your product, make sure you have great metrics in place when introducing a new design or message. People are naturally wary of change and rolling a change out overnight can cause serious backlash, but more importantly, it opens a dialogue for discussion. If you can track how people are interacting with your website and that those measurements have improved over time, you can justify the new design and help your team understand and appreciate the changes.

  • Mobile has permanently changed design - The surge in popularity of longform website design is partially due to mobile. Mobile web users found it challenging to deal with traditional web navigation on their devices. It feels more natural to the mobile web user to scroll rather that jump tabs to navigate through a website. If you can design a site that doesn’t require a horizontal navigation, you can allow the viewer to see everything by using their thumb. Longform websites translate nicely into the responsive structure.

As audiences become more tech-savvy, designers will have more freedom and room to experiment with their work. Understanding these different design trends and elements can help marketers work hand-in-hand with their design teams to create strong, memorable, design and messaging.

John Ashenden (@ashenden) is the founder of H1 Studios, a web and mobile design, branding and development studio in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2012, H1 Studios has worked with a number of leading companies and growing startups to create unique and engaging digital experiences. Learn more about H1 Studios by visiting their website.

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Five ideas for marketers to grow their business

Everyone has a passion in life. For our CEO, Mark Josephson, that passion is building teams and companies. Mark has spent the last 20 years as an entrepreneur or working with entrepreneurs at technology companies throughout NYC, but he began his career in marketing. He saw firsthand the growth opportunities startup companies offered and was immediately captivated by these fast-paced companies emerging to solve a problem.

In an interview with Eric Siu, CEO at Single Grain and creator of Growth Everywhere, Mark discussed the future of marketing, how his background in marketing has helped his career and what marketers need to pay attention to in order to grow their businesses.

Mark stands behind five key ideas for marketers to grow their business:

1) Know your value

In order to succeed, you must understand your value proposition. When you understand the needs of your customers and what problems you solve for them, it’s easy to communicate why your product is great. By understanding product value, you drive vision, product and momentum. In order to scale and grow, you need to know and communicate your value.

2) Consistency is key

Speak with one voice, understand what you do well and say it consistently. As marketers, we understand how important it is to make every word count. Understanding the value of clear, consistent messaging helps build and protect the integrity of your brand as well as the integrity of your vision, values and company goals.

3) Align yourself with the right people

Align yourself with the goals of the business, the investors and the management teams. Use those goals to build your strategy and prioritize what initiatives your company should focus on. In order to be a strong business, you need to position yourself to do well as your customers do well. The same idea applies for when you’re working with third parties - find people who do better as you do better. The best businesses are aligned with the success of their customers.

4) Master ROI

It is a strategic and moral imperative for every marketer to understand ROI. Understanding page views, impressions, engagement is all irrelevant if you can’t connect it to a metric. In order to scale your business, you need to understand and measure your successes so each success can be repeated. It’s not enough to understand reach and engagement if you don’t understand what it does for your business. The companies and brands that will win in the future are the ones that spend the resources on impacting your business.

5) Prioritize your day-to-day

You can’t accomplish 20 things in one day, but you can definitely accomplish at least three. Continue to track your ongoing projects and each project’s status. Celebrate your accomplishments, but also track your productivity.


Want to hear all of Mark’s advice for marketers? Watch the entire interview here.

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Keeping shortlinks honest

This post was written for the Bitly blog by our product manager, Dan Touchette.

We recently rolled out a change to Bitly regarding customized keywords and Branded Short Domains. Users who shortened a link to a company’s website were formerly able to create free Custom Keywords and pair them with that company’s Branded Short Domain, making it appear as if the link was created by the company.

Despite previously limiting this capability, users could still manually replace one of our domains with a company’s Branded Short Domain and the shortlink would redirect to the page for which it was originally created. We are now preventing users from manually replacing our domains with a branded one.

We stopped supporting this ability because we understand the importance of the relationship between a brand’s identity and their Branded Short Domain. Now, when a user customizes the back-half of a branded shortlink, the Branded Short Domain will always be replaced with ‘bit.ly,’ ‘bitly.com,’ or ‘j.mp.’

Bitly doesn’t break links. It’s not just a mantra, it’s what we do. By keeping our links permanent, we maintain the integrity of our service and our values as a company.

As a result, we have chosen to support all shortlinks that were created in this way before this change was made. Going forward, if a user manually replaces one of Bitly’s short domains with a company’s Branded Short Domain, those links will not work.

Branded Short Domains are a way for companies to promote their brand and establish trust with their users. Bitly supports companies who want to better control their brand across all of their marketing channels. By preventing the ability described above, we reduce the risk to companies’ brands and prevent the unintended use of brand signals by people who do not own them.

We’re constantly working on ways to increase our security for those who entrust us with their links. At Bitly, we work everyday to make our shortlinks even more powerful and empower those who trust us with their links to take advantage of that power.

If you are a Bitly Brand Tools user and have questions about the change, feel free to reach out directly to your customer success manager. If you’re interested in making your links more powerful with a Branded Short Domain and Bitly Brand Tools, please reach out to brands@bitly.com.

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Bitly at SXSW

This post was written for the Bitly blog by our CEO, Mark Josephson.

When we first started planning for this year’s SXSW, I was skeptical. It would be my second time and Bitly’s first time there as a company since my first trip to SXSW with a team back in 2009. While I had a really great time back then, it wasn’t clear to me this year how we would actually do business amidst the organized chaos that is SXSW.

Coming out of a five-day venture, it’s clear that my assumptions were way off. The conference is filled with decision makers, looking to learn how to make their business better. While it’s mixed with a lot of fun, the business being done there is undeniable.

Every year at SXSW, there are one or two companies or themes that emerge. This year, I was struck by the growth and presence of the social marketing platform.

I had the pleasure of meeting with teams from Hootsuite, Spredfast and Sprinklr, and I was blown away by all of them. Each are actively and aggressively moving to differentiate from each other, contribute to major marketing strategies and claim share for their business.

Additionally, the presence of major brands was incredibly strong. At my first SXSW experience, the Austin Convention Center was crowded with long lines of tech employees waiting to get into coveted panels. This year, representatives from all the major brands were there, actively learning and taking the initiative to further build and develop their marketing strategies.

The convergence of these two scenarios emphasized for me the role Bitly plays in the marketing ecosystem; we’re the connector. Or, to put it in Bitly terms, we are the link.

Just like we link users to their audiences and publishers to their content, we link brands with their platforms. While our presence was not massive, we co-hosted a brunch with Percolate and General Electric, and invited brands, customers and partners for a Superpower Hour, where our guests could discuss serious strategies for building business, connect to others in the industry, and even strike a pose with SuperChauncey in our gif booth.

Bitly at SXSW

It was great to have an open, honest dialogue amongst peers (in the past, we may have called some competitors) about the very real challenges and opportunities in our business. At the forefront of these efforts is the power of the link. While it is short in size, it is undoubtedly strong. The link is the connection between businesses and their audiences, platforms and brands, and users and insights.

Our marketing department is already coming up with bigger and better ideas for how we share Bitly next year, so I guess I should plan to book my hotel room early, like regular attendees do. I can’t even imagine how this conference can grow any more in the city of Austin, but I know I will be there to see it.

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Our growing leadership team: Rob Platzer, CTO, and Melissa Wallace, VP of Marketing

We’re excited to officially welcome the two most recent additions to our leadership team: Rob Platzer as our new Chief Technology Officer and Melissa Wallace as our new Vice President of Marketing.

Rob and Melissa will join Mark Josephson, our CEO, Brian Eoff, our Lead Scientist, and Jehiah Czebotar, our Head of Engineering, to round out our leadership team. We are fully committed to providing our users with data and insights around their shortlinks to help all users make better decisions in today’s connected world, and we know that Rob and Melissa, with their vast knowledge and experience in the digital media realm, are great additions to our leadership team as we develop a full range of tools to help marketers, brands and publishers.

Rob, who formerly served as CTO at AOL’s Patch and Outside.In (which was acquired by AOL), is a tech industry veteran with rich experience in building distributed systems, data-intensive applications and innovative products that connect the world. Combined with his approach to cultivating talent, teams and culture, Rob will be leading our technical strategy and talented team of engineers and data scientists.

Melissa, who is most recently known for rebranding and accelerating the marketing strategy of Buddy Media as the Vice President of Marketing there, brings a strong background in consumer, B2B and agency marketing to business at Bitly. Melissa will be overseeing all of our marketing initiatives, including brand, digital, event, product and content marketing.

“Bitly’s links are an incredibly powerful tool for marketers to build their brands and optimize campaign performance,” Mark said. “The addition of Melissa and Rob to our team accelerates our ability to bring new tools and insights that help our customers make better decisions; all while remaining an essential service to the internet as a whole.”

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Announcing our Moz partnership

At Bitly, we’re always working to empower people to make better decisions by providing insight into the connected world. Our commitment to this statement is why we’re constantly thinking of new and innovative ways to help brands, publishers, agencies and users utilize our data.

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Moz, the industry’s most popular provider of search engine and social optimization software. Moz has chosen us to provide comprehensive click tracking data to discover, score and display inbound links from across the internet. Our data will allow Moz customers to have a clear and complete understanding of who is linking to any website and how relevant or valuable those links are for the brand based on the number and frequency of the clicks.

We have a unique view of how links are shared across the internet, and our differentiated dataset can help all marketers make better decisions. We’re excited to put this into action with Moz so their clients can better understand how content is shared across the web.