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Posts tagged with ‘product’
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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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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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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.