Getting someone to read your content or view your website is becoming harder and harder. It’s not enough to create a great landing page or write some top-notch content.
To capture reader’s attention you have to promote your content rigorously.
Your first move is most likely to post it on social media, then send it out to your email list, post it in some forums…all the usual tricks. But even the best promotion of your content doesn’t guarantee people will click your link.
Now you could always go down the road of manipulation…
It’s essential that you’re sharing great copy and using enticing images to grab your readers attention.
But did you know that you can also deliver your message with the link itself?
Your link can be used to clearly describe what content lies beyond it and I’m going to show you how to do just that. We’ll look at some examples of other companies that are already doing it and I’ll give you some top tips for delivering a message right in your link. But first, why is it so important?
It’s Not Easy Getting People To Read Your Content
Step 1: Someone clicks your link.
Step 2: World domination.
Step 1 will only happen if the reader trusts that you’re leading them to somewhere relevant, interesting and most importantly safe. (Step 2 is up to you.)
In the case of Twitter, you only have 280 characters and an image to convince your audience that the destination of this link is all these things and more.
At times you may have even less opportunity to do this so it’s incredibly important that someone can look at your link and understand where it’s going to bring them.
Let’s take an example of a Tweet from my own feed:
This recruitment agency shared a link about Shopify opening 100 new jobs in Galway, Ireland. The text and image give us an idea of where this link leads but we still don’t actually know for sure.
Is this an article on their blog? A press release from Shopify? In actual fact, it was a link to an article in the Irish Times newspaper.
While this isn’t a branding disaster by any means, there is a missed opportunity for Cregg Recruitment here. What if they were to embed a message in their link? They could create a Tweet that looks more like this:
This makes it very clear where the link brings me, gives the company some further brand exposure and also lets them piggyback off the credibility of the Irish Times.
Using branded links in this way has been found to increase click-through-rates by up to 39%, It’s a win-win!
How It’s Done
There are three parts to a branded link. The domain which showcases your brand, the TLD which showcases your industry or the tone of this link and finally the URL slug which contains your keyword and the final part of your message.
You can sign up to Rebrandly to start sharing branded links very easily. Simply create a Rebrandly account, connect a custom domain starting from just $2.00 (alternatively, add a subdomain or spare domain for free if you have one lying around) and start creating links with great messages.
Brands Already Delivering Messages in Their Links
Tons of big brands are already including messages in their links in different ways. Take Rebrandly for example, Rebrandly creates and shares links with the domain Rebrand.ly. If you break this domain up you see:
(Re) Meaning to redo or change, (Brand) the thing re-doing and (ly) which is synonymous with link shortening tools and used by a lot of the most popular ones.
Virgin media use the domain ‘Virg’ alongside the TLD ‘.in’ to create their brand name in the links they share. Pepsi takes a similar approach, using the domain Pep.si for their links.
Another great example comes from Starbucks on Twitter:
Although they haven’t necessarily said it in the text of their tweet it’s very clear from the link they’ve created that this link leads you to purchase their Summer merchandise from the Starbucks store like the cup seen in the picture.
I’d recommend they take their messaging a step further by using the .STORE TLD.
Starbucks created a branded link that is pronounceable and memorable meaning they can share it online, offline and even through word of mouth.
Top Tips For Delivering a Great Message in Your Link
If you want to get the most from using branded links to embed a message in your links make sure to follow these top tips.
- What works for big brands might not work for you. Starbucks can use ‘Sbux.co’ as their domain since they’re already a household name. I would recommend using your domain name and industry relevant TLD or one that sets the tone of your message. For example, I sometimes use .FUN when sharing lighthearted content and tend to use .NEWS when sharing industry relevant news.
- Don’t be afraid to be creative. There are a lot of different things you can do to deliver a great message in your link including using emojis. While emojis aren’t yet compatible everywhere on the web they can still give you a lot of flexibility to get creative with your links.
- Always deliver what you promise. Trust is the aim of the game, if you lose your followers trust it won’t be long before no amount of clarity in your links will be able to help your click-through rate.
- We spoke with our friends at Radix for this final tip: They suggest using your domain name and an industry-specific domain extension to add value and relevance to your communication. For instance, .TECH is great when you’re sharing something that is relevant in the technology industry. Similarly .SPACE fits real estate, the outer space or a space where you share your thoughts and .FUN can complement anything that’s fun and entertaining.
While embedding a great message your link isn’t the only way to get people to view your content it could be the deciding factor between them clicking or not.
This is a branding opportunity that you should not let pass you by.
The use cases are endless and we want to see what you come up with. Let us know in the comments below how you embed a message in the links you create!
- Online Personal Branding: The Opportunity You’re Missing
- Why You Need to Add This Simple Tool to Your Marketing Stack
- 8 Ways to Increase Your Click Through Rate With Links
This Article is About:
- Sending a message with your links
- Branded links
- Vanity URLs
- Message link
- Link message
- How to deliver a message
- A great message
- Just link
- Click here to deliver your message
- Great message
Originally Posted: 18th July 2017
Last Updated: 28 February 2019