The Internet is a beautiful thing. It’s a place where we can find nearly anything, whether information or products and services. But with this abundance of content across so many places, sometimes it can feel like you’re lost in an abyss of links that lead to nowhere or, worse yet, spammy websites. Luckily there are tools out there that make content a lot easier to navigate – short links!
Short links are shortened URLs that allow you to easily share any website online without having to type out the whole address from your computer keyboard or mobile device keypad.
We’re going to show you 51 ways you can use short links in your daily life, or for your brand or business.
Let’s get started!
1. Email CTAs
The overwhelming majority of businesses use email to communicate with their customers, clients, and other parties they deal with. This makes email an essential part of your branding, especially for small businesses.
You can extend the reach of your email communications by using a short link for one or more CTAs that point to your content.
2. Online ads
When you advertise online, the length of your ads will be limited by where and how they appear. In most cases, this can mean that you have fewer characters at your disposal than if you were to spread the same ads on other venues like newspapers and magazines.
Shortening your hyperlinks in adverts and commercials can save you some space, which allows you to fit more information into your ad without compromising the quality of what it says or how it looks.
Presentations are one of the most common forms of communication in today’s society. Suppose you’re giving an important talk that will have long-lasting repercussions for yourself or your company. Usually if the presenter wants to direct their audience to some content after the presentation, a short link is a great way to make the link easy to remember.
4. Social media
Social media is one of the most important ways people communicate with each other, especially when it comes to business and reaching out to customers and potential ones.
If you have a website and are active on social media, then you can be sure that there’ll be links to your website among your posts in the form of photos, videos, or other materials. If this is the case, make sure to shorten these and use them as hyperlinks for people who want to find out more about what you or your business do.
LinkedIn has continued to be one of the most popular social platforms for young professionals looking to network, find jobs, and share content. As the only social network geared towards amplifying and providing visibility to the modern day professional, LinkedIn provides opportunities to truly connect with peers in your industry, recruit new hires, and share your portfolio. Using short links across LinkedIn is a great way to make your website or business stand out from the competition. A recruiter can use a short link to drive new hires to an application page or a business can promote a virtual event by adding a clever back half to the website link.
6. Affiliate links
One of the best ways to take advantage of digital marketing is through both price comparison websites and affiliate marketing. If you’re selling products or services, it’s a good idea to create some ads around these and then track which ones are most effective. You can do this by looking at various tracking tools that show you where your ads are being displayed, their cost per click or impression, and how many people clicked on them.
If you use short links for your affiliate links, it’ll be easier to see which ones work better in any given time period and whether they’re worth the investment that you put into them.
Etsy is one of the leading e-commerce websites that creatives flock to in order to sell their niche goods and services. Whether it’s party supplies, homemade goods, or craft items, Etsy connects customers with artisans who can give them a truly unique gift. Use short links on Etsy for your listing and start tracking views and clicks for each of the products in your store. With Bitly each short link becomes a tool that can help you learn more about how customers are engaging with your business.
8. Amazon links
A lot of websites and blogs use Amazon affiliate links when they’re writing about their favorite products or services. This is a great way to increase revenue, but what you may not have thought about yet is that there’s a good chance some of your readers are already logged in with an Amazon account.
Short links can make it easier for users to find products they want and see if they’re a good fit. While having a page already set up with all of the information is important, adding short links within the content or in the sidebar of each post can help direct more relevant traffic to your site.
YouTube is not only a great way to promote your product or service, but there’s a good chance that you’re making money from it as well. If this is the case and you want to make sure that your videos can generate revenue for as long as possible, you could add short links to additional content through the video description.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that can help entrepreneurs build their store online using dynamic themes and a website builder that simplifies the website creation process. If you’re a business owner looking to get online quickly then Shopify provides all the tools you need to create a seamless selling experience for your potential customers. Creating short links for your product pages in Shopify can help bring visibility to new products and help people easily access your content for a quicker checkout process.
TikTok’s short video format can sum up generation Z’s short attention span. This platform is a great place to promote your product or service and hopefully get people reaching out to you with leads, purchases, and other valuable opportunities.
The audience hanging out on TikTok are more likely to respond to an attractive link, as a longer one can seem spammy to them. If this is the case, then make sure that you have shortened links embedded in any videos you upload to this platform so that it’s easier for viewers to reach you.
Twitter is a great place to generate leads and get people interested in what you’re doing, but ad placement can be confusing at first glance. If you use short links with your ad campaigns, you’ll be able to see what clicks are being generated by which ads and how much each of them costs. You can also use short links for regular tweets as well.
WhatsApp is a great way to reach out to your existing or potential customers. You can also spread the word about your products and services by inviting people to download them, but this only works if you use short links in the message itself. There’s a good chance that recipients will click on the link and get to know your product or service in much more detail. The interpersonal nature of WhatsApp allows you to send short links to family and friends whether you are sharing a product from your business or a link to a travel itinerary from an upcoming trip.
StumbleUpon is a place where users are encouraged to click through their favorite content that’s already been uploaded to the platform. If you want a chance of getting your product or service in front of a larger audience, then make sure that there’s a short link embedded into your profile and every piece of content you’re uploading. You can also embed links within articles and images if you want to.
If you’re doing a giveaway or other types of content promotion, using short links with Instagram hashtags can help you get more attention. You should also add a short link in your bio. If you’re looking to market a product or service, it can be a good idea to use Instagram hashtags in conjunction with short links to build up more followers and generate more revenue.
Pinterest is another platform that allows users to easily promote products and services by showing off pictures and linking directly to them in the description section below each pin. If you want your pins to gain traction on this platform, then make sure that they have short links embedded into their descriptions so people can quickly reach out and contact you about any questions or concerns they may have before making a purchase.
If you have ever been in search of a great place to travel or a cool restaurant to check out, chances are you have looked to Yelp as your source for reviews. Yelp is a popular online directory for discovering local restaurants, bars, businesses, and more! Sharing short links to promote your business can help people identify you by your geographic location, delivery service, or unique features to draw new customers in.
Using short links for SMS communications—for marketing messages or service notifications—has become an increasingly popular way for brands to connect with their customers. Short links for SMS are URLs that have been shortened using a link shortening service (e.g., Bitly) to be used in SMS communications. They’re sometimes referred to as “mobile links” and “mobile tracking links.” When businesses use short links for SMS, they typically generate a high volume (hundreds, thousands or even millions) of unique links.
19. Personal bookmarks
For most people, the number of bookmarks they have doesn’t matter. For some, it can be an issue because there’s a chance that they won’t be able to remember any individual bookmark when needed.
If you want to simplify your bookmarks and make them easier for you to access, then consider using short links in place of the words or phrases you used for each bookmark. You’ll also be able to see how many times each link has been clicked on, giving you more context surrounding what is working and what is not, as well as which bookmarks aren’t being accessed at all.
20. Business cards
If you’re someone who likes to give business cards away every time they get a new one (as most people do), then consider using short links instead. This can make a business card much more memorable, as it will act as a constant reminder of your other products and services that you could provide to people who want more information. The link will also take up less space on the card, leaving more space for valuable information.
21. Printed marketing materials
From T-shirts to outdoor signs, printed marketing material can be a great way to promote your brand, product, or service. If you’re trying to reach people who are on the go and don’t have time to go online to find out more about what you do, then using short links might be a good idea. This will help them easily get the additional information they’re looking for, all without having to worry about whether or not they have access to a computer.
22. QR Codes
Since every QR Code you generate in Bitly is coupled with a unique Bitly link, you can track how people engage with every code and use that data to draw important insights on your campaigns and initiatives.
QR Codes also help you connect people to your brand’s online experience in seconds. And with some creative thinking, you can sprinkle a bit of delight into your customer experience in the process.
23. Twitter bio
If you’re looking to increase your visibility on Twitter, look no further than short links. Your Twitter bio provides an opportunity for people to get to know your brand, business, or services directly through the short link. As one of the most popular social media platforms people will be able to readily identify who you are without wondering if your link is going to send them somewhere spammy.
24. Gift registries
Who doesn’t love a great gift registry? Whether you’re having a wedding, celebrating a new baby, or having a housewarming party, these have become a go-to source for helping our loved one’s identify our ideal “wish list”. If you plan to share your registry in a printed form or in an e-invite, using a short link can be a fun way to personalize the experience. If you have several registries for different occasions like a bridal shower, wedding or baby shower, create short links for multiple registries and give your viewers instant access!
25. Deep link to your app
Whether you rock an iPhone or Android, we can all agree that it can be difficult to click on links on a phone. Cue- deep linking. Deep linking has become an integral part of mobile marketing strategies because it can send a person to a browser or another app directly within your own app.
26. Plain-text emails
A plain-text email is as simple as it sounds, a simple email message that only includes texts. No images, no graphics, no specific formatting, these are often accompanied by links being fully written out instead of hyperlinked. While plain-text emails can be simpler than your average email, it provides an excellent opportunity to give a website link the prominence it deserves. You can actually display the short link and direct prospects to book a meeting with a Sales rep for instance.
27. Digital email signatures
Your email signature is your personal calling card when it comes to connecting with people over the internet. Every major email carrier features a section where you can customize your email which provides endless possibilities for using a short link. Including a short link at the bottom of your email signature can increase your visibility whether you’re sharing your personal website or your services.
28. Media press kits
Media press kits have become one of the most popular ways to garner exposure and traffic to your business. These press kits are usually filled with a variety of digital resources like a website, media, and marketing materials that helps publications learn more about your brand. Short links can make your content more accessible and help to navigate the visitor to key information on your website.
29. Virtual events
In light of the recent pandemic, virtual events have become more popular than ever. Whether it’s Zoom meetings or Netflix parties, many virtual events lead to a website where you can RSVP or get additional information on the event details. Using short links for a virtual event can help to reinforce trust in your event and provide detailed information for attendees headed to your site.
Whether you are seeking community, answers to specific questions, or you are looking to be a resource to share insightful information, forums have taken the online world by storm. We’ve seen growing numbers of people flock to online forums like Quora or Reddit where they can find community and information on the most niche topics that lead to insightful conversations. Use short links in discussion forums such as Quora, Reddit and others to provide resources for in-depth conversations and networks within your community.
31. Brand building
Looking to create more brand awareness around your business? Short links can help to build brand recognition and help visitors learn more about your products or services. With Bitly you can create custom back-halves which allow for you to name your link. Whether you’re directing people to a product page, social media account, or an event, your links will always be synonymous with your brand.
32. App installs
Congrats, you’re officially ready to launch your app and get it out into the world. This is no easy feat and whether you’re a brick and mortar store or an e-commerce brand, you have to find a secure way to entice visitors to download your app. Adding a short link on your business card or website can encourage people to download your app quickly and safely.
33. Online courses
Whether you’re a blogger or a small business, creating an online course provides great opportunities to share your expertise and thought leadership in your industry. How about using short links to guide students / audience to more reading material or resources? See what resonates. Promoting your course is an integral part of getting students excited about taking your course so you want to start marketing online immediately.
34. Product demos
When you are rolling out a new product or service, it can be challenging to decide which promotion tactic to use when displaying it to customers. The overall goal of any product demonstration is to get the customer to like the product and eventually complete a sale. Regardless of your industry, having product demonstrations can prove to be a valuable asset when learning about your customers.
How about leveraging short links in your product demos to share key support articles, webinars, or FAQs?
35. Typeforms and surveys
Oh surveys, how we hate to love them. Any savvy marketer today knows that surveys and typeforms can help bring in new leads, contacts, and connect your prospective customers. One of the biggest hurdles of sending surveys is getting people to take them, even if they are existing customers. Using short links can help to not only brand your survey so it doesn’t appear like spam, but you can strategically include them across all your relevant marketing pages.
36. Music playlist
Spotify, Tidal, iTunes, are just a few of the streaming platforms that continue to dominate the music industry. The majority of these platforms provide options for users to customize their own playlists and share them through email or social media. Short links can help you label your playlist for an event to be shared at a listening party, virtual event, or in your bio link on your social profile.
In modern journalism and blogging, listicles, roundup, and gift guides have become a popular way to share a lot of information in bite sized content pieces. While they can come in many forms depending on the topic or genre, listicles are often lengthy and contain different media assets which means one thing, a long url. Using a short url can help readers determine what the listicle is and make it more shareable on social media.
GIFs continues to be the love language of social media and are the quirkiest way to express yourself. While these trendy motion capture images change based on popular culture and the news, people don’t ever get tired of using them. While GIFs are often the response or reaction during a conversation on social media, digital marketers are now using them to also share links to drive people to their page. Let’s say you’re participating in an industry Twitter chat, while you are being clever with a GIF that also includes a short link that promotes your brand.
39. Facebook/Insta stories
The stories featured on Instagram and Facebook have become the go-to marketing tool for influencers and creators on social media. The creative elements of stories allow for information to be delivered quickly and for you to capture the attention of your audience. Being tactical about what media, content, stickers, and GIFs you share can make the difference between engagement and a swipe right. Incorporating short links in your stories can only grab the attention of your followers but encourage them to swipe up and head directly to your website.
Podcasting has become one of the most popular forms of media and sharing your favorite podcast show has never been easier with short links. The boom of podcast platforms, shows, and genres has exploded in the past decade and with so much audio content out there, it can be hard to stand out from the competition. Whether you’re the host or a fan, sharing memorable short links can direct your audience in the best way, be it to your favorite episode or your website.
For the modern day professional, almost every business features a chat platform that helps internal communications with fellow employees all over the company. In the day to day mix of business, there is a constant stream of communication happening between teams and externally with departments like human resources. You can use short links on Slack/Microsoft Teams – to share documents between teams and track interaction with those docs.
Who doesn’t love a good infographic? Great text, beautiful imagery, branded font, it’s a concise way to get a lot of information in a shareable form. But after taking the time to create and build such a gorgeous infographic, wouldn’t it be a shame if no one sees it because the link is too long? Get rid of the generic links and long urls and customize a short link in order to increase clicks to your infographic.
As the leading social media platform, Facebook still continues to be a driving force for sharing information whether it’s a status update or your photo dump. In contrast to the other social media platforms, Facebook provides more room for thoughtful posts, lengthier discussions, and includes groups to connect with people all over the world.
44. Press release
Without press releases, we wouldn’t have a bridge between important news like new products, partnerships, or sponsorships. Press releases help to increase branding, build credibility, and direct organic traffic to a website. In the digital world it’s becoming more prevalent for PR reps to include active links in a press release in order to boost awareness for an event or share vital information about a business. Including short links that are clickable in your press release can help media traffic to content where they can learn more about the announcement or story.
45. Internal Communications
Businesses have so many tools and platforms that employees can use on a daily basis that everyday communications can be hard to keep up with. Engagement is essential for employee wellness and encourages team unity and bonding as they all work towards a specific goal. Using short links to share updates and engage with employees can be a useful tool whether you’re sharing a company update, enabling sales with resources, or sharing documents.
46. Creative Portfolios
The modern day creative usually has anywhere between 8-10 pieces of content that showcases their talent, skills, and abilities. Journalists, writers, photographers, and graphic designers often use their portfolio to help book contracts or freelance work with prospective clients. Using short links can help to make each content piece in your portfolio distinct and instantly recognizable to your clients.
47. Internal documents
With resources like Google Drive and OneDrive, sharing internal documents between peers has never been easier. Use short links in Google docs or Microsoft Word to branch out to other content and help ease communication between cross-functional teams. Incorporating short links into your internal content also allows you to track interaction with those links to see if employees are engaging with it.
48. E-commerce holiday products
The holidays are notoriously a busy year for e-commerce retailers who provide their customers with the ease of getting all their seasonal gifts with just a few clicks of a button. Between gift guides, sales, and specialized holidays like “Cyber Monday” or “Black Friday” it can become difficult for customers to distinguish one holiday sale from another. Incorporating short links to your holiday pages during this pivotal time of the year can ensure your customers are directed to the correct pages and can get their shopping done quickly.
49. Offline marketing
We’re seeing a delicate balance between offline marketing as the world balances between old and new school marketing tactics. Offline marketing has always provided another opportunity for people to discover your unique brand or business whether you’re looking at a billboard, television ad, or flyer tacked on a pole. With endless options to garner visibility for your business outside of the internet, you can incorporate short links for people to easily access your website from their mobile devices.
Groups have been garnering a lot of traction in the past few years as we see more people looking to build community online. Businesses have begun to leverage these groups by inviting influencers or customers to join their company group pages in order to provide exclusive content and discounts. You can leverage using short urls within groups to promote your services and to help your brand messages stand out amongst the endless conversations that can occur in group settings.
These are just a few of the many ways you can use short links in your business to make things more convenient for you and give users a better experience when visiting or interacting with you online. While we’ve talked about all the ways you can use short links, we haven’t covered one of the most essential aspects of links, and that is your domain.
Having a custom domain allows you to create branded links that boost trust, build brand awareness and increase clicks to your content. It is an easy, accessible, and recognizable way to promote your business. One thing is certain: while links may be small in size, they can have a big impact on your growth and success as an online business. Feeling inspired to start using short links in your business? Get started with our free plan today.