Encrypt SSL - Replug

Replug Updates

Improved Scalability for a URL Shortener

With the recent influx of new users, we saw a huge increase in traffic on the URL shortener which led to downtimes during the peak traffic.

To tackle this problem, we have scaled our infrastructure, which is now auto-scalable, capable of serving up to 50,000 requests per minute.

Alongside, we added an uptime monitoring so that you can monitor the system status: https://rplg.co/05ebdd30

URL Shortener - Replug

Custom Domain Registration and Encrypt SSL

We have updated the infrastructure of our system. This helps you to avoid any kind of custom domain registration errors.

Once you have added your domain to the platform, the next step is to point CNAME in your domain registrar’s DNS. If you would like to redirect your root domain, please try adding @ or www. Some of the registrars do not allow the @ option, for that you will have to add www as a HOST value.

CNAME – Canonical Name: rplg.co
HOST: @ or www

However, if there is a working website on your root domain, we recommend using a subdomain such as links.yourdomain.com or track.yourdomain.com. Then follow the convention below.

CNAME – Canonical Name: rplg.co
HOST:  links or track or (whatever subdomain name you)

If you don’t want to use a subdomain, you should use a different domain that doesn’t have any website working on its root URL.

IMPORTANT: You need to point through CNAME to our URL shortener to avoid SSL error or update the IP Address / A address (35.238.70.19) to avoid connection errors the future.  For more details on how to add a custom domain, please read the following article.

https://docs.replug.io/article/150-how-to-add-custom-domains

We sincerely hope that the above-mentioned improvements will elevate your Replug experience, enabling you to achieve better ROI from the branded shortened links you share.

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

Youtube marketing - Replug

Links on Youtube – The ultimate guide to getting the best results

The Importance of video content marketing

As reported by CISCO, videos amount for 69% of all consumer internet traffic. Youtube, the Mecca for online videos report that an astounding 5 billion videos are watched every day. Within the digital marketing community, videos content persistently aids in lead generation. A video allows you to see the face behind the case and gives a sense of confidence while online purchasing.

With such humungous daily traffic, it was only imperative that digital marketers joined the party. With so many eyes, it is an ideal opportunity to present your case. The only thing that needs to be perfect is your ad copy. In this article, we will discuss how you can share links on YouTube to keep your viewers engaged.

Links on Youtube

Many businesses are of the impression that only having a presence on Youtube is enough. This is not true.

There are quite a few ways you can share links on Youtube for advertisement. This includes sharing links in the description box, the comment section and linking within the videos. Sharing a link on the video itself can be done by two methods, one from either ‘cards‘ that pop up in the frame of the video, or clickable ‘end screen‘ elements that are overlaid on the video itself.

Let us explore these methods one by one.

Channel page and banner

This is the default channel of any brand on Youtube. It contains all basic information regarding the creator, type of content, a small video showing the nature of the content and a banner image.

 

Retargeting - Replug

 

The first place you will see the links on a Youtube channel is the bottom right-hand side of the banner image. The link you should be posting here should be to your main/ money website or to your landing page. Placing it here will invite people to click on it and draw traffic leading to conversion.

Right beside the link to your main website is a space to link your social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin pages. This can be done by clicking on the “about” section, click on the “links” icon and filling in the necessary URLs.

Remarketing - Replug

You can add multiple links here which will then appear on your banner.  The first link you put here should be your main website or landing page. One important thing to remember is that the first link will be a “Do Follow” links which means that it will contribute to your SERP. The remaining links you can use for your social channels or other URLs.

Your banner link in also associated with the analytics feature. This means that you will get statistics about how many clicks your primary banner got.

Links in the Video Description

Many YouTubers who want to give shoutouts to other pages and references to songs in their video use the phrase “Links are in the description”.  It is an easy way to promote your secondary channel or for affiliate marketing.

There are however a few challenges to sharing links in the description. The first one is that people usually use the link without copying the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Not using “https” with the link you use in the description will make the link you share seem as normal text.

Strict rules by Youtube ensure that you always use “https” so that the links stand out from the text and looks like a clickable item.

The other thing that people forget while sharing links in the description box is using “Branded links”. If you have a healthy number of views on your videos, using branded links is an opportunity for advertising and conversion.

Let’s take an example.

branded links - Replug

This video has been viewed 35 million times. This means using branded links, there are 35 million possible conversion opportunities from just one video. Let’s see another one

PewDiePie is a very famous video game player and commentator who has a huge following. Look how in the image above he has used branded links effectively to promote a brand to 83 million people just from a single video.

branded short links - Replug

The other great thing about branded shortened links is that they increase brand recognition. Sharing engaging and relevant content with your branded domain associated with it will increase visibility and improve recognition.

A branded link instills trust which in turn increases your CTR. By being willing to share your brand name with your link it offers a guarantee that you are leading them to the destination suggested in your link.

Link on YouTube Videos

In the early days, annotations were the only way to add links directly in the video. However, people did not like this method because of its intrusive nature. They popped up unwanted and disrupted viewing of the video.

To improve the user experience, Youtube introduced Cards and end screens.

Youtube Cards

Cards are used in Youtube videos to incite actionable results from the content. They let you add more visual components with underlying objectives to your YouTube videos instead of just annotations, making your videos more interactive.

There is no specific point in the video where the card should appear. The card may include images, outside links, and even content that’s downloaded when viewers click.

YouTube end card - Replug

Youtube cards can be categorized into 5 categories.

  • Video or playlist: Promote your video content.
  • Channel: Promote another channel.
  • Donation: Feature a nonprofit or cause of your choice and encourage donations.
  • Poll: Encourage viewers to engage in a multiple-choice poll.
  • Link: Link to an approved website off of YouTube.

Adding Cards to your Youtube Videos

Let us explore the steps required to add cards to a Youtube video. Navigate to Youtube video manager in your profile and select the video you want to add the card to. Click on edit, right below the video title.

Branded CTA's ContentStudio

In the top navigation bar click on the Cards tab.

Here you can create new YouTube cards to add to your video. Click “Add Card” and then click Create to the right of the card you want to create.

Retargeting - Replug

Fill in the necessary information for the particular type of card you have selected to create. Let’s assume you selected channel.

branded short links - Replug

Once you’ve added the card to your video, you can adjust when the card will show up in the video. Just drag the card on the time marker below the video to the spot when you want it to appear.

You can set up multiple cards once you have verified that the first one looks fine.

End Screens on Youtube Videos

The purpose of an end screen is similar to that of a card. The difference is that whereas cards can appear anywhere on the video, end screens appear in the last 20 seconds. They provide the user with the option to view similar videos or be redirected to a website of their choice.

YouTube end screens -Replug

Optimizing end screens for better results

End screens drive the most traffic out of all link sharing methods on Youtube. Your CTA should be clear and persuasive, and it should flow naturally from the content in your video.

Here are some tricks and tips to optimize end screens to drive more traffic.

Start With a Call-to-Action in Mind

Creating a video for your viewers, it is important to keep the end game in mind. Having the end screen and call to action into consideration, your video’s will be better poised to deliver the message. Before making the video, ask yourself the following questions.  Do you want your viewers to

  • Subscribe to your channel
  • Opt-in to your email list
  • Visit your website and make a purchase

If you know the answer to these questions, your end screen will appear as a natural step towards the end.

Keep Device Type in Mind

If you know the preferred device type of your viewers, you can better design their journey. If most of your viewers are desktop users you can guide them through the opt-in, sales and upsell page.

In contrast to that mobile users do not tend to follow the same number of steps. For them, you can create a CTA to sign up for your mailing list so you can follow up with them later.

Enough time to click

The end screen is shown for a maximum of 20 seconds, which means that you have to make each second count.  Use all of the 20 seconds to display your links and if you want to give instructions, do them in the video.

For example, let’s pretend the end of your video has a voiceover that says:

For more digital marketing tips and strategies straight from the pros, including Facebook ad tutorials and copywriting tricks, click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

In this case, show your end screen at the end of this sentence. Because people aren’t going to click on the subscribe button until after you finish explaining it.

Use UTM Parameters

In order to analyze and optimize the performance of your end screens, you’ll want to keep track of all website visitors who come to your site through an End Screen.

To do that, just add a UTM parameter like this to the end of your website link:

?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=endscreen

This way when you log into your analytics, you can segment your visitors by source or medium and see exactly what they did on your site.

Conclusion

Both the cards and end screens are a great way to keep viewers hooked onto your content.  Linking videos together and linking to preferred landing pages creates a seamless user experience for the viewer.

An important point to keep in mind is that linking to external website option is only available to those channels which have signed up for a partner program with Youtube. It is not allowed to link any type of website to your videos.

Youtube is a great platform to showcase and advertise your brand by sharing links. The thing you need to be careful about is to adhere to the rules and regulations laid down by Youtube.

While sharing links on Youtube videos, why not use Replug to share branded shortened links. While commenting on related videos, using the description box, use branded links to better convey your message to the targeted audience. One word of advice is to NOT use branded links in the end screens and cards as they have to be Youtube links or websites.

Interactive video content is becoming more and more influential each day. It allows you to keep visitors engaged in your content by suggesting them relevant content. Use the cards and branded links to enhance your brand’s image.

 

 

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

Replug Google Chrome extension

Remarket your brand with a click of a button – Replug Chrome Extension

Remarketing your brand

The need to share engaging and viral content is irresistible and instantaneous. Each time you share content on social channels, it’s an opportunity to advertise your business. Replug does just that by allowing you to create branded short links, which you can share with your audience.

The upside to this type of marketing is that you can establish brand awareness and instill trust with your readers. The easiest and quickest way to create and share a branded link is to have the tool at hand. To empower our customers with swift remarketing, we have developed the Replug extension for Google Chrome browser.

Replug Chrome extension helps to create a shortened link quickly just by selecting your brand and campaign. It must be noted here that the brand, as well as the campaign, have to be pre-created in the Replug web application in order for it to be visible in the extension.

Creating branded short links

Creating branded links with Replug is convenient than ever before. Simply navigate to the web page, article or blog you wish to share and click on the Replug extension.

Chrome extension - Replug

Select your brand which you want to promote and the campaign. Campaigns are really important as they define what kind of widget you want to show your visitors. In addition to that, you have the option to set tags e.g. if the blog is related to e-commerce or marketing, assign it the appropriate tag. This helps you to categorize the links.

Click on the create button to generate your branded link. The story does not end there. If you look at your link there will be some random digits/ alphabet at the end of it. Clicking on the edit button you can actually insert a phrase or keyword, replacing the random digits/ alphabets.

Remarketing - Replug

This helps you to better relay your message and connect with the readers. Not only they will recognize your brand but also get the context of the content at hand, Two birds with one stone.

Replug extension also has an autofill URL field with the active tab that saves precious time for the user.

Content Intelligence with Powerful Analytics

After sharing your link on social channels you can see how well it is performing using the “Analytics” module in your Replug account. This helps you to determine the type of content your readers are interested in.

Content Analytics - Replug

Let take a use case where you share 2 articles on your social channels. One related to finance (we will call it A) and the other related to fashion (we will call it B). Using analytics you can determine if your readers like A or B. You can then alter your content strategy to better connect with your audience.

Parameters such as clicks, links, and conversion rate permit you to make necessary tweaks to your content strategy and improve engagement.

Download and Sign in

The Replug extension is available on the Google Chrome web store.

Download the Extension here

After downloading you will see the replug icon on the top right corner of your screen. You can easily sign in by social platforms and by email password as well.

So add the chrome extension now and start promoting your business by sharing trending content.

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.

Branded Short Links - Replug

Benefits of using Branded Short Links

Every link you share on social media is an opportunity to advertise your business. How? Customized short links are a great way to promote your business.

Before we dig deep into how you can effectively use this marketing tactic, first we must get familiarised with some basic concept surrounding branded shortened links

What is URL shortening

URL shortening is a technique in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is made substantially shortened but still directs to the same page. This is accomplished using a redirect which links to the webpage that has a long URL.

Let’s start by looking at some examples, the URL

“http://example.com/assets/category_B/subcategory_C/Foo/”

can be shortened to

“https://example.com/Foo”

Similarly

“https://www.blog.google/products/maps/wheres-waldo-find-him-google-maps/”

can be shortened to

“https://goo.gl/rVBBtP”

Why we need URL shorteners

As the number of domains on the world wide web grew leaps and bounds, URLs became more and more complex. The problem reached a point where it was impossible to remember, type and share URLs due to their complexity.

Link shortening - Replug

This is where URL shorteners come in handy. They shrink the number of characters in the URL to make it easier to share the link online, whether it’s via email, social media, or downloadable PDF.

Difference between simple and branded link shortening

Branded links are URLs which after being shortened bear the name of a person, company or brand. As the name suggests, they are built to induce branding in the shortened link. As a result, these links boost awareness and recognition.

Each day we share posts, recommend videos to our peers and comment on blogs. Each time we do this, unless we use a branded domain to tell others about this content, we miss out on a massive marketing and branding opportunity?

You share posts you’ve found helpful. Recommend videos that made you laugh. Comment on presentations and other content too and occasionally even slag some authors (only if they deserved it, of course).

But did you know that unless you use a branded domain to tell others about this content, you’re missing out on a massive marketing and branding opportunity?

Why branded links are better than generic short links?

Branded links took the internet by storm and companies got a great marketing hack to exploit. There are a number of factors why branded links are very popular amongst digital marketers.

For starters branded links are very easy memorable and even more so pronounceable. The fact that it utilizes your brand name and can be easily read and remembered by others has a great impact while making a mark on the internet.   

The other great thing about branded shortened links is that they increase brand recognition. Sharing engaging and relevant content with your branded domain associated with it will increase visibility and improve recognition.

A branded link instills trust which in turn increases your CTR. By being willing to share your brand name with your link it offers a guarantee that you are leading them to the destination suggested in your link.

Last but not the least branded links have an inherent reporting mechanism. You can track which piece of content is performing well and gain more insight as to which type of content you need to produce. Along with that, you can evaluate ideal publishing times and performance benchmarks of real estate industry peers.

Protection against Spammers

Generic shortened URLs are susceptible to cyber attacks. They do not provide the same level of security against hackers as their branded counterparts. Hackers can scam shortened link same way they break short passwords, through brute force.

This means that web pages could become accessible by people you didn’t intend to view them. One line of defense against these attacks is having a custom domain name for your URL. This makes the URL trustworthy and on the plus side most social scheduling tools e.g. ContentStudio, allows you to use your own branded URL by connecting it to one of the custom URL shorteners that support them.

Effect of Link shorteners on SEO

A shortcoming of these type of links is that the destination link is hidden. This gives spammers an opportunity to insert harmful links. As a result, visitors end up on undesired websites.

This causes a lot of problems and relays a  bad name for link shorteners. Also, If you are setting up a chain of 301 redirects, which can happen for very reasonable reasons, you might face a few issues in terms of indexing

This practice causes a problem because it gives a bad reputation to shortened links as people who have already experienced spamming will never trust one again. Social networking websites usually put a ‘NoFollow’ tag in the links. This is done as a safety precaution.

This does not apply to link shorteners as they short-circuit the whole process. Indeed, these type of links will be then followed back by search engines which entails that some value will eventually pass through them. This proves to be a huge bonus for people who use social media as part of their marketing campaigns or who just use them to share content.

According to several ranking specialists, it seems that using URL shorteners doesn’t lead to any negative impact on your SEO. As a matter of fact, shortened URLs are considered by search engines as any regular 301 redirects and they will thus act upon it.

Top link shortening tools available

There are a lot of link shortening tools available in the market today. We have shortlisted 10 which present the best value for money.

Bitly

With Bitly you can create a short domain name for custom link shortening and forward on Twitter or Facebook.

Clikim

Clikin allows you to use your branded domain, retarget on click, monetize with custom, responsive, full-page interstitial ads.

Replug

Replug is a URL shortener and link tracking platform that also allows you to add eye-catching and branded call-to-actions or retargeting pixels to any page on the web. With Replug you can shorten links, track and optimize them with catchy call-to-actions.

It also provides the ability to add retargeting pixels paired with branded links and powerful analytics.

Rebrandly

Use your own domain name to create branded, memorable, and pronounceable custom short links.

Droplr

It is used to share ads and market them on a custom domain name directly from your Mac storage.No need to write long emails anymore. With Dropler you can show complicated, processes using screencasts and transfer files with a customized short link

Tinycc

Plug-in your own short domain then manage your whole brand from social media to product packaging.

Geniuslink

Genius Link makes localizing, tracking, and managing smart links dead simple so you can earn more without added work.

CloudApp

Share links, images, files and more with this powerful menubar app for your Mac. It is an easy-to-use screen recorder that brings video, webcam, screenshot annotation, and GIF creation securely to the cloud.

Short.cm

Ity allows you to create your own branded short links on your domain. You can easily manage links and view click statistics. If you need short links for different websites, you can manage many domains in your account. It provides an API for developers and Google Chrome extension for a better experience.

T2M

T2M can be used as a URL shortener with  Twitter, Facebook URL Shortener, YouTube URL Shortener. You will get a powerful dashboard which will make your work easier.

How to create branded shorten links with Replug

Using replug is as simple as branded URL shorteners can be. Login to your Replug account or sign up if you do not already have one. 

The first thing you need to do is to create a brand. What is a brand you may ask? A brand is a unique identity for your call-to-actions widget. To put it in more simple words, let’s say you have 5 websites, they are 5 unique identities for you, and these 5 unique identities are considered to be brand in Replug.

You can put in your website logo or your profile picture as a brand to convey your message

Branded Links - Replug

Follow the below steps to create a branded URL.

Step 1

Navigate to Brands page

Remarketing - Replug

Step 2

Click on create a new brand and fill in the necessary information e.g. company product name and upload image.

URL shortener - Replug

Save your information and navigate to “New Link” on the homepage

Step 3

Select your campaign and enter the link to an article where you want to add CTA.

You also have the option to add the tags which can be used for reporting later on. Click on save link

Step 4

Now go ahead and share this optimized Replug link with your audience on social, email, web or any other channel you want.

custom link shortener - Replug

Notice that besides the shortened link generated is an edit button. You can use this option to change the ending part of your URL. This allows you to further customize your URL, and add meaningful phrases to conjoin brand with a message.

One suggestion is to choose these words/ phrases very carefully to be in sync with the message being replayed in the content. This helps users to better relate to both your brand and the content in question.

Conclusion

Branded shortened links are a great way to promote your brand. They can also be converted to eye-catching CTA’s to help improve conversion rates. Similarly, they can be tracked to evaluate the performance of your ads as well as the content you share.

By using branded links in the content we share you can effectively imply remarketing in your content marketing strategy. If you know other health benefits of using branded leaves, please leave a comment.

About the Author

Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.