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Bitly Launches Tool For Channelizing Its Short Links
Called Bitly Campaigns, it allows marketers to create and track links across multiple channels, instead of makeshift tracking in Excel.
Bitly, which makes its living by turning long links into short ones, is today adding channelization.
Called Bitly Campaigns, the new product allows marketers to create and designate groups of links for a given channel, and then compare the campaign performance of paid, earned and owned channels in a dashboard.
A channel can be network like Facebook or Twitter, or it can be a SMS text, a web page, a push notification, an email, an app (Bitly supports deep-linking to a screen within a destination app) or even all the marketing conducted by a single agency.
Director of product management Dan Touchette told me that, up to now, marketers have been channel-tracking the Bitly links in such ad hoc tools as massive Excel spreadsheets.
Before this new Campaigns, Touchette said, his company could provide some channel tracking, but it was based on getting “refer” data from the location’s source. Such data, for instance, tells the marketer how many visits to a destination like a site came from a given link. But, he noted, “not all channels pass on ‘refer’ info.”
He added that the new dashboard will make it easier to compare channels for such factors as whether Facebook links to Instagram posts are more popular than Facebook links to websites.
A typical use case, he said, might be a marketer conducting a holiday campaign that includes Bitly links in Twitter, Facebook, a SMS text and email. The marketer will now be able to readily track the number of clicks in each.
Bitly has been steadily improving its ability to mine the data behind its shortened URLs.
Last year, it released Audience Data, a cookie-based tracking of such metrics as unique users or operating system. Every month, about 800 million links are shortened through Bitly, and there are over 10 billion clicks from about two billion unique users.
In May, it released Audience Intel, which tracked cookies from The Bitly Network showing how users shared content, either through the marketers’ links or through Bitly’s.
Touchette noted that marketers are often using major platforms like Adobe’s Marketing Cloud or Spredfast’s social management platform to distribute these Bitly links, and added that the new dashboard provides a separate screen of real-time, straightforward channel tracking. At the moment, Bitly Campaigns is not yet integrated with any platforms, but he said an API was in the works.