Imagine: You have put together an award-worthy video and now you are ready to tell the world about it. An announcement is crafted that that captures people’s attention as well as their interest. And then you tell people where to find it:
Who’s going to read that address out loud? And who wants to type that into their computer? Thud.
You could send the link by email or text, or embed it on your website or social media feed. But for those times you have to rely on print – a letter, a flyer or a business card – how do you make it memorable, easier to copy down and short enough to easily fit on a slide or in a blog?
Abbreviating the website address (URL) with an URL shortener can be the answer you are looking for. There are several options, each with their own strengths, but all are free:
Goo.gl: Google has their own version, displaying the original link, truncated link like goo.gl/u20Bqt and the number of clicks received.
Ow.ly: Created by social media application HootSuite.com, this service allows you share documents, videos and images in addition to website pages.
A second option would be to obtain a vanity URL, customized to identify with a company or brand. For example, when the New York Times tweets, their links begin with “nyti.ms”, or WIRED magazine with “trib.al.” The cost of he services vary, and again, you can find additional link online if you are interested. One caution would be to examine the track record of the company you consider, there are many smaller companies that are no longer in business.
More information can be found at vanityurlshorteners.com. There are a variety of other options that can be found with the online version of this article.
A third offer is to use a URL shortener that pays you back each time it is clicked, such as Adf.ly, The viewer will see an advertisement before they view the actual link. Keep in mind that many domains don’t generate enough traffic to make these worthwhile, and the cost of an annoyed visitor may offset even those costs.
Being memorable helps you communicate more effectively, which in turn helps that wonderful video (or website) you created to actually be visited and seen.
Ken Satterfield, a former media specialist, is Word&Way’s Advertising and Marketing Coordinator.