How Snip.ly is Revolutionizing Link Shortening and Social Sharing The moment I created and shared my first Snip.ly link, I was sold. The potential that this astoundingly simple platform provides becomes immediately obvious to any conversion-minded social marketer who uses it. Share content and get rewarded for this action in the form of an advertisement or message within the content you share. Simple yet remarkably effective. Initial numbers are extremely promising. Since its public launch in March 2014, Snip.ly has generated 15,000 links and 150,000 clicks from a litany of diverse users. Average conversion rates hover around a jaw-dropping 5-10%, so it should come as no surprise that early adapters are raving about the platform. I recently had the opportunity to talk to Michael Cheng, the founder of Snip.ly, about his team's revolutionary link-shortening platform. Solving Social Marketing's Most Elusive Pain Point: ROI Measurement Adobe claims that "52% of marketers cite difficulties in accurately measuring ROI as their biggest source of frustration in social marketing." This statistic is likely higher as many marketers simply measure irrelevant metrics like shares, likes, and new followers without correlating these with an increase in end conversions such as product purchases or newsletter signups. According to Michael, this is the pain point in social marketing that Snip.ly was created to solve. "I came up with the idea for Sniply as I was sharing content on social media. I realized that I had no way of tracking the ROI of my efforts, assuming there were any returns at all. I also noticed that almost everyone is a curator nowadays, and it’s unlikely that anyone else can calculate the ROI for content curation. ROI must consist of some sort of conversion, and for conversion to happen there needs to be a call to action. Hence I decided to build a startup that will offer the tech that allows users to add call-to-actions to curated content." Here's an example of a Snip.ly ad. Notice the bottom left corner of the screencap. How Snip.ly Conversion Rates Reach an Amazing 5-10% As any digital advertiser will tell you, a 5-10% conversion rate for any online ad is nothing short of astounding. This is actually an improvement from a still significant 3-8% upon the platform's initial launch. With new features in the works, this number is likely to inch ever higher. I asked Michael to explain how Snip.ly is able to achieve such impressive numbers: "I strongly believe the reason for this is relevance. Sniply is social marketing. It’s not purchased ad space. Sniply messages you see are generally from someone you care about, someone in your network, or an influencer you follow...you’re converting people who already have somewhat of a relationship with you. Traditional online advertisements are often irrelevant because a 3rd party whom you may never have heard of simply purchased space on a website you happen to come across, and there’s just no relationship. Despite all the hype in content-aware advertising technology, nothing beats an actual human curator crafting a message tailored for the content, which is precisely what all of our users do." How Does This Affect Website Owners? Does Snip.ly Negatively Impact Their Ad Revenue? The short answer is no. Traditional ads and clicks on paid advertising are unaffected. Snip.ly works as a simple, unobtrusive message overlay defined by the user. At its, core, Snip.ly's utility for content publishers is the fact that it incentivizes reader sharing. In fact, "the average user shares 13% more content after starting to use Snip.ly, and that's good business for everyone." Is Snip.ly Right for My Business? The short answer is a resounding yes. Additionally, an intuitive Chrome extension allows you to seamlessly integrate Snip.ly with your favorite social networks and publishing tools like Buffer or Hootsuite. Snip.ly is free for anyone to use, however, there are 2 paid plans with feature upgrades that are pretty attractive, especially if you use social platforms heavily for your business. The benefits of upgraded plans are mainly custom calls to action and colors that increase conversions as well as the opportunity for consistent branding. You can see the upgradable features to the right. How to Use Snip.ly Snip.ly essentially takes a huge hurdle out of your conversion funnel by providing a direct bridge (via the CTA button) from the content your share to relevant products, services, landing pages, etc. There's even the option to include a form rather than a button, which is a game-changer for bloggers and businesses who rely heavily on their email marketing campaigns. Furthermore, 30% of Snip.ly clicks come from outbound links in content such as emails and blogs. This allows you to share content without fearing that your visitors will never return to your website. For example, let's say a product you carry in your ecommerce store got a great review in the New York Times. Obviously, you want to brag a little and share this article with your entire network. The beauty of Snip.ly is that it allows you to share this article with an embedded link directly to the product checkout page. This increases the likelihood of sales resulting from your sharing of an article praising a product you carry in your online store. A Sneak Peek at Some Exciting New Features Coming Soon There are some really exciting developments in the works over at the Snip.ly lab. I believe these features will have a huge impact in the relationship between social media marketing and ecommerce. Here's a teaser from Michael: "We’ve been playing around with some really exciting ideas. Everything we do is towards one goal: increase conversion rates. This means more flexibility for our users to adapt Sniply to their own audiences, through customizability for theming, positioning, and branding. We’re even working on a file uploader that will allow you to display custom graphics through Sniply. We’re also playing around with various methods of interaction. For example, we just launched the ability to add a form field to your Sniply, allowing you to capture emails through curated content. Now we’re playing around with payment integration for on-the-spot purchasing. On the backend, we’re constantly improving the analytics we offer and we just launched the ability to analyze traffic sources and geographic data." To conclude, we at Clarity believe Snip.ly is a great tool for content curators to get the most ROI out of their content-sharing strategies. Try it free and let us know what you think!