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Author: Mike Cheng

Mike is one of the cofounders here at Sniply. If you're interested in a product demo, just go ahead and send an email to [email protected]
Sniply Reaches 100 Million Clicks

Sniply Reaches 100 Million Clicks

Wow—we can hardly believe it! Felt like yesterday when we celebrated our first 100 clicks, yet in the blink of an eye, we’re now celebrating a grand milestone of 100,000,000 clicks. Whenever we pass a major milestone like this, I always try to write a post here to reflect on our progress and share our vision for the future.

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Growing a Simple App into a Comprehensive Platform

When Chris, Nigel, and I first started Sniply… it was a dead simple idea. A web app that helps you add a personalized message to the links you share. We quickly learned that app ideas are everywhere and it’s hard to build a real business out of a one-tricky-pony.

It became clear to us very early on that in order to grow Sniply into something noteworthy, we had to expand our product vision far beyond the simple app idea we came up with at the beginning. In order to build a real, sustainable business, we really had to grow our little app into a comprehensive platform.

You hear this all the time, but it’s so true… listen to your users. We’re product developers but not necessarily marketers by trade. The only way we could build a marketing product was by listening to marketers—our users. Building a business is basically helping people solve problems, and fortunately there are no shortages on problems in the world.

Through chatting with our users, we found all sorts of feature ideas and potential areas for expansion. We used to be a single-feature web app, but now we need an entire features page to house our long list of product offerings.

Over the past year, we’ve added features to allow our users to customize the look and feel of their Sniply messages. We built support for custom domain so you can share links under your own URL. We expanded the original hyperlink call-to-action to include buttons, email capture forms, and all sorts of new CTA types. We worked on building 30+ integrations with popular apps like Hootsuite and Buffer. We built a full fledged analytics platform and even included the ability to add retargeting pixels to your Sniply links to help enhance your remarketing campaigns. The list really goes on and on!

From talking to and listening to our users, we were able to expand our product vision to tackle more problems and bigger challenges. The solution to these problems became product features, which in turn expanded our once-simple web app into something more. Nowadays, I consider Sniply to be a fairly comprehensive platform, fulfilling a wide variety of marketing needs for users of all shapes and sizes. There’s undoubtedly still a lot of work to be done, but I’m extremely proud of our team for how far we’ve come.

 

pagefrog

Always Searching for the Next Big Thing

The moment you stand still is the moment y0u begin to fade away into obscurity. The internet age moves so quickly that 5 years ago, something like Sniply would make absolutely no sense. Likewise, who knows if Sniply would still be relevant 5 years later. We’ve learned to preserve our curious minds—constantly exploring new problems to solve and keep experimenting.

When we first started Sniply, we knew very little about the content space. Having spent a few years in the industry now, we’ve developed a good measure of market insights. With these insights, we’re able to make more educated guesses for what’s coming next and what the next big thing could be.

One such area is the evolution of content. With the announcements of Facebook Instant Articles (FBIA) and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), the publishing industry is really going through some crazy changes. In response to this industry shift, we at Sniply HQ have been working on a new product: PageFrog.

PageFrog is a product we just launched to help content creators publish and manage content for FBIA and AMP, with support for Snapchat Discover and Apple News coming soon. The first version is designed for WordPress users, so if you’re publishing on WordPress, then you’re in luck! We’ll be working on support for additional platforms in the near future.

In addition to our core work at Sniply, we have plans to build many more free apps and plugins—just like PageFrog—in an effort to continue solving new problems within the content industry as they arise.

 

Well that’s it—I can’t think of anything else to say! Thanks for listening 🙂 If you’d like to back track on our humble journey so far, here are the posts I wrote for our previous milestones:

Sniply Reaches 50 Million Clicks

Sniply Reaches 10 Million Clicks

Sniply Reaches 1 Million Clicks

 

Sincerely,
Mike @Sniply

Creating Your First Sniply Link

Creating Your First Sniply Link

Welcome to Sniply!

This is a step-by-step guide, filled with screenshots, that will take you through the process of creating your first Sniply link.

When we’re done, you should end up with something like this http://snip.ly/s39Z where you’ll see your call-to-action on a page of your choosing.

The whole process should take no more than 60 seconds!


 

Step 1: Create a Brand

(skip this step if you’ve already setup a brand)

Go to the Manage > Brands section in your Sniply Dashboard

Click on the New Brand button in the top right corner

Upload a photo, input your brand name, and a link to your home page

 

Step 2: Setup a Call-to-Action

(skip this step if you’ve already setup a CTA)

Go to the Manage > Call-to-Action section in your Sniply Dashboard

Click on the Add New Call-to-Action in the right top corner

Select an existing brand or Create a New Brand

Choose a Call-to-Action type (what is a Sniply Type?)

Input a message and call-to-action link

Customize your snip to match your branding

 

Step 3: Start Snipping Links

Paste in the link that you want to share a click the “Create Snip” button

Choose a Call-to-Action or create a New Call-to-Action

Share the Sniply link with your network!


Sniply generates Sniply links that should look something like “snip.ly/abcd”. You can share these links anywhere you’d like, just like any other links you share. Anyone who clicks on your Sniply link will see the page along with your message inside.

You can share Sniply links on business or personal Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest, email newsletters, or even text messages!

Exciting New Features Coming to Sniply

Exciting New Features Coming to Sniply

We just released a big update with some great improvements to your Sniply dashboard and here’s a summary of what’s new:

A/B Testing: Each CTA can now store multiple A/B variations. The CTA will automatically shuffle through the variations and generate analytics separately, allowing you to test your messaging and optimize for conversions.
Step by Step Guide: A/B Testing Snips
new-ab

 

 

Custom Shortlinks: Instead of just using your own domain (snip,ly/abcd → mysite,co/abcd), you can now customize the actual shortlink
(mysite,co/abcd → mysite,co/register).
Step by Step Guide: Customizing Shortlinks
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Conversion Pixel: We’ve added a new metric called Verified Conversions. This type of conversion tracks specific actions taken on your site. To start tracking Verified Conversions, you just need to add a Conversion Pixel to your success page.
Step by Step Guide: Setting up Conversion Pixels
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We also made re-using call-to-actions significantly easier. Now you just have to setup your CTA once and choose from a dropdown whenever you snip a link. Analytics also went through significant improvements and now allow for dynamic segmentation. There’s lots more to explore!

We prepared a collection of step-by-step screenshot guides for this update, so if you’re in the mood for some detailed walkthroughs, check them out here https://sniply.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/200428815

Once you get a chance to get familiarized, please let us know what you think of these improvements!

[Course] Get Your First 1 Million Visitors

[Course] Get Your First 1 Million Visitors

For those of you on the lookout for the best tools and techniques to grow your site and following…

We teamed up with SumoMe to bring you a free course on massively increasing your website traffic using the same tools and techniques that the experts use. There are 15 killer case studies on how the pros have built their sites to tens of millions of visits a year.

The course also includes over $2,000 in bonuses from tools that will help you build traffic (including Sniply, of course)

RegisterNowButton-OrangeFlatNew

Brought to you by this team of Traffic Generation Experts

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[Infographic] Finding the Balance Between Curation and Creation

[Infographic] Finding the Balance Between Curation and Creation

Self-promotion is a delicate act. Social media is all about conversations and genuine relationships. Promoting your own brand could make you appear self-absorbed, yet if you don’t promote yourself, then who will? If you always only push your own brand, your followers may drop away like flies. If you only curate content and drive traffic to other people’s content, then where do you get your return on investment for resources spent on social?

Finding the balance between curation and creation is a difficult challenge, but in order to harness the business potential of social, figuring out this balance is a necessity.

Here are some statistics to consider

  • Posting links to 3rd party sites generates 33% more clicks than posts linked to owned sites
  • Posting links to owned websites generates a 54% higher click-to-conversion rate than posts that link to 3rd party websites
  • Curators who link to 3rd party sites 75% or more of the time on average get 47.8% more clicks per post, 0.2% more click-to-conversion rate, and 0.10 conversions per post
  • Self promoters who link to their own content 50% or more of the time on average get 17 clicks per post, 2.4% click-to-conversion rate, and 0.41 conversions per post on average

The goal is to find a balance between both by linking to 3rd party sites 50-75% of the time, which on average will yield 38.4 clicks per post, 2.5% click-to-conversion rate, and 0.95 conversions per post.

Not only does a combination of content creation and curation lead to building strong relationships with the right people, but it makes your content a lot more useful, and generates a much higher click-rate.

By curating different kinds of content, you increase engagement rates even more. Try linking to videos, podcasts and infographics.

There are lots of different kinds of retargeting campaigns that exist to help creative curation strategies, leading to increased clicks and conversations.

venngageThis infographic template was created with the infographic maker Venngage

 

Advanced Snipping for the Pros

Advanced Snipping for the Pros

If you’ve got the basics down, then it’s time to take your Snip game to the next level! For most users, Sniply revolves around the call-to-action, but today we’ll go over what awaits beyond the CTA. From retargeting pixels to live chat widgets, here’s a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Invisible Snips

Many of our users deploy what we call invisible Snips. These are Snips that have no visual display, no call-to-action. They use Sniply strictly for analytical insights into the content they share. Beyond clicks and conversions, Sniply also delivers valuable statistics such as Bounce Rates, Time on Page, Pages per Visit, and more. Good analytics is key for growth, but as a curator you don’t usually have access to analytics on shared content. With Sniply, you have access to analytics on shared content as if they were on your own website. You can start analyzing how your followers respond to the links you share and over time, you can begin to optimize your sharing to effectively increase engagements from your audience.

Retargeting with Sniply

Sniply empowers you with control over the content you share. Allowing you to attach a call-to-action to shared pages is one example of that. Another popular usage of Sniply is to attach retargeting pixels to Snips. For anyone with a budget in paid advertising, this is invaluable. Attaching retargeting pixels with your Snips allows you to build custom audiences to reach people who are already engaged with your brand and the content you share. Taking this to the next level you can even build custom audiences based on the types of content you share, allowing you to really hone in on those most likely to convert.

Think Outside the Box

As mentioned above, Sniply empowers you with control over the content you share. This means that you can do anything on shared content that you can do on your own website. This includes adding a Live Chat widget to chat with visitors in real-time through shared links using widgets from Zopim or Olark. You could also perform in-depth tracking of your Snips by integrating external analytics platforms like Google Analytics or KISSmetrics. Snips are fully programmable so the possibilities are truly endless!

Introducing Sniply Publisher Tools

Introducing Sniply Publisher Tools

Dear publishers—this post is for you! With Sniply, content sharers are more incentivized than ever to share your content. As an owner of content, there are a number of options available to you through the Sniply Publisher Tools. All you have to do is verify ownership of your domain and you’ll have access to all of the following.

Publisher Analytics

There are millions of Sniply links being shared across the web. Snips are great since they drive traffic to your content. With Sniply Publisher Analytics, you can keep track of all the Snips of your content. You can access a full list of all Snips of your website as well as how many times those links have been clicked. This will allow you to identify your biggest fans, revealing a list of users who are actively driving traffic to your content.

Quality Control

Not only can you access the full list of your content sharers, you can also see the call-to-actions they’re using on your page. This allows you to quality control what shows up on your content. If there’s a message that you don’t like, you can simply hide the message and it will be hidden from all future visitors. You can also change your mind anytime and show the message again whenever you like. You’re in full control.

Master Switch

With the click of a button you can check if your site is supported by Sniply. If not, you can enable Sniply on your site with a few quick steps. If for whatever reason you would like to disable Sniply support on your site, you can do that as well with ease. This master switch puts you in control of the content you own.

To get started, just login to your Sniply account and open up the Publishers Dashboard under Account > Publisher Tools. If you’re interested in learning more about how Sniply benefits content publishers, be sure to check out Sniply for Content Publishers!

Analyzing Sniply Analytics

Analyzing Sniply Analytics

Sniply Analytics are quite powerful. You can track how many times your links have been clicked, how many of them convert, and track your conversion rates. You can even see the average pages per visit, time on site, time on landing page, and even bounce rates. It’s important to understand these terms and what they mean for your business!

Snips Created is the total number of Snips you’ve created within a designated time frame.

Why is this important? This is a core element to understanding your return on investment. Numebr of Snips created is essentially pieces of content shared. Driving 1000 conversions with 1 piece of content is much more efficient than with 1000 pieces of content.

Clicks are the total number of times people have clicked on your Sniply links to visit your shared content.

Why is this important? This tells you exactly how many people click on your links and visit your shared content. From an advertising standpoint, this can also be understood as the number of impressions for your Sniply message.

Conversions are the total number of times people have clicked on your Sniply message and call-to-action.

Why is this important? This is probably the single most important number because it tells you how many people actually interact with your call-to-action and arrive at your designated destination. This could be your landing page, your online store, a newsletter subscription, app download, or anywhere else you want people to visit.

Conversion Rate is the ratio between Clicks and Conversions.

Why is this important? This is used to determine how effective your Snips are at driving conversions. A conversion rate of 10% means that for every 100 people who visit your shared content, 10 of them will click-through on your call-to-action and arrive at your destination page.

Average Pages Per Visit is the average number of pages people visit after clicking on your Sniply links.

Why is this important? This is an insightful number that tells you how many pages on average people visit after arriving at the initial page you shared. For example, if you share a link to BuzzFeed, people might read 3 or 4 articles before leaving the session. It’s important to note that your Sniply message stays visible during the entire session, so you retain exposure on all the pages they visit after they click on your Sniply link.

Average Time on Site is the average amount of time people spend in total after clicking on your Sniply links.

Why is this important? Much like the Average Pages Per Visit, it’s important to note that your Sniply message stays visible during the entire session after they click on your Sniply link. The Average Time on Site shows the average amount of time people spend on your Sniply links and can also be interpreted as the average amount of time your Sniply message stays visible to people who visit your shared content.

Average Time on Landing Page is the average amount of time people spend on the first page after clicking on your Sniply links.

Why is this important? This tells you whether you’re sharing valuable content. This number tells you how long they spend on the first page of your Sniply link, which is often times the piece of content you intended to share. If people spend a long time on the content you share, that usually means you’re sharing good content.

Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who leave your Sniply links within 10 seconds.

Why is this important? If your bounce rate is high, that means you’re not sharing the right types of content. A bounce is defined by a visitor who leaves within 10 seconds of landing on a piece of content. This ususally means that people clicked on your Sniply link and within 10 seconds decided to leave. Low bounce rates usually mean you’re sharing good content.

Sniply Reaches 50 Million Clicks

Sniply Reaches 50 Million Clicks

Last year in April 2014, we came up with this crazy idea of Sniply and shared the concept on Product Hunt, Hacker News, and Reddit. After we got voted up to the front page within minutes, we knew it was something special. 10 months later—today—we’re celebrating the awesome milestone of 50 million clicks!

Chris, Nigel and I were the first 3 users of Sniply. Since then, we’ve attracted some cool new users such as HubSpot, Outbrain, Salesforce, Accenture, Deloitte, Unbounce, Experian, Blackberry, Yesware, and 99designs. We’ve been featured on hundreds of marketing blogs including Neil Patel’s QuickSprout and Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Examiner. All within the past year!

 

Path to 50,000,000 on a Shoestring Budget

Having spent a grand total of $0 in marketing, I’d like to take this time to share how we came this far in the past year. We never raised capital and never had the budget to invest in marketing. Instead, we run as a small team and really only had the resources to focus on building the product with our own sweat equity. Chris, Nigel and I spent every waking hour perfecting the product. We talk to our users everyday, listening and absorbing feedback, then injecting that wisdom back into the product. We made people happy, one user at a time.

It seemed like a silly idea to make a single user happy when everyone is going after millions of users, but it wasn’t long before we saw the impact of our philosophy. We started to notice people writing about Sniply. Not just of our tool or the concept, but of the service and dedication from our team. Our users not only shared Sniply as a tool, but they also spread the word of the commitment they felt from us as founders. We started to rally supporters—organically. No affiliate payout, no sponsorship, just relationships in good faith.

As of today, there are hundreds of blog posts out there about Sniply. They’re evergreen content that drives compound traffic to our site every single day. Every new user that comes by is treated with the same dedication. We engage, we listen, and we build. That’s all we’ve ever done, and perhaps all we’ll ever do.

 

Learning About Our Own Product

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We came up with the Sniply idea, but in many ways, the product is defined by our users. Sniply is quite simple. It’s a tool that allows you to add things to other things. What people do with it—we have relatively little control over. As a result of this, we spend a lot of time observing and learning what our users do with Sniply. How they use it, why they use it, and how they’d like to use it.

Over time, I began compiling my discoveries around these mysteries across multiple posts:

What is Sniply?
Why do people use it?
Introducing Sniply Analytics
How are people driving traffic to their Snips?
How are people improving conversion rates?
What is Sniply’s role in brand awareness?
Why do content publishers like Sniply?
Why do small businesses like Sniply?
Why do large corporations like Sniply?

 

Creating an Extended Culture

cutlture

We believe that company cultures should extend beyond internal interactions. Culture should be felt even by the user. We do everything we can to create an open culture where users feel comfortable providing critical feedback. We issue refunds on a heartbeat if anyone is unhappy. We allow users to name their own price. We do everything we can to be human beings first and a company second. We treat our users as though we would our friends. We do everything we can to help them even when it has nothing to do with our product.

We hope to think that when people think of Sniply, they think of the people behind the product. Their attachment to our brand should be beyond our logo and our technology. We want everyone to feel as though they’re part of our product development team; that they can shape our product; that they have a voice that will always be heard and respected. Whether people love or hate what we’ve built, our commitment is to always listen and challenge ourselves to do something about it. If someone loves Sniply, how can we make them love us a little more? If someone hates Sniply, how can we make them hate us a little less?

Those are the things we talk about everyday. An extended culture means we blur the lines between employees and users. This undoubtedly gets harder as we grow bigger, but we can’t afford to disregard the very thing that got us this far.

With that said, thank you all for being part of our ongoing journey!

 

Use Zapier with Sniply to Automate Your Workflow

Use Zapier with Sniply to Automate Your Workflow

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There’s so many great articles and resources online that’d be great to share with your followers. The only problem is, when you’re sharing content on other sites, you lose the chance to share any more info with them.

Sniply solves this by letting you add a message, link, or simple form to any site you share. Then, whenever anyone clicks the link you’ve shared on social networks, they’ll see the full article along with a little comment from you and perhaps a link or a form for their email address.

That’s where Zapier comes in. Add a form to your shared links, and you can then grow your email newsletter subscriber list or add leads to your CRM automatically. Just link your Sniply form to Zapier and then connect it to the hundreds of apps that work with Zapier, and your shared links will get to work for you. Here’s some great ways to get started:

How To Use This Integration

  1. Sign into your Sniply account,
    and make sure you have a Zapier account too.
  2. Connect your Sniply account to Zapier.
  3. Check out pre-made Sniply integrations.
  4. Or create your own from scratch in the Zapier Dashboard.

Enjoy!