Do you use URL shorteners when promoting your videos? I'm guessing most of you do. And even though that marketplace is becoming saturated with options for shortening long URLs, the king of the hill is still Bit.ly, primarily due to their early adoption by Twitter users. But they're not content to rest on their laurels.
And now Bit.ly has released a cool new tool that I wanted to share with you called Bit.ly Bundles. Bundles is a way to send multiple links at once with one shortened URL. That alone is pretty awesome. On more than one occasion I've wished for a way to send several of my open browser tabs to a coworker or friend to share a piece of entertainment or a customer problem I'm working on. Now, with a few copy-and-paste actions, I can do just that. Sweet. You'll have to sign-up as a Bit.ly member to use it, but the registration is free and takes less than 30 seconds. Then, you'll see this screen:
Notice the alert on the right, letting users know about the new Bundles service, and including a link to "Try it now.” But you don't have to click that link. You can just paste in a URL, which Bit.ly then shortens instantly. At that point, you'll see a new "Bundle" button appear below the box, like this:
And you don't need to do anything special except keep pasting URLs into the box above, letting Bit.ly shorten each one automatically. When you've added all the links you want to share in this bundle, just click the Bundle button.
Bit.ly will pull in thumbnails and descriptive text on its own, beefing up your Bundle by making it more than a simple list of URls—people who click your Bundle link will have the chance to preview the content before even clicking on it. One major caveat you need to be aware of concerns the use of video links—Bit.ly is not, for some reason, able to pull in descriptions from the YouTube page, for instance. Thankfully, they give you a way to add or edit the description for each link.
Using Bit.ly Bundles is a bit like getting a free blog or using a CMS—your bundle gets its own dedicated page, and you can come back later to edit descriptions or titles. There's even analytics data collected that you can view to determine which of your links were the most popular… and users can add comments on the Bundle page as though it was a blog post.
How To Use Bit.ly Bundles With Online Video
And, of course, I couldn't help but immediately start thinking of specific ways this might be used for video. So I created a couple of Bundles for you to enjoy:
- In preparation for the year-end Viral Round Up that I am sure I will write, I put together a list of my 10 favorite viral videos of 2010. Enjoy!
- Moving away from actual video content, I also put together this list of articles and resources from ReelSEO over the years related to video SEO, and I'm calling it a Video SEO Starter Kit. Check it out.
Bit.ly Bundles is still brand new, and I'm sure I'm only scratching the surface of its power. I'll be curious to see how content creators and marketers use the service moving forward. It's clearly a fast and simple way to share multiple links through one tiny URL, and I tend to think that's a powerful thing. We can probably also expect to see similar services rolled out soon from all the other major URL shortening services, who will no doubt recognize a good idea when they see one.