With just three words – “link in bio” — Alex Zaccaria and his fellow co-founders changed the direction of countless customer journeys people take across digital experiences. Now, the CEO believes Linktree is going to do so again.
Last month, Melbourne-based Linktree unveiled a rebrand aimed at positioning it as more than a simple tool for organizing a brand or creator’s URLs. Instead, it sees itself as a platform that facilitates discovery, connection and community. This was quickly followed by the launch of Linktree Marketplace, the first step in opening its platform to developers that could use its technology to build their own apps and integrations.
Linktree Marketplace serves as a hub to drive greater exposure to its partnerships, which now include PayPal, Typeform and SoundCloud, among others. The introduction of Link Apps, meanwhile, will allow users to embed shopping and social media accounts directly within users’ Linktree landing pages.
Over the past year, Zaccaria said Linktree has helped 1.7 million people drive 1.2 billion clicks to commerce-related websites. Its core market not only includes traditional businesses but “creators” who are focused on directly monetizing their work or driving revenue through brand partnerships.
“With more platforms and destinations online, digital fragmentation has been a challenge for creators,” Zaccaria told 360 Magazine, citing data from Linktree’s Creator Report that creators link out to an average of nine different platforms. “Someone following on Instagram might be completely unaware the same creator is also on YouTube or TikTok, for example. And that’s what Linktree provides — an easy, simple way to connect disparate parts of a creators’ digital presence.”
Zaccaria provided more closer look into its rebrand, Linktree Marketplace and Link Apps strategy. The following interview has been edited and condensed.
The pandemic clearly drove more people to work through digital channels than ever before. How have you seen that influence the way people use Linktree — not only everyday web users, but the way brands would leverage Linktree for digital experiences?
Absolutely. During the pandemic, many people decided to follow their passion and made the jump into the Creator Economy, while businesses needed to adapt to a new world and way of working. We saw many creators and businesses flock to Linktree as a solution for the new set of challenges they were facing during this time. We feel a responsibility to equip these creators that have chosen Linktree with tools, education, and support to build a business and have a direct relationship with their audience.
What are some of the key ways you gather feedback from brand customers that use Linktree, and how did that inform the creation and launch of the marketplace?
Both our direct discussions and usage data show that creators are increasingly reliant upon a growing number of services and products to run their business. If I’m an artist for example, I rely on streaming platforms to distribute my music, ticketing platform to sell tickets, e-commerce platform to sell merchandise, e-mail services to reach my audience via emails, a set of social media platforms to post content and engage my audience and so on. With Linktree Marketplace, a creator can go to one location to find the tools they need to integrate and automate all of these platforms on their Linktree profile.
In terms of what Link Apps were built, we’ve identified the platforms our users rely upon most and have sought to build richer experiences in partnership with those platforms. We’re then working with each partner to continuously refine the functionality we offer to drive better and better results for our shared users.
Can you provide a hypothetical example of how using the marketplace could streamline or enhance the launch of a digital experience — ie, launching a new web site, opening up new customer service channels through social media, etc.?
Before we launched Linktree Marketplace, a user would link out to a YouTube link and visitors would be directed to the YouTube website leaving the experience where the visitor initiated the interaction with the creator. Now, videos can be embedded and the experience is integrated into Linktree. This brings someone’s digital identities even closer together – from linking to all the platforms where they create, to bringing those experiences to Linktree where they can exist as part of a full view of someone’s digital presence.
Link Apps make it quick and simple for visitors to get what they want, and in return, more of what our users want: views, streams, donations, bookings, purchases, and more. Link Apps create contextual and engaging experiences on Linktree that drive action and conversion.
How do you envision some of the online journeys consumers will now be able to take through the use of Linktree marketplace that might have been more disjointed or disconnected if companies didn’t use it?
It’s not just that online journeys might have been more disconnected; they might not have happened at all. Some of these Link Apps existed, but there was no central place to see everything available. Linktree Marketplace will lead to our users having a greater awareness of the integrations available to them. We anticipate this will mean more visitors engaging with content from Cameo, Twitch and our other partners on Linktree rather than linking out to other sites. By making integrations easier to find for creators, we help them bring more digital experiences to their Linktrees and provide their audiences with one place to engage.
What kind of apps and integrations do you foresee companies creating using their own developer resources as Linktree opens up its platform?
We anticipate a wide variety of different types of apps across commerce, gaming, video, music, ticketing, travel, etc. — the sky’s the limit, really. We’ve seen incredible success with some of our early beta partners like with our Canadian partner Shopify. On average, Linktrees with Shopify integration are driving 60 per cent more views to their products and collections. Link Apps make it quick and simple for visitors to get what they want, and in return, more of what our users want: views, streams, donations, bookings, purchases, and more. We’re excited to work with more brands and to see what creative solutions and apps will come to the Linktree Marketplace in the near future. The opportunities are endless.
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.