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How URLgenius Bridges Gap Between Social Apps And Commerce (1)


URLgenius: Empowering Influencers to Capitalize on Their Audiences

URLgenius is a cloud-based platform that allows marketers to create links that intelligently open specific screens within mobile apps. The company aims to streamline the mobile user experience by bridging the gap between social apps, where creators build their audiences, and commerce apps, where conversions and commissions occur.  

URLgenius: Empowering Influencers to Capitalize on Their Audiences

Founded 10 years ago, URLgenius now serves tens of thousands of marketers globally and in Q4 helped drive over $1.3B in commerce revenue. Recently it has focused on enabling influencers who often lack the technical teams to capitalize on their social followings fully.

“Influencer marketing is a massive market. And we’re providing a key enabling technology to help influencers unlock the value of that market because it’s inherently a social experience,” says CEO and founder Brian Klais. “As an influencer, you have a social audience, and that means you are relying on them to engage you through a social app.”

URLgenius: Empowering Influencers to Capitalize on Their Audiences

The platform creates links to direct users from social to commerce apps while handling all the technical complexities behind the scenes. This allows for a smooth user flow and proper attribution.  

“But, as a user,  it’s hard to link out of those social apps into a commerce app to convert and thereby generate a commission. So we bridge that gap and help the shopper seamlessly transition from app to app for a more enjoyable purchase experience, while also properly attributing commissions,” Klais says.  

A Decade Spent Building This Solution   

Klais has over a decade of experience in digital marketing. He helped grow a retail search engine optimization firm and consulted leading e-commerce players on their transitions to mobile. During this period, around 2011, he observed firsthand the mounting complexity facing marketers.

“A lot of retailers had mobile websites and desktop dot com websites, they also had both iOS and Android apps and it was interesting to think about what’s the right landing page? ” Klais said.

With the rise of mobile, each marketing campaign suddenly involved evaluating many potential destinations – mobile web, desktop web, and various apps – to determine the optimal conversion path. Klais envisioned a solution to abstract away this complexity.  

Concurrently, he noted widespread frustration in trying to navigate between apps on mobile devices. Clicking a link often drops users onto inconvenient login screens rather than directly into the relevant in-app content.

“At the time, it was like, ok, I have the app, I’m signed into the app. I don’t actually remember my password anymore for LinkedIn or for Facebook so why in the heck can’t this device figure out how to get me into the app without having to separately login and then navigate to the right in-app screen ,” he says.

Upon inspecting the code behind leading social apps, Klais found they used non-standard internal URLs to identify screens and parameters to deep link into them. This provided the foundation for URLgenius – a patented process of mapping app screens to web URLs and automatically redirecting users to the optimal destinations.  

Bridging Social Apps and Commerce

“We built it to cater to folks who aren’t technical. You don’t want them thinking about the ins and outs of the URL. So it’s straightforward just to create a link that has the intelligence when clicked opens a screen in an app that you might have installed,” Klais explains.  

A key obstacle for influencers is the inability of social apps to pass referral information to other apps. This breaks the attribution chain and prevents influencers from getting purchase credit, even when they drive transactions.  

“Apps work very differently than browser-based internet. Apps don’t pass referrer data, for example. If you think about web analytics, we’ve all grown up with Google Analytics and other tools that will report out on your referred data,” Klais explains.

URLgenius inserts the needed tags so commerce apps recognize influencer referrals. Its dashboard also provides influencers with unique insights into their audience’s app usage patterns.  

Easy On-Ramp for Testing  

The platform offers a frictionless on-ramp for influencers to test monetization. Influencers can use URLgenius for free without any contract.  

“They can create links for free that solve this problem. They can test the impact of using app deep links from URLgenius to improve their consumer experience, conversion rate, and average order value,” says Klais.

These intelligent links deploy inside existing social content and campaigns. Influencers can then track performance in the URLgenius dashboard. According to several case studies, properly structuring links to enable app-to-app flows commonly yields over 300% increases in conversion rates and commissions.  

A key capability highlighted by Klais is gaining visibility into which apps referrals originate from. This ‘technographic’ understanding of an influencer’s audience informs content strategy.  

“You should want to know things about how your audience engages your content. What apps do they use or do they prefer the web? Maybe some don’t actually use certain social apps due to concerns. Well, that’s important to know too,” he says.   

Patented Platform Supported by Top Apps  

The ease of use of the URLgenius platform allows influencers to instantly transform ordinary links into mobile-optimized app deep links. The underlying process for enabling seamless app-to-app connections is patented.    

“You just grab [the URL], paste it into what we call our composer and then it instantaneously transforms that into a smart genius deep link that you can now deploy in your social campaign.  Simply being able to grab and transform an old-fashioned web URL and turn it into a mobile-friendly link is really important,” says Klais.  

The Road Ahead  

URLgenius has an ambitious product roadmap focused on further accelerating influencer go-to-market speeds.  

“We have some exciting things coming on our roadmap. We feel like there are a lot of opportunities to further improve the link-creation process for influencers. Whether they’re making hundreds or thousands of links a day, we think t that we can make that much more streamlined to accelerate their go-to-market speed,” says Klais.   

Moreover, Klais noted seismic changes in digital marketing – such as Apple’s app tracking restrictions and the demise of cookies – that position influencers for greatly expanded roles.  

“I think influencers are perfectly positioned to be that go-to because they have the authenticity, they have built their following, and have fostered trust with their audience where people typically [are less likely] to trust a brand,” he says.   

By removing friction from the influencer monetization process, URLgenius strives to fully unlock this potential. Streamlining link creation and app-to-app flows fuels the creator economy flywheel. And URLgenius focuses squarely on providing the enabling technology.  

“Anything that you can do to make that process faster and more efficient helps unlock value and mitigate some of the friction from the bumpy journey that shoppers, influencers, and marketers could experience today. I think that creates a winning formula for all the players in the mix,” Klais concludes.

Nii A. Ahene

Nii A. Ahene is the founder and managing director of Net Influencer, a website dedicated to offering insights into the influencer marketing industry. Together with its newsletter, Influencer Weekly, Net Influencer provides news, commentary, and analysis of the events shaping the creator and influencer marketing space. Through interviews with startups, influencers, brands, and platforms, Nii and his team explore how influencer marketing is being effectively used to benefit businesses and personal brands alike.

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