After raising $US45 million ($59 million) in Series B funding from the same investors that backed the likes of Patreon and Tiktok, marketing tool Linktree has announced itself as one of the hottest tech startups in the country.
It’s another Australian technology success story that has been built around a simple idea. With social media giving birth to the phrase “link in bio”, Linktree was created as a way for businesses and content creators to house all relevant social media pages and URLs in the one link.
And while many technology startups might have stereotypically been conceptualised and created in a dim garage or on a café’s free WIFI, Linktree’s origins hark back to an advertising agency.
Back in 2016, brothers Alex and Anthony Zaccaria were running Bolster, a digital agency specialising in music and entertainment.
But after seeing creators across the music and entertainment industry forced to change the link in their bio every time they shared a post, the brothers launched Linktree as a “side hustle” away from the agency.
As we now know, Linktree proved continued to grow and quickly transformed from a side hustle into a standalone enterprise.
But it is the time spent running the agency that Linktree co-founder and CEO Alex Zaccaria [pictured] credits to the startup’s success.
“Running an agency was absolutely integral,” Zaccaria told B&T.
“Firstly, running an agency really makes you understand solving problems for users and solving problems for customers. At the end of the day, they are the same kind of thing.”
The agency experience also put marketing-focused concepts like conversion into focus for Linktree explained Zaccaria.
“The UI, the way it’s built, the way Linktree works is highly-focused on conversion,” he said.
“Absolutely everything we know about conversion, user flows and UX all comes from our background in digital marketing and conversion and performance marketing.”
Bolster’s work representing artists, music festivals and record labels also allowed Zaccaria to “truly understand the problem that these creators face in not being able to represent themselves from a digital perspective in the best possible way”.
An industry ripe for innovation
It is easy to draw comparisons between Linktree and Canva. Both have emerged onto the global technology scene through the Australian market and both bill themselves as easy-to-use solutions that make life easier for the modern marketer.
So is it a coincidence that two of Australia’s recent startup success stories both have ties to the advertising and marketing space?
Not at all.
“I think people in Australia have a way of knowing how they need to be able to amplify themselves to be able to get onto the world stage. We’ve got a much smaller ecosystem – there’s this thing we refer to as the tall poppy syndrome,” Zaccaria said.
“From a marketing perspective and knowing how to bat in the same league as what the rest of the world is doing, you need to show what we’ve got.
“Marketing is one of those areas that we can be super advanced in. We’re online. When it comes to being online, I think it takes away that geographical disadvantage. And we’ve all spent so much time online, that we’re able to really build those tools and understand how to how to do things technologically.”
The end of the website?
While Linktree was created as a simple link in bio tool, as new social media platforms have continued to emerge in recent years, Linktrees are helping brands stitch together what can often be a tangled social media presence.
Zaccaria pointed to research that shows there are 8.9 social media account per internet user in the US.
“We’ve really become a simple way for you to be able to streamline user flows across the entire internet,” he said.
“We’re continuing to see more and more social media accounts, social medi platforms, and places that your audience can live.
“What has ended up happening is that they’re becoming more specified. And people are getting used to using these channels for individual reasons like being creative on TikTok, being informative on Clubhouse and being conversational on Twitter.
“That’s really continued to drive this need to be able to unify everything into one simple location.”
Although a company website might have previously given businesses the ability to compile important information, Zaccaria suggested that these platforms might not be achieving their desired affect.
“Having these really big brand immersive websites isn’t really solving a need for the current user and current audience,” he said.
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