From Painpoint Marketing to Multi-Million-Dollar Company: How an Ad Agency Gave Birth to Linktree

After raising $45 million ($59 million) in Series B funding from the same investors that backed Patreon and Tiktok, marketing tool Linktree has cemented itself as one of the hottest tech startups around. from the country.

It’s another Australian tech success story that’s built around a simple idea. With social media giving rise to the phrase “link in bio”, Linktree was created to allow businesses and content creators to host all relevant social media pages and URLs in a single link.

And while many tech startups could have been stereotypically conceptualized and created in a dark garage or on the free WIFI of a cafe, Linktree’s origins can be traced back to an ad agency.

In 2016, brothers Alex and Anthony Zaccaria ran Bolster, a digital agency specializing in music and entertainment.

But after seeing creators in the music and entertainment industry forced to change the link in their bio each time they shared a post, the brothers launched Linktree as a “side hustle” away from the agency. .

As we now know, Linktree continued to grow and quickly transformed from a side hustle into a standalone business.

But it’s his time running the agency that Linktree co-founder and CEO Alex Zaccaria [pictured] credits to startup success.

“Managing an agency was absolutely essential,” Zaccaria said B&T.

“One, running an agency really allows you to understand how to solve user problems and solve customer problems. Ultimately, it’s the same kind of thing.

The agency’s experience also emphasized marketing-focused concepts like conversion for Linktree, Zaccaria explained.

“The UI, the way it’s built, the way Linktree works is very conversion-focused,” he said.

“Absolutely everything we know about conversion, user flows, and UX comes from our background in digital marketing and conversion and performance marketing.”

Bolster’s work representing artists, music festivals and record labels has also allowed Zaccaria to “really understand the problem these creators face in not being able to represent themselves from a digital perspective in the best way. possible”.

An industry ripe for innovation

It’s easy to make comparisons between Linktree and Canva. Both emerged on the global tech scene via the Australian market and present 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 Australians have a way of knowing how they need to be able to amplify in order to be able to step onto the world stage. We have a much smaller ecosystem – there’s what we call the big poppy syndrome,” said Zaccaria.

“From a marketing point of view and knowing how to beat in the same league as the rest of the world, you have to show what we have.

“Marketing is one of those areas where we can be very advanced. We are online. When it comes to being online, I think it takes away that geographic disadvantage. And we’ve all spent so much time online that we’re able to really create these tools and figure out how to do things technologically.

The end of the site?

While Linktree was created as a simple link in a bio tool, as new social media platforms have continued to emerge in recent years, Linktrees helps brands put together what can often be a confusing social media presence.

Zaccaria pointed to research that shows there are 8.9 social media accounts per internet user in the United States.

“We’ve really become an easy way for you to streamline user flows across the entire internet,” he said.

“We continue to see more and more social media accounts, social media platforms and places where your audience can live.

“What ended up happening is that they are more and 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.

“It really continued to drive that need to be able to unify everything into one simple location.”

Although a corporate website may previously have given companies the ability to compile important information, Zaccaria suggested that these platforms may not be achieving the desired effect.

“Having these immersive websites from really big brands doesn’t really solve a need for the current user and current audience,” he said.

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Marilyn J. Hernandez