Building More Metrics Into Your API Branding Strategy To Quantify Your Reach

I use both Bitly and Google shortened URLs to track activity across my networks. I don’t just track click throughs, I also track image impressions for many of my projects and partners. This usage of shortened URLs lets me quantity the scope of my network, and understand interest across the network in the form of impression and click-throughs.

After talking with about their embed strategy for API driven data visualizations, the topic of a sensible API branding has floated to the top of my story list again. I consider an APIs branding strategy to be an important building block that contributes to the politics of an API and its ecosystem (both internal and external). If an API branding strategy is too strict, it can turn developers off from using your API, but a well planned branding strategy that includes a healthy suite of embeddable tools can be a serious asset, and go a long way in satisfying internal concerns about brand integrity--which is major concern for companies when it comes to API deployment.

What is a branding strategy? At its simplest it is about providing your API developers with a set of simple links and / or images that they should publish on their site, providing attribution for API resources consumed. A complete branding strategy provides the links, images and possibly JavaScript tools, as well as guidance on how they should be published on websites and within apps, providing proper attribution.

In the context of a basic API branding strategy, URL shorteners can provide a wealth of data about the scope of your API ecosystem, as well has help measure specific activity across deployments by your developers. You should be able to quantity the impressions and click throughs everywhere your API resources are put to use. Of course, a healthy API partner structure also allows for developers to opt out of tracking and possibly deploy white label solutions.

What does your branding strategy look like, and how to you measure the reach and activity across your API ecosystem?