File Link Sharing from HubSpot
In this article, we summarize CloudFiles Link Sharing Features in the context of HubSpot. For a more comprehensive view of the CloudFiles Link Sharing capabilities, you can also refer to the section on Link sharing in the Web App Knowledge base. Most of Web App features are available through HubSpot.
A CloudFiles link is a secure, publicly shareable link of a file, folder or dataroom. The link can be accessed using any standard browser and displays the specific resource in a read-only manner on the browser window. CloudFiles offers a lot of control over this viewer through link configuration settings. E.g. you can control download settings, enable an email wall or even collect detailed & drill down analytics on the link views.
To understand how a CloudFiles link enables secure & insightful public sharing for documents and folders, we will first discuss the CloudFiles viewer. We will see how this viewer can support all types of files. We will then see two aspects of the link, previewing & viewing and understand the difference between the two.
It’s one part of the equation to create and share your file, the other part is viewing the file from a customer’s perspective. CloudFiles' proprietary viewer addresses this. The viewer can display any type of file in a browser when a CloudFiles link is accessed. Moreover, the viewer can also apply your selected security configurations and collect analytics on the view.
The graphic below shows the CloudFiles viewer. It's a simple web-page that provides a website like experience on your digital assets.
CloudFiles allows its users to upload any type of file. This means literally any format in the digital world can be uploaded into the content library and viewed online through a secure and trackable CloudFiles links. We categorize the files in two types, rendered and non-rendered, which makes it easy to see what type of functionality may be available where.
- Rendered Files - These are files that can be rendered and viewed in the browser. E.g. consider a word document.
- Non-Rendered Files - These are non human readable files for which "viewing online in a browser" does not make much sense. This can include an exe or a zip file. CloudFiles downloads this file onto the viewer's system and tracks the file download. Direct download is also available on verified paid plans.
You can read more about this in our article on File Management in CloudFiles.
Previewing the files opens them with an internal CloudFiles link that starts with https://app.cloudfiles.io... This link also shows a Preview Mode banner on the top. This link will not respect any security settings that you have enabled on the link and is strictly for checking the file to make sure if opens correctly in the browser. This link is also not meant for sharing
Preview links are not meant for sharing with customers. These are only check if the file looks good without going through security settings or collecting analytics. These links do not collect analytics or respect security settings that you have applied on the actual sharing link.
DO NOT SHARE THIS LINK WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS.
To open a file preview in HubSpot, you can either use the content library dialog, the widget attachments or the link settings dialog.
- The content library dialog offers preview action as covered in this article on Using content library inside HubSpot.
- The preview action of widget attachments was covered in the previous article on Associating files, folders or datarooms to records.
- Preview action using the Link settings dialog is shown in the graphic below. To know how to access the link settings dialog, refer to the sections below.
The preview window opens in the browser just like a normal view except for the 'Preview Mode' banner on the top. Check the image below to see a link opened in preview mode.
These are the actual CloudFiles sharing links that can be shared with customers. Accessing these links will show the security settings that have been applied and also collects detailed analytics that can be accessed using the CloudFiles Interface.
By default, these links will be either https://cloudfil.es domain or https://cloudfiles.to domain. You can also white-label these links to your own domain on the CloudFiles Enterprise Plan. These links also show a logo on top left which can be replaced with your own logo.
Here is a screenshot of a shared link, opened in the browser window -
CloudFiles supports creation of links for all types of resources. This means you can create links for individual files, folders or a collection of these called datarooms. You can apply the same security settings and collect the same level of analytics on folder and dataroom links as you can do on a file.
The only difference between the links would be how the initial webpage opens when the link is accessed. While a file link would directly open the file, a folder link will open a CloudFiles webpage with the contents of that folder listed. Similarly, dataroom opens it's associated contents as well on a webpage.
When you associate a file, folder or dataroom from the content library dialog to the CloudFiles widget on the HubSpot record, CloudFiles provides an option to create a sharing link while creating the attachment. This is available as a little checkbox on the content library dialog.
The checkbox only appears when you have a single file, folder or dataroom selected. If you have nothing selected or if you have multiple resources selected, the checkbox is not available.
If you have already created an attachment on the HubSpot record for a resource without creating a link for it, you will see the Share option in the Actions dropdown of the attachment. Clicking on this will create a sharing link for the resource and open the link settings dialog.
Note that if you already have a link created for the attachment, you will see the 'Get Link' option instead of the 'Share' option. The Get link option simply opens the link settings dialog of the existing link.
The Get Link button is also available in the Actions Dropdown of the resource attachment, same as the Share button above. Clicking on this button opens the link settings dialog of the existing link that exists for this attachment.
Note that the Get Link button only appears if you already have a link created for your attachment. If not, then the Share button will appear. Clicking on share creates a new link for the resource and opens the link settings dialog box.
Finally, you can delete an attachment and it's associated link by selecting the Delete operation operation is to delete the attachment. Note that while this does not delete the file or the folder that is associated, this operation will delete the link and any analytics associated to this attachment.
Many a times, there are last minute changes or new updates to be incorporated into your content, However the content links have already been shared with a number of recipients. In such cases it is recommended to use the CloudFiles Replace File feature to replace your files while retaining the functionality of the shared CloudFiles links.
Simply click on the Actions dropdown and select the replace option on any file attachment. The upload file modal will open up. Upload the new file and that's it. Your old file will be replace. The steps have been shown in the graphic below.
Replacing the file does not change the name of the original file.
Whenever you create a new attachment on the HubSpot widget and share it, CloudFiles treats it as a new sharing link. This implies that if a resource is attached on multiple HubSpot records and shared, it will have multiple links associated with it. You can see all these links using CloudFiles App Dashboard. Refer to the link management for marketing teams section below.
As is covered in the next articles on File Link Sharing from HubSpot and Document analytics in HubSpot, you can configure a number of settings on this link and interpret the engagement data to get insights. Check these links for more information on the topic.
Since marketing teams have a unified content library requirements, we highly recommend that they use the CloudFiles App Dashboard (https://app.cloudfiles.io) to manage their library. This dashboard is completely integrated with HubSpot and is in fact the main source of truth for all the CloudFiles data.
Check this help article on How to go to App Dashboard from HubSpot Record? to access the dashboard.
You can connect your libraries (including HubSpot File Storage), upload and manage files and folders, create multiple links and even see and export the analytics from this interface.
In this article, we summarized CloudFiles Link Sharing Features in the context of HubSpot. For a more comprehensive view of the CloudFiles Link Sharing capabilities, you can also refer to the section on Link sharing in the Web App Knowledge base. Most of Web App features are available through HubSpot.
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