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19 2011

Why Everyone Is Talking About QR Codes

Posted in QR codes | 0 comments
QR Codes

Why Everyone Is Talking About QR Codes

QR Code Campaigns appear to be drawing quite a bit of attention in the press lately.  I wonder sometimes if this is because everyone understands that ‘mobile’ is important but they don’t really know what to do about it.  People can’t talk about ‘how to make a mobile app’ or even ‘how to make a mobile website’. Talking about QR codes is probably the easiest way to talk about mobile marketing.

I did recently run across this article posted by Katy Ryan Schamberger which is probably the best, most practical all-around advice I have seen on how to create a successful QR Code.

“1)   Plan and define. When you began using Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site, you created a plan first, right? After all, you don’t want to simply launch your brand into the social space without defining your goals and objectives. The same is true for QR codes. As you begin your campaign, carefully think through the purpose of the code by considering these questions:

  • What is the code’s purpose?
  • What is the code connected to? Are you featuring a single product or item? Do you want to showcase an entire product line or brand?
  • Do you want to get consumer information such as an email address through the code?

2)   Create a call to action. Consider your QR code as yet another gateway to your web presence. Perhaps you want to create an incentive, such as a certain discount or reduced price when consumers scan the code. If you opt to incentivize the experience, make sure you clearly explain the incentive in the literature that accompanies or displays the QR code.

3)   Consider the user experience. QR codes may be small, but their design and interface is no less important than your website. Many QR codes don’t work because they’re not able to be scanned, or are placed in a poor locale (like a billboard) that doesn’t encourage prolonged interaction—or any interaction, for that matter.

Design options exist if you’d like to create something that’s more colorful and eye-catching than the traditional black and white code. A number of free tools exist, too, to help yougenerate your own QR code. Again, keep the user in mind—don’t create a code that’s so complicated it won’t scan. Sure, it might be pretty—but if it doesn’t work properly, it’s useless.

Think about what’s on the other side of your QR code, too. It’s best to send users to a landing page or mobile version of your site. Are those materials well designed and up to par? I’m a stickler for user experience, so ensuring that each step of the process is thoughtfully created will translate into positive results from your target audience—and the higher likelihood that your QR code will continue to deliver results over a long-term period.

4)   Measurement. Just as you monitor analytics from your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or website, you’ll want to keep an eye on user statistics throughout the life of your QR code campaign. Try not to get bogged down in daily scans and other smaller numbers. Instead, focus on a longer-term period to ensure that your QR code continues to drive engagement. If you notice 0 scans, or a sharp decline in activity, you may want to implement additional testing of your code—and its related collateral—to ensure that everything is working properly.

If you’re considering a QR code campaign as a long-term option, keep the content in mind. Your actual code doesn’t necessarily need to change, but you’ll want to periodically update the content that’s received once someone scans the code, especially if you’re targeting repeat visitors. In this way, QR codes are similar to blogs. You wouldn’t expect someone to continue to visit your blog if you don’t post any new updates. The same goes for QR codes. Rotating a fresh supply of content will encourage people to scan your code more than once, increasing the chance that they’ll become a long-term customer—and even a brand ambassador.

5)   Be creative! As you create and fine-tune your QR code campaign, don’t be afraid to be creative! Consider some of these ideas from Fast Company magazine, including a scavenger hunt, storefront displays, laptop stickers and T-shirts. Let’s say you own a gallery. You could create QR codes that would be displayed by each piece of art, giving gallery visitors a digital gateway through which they can purchase the piece, learn more about the artist and see other work, too. The great thing about QR codes is that they’re tiny but powerful—you can pack a lot of information into the site that’s connected to the code, giving users a rich, informative experience that inspires them to learn, connect and buy.”

To see the full original article about QR Codes

A QR code is not something you just slap up in the ‘hopes’ it will work. With a bit of planning you can move the dial from good to great.  One thing is for sure. QR Codes provide an easy, inexpensive way for all businesses to tap into the frenzied growth of the smartphone market and provide an interesting bridge between the offline and online world.

Have you used a QR code?  What experiences have you had with your QR code campaign? We would love to hear about it here.

Want to learn more about QR Codes and mobile marketing?

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