The mobile revolution is happening!
Increasingly, mobile smart phones and tablets are shifting our attention away from our desktop and laptop computers to our mobile devices. As consumers access the Internet from these devices, marketers need to be focused on finding shortcuts for quicker and easier entry points. Mobile tags and QR codes give mobile devices instant access to mobile communication.
Following are 12 tips to best use these tips to understand the capabilities of smart phones for your next campaign.
- Learn and experiment. Understand how they work, what they are capable of doing, and how they can benefit both the client and the end user. Remember that QR codes are capable of using more than smart phone’s camera. They also can make use of the GPS, phone, SMS, Internet connection, and more. Exploit those capabilities to the benefit of the client and the person scanning.
- Plan for Mobile. Include videos, interactivity, mobile coupons, fun, and more. Don’t use Flash because it is not compatible with iPhones. Resist the urge to create a QR code and slap it on an existing campaign with a simple link to the company’s website. You will certainly lose the impact and disappoint the end users.
- Give something extra. Now is the time for creative thinking. QR codes are about offering a greater experience to the end user. Think about creating a fun and memorable campaign. Doing things like providing video instructions or care and maintenance information can be a huge help.
- Set goals, call to action. By having specific goals for your QR codes you can measure their effectiveness and the consumer response. Make sure to include forms to collect opt-in information.
- Specify dates. Running a special event, contest or sale is a great way to use QR codes. Don’t forget to add deadlines.
- Create the codes. There are many QR code generators out there. We recommend paying close attention to the options for tracking and analytics. Some even offer the ability to change the destination of the code, which may be a valuable option. If your QR code links to a website, don’t forget to use a URL shortener . It makes it easier to scan. Here is a great list of QR code Generators and a list of Generators that offer tracking and analytics.
- Include scanning instructions. Remember not everyone knows what QR codes are. Help them out by listing a few QR Code scanners that work on multiple platforms.
- Offer alternate response options. Offering alternate response paths, such as website URLs offers non-smart phone users the opportunity to participate. It also gives an opportunity to measure the response from different entry points.
- Test, test, and test again. Make sure to test your QR code to make sure that it resolves to the correct URL or content. Be sure to test using different types of smart phone platforms and QR code scanners/readers.
- Launch. Once the campaign is live you can begin to monitor the activity!
- Measure. You can gain great insight into the effectiveness of your campaigns like never before. There are many ways to track QR codes allowing you to gain a greater understanding of the effect of your marketing collateral and even your news releases.
- Plan for the after-life of your QR code. QR codes may remain in circulation long after the initial campaign has ended. Two things can happen when the code is scanned after the campaign ends:
- The end user can be greeted with a message simply saying that the promotion has ended.
- Re-purpose the message to a new campaign, a coupon, or video that still offers value to the scanner and the opportunity to continue to interact with new end users. See how Google has handled the after-life of a past Developer Conference QR code. The pictured QR code banner on the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Alabama is a great example of the opportunity offered by QR Codes that live on. It began as a link for homecoming events. A scan today will find that the landing page gives tornado recovery information for the hard hit university and community of Tuscaloosa, Ala.
With some planning and forethought you can make your QR code campaign worth remembering and sharing!
Stephanie True Moss is the founder and chief creative officer of True Moss Communications, Inc. and editor of QRmedia.us, a QR Code information blog. She focuses on developing creative solutions for her clients’ marketing campaigns. She is speaking about QR codes this week at the Mobile Revolution Conference in Overland Park, Kan.