Posted on August 28th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
If you plan on using Near Field Communication (NFC) anytime in the near future, before you do so it would be wise to read up on NFC best practices. Below are the four most important things you must ensure are done to perfection if you want to have a successful NFC campaign.
Have a Clear Call-to-Action
The call-to-action (or CTA) is arguably the most important concept for your entire NFC marketing and advertising campaign. If you plan on using NFC tags then you are clearly expecting that your target consumer will engage with your marketing and advertising material using their smartphone. In order to make sure this engagement occurs you must convince the consumer to tap their phone to said NFC enabled advert. This means making sure the poster or magazine ad tells the consumer exactly what they will get upon doing using the NFC tag on your piece of mobile marketing material. Creating an enticing visual image, writing out a short explanation or some other creative way of getting your message across are all good calls to action. Always ask yourself if you would take the time to tap the NFC tag in your own advert if you saw it in public.
Mobile Landing Page
It is infuriating when I tap an NFC tag and am taken to a lousy desktop website, they are hard to navigate on a smartphone and usually I end up quickly exiting. If you are going to use NFC technology you should also know that anyone who has access to NFC capabilities while on the gos MUST have a smartphone, so why wouldn’t you create a mobile website that is compatible with this NFC technology? A mobile website will ensure less people leave your page and will likely increase the performance of your site. The only other option besides a mobile landing page would be if you are trying to get people to download your app, song or video, in which case they should be directed straight to your app download page, iTunes, or YouTube etc.
Tracking the data of your NFC tags is vitally important and can greatly enhance your overall campaign productivity if you are using an NFC marketing platform that allows you to track performance down to the individual tag. The sort of analytics data that should be collected is how many people are taping the tags, what they are doing after they reached your page, what type of person is taping the tag, and which NFC tags are being tapped the most. This data allows you to first tell if people are actually taping your tags overall, but second, assuming you have a NFC-enabled mobile marketing platform that allows this, you can then see which tags are being tapped the most and learn why this might be so and either make changes to your campaign on the fly, or use the information for future campaigns.
Content Visitors Care About
If the content of your tag is boring then why bother using an NFC tag? The consumer will simply exit your mobile landing page and probably never tap an NFC tag again. So make sure you provide your visitors with relevant or interesting content. This might mean a contest to win a prize, free music download, a fun game, coupons or special deals, or really anything that you yourself would find useful, enjoyable or fun. Ask yourself if you would use the content you are considering providing. DON’T simply connect to your desktop (or mobile) website. That is bound to get a lot of page exits.
Do these four things and your NFC marketing campaign cannot fail.
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Posted on July 11th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
I have encountered hundreds, if not thousands of QR codes over the past few years and out of these thousands of codes I have seen and scanned myself only a very small minority—perhaps under 10%—have been used correctly in both the technical and creative realms. Often times I find a QR code campaign that appears as if little to no thought went into it, and that someone just threw it on as an afterthought. Quite often I find codes that are technically sound but lack creativity and provide the customer with no added value or good reason to scan the code in the first place. It is a rare sight when I find a code that is both technically sound and gives the consumer an interesting reason to scan the code and be engaged. Before your QR code campaign ends up like one of these thousands of failures here are some pointers you should follow:
Get the Technical Basics Down
What this means is ensuring your QR code density is low for quick and easy scanning (you can do this by using a link shortening program like qfuse.it or bit.ly). Make sure there is a nice white border around your code, again to ensure quick and easy scanning. Make sure your QR code is clearly visible and has a call to action. Make sure your QR codes have analytics so you can analyze the scanning data and make changes as needed based on this information. And lastly, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A MOBILE OPTIMIZED SITE!!! This cannot be stressed enough. If you don’t have a mobile optimized site, don’t even bother using QR codes, it isn’t worth it. Anyone who scans your code and goes to your desktop site on their small mobile phone will quickly be exiting your site and you will have lost them forever.
Creativity and Usefulness
Don’t just connect QR code to your website and call it a day, this serves no purpose and will again ensure the consumer quickly exits your site. A QR code should serve a purpose and give the consumer a reason to scan your QR code. Don’t waste their time. This means only use a QR code if you are going to offer them something useful like coupons, discounts, interesting information, or entertainment. And when you do offer something interesting make sure you clearly state what they will get upon scanning the code; convince the consumer it is worth their time to scan your code. BE CREATIVE. This might mean being creative with the code itself, its location, its size, or it might mean being creative with where the code takes the consumer or what the consumer will receive from scanning the code. Perhaps it takes them to an online game or app, or maybe it takes them to a video or song. Think outside the box.
Engage the consumer and keep them interested, provide them with added value and great content, ensure the technicals are perfect and you will see your QR code campaign bring back a fantastic ROI. Use codes poorly like everyone else and your ROI will be lackluster at best.
Of course it helps to adhere to best practices as well as using a platform that helps manage all of your codes, mobile sites, and analytics in one place.
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Posted on May 11th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
Quite often when we discuss how to run a successful QR campaign, or when we analyze examples of QR code uses, we end up discussing the large issues in QR code use like where the code is located, call’s to action, and mobile optimization. There are, however, other smaller and less obvious best practices for QR code use that are often not discussed but can be vitally important, or greatly advantageous, to a successful campaign. Below are four of them.
QR Code Density
What I mean by this is how busy the QR code looks. The denser the code the harder it is to scan, and the less successful your QR code will be. A high QR code density is caused by too much data. The remedy for such an issue is link shortening. This can be done by using tools like bit.ly, goo.gl, or our own Qfuse.it (built into our QR code platform). What good is a QR code if it is impossible to scan or incredibly difficult? Ensuring a low density QR code it vitally important to a successful campaign so be sure to use a link shortening tool.
Dynamic QR Codes
Quite often you might be in the middle of your QR code campaign and realize that you would prefer the QR code link to a different landing page. Most codes, however, are permanently attached to the link you imbedded at the time of printing. This decreases your flexibility and means you cannot make all the changes you may want after going live. To remedy this, make sure you find a site that has ‘dynamic codes’, that is, codes that allow you to change the imbedded link even after publication.
Of course having analytics for your QR code campaign is an obvious QR code must-do, but quite often you can only find providers that will give you the analytics for the entire QR code campaign and not provide analytics for each individual code. The problem with this is that you are then unable to find out which codes are working and which are not. With individual analytics you could then determine that your advertisements in one location was working great while in another location the same advertisement was not working at all, and changes could be made after the codes were analyzed to determine why one worked and the other didn’t. Or perhaps you made two similar advertisements, but made minor changes to each and wanted to see which performed best, with individual analytics you could find out, with general analytics only you would never know. Most providers will either produce no analytics or only general analytics; make sure you find a platform that provides, or makes it possible for you to receive both general and individual analytics.
Easily Changeable Landing Pages
For the non-programmers or designers out there, what happens if you begin your QR code campaign, create your mobile landing page (or more likely, had someone else create it for you), and then go live with your campaign but shortly after realize that you need to make some change to your mobile site? Well assuming you don’t have your original site designer at your every beck and call, you will likely have to wait to make even a simple change. If this applies to you a simple remedy is make sure you are using a QR code site that also attaches easily creatable and easily changeable mobile sites to each code so that you can make changes to your landing pages with ease and whenever you want. No more waiting for a professional to make the changes for you, or having to take down the site for a period of time.
If there are any other QR code best practices you think are often overlooked, please mention them in the comments below.
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Posted on February 17th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
Google has launched a campaign for 2013 with the hopes to educate many marketers and advertisers about the importance of mobile and mobile marketing, focusing on how valuable it can be to a company if it is used correctly.
Growth in Mobile Usage
Smartphone ownership is the United States currently stands at roughly 44% and continues to grow rapidly. This increase in smartphone penetration has lead to a mobile search increase of 5x over the past two years. These two numbers alone indicate the massive new market that has appeared over the recent past, and also helps to shed light on the markets companies must shift resources into if they wish to keep up with their competition and remain profitable.
This increase in mobile search usage means the most important thing for a company to do is ensure they have a mobile optimized website. This mobile site must be easy to use, functional and must give the customer exactly what they want when they visit your site. The key is to dramatically simplify the site from your desktop site. In fact as Google has found, 57% of users say they will not recommend a business if they have a poorly designed mobile site, and 40% of mobile users have gone to a competitor after a bad experience on a mobile site.
Mobile is Local
Roughly 1/3 of all mobile searches are of local intent; that is, the customer is looking for some sort of local information like store location, directions, a phone number etc. In fact 94% of all mobile users have indicated that they have searched for local information. Of those 94% who have searched 70% called a business after searching, 66% visited in person and 90% of these users acted on this information within 24 hours.
Knowing that many of these searches are local, and figuring out what else customers might be looking for, it is important that you use your well designed mobile site and mobile marketing to give the consumer what they want and provide additional value. For example Walgreens delivers what their customers want by putting a store locator on their mobile site, as well as the ability to make prescription refills online, allowing mobile shopping, and even providing coupons right on their smartphone.
Mobile Website Analytics
Many marketers may already be using mobile to some degree, but Google has found that many of these marketers and advertisers are not using, or not fully taking advantage of, their mobile analytics. It is vitally important that the mobile data is collected and analyzed as this will help lead to a much more efficient mobile marketing effort. The data should be able to tell you how well your mobile site/app is working and if it is providing the necessary value your customers require, or how and where visitors are using your mobile site, or how many sales leads it’s generating, or if its ease of use, or lack thereof, might be hindering sales in some way. Continue to watch the data and make changes as often as needed to improve customer experience.
When it comes to mobile advertising Google points out that mobile “is the most imbalanced medium” in regards to “ad spending versus time spent, at 1% compared to 23%.” This indicates a huge gap that advertisers must close. One way to efficiently advertise on mobile phones is to create mobile search ads that will pop up when someone is searching for your product. For example if someone were to search “Bogs boots, Boston MA”, make sure you have an ad in place that will pop up after the search to direct the customer to your website for Bogs boots or related products, or if you are a competitor of Bogs boots make sure your ad will come up in the same search to try and take business away from them.
Quite often customers will be in a store and see a product and then go online to see if they can find it cheaper somewhere else. For this reason you want to make sure your ads are geared to this type of search and indicate some added value that you may provide in order to get that person to purchase said product on your site or in your store.
Hair club for men is a good example of the benefits of mobile advertising, seeing a “return on investment of 30:1 from their Google mobile search ads.” Hairclub for men found that their mobile advertisements were getting a conversion rate of 17% rather than their desktop conversion rate of 9%, a good indication to any company that perhaps their resources should be realigned.
Connecting the Physical World to the Digital World
Google, in addition to other marketing tools, also advises using things like QR codes to help connect your physical media with your mobile media and provide additional value and interest in your ads by using the QR codes to give your customers free products, downloads or coupons. This helps people to interact with your brand, drive interest and provide value, all which should help increase sales.
Return on investment however does not come just from increase mobile orders. Google emphasizes that the full benefit of mobile can only be truly calculated when you find a way to monetize each phone call to your store, each app download or each online store locator search, as many of these such things lead to sales at your physical store and not just on your mobile store.
Mobile is huge and it will only get bigger, but Google, and everyone at Qfuse, think that the time to fully jump in is now. Mobile done right will only ensure you keep in front of the competition, keep your customers happy and drive sales. 2013 is the year of mobile and it’s time for everyone to get on the bandwagon.
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Posted on January 26th, 2013 by Jason Summerfield
One of the great things about QR codes is that they can add a new dimension to printed materials by sending users directly to video that complements the printed piece.
For those who want to point their QR code at a video, YouTube has become a popular option, and with good reason – YouTube offers a mobile-friendly video display, and it’s very easy to simply point your QR code to a URL for a YouTube video. If you just want to share a video, sending users to a YouTube page is a practical option. Unfortunately, this approach also leaves a number of important things to be desired.
For one thing, a YouTube page does not provide a branded experience – your visitors will see YouTube’s brand first and foremost, not yours. More importantly, once a user is done watching a video on YouTube there isn’t much they can do to actually interact with your business or organization after they are done watching the video.
The purpose of sharing a video usually goes beyond simply getting users to view it – ultimately the goal is to get users to take some sort of meaningful action, such as:
- Request information with a lead capture form
- Sign up or register for something
- Buy something
- Send an email, SMS message, etc.
The problem is that you can’t do these things with on a YouTube page. If you’re really serious about using QR codes and mobile media as effectively as possible, pointing a QR code at a YouTube page is a missed opportunity to really engage your target audiences and convert their visits into meaningful action.
A Better Approach – Mobile Landing Pages with Embedded Video
In order more effectively share video through a QR code and also engage viewers, you need to create a custom landing page. With this approach, is approach you embed the video into the page and also offer whatever additional information or call-to-action will be most helpful to engage viewers once they are done watching the video.
This landing page approach holds a number of inherent benefits over a YouTube page, including:
- Customize with your brand
- Embed video from the source of your choice (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu, etc)
- Provide additional information, photos, links and other resources
- Engage with social media
- Integrate actionable lead capture tools with contact forms, email , SMS or phone
The next time you’re considering how to promote your business or organization with QR codes and video, make sure you think beyond the video and consider the actions you want viewers to take once you’ve engaged them, and what else you can offer them while you have their attention. This approach is sure to amplify the results of your next video QR code campaign.
Using YouTube as a landing page is great exposure for YouTube, but doesn’t provide much in terms of actionable conversions or brand awareness for your business or organization.
A custom landing page not only provides the visitor with a video, but also a number of other options for engagement and direct interaction with your brand.
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