When creating a QR code that resolves to a URL it is generally advantageous to keep your URLs short, so that the code only needs to hold minimal data and can therefore be sized smaller and will scan more reliably. Codes that have long URLs embedded within them require the data to be more dense and therefore need to be somewhat larger.
To easily create short URLs for QR codes, many people opt to use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly and goo.gl . The obvious advantage being that such services allow you to take a long URL and immediately make it short, meaning your QR code is nice and small, with only minimal data. Another advantage is that these services will provide some basic stats on how many times the link has been clicked over time, so if you only use the link for a QR code you can get a sense of scan performance.
While URL shortening services like bit.ly and goo.gl are extremely practical for generating short URLs to share as links on the web, in email and social media posts, they are not well-suited for professional-grade QR code publication and management. Sure, these services are preferable compared embedding a long URL directly into a QR code, but it’s important to understand that they are not ideal.
The reason that bit.ly and goo.gl are not ideal for QR code campaigns, is because the destination URLs cannot be changed once your QR code is published. This means that the QR code you create using one of these services will always go to the same place and is locked forever. It’s not hard to imagine how this can be problematic when you are producing printed materials with QR codes (e.g. advertisements, displays, packaging, labels, business cards, brochures, publications, etc) – what happens if you want to change the destination of the code at some point after it’s printed? If you’ve use bit.ly or goo.gl to create your QR code you’re out of luck.
In order to maintain true control over your QR codes, even after they’ve been printed and published, you need to use a professional system (e.g. such as Qfuse) that generates dynamic QR codes. Dynamic QR codes allow you to change the code’s destination at any time, according to your business needs. Such management features, combined with powerful qr code scan analytics, is the only way to ensure that you can maintain complete control and measurement of your code’s performance throughout its lifecycle.
If you simply need a QR code for personal use than bit.ly and goo.gl are probably sufficient for your needs. But if you’re planning a professional campaign with any longevity, you’ll want to make sure you use the right tools for the job, so look elsewhere.No Comments | Read more by Jason Summerfield
A “Cheat Sheet” for Getting Started with QR Codes
Ok – so here’s the deal. If you don’t know the first thing about using QR Codes and/or Mobile Landing Pages for marketing and engagement, this quick post will focus as a decent “cheat sheet.” I’ll layout the basics first and then explain how our platform, Qfuse, can help easily and cheaply:
Preliminary) If you know NOTHING about QR Codes at all, here’s a great 1-minute overview to lay the groundwork - http://qfuse.com/learning/
Ok – now that you know what a QR Code IS, how can it be useful to you and why consider Qfuse? Good questions. Well here are 5 key points:
1) QR Codes are a great way to do engagement. We just published a great piece on this in our partner ExactTarget’s blog. I know it’s about a page long, but worth reading to get a sense why this is helpful: http://www.exacttarget.com/
2) QR Codes allow you to connect offline and online media. We call this “Connected Media.” Essentially with QR Codes you’re able to take any marketing collateral on which you can print (e.g. brochures, business cards, flyers, posters, etc) and extend the delivery and sounding board for your message/marketing. This allows you to now convey virtually an unlimited amount of additional info and interactive content which a static, printed piece of paper never could. For example you can add video or social media or seek immediate lead capture via a contact form, etc. Read more here: http://qfuse.com/
3) Our platform is dynamic, mobile-focused, and has analytics to track your success. You can print codes and then change where they direct anytime after printing. Our codes allow you to direct to mobile-friendly content for easy engagement. And Qfuse also tracks the results of how well your scans perform and what content people click on after scanning a code. Because we believe knowledge is power and leads to greater ROI. Read an overview on our feature-set here: http://qfuse.com/qr-
4) If you do decide you want to go into QR Codes and the mobile web, it’s important to chose your vendor wisely since otherwise you may miss out on valuable features and capabilities. See what sets Qfuse apart here: http://qfuse.com/learn-
Lastly) Pricing. It’s FREE to get started. Try it out! No obligation. Basic plans with a single landing page are permanently free. After you start using it and you want to manage multiple advertising campaigns and/or you need more features, it starts around $12. So we’re not talking big money here, folks. :-)
1 Comment | Tags: how do i use qr codes for marketing, i know nothing about qr codes, man!, qr codes are weird, qr codes for marketing?, qr codes lead to greater ROI, qr codes? what the hell, what are qr codes Read more by Sean Dempsey
In recent years the concept of “engagement” has grown to become a staple strategy in marketing, advertising, web development, PR and communications in general. The thinking goes that it’s no longer sufficient to simply get in front of your target audience with your brand’s messaging, you need to interact with them in some fashion for maximum exposure and influence.
This tactic escalated into a trend back when social media began to gain traction as a commercial tool (for better or worse), and has only snowballed with the growth of mobile technologies – now you can engage with just about anyone, anywhere, at any time. It’s a tactic that has filtered down from big brands and agency thought leaders, to mom and pop shops of all types.
When done correctly, interaction that is designed to connect with target audiences can create a deeper relationship with your brand and can be very compelling, so it’s no wonder that “engagement” is what many marketers aspire to as a fundamental tactic for their campaigns.
But the problem is that engagement for the sake of interaction alone can often leave a negative impression, rather than creating a positive impact. Time is the new commodity, and if you ask people to engage for a sub-par experience you are in effect wasting their time, something nobody appreciates.
We’ve all seen examples of attempts at engagement gone wrong:
- Asking people to “Like” or “Follow” a social media channel that is poorly maintained
- Asking people to download an app that is little more than a glorified web page
- Asking people to scan a QR code that simply points to your company’s desktop homepage
- Asking people to sign up for a whitepaper download that is a thinly veiled advertisement
- Asking people to click on a big fat hero graphic that goes to a web page with irrelevant content
These things all ask people to interact, yet produce an unsatisfying user experience, and leave the user wondering “why did these people just waste my time?”
Worse still, if the architects of these types of engagement efforts look at the numbers alone they may actually think they just ran a successful campaign (“Wow, look at how many Likes/downloads/scans/visits we just got!”). But what the numbers don’t tell you is that those are actually the number of people who now think your brand sucks in some way.
So the next time your colleagues or vendors slip the word “engagement” into your campaign strategy discussions, dig a little deeper, and think about whether the idea being proposed is an experience that is likely to leave people feeling satisfied, or cheated at the end of the interaction.
Engage to enhance relationships with your target audiences; engage to build a positive user experience; engage to build value. But never engage to simply interact. After all, “engagement” for the sake of interaction isn’t really a marketing strategy, it’s just a hollow beg for attention.2 Comments | Read more by Jason Summerfield
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.No Comments | Tags: clear call to action, mobile landing pages, mobile marketing, nfc, nfc analytics Read more by Timothy Boyle