With its 173 million users, Snapchat is certainly one of the most widely used apps. While the demographic is younger – it’s been predicted that by the end of this year, Snapchat will be bigger than both Facebook and Instagram in the US among 12 to 24-year-olds – the platform is seemingly everywhere. And, with attention like that, it means that businesses are working on how to utilize the platform to market themselves, boosting brand awareness and sales.
QR Codes, on the other hand, were a utility that seemed to fade – like a boxer on the ropes, down but not out. They were on ketchup bottles, real estate flyers, the walls of subway tiles – and all users had to do was point their camera, scan the black-and-white squares, and be redirected to a desired URL. The future in our hands. Except, you had to be sure your phone had a camera that could do QR scanning, download an app, maybe download another app, to finally read the code just to end up on the wrong website or a webpage not suited for mobile. The future, sure. QR Codes were simply ahead of their time.
Not only are QR Codes back and prevalent, but apps like Snapchat (and Facebook) are pushing the future of QR Codes. Sure, they may have different names – Snap Codes and Messenger Codes among others – but the technology and the way people can utilize it have caught up to what QR Codes were always meant to be.
Two years ago, when Snapcodes were rolled out, users were creating their own codes and adding friends using the platform. These were QR Codes in a different form, and with a different utility, from anything that had been seen before. The fact that Snapchat always opened up to its camera was inviting the use of these codes. Fast forward to today, and now using the codes users can unlock filters, get animated lenses, or even discover different channels and content groups with the app. And yes, the most recent development allows users to create a code that links to any website. When users scan the code, they are natively brought to the mobile page while remaining in Snapchat.
With this ease of use, and the potential advertising and marketing barriers being taken down, we are starting to see more businesses looking to start using Snapcodes in their marketing. And, now that Snapcodes have made it into the limelight, many are looking back on the previous renditions of QR Codes and now figuring on how they can be best put to use. Snapcodes got users accustomed to simply scanning with their phone, and since Snapchat’s scanning app supports QR codes along with Snapcodes, it means that anyone with Snapchat can effortlessly scan a QR code as well.
Using the platform in this way is giving businesses and brands a very powerful connection to an audience obsessed with Snapchat. Promoting their product or service through images – and QR Codes – instead of basic URL clicks is more substantial for branding and brand recognition. Leveraging QR Codes, businesses can:
– Easily create a B2C connection. Instead of ‘adding friends’, users could now check out a business, make an online search or purchase, and save or send web links.
– Have greater reach. Snapchat is storytelling with imagery, and with one click of a QR Code businesses could hold a conversation and further tell their story. Businesses like Starbucks and Whole Foods are using Snapchat as the portal for their advertising, allowing for special giveaways and features to be ‘unlocked’ when scanning their code.
– Collect payment in a seamless way. Much in the same vein as Apple Pay, users will be able to connect and pay for items with the simple scan of a code.
There is an entire greenfield in today’s world when it comes to utilizing Snapchat for QR Codes, and for as much growth and understanding as we’ve seen in the last year or so, there is still a ton of which is undeveloped and there is still a lot to learn. New technologies, best practices, and more efficient ways to utilize Snapchat for QR Codes in marketing a brand on the platform, are efforts that are only going to increase with time. This much is certain – QR Codes aren’t dead. They are very much alive.
“Mobilegeddon!”–as it has been so dubbed–is an algorithm that will make mobile-friendly websites in Google’s organic search a priority. As mobile usage increases by the multitudes on a daily basis, it is the logical choice for Google to want to provide their mobile users with mobile websites.
So now you’re asking… ”How do I know if my site is mobile or not?” Check things out for yourself by simply searching for your site on Google. With a mobile device, check to see if your site has the “Mobile-Friendly” label by it in the organic search results. In addition, the Google developers didn’t want users to feel completely alone in this, so try out their mobile-friendly test: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
If you get the “Mobile-Friendly” label by your site when you search, or if you receive the “Mobile-Friendly” analysis in Google’s test, then congratulations! You’re good to go for April 21st.
However, if you receive the ‘Not Mobile-Friendly’ diagnosis, then it’s certainly time to make some changes.
It goes without saying: ideally your website should be mobile-friendly. It is 2015 after all and more than half of all web viewers are surfing on a mobile device.
However, there are still a large number of businesses and organization that do not have a mobile website. With knowledge of Google’s recent announcement of a pending update, paired with the continued expansion of mobile usage, it is undeniable that your site must be mobile-friendly.
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
So what does this really mean? In short, if your website is not mobile-friendly by the end of April, your site will suffer from diminished search rankings – which will lead to less site visits, and which will, in turn, ultimately lead to fewer customers.
To make things crystal clear: Make the change, or suffer the consequences.
There are a number of methods for creating a mobile-friendly website – one simple approach is to use the Qfuse mobile website builder to easily create a full-featured mobile-friendly website. Another approach is to invest in building a “responsive” web presence using responsive web design–an approach that scales a single website to the screen size of the device displaying it. Whichever option you choose, do it fast. The deadline is around the corner.
Contact us today if you’d like to learn more and how Qfuse can help you beat the clock and make the most of your mobile presence.
It is hard to say the actual usage of U.S. phones with NFC enabled. Most devices these days have NFC capability, but the one big exception has been iPhone, which as most people know has huge market-share. A significant development has been that the latest iPhone 6 doeshave NFC, but it appears to be locked down only for the Apply Pay feature at this time. Still, many speculate that this is a positive indication for future growth of NFC. If you search around the web, you can find many articles speculating on NFC growth, for example: http://www.cnet.com/news/nfc-enabled-cell-phones-to-hit-416-million-shipments-report/.
Because NFC is still an emerging technology for many/most users (even those who have it and may not be aware of it) it’s typically a best practice to also include a QR code and/or a short-URL (Qfuse also generates short-URLs) in order to provide an alternate method of engagement for non-NFC users. But it really depends on your use-case and target audience/device.
Qfuse URL Structure & Default Functionality
By default our Qfuse platform’s mobile site URLs are formatted as qfuse.com/site-name. However, with an Enterprise account we have the capability to also have sites resolve to a custom URL of our clients’ choosing; so it would be your-url.com/site-name. This way our clients can can provide their customers the direct URL (or link to the URL) and it would show on their custom domain.
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 saw Apple release its newest version of iPhone to the public – the iPhone 6, complete with a larger screen, back to the bevelled edges, and even NFC. NFC, short for “near-field communication”, allows for your new iPhone to talk to other devices. Although Apple’s main focus is Apple Pay – where you can pay for your coffee or lunch with the tap of your phone – the NFC tag, in combination with Qfuse, can greatly enhance a business’ marketing potential.
Imagine a customer walking into a store, seeing your product, and being able to tap their phone on a nearby advertisement and automatically viewing a video, or visiting your website. This has even more advantages if you happen to have an e-commerce store; for example, say you sell shoes. A customer walks in, falls in love with a style of shoe, but the store doesn’t have the color they want. Enter NFC – the customer can tap on the advertisement and instantly get a list of nearby stores that carry your shoes – and have the color in stock.
The possibilities to using NFC are endless; customers who tap can receive a percentage off one of your products; someone interested in your service can tap to sign up for an e-mail list. The technology can even expand to outside of a store. Billboards on bus stops can contain NFC tags, which can be tapped for more information; they can also be embedded within stand-alone posters in malls or grocery stores, directing the customer to a sale or new product within the vicinity. This is advertising in its most interactive … any matter of information can be directed to the tapped smart phone, such as current and local reviews, website landing pages, even app download!
Qfuse can help manage your NFC-enriched promotions, from one NFC tag to a 100 or more. By tracking the amount of people who use the NFC, including where they are, what time of day, etc., you can improve your promotions immensely. Qfuse can also generate unique, user-friendly mobile landing pages – so that when someone does use your NFC, they are brought to a landing page that shows beautifully on any mobile phone, and includes all of the important details.
What about the smart phone users who are not NFC-enabled? Qfuse allows you to generate QR codes that link to the exact same places as the NFC tags do; ensuring your entire audience is covered, no matter what phone they carry. As well, the software-as-a-service allows you to pass along the data from your NFC codes to other programs, including Salesforce. Data are one of a business’s most important tools—and can be highly effective when used properly.
NFC isn’t a new technology – it’s been around in Android phones for a while now. According to Statista, Apple has about 19.8 per cent of the mobile market, so far in 2014. And since Apple is so good at advertising its features, NFC is on the verge of booming – meaning now is the best time to get ahead of your competitors and get started with NFC and Qfuse.
We’ve launched a video showing how Qfuse can be used as a mobile website and landing page builder. Check it out below!
Here’s a transcript of the video.
Qfuse makes it easy to produce great-looking mobile websites and landing pages that are optimized for display and performance on smartphones, like iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile.
Our professional mobile website builder is loaded with features and allows you to see all of your edits as you work, in real-time
Quickly customize your mobile landing page to match your brand by uploading your logo and customizing your color scheme.
Choose a mobile website template from our template library or define your own custom style with a few clicks.
Create mobile pages with text content, image galleries, videos, and social media capabilities. Qfuse also makes it easy to add interactive features to engage your users, such as click-to-call buttons, customizable contact forms, and GPS mapping with Google Maps. Best of all, Qfuse has industry leading real-time analytics to show exactly how your mobile pages perform and what visitors do on your site.
Whether you’re a small business that needs a simple mobile-friendly version of your regular website, an agency that needs to efficiently build and manage thousands of mobile landing pages for your ad campaigns – or anything in between – Qfuse has you covered.
Let us know what you think of our latest video below!