Join Michael Becker for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up a QR code program, part of Mobile Marketing Foundations.
In this video, we're going to review what it takes to set up QR codes and to integrate them into your marketing. Normally, I would not start with QR codes in a training session, since there are a number of mobile experiences you should be creating first, including optimizing your email and mobile websites. However, QR codes are easy to create and they are a good way to ease your way into the mobile marketing world. First off, I'd like to call out the controversy about QR codes and put it to rest. There are those in the market that believe that the time of QR codes have come and gone. And others believe that we're just getting started.
I listened to the arguments on both sides and understand the merit of each, however, personally I'm in the latter camp. A QR code is like any tool. They have their place within the marketing mix and when used correctly, they can be extremely effective. Also, it is important to keep in mind that the QR codes are just one type of image trigger that you could place in your marketing. There are so many more, including image scanning, digital water marketing, proprietary codes like SpyderLynk an augmented reality solutions. But we'll leave these for the future videos.
For now, let's focus on QR codes. A QR code is an image embedded with information and when that image is scanned by, say, a smartphone the information in the image can trigger a number of events and experiences for the users, while simultaneously generating meaningful actionable data for you, the marketer. For instance, when someone scans a QR code this actually can take the person to a website, trigger a phone call, save contact information into their address book and so much more. Let's take a look at the six easy steps that you can take to create a QR code and put them at the heart of your marketing.
Step 1, Create a plan. As with most things, you want to have a plan before you begin that is unless you're simply experimenting and learning but even then, your plan is to experiment and learn. The primary element of your plan is your objective. You need to know what you're looking to achieve. Make sure your objectives focus on the value you want people to receive, not just what you want for yourself or your company. Every other element of your QR code plan should detail all the capabilities, the people, processes and technology and resources, time and money that you'll need to achieve your objective.
While this video is not designed to cover all the elements of successfully integrating the QR code into your marketing plan, it'll cover a number of the basic elements and steps that you'll want to consider. As discussed below, here are our basic list of the assets that you'll need. You'll want your logo. You'll want the hex or RGB colors for your brand, that way you can color the QR code and it will look good in the material you put it in. You'll want an idea for the media you'll be placing the code in. For example, on the label of a bottle, in print material such as a flyer or a magazine or newspaper insert or possibly on your product packaging or a sign in the street.
You'll need a QR code-scanning application on your phone like the ScanLife or RedLaser applications, both of which can be downloaded from your mobile phone's App store. You want to make sure your content is mobile-optimized. That includes your website, any videos or images or emails that you may be triggering with the QR code. And finally, you'll want to access to a QR code-generation tool. There are a lot of solutions out there to help you create QR codes. There are free open source solutions, like Google Zing as well as Freemium and Paid Solutions that have QR code generation tools integrated as features into their platform like Siteminis and FunMobility, both of which we'll discuss later in this course or platforms that are completely dedicated to the job of QR code generation.
Platforms like Scanbuy and Neomiti are great. With the free versions, all you really get is the ability to simply create a standard QR code image. With the platform solutions, you get tested solutions that enable a wide range of user experiences and provide integrated measurement and reporting. For the purposes of this video, we're going to go ahead and use ScanBuy's platform to create a QR code. So to start creating your QR code, go to ScanLife.com. If you already have an account like me, you can log right in and if you don't, you can go ahead and fill out this blue Getting Started box.
Put in your first name, your last name, your email. Specify the account type that you want, an individual, local business or enterprise. Give your company name, phone number and password and then hit Submit. ScanLife will generate a demonstration account for you, so you can start creating QR codes immediately. When you start commercially using the platform, you'll want to reach out to them so you can find the right arrangement that works best for your business. But I already have an account, so I'm going to go ahead and sign in. Once you've logged in, you'll see there's just a tremendous number of experiences that you can create with the QR codes.
When somebody scans a code, you can launch a website, have the code save contact information to their address book, trigger phone calls, add events to their calendar, trigger an email being sent or a text message. Maybe you want to have them do a post to a social media site like Twitter or depending on their operating system, you can change different contents. So, for example, if they're on an Apple iOS device you can have one piece of content delivered to their device and if they're on Android, you could have a different piece of content delivered to their device. You can create instant win campaigns and so much more.
We're going to start with a very simple QR code tool, the creating and launching of a website. So the second I've hit Create Launch Website, I'm given the form to be able to start creating my QR code. Now I'm going to go ahead and what we're going to do is have the QR code, when scanned, go to a Two Trees 25% discount coupon that we've created earlier. I'm going to give the QR code a name, specify what folder I want the code to go into and then also make sure that I've checked Request mobile location.
What this means is when someone scans the code, ScanLife platform will actually capture the user's location. So for example, you'll know if they're scanning the code in your store or at their home or maybe at the coffeeshop around the corner. And when we're done, we'll go ahead and hit Save. So, there you go. We created our QR code and we can use it as is, however, if we like we could also customize it a bit. And so in order to customize your QR code, go ahead and click on Download. Here, you'll see that we're not just limited to QR codes.
We can create any number of different type of codes, but we're going to go ahead and stay here with QR codes right now. We can specify the type of image format we want the code to be used, either JPEG, PNG, BITMAP, SVG or EPS. You want to ask your graphics designer which image format will be most appropriate for the media that you'll be placing the code in. Let's stick with JPEG for now. Now if you'd like, you can add a Call to action to the QR codes. So for instance, if you're not going to be placing that in the media yourself, you can have it embedded in the QR code itself.
For instance, we can type in "Two Trees 25% Off" and you'll see that "Two Trees 25% Off" shows up right here, but I want to take that off because I want the bigger code and I'm going to include that in the media myself. Similarly, if you left it in you could specify if that call to action - We'll go ahead and take a look at that. So as you can see, the Call to action is just above the QR code and part of the image that we're creating. You could also specify where the Call to action is going to be in relation to the QR code.
Do you want it at the bottom? Do you want it to the left? Or maybe you want to place it at the right. For now though, let's leave it top and I don't want to even include the Call to action in the image of the QR code because I trust my designer to put it in the media properly. So, I'm going to take it out. You could also specify what color you want your QR code. So in the case of "Two Trees", we want to turn it into the "Two Trees", blue. So, 43 108 125 and this is the RGB color for the "Two Trees" color blue, and you can get that color as well, from your graphic designer.
And you'll see the QR code has turned kind of a teal-ish blue. If you'd like, you can also upload an image and have the logo or image placed right in the middle of the QR code, it's up to you. Finally, you could also include the ScanLife border in the QR code if you'd like to keep it or not. I'm going to take it out because I don't want their branding in my marketing. And for now, I'm going to also delete the logo. So you can see there's just a lot of different things you can do. Now, I'm going to go ahead and click Download and you'll see the Two Trees QR code has just been downloaded on my computer.
I can now go and give this file - Now let's go ahead and open it and show you where it is, show what folder. And there's the code. I can go ahead and give this code to my designer and they'll place it in your media and you would have had successfully created your first QR code. Now once you've created your code, you're not done. Step number 4, you want to test your code. Take out your phone, open up your QR code scanning app and test your code and make sure that it works because sometimes you might have accidentally typed in the wrong URL and it may not work. And Step 5, give your code to your designer and add it to your media campaign, like a flyer, a postcard, a magazine, table tent, endcap display, on a package label or maybe that poster you're having at the trade show.
Finally, once you've launched your marketing campaign and the code's been out in the wild for awhile, you'll then want to return back to the platform and check out the results. To check the results of your campaign, go ahead and click on the Reports tab and you can actually see about how many scans are happening on your code. In addition to the high-level dashboard, you could look at a bunch of other information, as well. You could see Scan Traffic, General Code Activity, Demographic Profile, the people that have been scanning your code, the location they've been scanning your code, the type of devices they've been scanning your code from and a whole bunch of other really important information to help you gain incredible insight from your program.
That's it, those are the basics for creating a QR code. Both the planning, sourcing, creating, testing, and promoting every code within your traditional media and then most importantly, reporting on it when it's done.
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- Understanding the mobile marketing purchase funnel
- Auditing your mobile readiness
- Testing your email and web performance
- Creating a strategy
- Establishing a basic mobile web presence
- Setting up a QR code program
- Building your mobile phone number database for an SMS campaign
- Planning a mobile app
- Setting up a mobile display ad campaign
- Understanding government regulations on mobile marketing