Connecting the digital and physical worlds– tags are on tangible things – like products, signage, flyers, countertops,display windows, print ads (newspapers, magazines and more.) Scanning themconnects the consumer to a relevant digital experience. Using tags allows you tomeasure response rates to a particular marketing effort.
There are anumber of different mobile tagging apps that you can use to tie physicalmarketing materials to your mobile website, texting program or other mobilemarketing services. Some mobile tagging services to consider are:
· QR Codes
· Microsoft Tags
QR codes are a type of 2D barcode made upof a series of square dots that encode alphanumeric data. When scanned, yoursmart phone reads the data and takes the action indicated, whether it sends theuser to the home page of your website, to a special offer you’ve created oreven your company Facebook page.
QRcodes were created in Japan and have been widely used there and in Europe, butare just evolving into wide use in America in the past couple of years. Thegreat thing about QR codes is that they are free to use and there are a numberof free applications you can use to easily create them for your small business.The downside is that they are more functional than aesthetically pleasing. ( see Picture )
Microsoft tags are much like QR codes in theirfunctionality, but have more visual style. Another plus to Microsoft tags isthat you can easily create a custom tag in just a minute or two for absolutelyno cost. There are five different types of Microsoft tags:
· URL tags – these open a webpage on the customer’s mobile phone and sends them to a specific page of yourmobile site or a video or some other type of content.
· vCard tags – these open avirtual business card that customers can add instantly to their contact list.
· App Download tags – itrecognizes the type of mobile device and sends the customer to the appropriatedownload source to get your mobile app.
· Free Text tags – this displaystext of up to 1,000 characters, but is not an SMS/text message, it simplydisplays the text.
· Dialer tags – thisautomatically dials a specific phone number that you specify – it can be yourbusiness number, a help-line or even an automatic voice message.
SnapTags work in much the same way as QRcodes and Microsoft tags, but typically take either your company logo or associated icon and convert it to an interactive tool that will direct people to your digital content. The upside of using a SnapTag is the advanced customization and visual appeal; the downside is that both creation and use ofthe tags come with a price tag.
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There are several different types of SnapTags:
· Branded SnapTags – these are tiedto a particular marketing campaign and can take you to product information, aspecial promotion or something similar.
· Social SnapTags – these arelinked to your Facebook or other social media account and allow the consumer toeasily “like” you or “follow” you depending on which social media site it istied to.
· Buy It Now SnapTags – these arelinked to a specific product and take the consumer to an instant “buy it now”window where they can buy your product or service instantly.
· Action SnapTags – theseinitiate specific actions when scanned, such as getting a mobile coupon,emailing you, accessing your website, viewing video or requesting information.
· Mobile Giving SnapTags – these allowyour customers to make a donation to a specific charity you have selected. Youcan even offer to match customer donations to promote your brand.
No matter which platform you decide to try, mobile tagging is a great way to make use of everyinch of physical advertising space available. These can be created and placedon your checkout counters, takeout menus, packaging, posters, flyers, printads, on your car or anywhere there is a physical surface and will increase yourbrand recognition.