How to Use Your WordPress Website in Mobile Marketing

wordpress-mobile-themesIt seems like everyone has some kind of mobile device these days. They’re so distracting that places like hospitals and restaurants are banning people from using them while inside those buildings.

Certain areas of the United States are passing laws that prohibit people from using them while driving. But all the people using these devices have one clear benefit, and that’s in mobile marketing for your small business.

If your small business website isn’t compatible with mobile devices, then you’re giving up the opportunity to reach millions of mobile internet users, some of who rarely if ever use an actual computer. Depending on the type of device they use, how your website appears to them could look very different compared to what you see on your computer screen.

Creating a Mobile-Friendly Small Business Website

WordPress is a great platform for small business websites. It’s a great place to start because it’s easy to update. Google likes WordPress. WordPress is updated frequently and there are a lot of features called plugins that you can just turn on. There’s even one to make your website more mobile-friendly by doing things like making your blog posts more readable.

A lot of the newer plugins have something called responsive web design. Those will actually reformat themselves based on the size of the screen viewing them. WordPress offers a lot of great solutions and if you already use the content management system, it’s going to be easier to give visitors to your site a nice viewing experience.

Designating an Employee to Update the Website

A lot of business owners are so busy, but they also have staff that can learn how to mobile-enable the company website. If this sounds like your situation and you aren’t technically inclined, consider signing up an employee for a class like Mobile Marketing for Non-Techies through

www.theschoolofinternetmarketing.com,  where people can learn to use WordPress to build their own site in a single weekend.

The benefit of signing up an employee for a course like this is that they’re probably younger. They are probably more internet-friendly. And best of all, they probably have a mobile device – or maybe even a plethora of mobile devices that they can use to see how your company website appears via those different methods.

WordPress is the Cost-Efficient Choice

The next thing to consider is, how practical is this? It’s not uncommon to run across someone who has spent thousands of dollars in an attempt to build a website that they don’t know anything about – including whether or not it’s mobile-enabled, or how to update it with that fresh content that Google loves. In that sense, WordPress is the obvious choice.

WordPress has all the functionality of software that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars little more than a decade ago. Most of the plugins you need are free, or you might decide to invest a few dollars on a specialty theme or to learn how to get started. For a small business, WordPress is very cost effective.

Mobile Marketing Plugins for WordPress

Plugins are similar to an iPhone or Android app, where you download it and it extends the functionality of your smartphone, tablet, or other internet-ready device. A plugin is the same idea. It adds more functionality to your website, and most of the apps are free. Here are some plugins that help make your WordPress site more mobile-friendly.

  • DeviceAtlas – This little plugin packs quite a punch. It determines what type of device your visitor is using and then directs them to the mobile version of your site that is compatible with their device operating system.
  • WordPress Mobile Adapter – In just a few clicks, make your WordPress site readily able to support more than 5,000 we-enabled devices.
  • WordPress Mobile Pack – This plugin gives a lot of control. However, it has so many options that it can seem overwhelming at first.

When people are searching for you on your phone from Google or some other way, they’re going to wind up at your website first. So you want your website to look right without requiring them to download an app first. It’s inconvenient, and many will just move on to another site instead of going through the hassle of downloading an app.

One of the misconceptions people have is mobile apps versus mobile-enabled websites. People are used to downloading app, and apps are great. Everyone with a smartphone has used apps whether it’s to play Angry Birds or Draw Something, or just to use Yelp or Foursquare to find a restaurant. As a small business owner, you can do both but the starting point is to get your website mobile-enabled. From there, the possibilities are endless.

James Martell is an Internet pioneer who discovered the lucrative world of the Internet in 1999. He is a leading expert in affiliate marketing, SEO & outsourcing. He lives in White Rock BC, a suburb of Vancouver, with his wife Arlene. Follow him on Twitter @JamesDMartell

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

A Look At Mobile Marketing [INTERNSHIP]

2d Mobile Barcode Scanning Instant VisibilityMobile marketing is sky rocketing due to smart phones and advanced technologies coming about. Mobile marketing is marketing on a mobile device or through the means of any wireless network. This includes cell phones and tablets. Mobile marketing is an extension of online marketing that focuses on targeted audiences viewing ads on their mobile devices.

Mobile ads command a lower price on average than web and print advertisements. With so many people owning a cell phone or tablet, mobile marketing is the least expensive way to advertise. Mobile marketing includes SMS and MMS, display ads, QR codes, mobile websites, mobile apps, and more.

SMS (short message service) is a great way for businesses to make sure they are reaching out to their audience. By taking advantage of the SMS feature on mobile phones, businesses can create brand awareness by informing their subscribers of new product or service information through text messaging. SMS has expanded quickly as a new channel to reach the consumers. MMS (multimedia messaging service) has taken SMS to a different level by including pictures, videos, and sounds. By adding pictures, videos, and sounds, this makes the ad more persuasive. This gives the consumers more appealing content instead of just words. Pictures, videos, and sounds gives the advertisement a lot more visibility because it’s more interesting to the eye.

Setting up a mobile website is a lot easier than it looks. This process takes your existing website content and formats it for a mobile screen. This makes it much easier for a consumer to browse your site. WordPress has plugins that may help you through the process of making your website mobile. There are many other websites that can turn your website into a mobile one, simply Google “mobile website converter”.

Another way to advertise your business through mobile networks is to claim your business on a location-based platform. This lets your customers “check-in” with sites like foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter, gaining your visibility to other possible consumers. While on a website, it would be ideal for your business’ ad to “pop up”. Running a mobile ad campaign is a good idea for visibility. While roaming on the internet a person can see that your new restaurant is nearby and offers a unique experience.

QR codes (quick response codes) are those little bar like squares that are able to be scanned. There are getting increasingly popular because they are easy to use. The only downside to QR codes is that they can only be scanned by smart phones. Using websites like Beetagg.com allows you to download the QR code that you want to launch. QR codes bring you to that business app. Mobile apps are a huge success so far in smart phones and tablets. Apps are sometimes the main reason a person would want to get a smart phone or tablet. Apps are like mobile websites but offer something different. You can make your app free or cost money, it is up to you. People prefer apps over websites because apps are easier to navigate and are different than a typical website. Variety is always key.

Mobile technology is the future. Soon as we know it everyone will own a smart phone and or tablet. Mobile marketing is doable for any small business or large corporation. It is a way for a company to connect to their audience anytime and anywhere. It comes in handy because people are always on the go and always on their cell phones. Bringing advertisements to their finger tips is definitely a smart move.

Sources:

 The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Marketing Lessons from the 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates

Nationwide the “conversation” in October centered on the three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate.  From the perspective of a business person involved with public relations, media relations and social media, the debates were extraordinary spectacles.  When taking the time to analyze them from a marketing standpoint, each provided perfect examples of effective marketing, communication and branding techniques.  It is worthwhile revisiting the debates and look at the techniques that were validated by each of the candidates.

It was clear the candidates were, for the most part, well prepared for each debate with clear, concise and consistent messages created for the sole purpose of winning over voters.  For example, Gov. Romney’s five point plan was repeated in all the debates to reach his base and the pool of undecided voters.  This was an effective approach for the candidates and it can be effective for you too.  A business marketing plan with a well formulated message about your products and/or services when repeated by you enough will resonate with customers and prospects.

President Obama, as the incumbent, went into the first debate with the advantage of having been in office for nearly four years, but despite this, his performance in the debate allowed viewers to see how vulnerable he could be.  In the following debate he was prepared to deliver his message with conviction.  By his own admission, he was “awake,” enough to get credited with winning the 2nd debate.  In the business world, a CEO who appears to be a leader unwilling to face business challenges and competition could be branded as weak.  Many today consider the brand of a CEO a mirror of the business’s brand.  So if the CEO doesn’t recognize his/her shortcomings and is lackadaisical about taking action to improve it, his career and/or the business can suffer, perhaps even fail.

It was interesting that FOX News introduced the “Twitter Box” for its social media minded audience watching or listening to the debates and election results.  Seeing tweet numbers fluctuate with highs and lows indicating favorable and unfavorable answers to questions or reactions to candidate gestures during the debates was telling. The idea of following tweets was novel but reasonable considering the impact of social media on the presidential campaign and the outcomes as to who won or lost each debate.  In our everyday lives and in the business marketplace Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook and YouTube have earned their keep by proving they make an impact on our daily lives and businesses.  If you are in business and you’re ignoring or unwilling to adopt appropriate social media vehicles, your business growth and vitality can be stymied.

According to dailycaller.com, the first debate, on Oct. 3, 2012, set a Twitter record. 10.2 million Tweets were sent during the event, the most sent during a U.S. political event in Twitter’s short history.  7.2 million tweets were sent during the the second presidential debate on Oct. 16, according to Twitter’s official count.  The third and final presidential debate appeared to spark less interest among Twitter users than either of the previous two debates.

People who listened to the debates and did not see the candidates drew different opinions as to debate winners, on style and content.  As mentioned, messaging is extremely important.  Radio listeners didn’t see Vice President Biden’s smiles that were interpreted as rude and  inappropriate or Paul Ryan’s “nervousness” attributed to his “gulping water” from a glass ever so often.  Viewers interpreted their gestures and actions. Listeners did not have to deal with the gestures.  Their opinions of who won or lost was based on the substance of what they heard – the messages.

Following the vice presidential debate columnist Charles Krauthammer on FOX News gave his perspective on the candidates’ performances. Krauthammer said, “If you heard it on radio, Biden won. If you watched it on television, he lost.”

What does this tell us about marketing?  Presentations you make related to your business, professional practice or services and products or areas of expertise, must be well prepared.  The way you present yourself at all times must not be off-putting.  When conducting a seminar, making a speech or networking at a business event, it is essential to convey a sense of openness to others.  You want to be a “likeable” and “approachable” person.  Looking stern, hammering the podium, pointing at someone to make your point, interrupting or talking over someone will not come across very well in a business circle.  How to overcome these and other pitfalls to public speaking and interaction with business peers? Practice and practice again and again.  That’s precisely what the candidates did, but under pressure even they had moments when they fell short of their “likability” goals.

According to www.business2community.com “Your professional image can be greatly impacted by the way you interact with others. Portraying your best self is critical for preserving your reputation and establishing likability. Pay attention to the way you interact with others, no matter who they are—or how much you may disagree with them. Whether you’re a politician or an office worker, your personal brand matters if you want to maintain credibility. The presidential debates show that even the smallest elements, like articulation and body language, matter when it comes to promoting your best image.”

There is no question that business people can learn effective marketing, communications and branding techniques from the success and shortfalls from these debates.

Sources:

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

QR Codes on Gravestones to Access Memorials

Walking through a cemetery is often eerie and rather uncomfortable, especially knowing there were people who lost their lives and were buried in the ground beneath you. It’s not unusual to wonder about those who are deceased and what their stories were. When looking at gravestones you know their names and their life span, but who were they really? What did they do with their lives and what were they known for. Soon these questions will be answered with as little as a scan of your cell phone.

QR codes, the two-dimensional barcodes that have grown to be extremely popular over the past few years, are making their way now onto gravestones. Starting in the UK and quickly moving to America, gravestone producers are offering the addition of QR codes to direct those interested to an interactive memorial for the person who has died.

These interactive memorials can include anything from pictures, videos and contributions from family and friends. There are even people now who are creating their own memorials so that they can structure how it’s laid out and how they’re remembered.

Imagine being able to structure what people see in your memorial, what your last thoughts were and what messages you’d like to send to family and friends. This also creates easy access to family tree information, making it much easier than digging for birth records in the future.

Of course with new technology such as this, there are bound to be challenges. The idea of putting a QR code on a structure that’s made to last for hundreds of years creates a number of difficulties. You can go to any graveyard and see how different recent gravestones look compared to stones that are hundreds of years old. As a gravestone weathers and changes over time, a QR code can become much more difficult to read and scan. Textures like sandstone and granite will change and the codes you have etched into them will change as well.

Another challenge you run into with adding these codes to gravestones is the technology itself. While the QR code technology has been around for a couple decades already, it’s never a sure thing that it will be around in another 10 to 20 years. With technology always evolving, another two-dimensional technology could replace the QR code, making the current QR codes obsolete and unreadable.

By creating a memorial for someone online, this creates another issue regarding the website URL. With the Internet constantly evolving, URL technology could very well change within the next several decades. This puts you at risk of losing all of these records over time. While the current technology appears to be here to stay, you never know what the future holds for us and what advancements will be made to completely change the way we do things today.

The idea of preparing for your own death may be morbid, but it’s a reasonable thought process. Rather than being remembered for a tragic accident, a health condition, etc, why not shape exactly how you want to be remembered and implement that as an interactive memorial. This way, the next time someone’s walking through a graveyard and sees the QR code on your gravestone, they have the opportunity to learn about who you really were, not just when you passed away.

Patricia Goldbum is a freelance writer focusing on technology. As a business owner, Patricia has just implemented barcode stickers and labeling to stay on track and keep her business organized.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

The First 5 Apps for Professionals on the iPhone 5 [OPINION]

Even as a longtime iPhone user, the excitement of getting a new phone is palpable. I just picked up my iPhone5, making me among the first to get the new iPhone at the flagship Apple store in San Francisco.

The larger screen is great for apps, which I’m eagerly downloading now. Apparently I’m not the only one who is app-happy. The average number of apps installed per smartphone has jumped 28 percent in 2012. No wonder, really. We’re on the go so much, and there’s a seemingly infinite array of apps to save time, money, and (for me at least) some sanity.

I’ve got a well-rounded list of must-have apps: two to be productive, two to travel smarter, one to stay informed.

Mobile productivity

Apps are the key to mobile productivity, and DocuSign Ink (of course!) was the first app on my new phone. Version 2.0 works with iOS6 and the iPhone 5. You’ll want it too, so you can sign documents—from permission slips for school to contracts from the office—while you’re standing in line at the grocery store. Skip the print, sign, scan, email routine. We use it at work to get sign-off on documents from nondisclosure agreements to contracts to purchase agreements. 

As busy as we are, who couldn’t use a little brain assist to keep things organized? Evernote promises to help you “remember everything.” I use it to capture anything from good ideas to the grocery list—and then rest assured I won’t lose it before I need it.

Travel smart

If you’re on the road or in the air much, TripIt is the app to have. Forward all of your confirmation emails (air, car, hotel) to plans@tripit.com, and you’ll magically get one consolidated itinerary that’s easy to share with colleagues and family. It even adds local maps, weather, and event information. I don’t travel with a stack of printouts anymore, just TripIt.

If, like me, you find it challenging to keep track of expenses on the road, get an app like my download #4, Concur. I use it throughout each trip to snap photos of receipts, which are then automatically added to my expense report—thereby dramatically improving my reimbursement rates.

Stay informed

These days, on-the-go is far from out-of-touch. I got Flipboard to read the latest happenings from my favorite social sites, all happily assembled in one place.

What’s on your “Day-One Downloads” list?  Let me know in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for new apps to download.

 

About the Guest Blogger:

The article was provided by Robin Joy, Vice President, Online & Mobile at DocuSign. You can follow the company and all the latest news on twitter @docusign.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

SignMyPad – the PDF Document and Signature Solution

SignMyPad is a great app that is perfect for those in the sales industry, or those practicing law or real estate transactions. It allows users to fill in information in fields on a document as well as gain viable signatures from clients on-the-fly.

The Test

Running a test on an iPad shows that this is a very user-friendly and quick application for filling in text fields, dates, check boxes and more on documents. While other applications such as Smartnote may have a couple of more alternatives for the insertion of special characters, Smartnote is nowhere near as fast as SignMyPad. Since those in the real estate, law and sales industries are frequently only n need of check boxes, signatures, and text fields, this app fits perfectly.  If you are using the newest iPad OS, you should also have a bit more flexibility and functionality. Using it is s easy as selecting the type of items to enter.

  • Date
  • Radio Button
  • Signature
  • Check Box
  • Text

Using the date option auto-enters the current date and a sales person should be able to create a full purchase agreement without spending too much time or putting clients on hold for too long.

Pros of SignMyPad

  • Fast
  • User-friendly
  • Flexible
  • Functional
  • Opens documents from email attachments or Dropbox

Cons of SignMyPad

  • No landscape option
  • In some instances copy and paste does not work across documents

About SignMyPad

This app was created by Autriv Software Developement and is available for $3.99. The newest version allows for saved signatures and a clean folder interface for users.  Even if signing documents isn’t an everyday thing for you in your industry, the convienience versus the price makes this a must-have app. A Pro version for $19.99 includes geo-tagging options for saved PDF’s.

This app is available on iPad and Android.

Author:

@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Is Your Business Website Ready for Mobile?

Is your small business website ready for mobile? I am referring to the smartphones people have been overwhelmingly converting to.   According to a recent Google Study using research firm Ipsos they quantified what devices costumers across five key global markets are currently using. Not surprisingly, the numbers show that smartphone ownership is on the rise. What caught some analysts off guard was the finding that in each of the countries polled, use of mobile phones had edged out use of personal computers in 2011.

According to a study by Compuware 71% of global mobile web users expect websites to load as quickly, almost as quickly or faster on their mobile phone compared to the computer they use at home.

Nearly 60% of web users say they expect a website to load on their mobile phone in three seconds or less, and 74% are only willing to wait five seconds or less for a single web page to load before leaving the site. 50% are only willing to wait five seconds or less for an application to load before exiting.

Below are some best practices for mobile websites suggested by GoMO:

1. Keep it Quick   Mobile users want their information fast. To help them, design your site to load fast and make copy easy to read. Prioritize the content and features that mobile users need most. Use your desktop site analytics to see what mobile users are doing

2. Make it Easy to Convert No matter what your site’s objective is, your customers need to be able to do it with a virtual keyboard and no mouse. Make it easy to buy something or contact you!

3. Simplify Navigation  No one likes to be confused. Clear navigation and, on large or complex sites, search functionality, will help your customers easily find what they need

4Make it Local – Consumers look for local info on their phones all the time—from locating the    nearest gas station to finding an open pizza place. Include functionality that helps people find and get to you.

5. Be Thumb Ready – People use their fingers to operate mobile devices – especially their thumbs. Design your site so even large hands can easily interact with it.

6. Make it Seamless – People now use multiple screens throughout the day. Convert as much of the functionality of your desktop site to mobile as you can to create a seamless experience.

7. Design for Visibility – A mobile-friendly site gets its message across without causing eyestrain. Make it easy for your customers to read – remember they may be in a place with low light.

8. Use Re-Directs – A mobile site redirect is code that can automatically tell if visitors are using a mobile device and send them to the mobile-friendly version of your site. Have your site developer implement this redirect code so your customers get the best version of your site for their needs.

9. Make it accessible.  Your mobile site should work across all mobile devices and all handset orientations.

10. Good mobile sites are user-centric, which means they’re built with input from your audience.

It is time to consider all modes of electronic media in your business marketing plan.  Mobile users will continue to play an ever growing part of how you will gain your customers.  Start incorporating these processes now.

Author:

Marilyn Zayfert is a passionate digital strategist implementing online and mobile applications. She is a results-driven sales and marketing strategist with a proven track record of achievement and demonstrated success. Marilyn founded illumiNET Creative Media in 2009. illumiNET Creative builds and implements online marketing strategies for local businesses. Twitter @mzayfert

Website http://www.illuminetmedia.com

Sources:

http://www.investorplace.com/2012/01/google-study-mobile-phone-use-tops-the-pc-goog-aapl-dell/

http://www.ipsos.com/

http://www.compuware.com/d/release/592528/new-study-reveals-the-mobile-web-disappoints-global-consumers

http://www.howtogomo.com/en/d/why-go-mo/#mobile-best-practices

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

What is in Our Mobile Future?

In 2011, the number of Smartphone’s sold exceeded the number of personal computers. At its current projection, the number of mobile devices will significantly outnumber the  PC’s in just a few years.

The Past and Future of Mobile

As mobile use increases in the future, AI may also have a large impact on the users mobile experience. Many online services will play a large part in helping us to organize and go about our daily lives. AI combined with vital algorithms will:

  • Organize and handle personal information
  • Alert us about important events
  • Help us decide which products to buy
  • Monitor everything from calendars to health care
  • Help us manage services with consideration for our personalized consumer needs

With a realistic projection on the evolution of mobile devices, it also indicates that we are likely to move away from typing all of our days jargon into tiny keyboards on Smartphones and more towards touch screen options, device ‘bumping’ or ’tilting’, sensory triggers, voice activation and other types of communications that mimic ‘human’ gestures and fluidity.

To Smart App Infinity and Beyond

Although apps will continue to play a huge role in the manner it does now, there will likely be more options for consumers in helpful virtual

Apple iPhone 3GS, Motorola Milestone and LG GW60

Apple iPhone 3GS, Motorola Milestone and LG GW60 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

programs that enhance what we have now for messaging systems, virtual shopping options, entertainment,  news and more. We are currently seeing this type of forward progression in apps that offer a more personalized experience. They tend to learn the behavior of the user, continuously get smarter, and stay updated on you over a period of time.  As our technology for mobile devices and apps continues to grow, so does our opportunity for new developments.

Be Prepared

Once you have decided to utilize mobile platforms for your business, there are many determining factors to consider when creating the most effective business plan for your personal business needs. If you plan to bypass desktop devices and putt full focus on mobile or just implementing it slowly into your businesses marketing campaign plans, you will need to have an idea of projected requirements to meet the same standards as time goes by. One of the best ways to ensure you are giving it the proper focus is to stay on top of trending industry news and be ready to implement new and helpful interactive programs, assistance, and mobile products in very short periods of time.

Author:

@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Snaptag Versus QR Codes

QR codes have been a new and unique source of executing mobile marketing campaigns in recent times. Many seem to not only enjoy participating by using them, but have actually begun to look for offers from those with QR codes and may even have begun to ignore those that do not have them at all.

What is a QR Code?

QR is short for quick response and that is exactly the purpose of the QR code. These codes take an element of data from transitory media and sends it to your mobile device. The code will give you details about that business, item, or even discount information on products and services.

QR Codes are more useful than a standard barcode in that they can store a more data and a wider variety of it. QR codes commonly include URL links, text, coordinates and more.

How Does This Benefit Businesses?

Most marketers are well aware that mobile marketing is becoming increasingly more important, almost by the day. No method of advertising could be easier than one that consumers reach out for, instead of being asked to look. QR codes allows those consumers who prefer not to be barraged with overt marketing tactics to choose where they will show interest in a product or service.

There is really no limit to the options that can be embedded in a QR code.

  • Running a restaurant? – Embed a great recipe, a buy a meal get one free discount, a special on this evenings dessert.
  • Authors – Add a QR code to the back of your book that enables a consumer to get extra features or hidden endings to your script.
  • Good health practices – Doctors, or other medically related practices can add good tips and tricks for healthy living to their QR codes, update them every month for innovative creativity in the medical field.

Vital Aesthetics Arrive to QR Coding

Traditionally, QR codes have retained a Rorschach look to them, leaving the responsibility on the advertiser to make sure consumers know whose QR code they are scanning. However, with Snaptags, QR codes and increasing brand awareness have meshed nicely. Snaptags have traded out that whole inkblot look for a code ring that serves the same functional purpose.

Who is Using Snaptags?

Because of the applied branding ability on Snaptags not previously available on QR’s, we can now see who is actively using them.

Picture c/o http://www.socialsnaptags.com/

Snaptags Cons?

Although Snaptags no doubt win out in the aesthetic element, there are other issues that can make Snaptags less beneficial than they appear. Many venture because of the supporting copy, Snaptags are not as easily accessible as QR codes. Snaptag stands by the fact that all advertisers would need to do is determine the required supporting copy, but this does lend itself to the inaccessible accusation.

Many current QR code advertisers agree that if a mobile marketing campaign is managed correctly, the aesthetic element of the Snaptags versus traditional QR’s is hardly advantageous.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

#SMWF: NASA’s ‘Out-Of-This-World’ Social Media Engagement Success

NASA has quite an impressive social media plan in place that has already created quite a social buzz. There innovative and interactive ideas has gained them a solid reputation for achieving success with social engagement. At the Social Media World Forum in New York, I had a chance to hear Stephanie L. Schierholz, Social Media Manager talk about what NASA has been doing with Social Media, and specfically location based services recently.

NASA Partners with Gowalla

Gowella, a mobile and web service, partnered with NASA in 2010 to provide them with an interactive contest where users check in via Gowalla to help locate four NASA-related virtual items. Those items were a NASA patch, a spacesuit, space shuttle, and a moon rock. NASA displays moon rocks from past moon missions at expositions, planetariums, and museums throughout the world. Moon rocks were easily located when users checked in to any location where an actual moon rock was on display.

Gowlla in collaboration with JESS3 created a special edition of a visual map to help users locate the moon rocks and the other required treasure hunt items could be found by checking in through Gowalla at any one of the over 400 science centers, observatories, nature centers, aquariums, museums, and planetariums that are part of NASA’s large Museum Alliance. Gowalla users that collected at least three of the four required items received a special pin in their digital Gowalla passport.

Plus, the first one hundred people who collected three of the four items also received a hardcopy version of the map in the mail.

Tweets from Above and Beyond

During this impressive social media campaign, NASA also had Astronaut Douglas Wheelock, or @Astro_Wheels, check in from Space Station announcing. “Houston, I’ve just unlocked FourSquares’ NASA Explorers badge.”

Check out the NASA Explorers Badge at FourSquare.

Campaign Statistics

This NASA social media campaign turned up some pretty impressive stats for Gowalla and Twitter. Gowalla had never had a past completed by so many, so quickly. Over thirty-thousand of each of the four required items were located through check-ins, and followers were increased by 4,278 during this campaign.

Since this campaign began more than 10,000 people have unlocked the NASA Explorer badge, and over 130,000 people now follow NASA on Foursquare.

Aside from the statistics, NASA’s campaign on Twitter has had other benefits as well. Some of the photos posted by any given @Astro to Twitpic can be what Douglas Wheelock referred to as ‘life-changing’ such as this photo of the earth’s aurora from space.

Incredible!

You Don’t Have to Be an Astronaut to Learn from NASA

Check out what the social media manager for NASA has to say about their relationship with Twitter and how they engage with their followers, as well as how you can engage yours!

Some lessons that NASA social media staff has taken away from their campaigns may help you as well.

  1. Use Twitter yourself first. Know the format and how it works. Get familiar.
  2. Identify the specific business case for your use.
  3. Locate new resources for growth.
  4. Keep the account active.

“You may not have a spaceship, but your company has a fan base. They won’t think of themselves as fans until they’re in a room with like-minded people. They won’t think of themselves as members of a community until YOU bring them together.”

-David Rosen, @davidhrosen (group VP, Makovsky + Company)

 

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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