Making Your Print Ads Click

QR Code Example

QR Code Example

Let’s face it.  One of the things you love most about online ads, if you are like most small business owners, is the ability of the readers of a site like the Daily Tidings to instantly click on your ad and land directly on your website.  There’s not another type of advertising that so quickly turns viewers into visitors – not TV, radio, billboards, anything.

Until now.  With the advent of 2D bar codes (also called smart codes) like the one seen here, print ads are now clickable too.  With the right app on your smartphone, you can “take a picture” of the image to the right and be immediately directed to a website.  So expect to start seeing more and more of these in the near future.  Our advertisers are clearly starting to realize the benefits of putting these in their ads, and so you’ll see them regularly in the Mail Tribune, Daily Tidings, Nickel, our specialty magazines.

I expect soon to see a contractor or 10 with them on the side of their trucks.  You may even seen them on a billboard or two in the near future – although make sure to pull over to scan them instead of doing it while driving!

All of the sudden, more of your advertising opportunities are now web enabled – and that’s a good thing.  According to recent comScore data, there are approximately 35,000 smart phones in Jackson County.  These phones are owned by your customers – and they are using them to research all sorts of buying decisions.  So you WANT to be using these technologies to be where your customers are looking for you.

But using a 2D bar code is a little more complicated than just plopping one into the middle of your newspaper ad.  Here are the 3 most important steps to include in your planning process.

  1. Have a “why” in it for your customer.  Your customer is busy.  She won’t just click on the smart code in your ad just because it is there.  You must give her a reason with a clearly defined call to action.  Another advantage of these codes is that you can remove all the fine print from your ad and put it on your web page – and this gives you more room for a compelling call to action – so leverage the technology well by making your offer COMPELLING.
  2. Have a mobile friendly target page.  Your regular website won’t do.  The smart phone screen is small – so either your page will render too small to read or your customer will have to scroll left and right, up and down.  A mobile friendly page is a must in order to maximize your return from this effort.  Depending on your current site’s content management system, creating a mobile friendly page may be very easy or next to impossible.  For an education on the best options for your situation, give your SOMG account executive or our internet specialist a call.  We’ll provide you with a no-obligation review of your current website and point you in the best direction.
  3. Have a way to track the results.  Google’s Analytics, or some other web metrics program, is essential.  How many people clicked over from your ads?  What did they do from there?  Did they hit the click to call link on your mobile page?  Did they click over to the map to come find you?  Send you an email?  Bounce back off your page because they were put off by some aspect of the offer?  With data, you can know the answer to these and many other questions.  All of which will help you to become a smarter marketer.

It’s 2011.  It’s not your father’s marketing landscape anymore.  2D bar codes are just the beginning of the technology that’s turning “traditional” advertising into web-enabled marketing.  The good news is that here in the Rogue Valley it’s not too late for you to get ahead of this curve.  We’re here to help.  Contact your SOMG rep today and we’ll help you get on your way.

Greg Thompson
Internet Specialist
gthompson@mailtribune.com

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