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QR Codes and How to Use them Effectively

QR Codes and How to Use them Effectively

QR codes have had a bad reputation since they were introduction in the 90’s, QR code were created and the graphics was slapped onto anything. But in 2017, QR codes started making a comeback. And now, they are a now accepted visually as a marketing tactic and they are now being used how they were meant to.

Knowing how these codes were used so ineffectively before, we can learn from all those previous mistakes. For a QR code to be effective, it should follow certain guidelines and be used in the right way. Let’s take a look at how to create a QR code and use it effectively for your own marketing strategies.

For those of you who don’t know what a QR code is, I’m sure this image will spark your memory. They are, after all, everywhere.

What Exactly is a QR Code?

A QR code looks like a square pixelated version of a bar code. It is scanned with a smartphone as a way to connect to URLs or undertake actions like connecting to wifi, get directions, or get a discount coupon. QR codes are generally black and white, but can be customised with colour to a certain extent.

The term “QR code” stands for “Quick Response code.” Funny old thing but when QR codes first came out, they were nothing but quick. The idea behind them is that anyone can scan the code and instantly connect with something online relating to what they were seeing offline. The main problem in the 90’s was not everyone had smartphones and if they did the camera back then were simple and required a user to first download a QR code scanner app, Only now can we say that QR codes are quick and most people know how to scan them.

QR codes were just “ahead of their time.” The comeback we are now seeing is it’s finally the right time. This is mostly due to most smartphones have an integrated QR scanner in the camera. A user can simply point the camera at a QR code and it will direct the user to whatever the code tells it to do. Point to note that doesn’t mean that QR codes are foolproof.

A QR code can be really effective on the label of a product or on a business card, where the user can easily scan it without any hassle. On the other hand, a QR code on a sign over a highway is an accident waiting to happen and in the early 90’s in the USA this was the cause of a driver crashing their car whislt trying to scan a code. 

Effective Uses For a QR Code

If you are going to create QR code for a marketing strategy, you need to make sure it’s easy to scan. It also needs to make sense as part of your campaign and not simply take up visual space. An effective QR code should always have a minimal call to action next to it so that people know what it’s for. See below for some ideas for your QR Code

..QR Codes for Lead Generation

Why not add your QR Code to your business card, flyer or packaging label.

QR Codes to Send Messages

 A marketing campaign which when the user scans the QR Code it sends a text to enter.

QR Codes to Give Directions

Your code could also give directions via Google Maps or the free sat nav Waze.

 QR Codes to Access Wifi

Another great use, maybe you got visitors or customers at your premises a code could be used to connect them to your wifi.

QR Codes for Payment Processing & Donations 

A QR code can be used to pay for products in a store or food in a restaurant. The client simply scans the code on the register’s payment device with their mobile phone. QR Codes are also help charities get donations in the cashless country we are becoming.

 

How to Make a QR Code

Now that you know how to use QR code effectively and what mistakes to avoid, let’s look at how you can generate QR codes for your own marketing strategies. You can choose between a static or dynamic QR code. A static QR code is created with one URL address which cannot be changed after the code is generated. A dynamic QR code is editable even after it has been generated and distributed.

To create a QR code you will need a QR code generator. There are a few available with different linking capabilities. Static codes are free to create, while dynamic codes have different price points depending on the generator chosen. Paid QR code generators also include tracking and analytics. They also offer custom QR code services like inserting logos in the code.

 

1. Choose a QR code generator

Which generator you choose depends on what QR code you need. If you are looking to make a generic static code, then you can choose any free qr code generator. If you want to include your visual logo in the design or create a dynamic QR code, you will need to choose a more intricate generator.

2. Insert all the relevant information

Choose the destination and purpose of the QR code and insert all the relevant information into the generator. The generators will guide you through the process. You can choose to connect the code to your own website, a social media channel, or a few other practical choices.

3. Generate and download the QR code

Finalize all information entry and generate your code. Download it in the file type which best suits your needs. It can be a PNG, SVG or EPS. A QR code in vector format can also be downloaded for print.

4. Track and Analyze

If you chose a paid QR generator, you will be able to track your code and analyze it.

Our 30-Point Artwork Check

Our 30-Point Artwork Check

Here at Moray Digital, we want to ensure that your print always comes out the way you were expecting it to. That’s why before your artwork goes to print our print partner has a studio team dedicated to looking over your artwork to make sure everything’s in order. These checks are part 30-point artwork check.

Moray Digital Pre Artwork Check

Before we pass your order over to our print partner we make sure your artwork is usable.

  1. Is the file type correct?
  2. Is the file size correct?
  3. Are there the correct number of pages for this job?
  4. Are there the correct number of sides for the printed pages of this job?
  5. Is the file set to the correct orientation?
  6. Will this job require spot UV?
  7. Does this job use the correct fold?
  8. Does this job require extra finishing?
  9. Has the customer provided all the relevant information?
  10. Will this order need auto or manual proofing?

Manual Proofing Check

Once we are happy we upload it to our partners online proofing tool which can get a proof back to us almost immediately after you upload it. However, certain products cannot be proofed automatically, such as presentation folders. There are also times when you might just prefer a human eye to look over things for you.

  1. Does the file provided match the order details?
  2. Is the content of the artwork appropriate?
  3. Is the file the correct size?
  4. Is the copy legible?
  5. Is the resolution suitable for this product?
  6. Has the correct safe zone been left clear?
  7. Is there sufficient bleed?
  8. Has the correct colour profile been used?
  9. Are there any transparency issues?
  10. Are there any layout inconsistencies?

Prepress Check

After you have approved your artwork and everything is looking good our partner conducts one final check just to be absolutely sure that nothing important has been missed.

  1. Does the orientation match what we have on our internal system?
  2. Does the file size match what we have on our internal system?
  3. Does the number of printed sides match what we have on our internal system?
  4. Has the file passed our preflight test?
  5. Have the cutter guidelines been removed?
  6. Is the spot UV layer set up correctly (if applicable)?
  7. Are all the fonts embedded correctly?
  8. Is there any transparency in the file?
  9. Is the document compliant with PDF/X-1a:2001?
  10. Is the file smaller than 200mb?

If you looking for printed materials such as business cards, banners or leaflet. Get in touch today for an affordable quote.

Cheap Websites Online – Buyer Beware

Cheap Websites Online – Buyer Beware

So your thinking of getting a new website and you see that bargain price online. A bargain is hard to resist, especially in a competitive world when every business is looking to save a pound here and there, but cheap websites may cost you more money than you think in the long run.

A cheap website can be set up quickly and won’t deliver the results your business may be looking for and could give you multiple problems with very little solution. So why should you stay away from cheap websites?

Cheap Websites

Website Rankings

The most important factor by far is will your website rank well so it can be found by new and existing customers. If you’re not ranked highly on search engines, it is very unlikely that you’ll ever be found online. A Cheap website won’t have the key fundamentals of SEO. Sites that don’t follow basic best practice will never appear on the first page of Google.

Speed & Safety

A cheap website is usually built on a basic template suited to many businesses instead of being built just for you, they are full of features you may never need such as eCommerce, forums, blogs and members areas. Sellers often show these as added value and to a novice sounds like your getting a good deal.

The sites will have several fonts and styling option, you will never want them all at once which means your site will become painfully slow and most customers will leave to find a fast loading website possible your competitor.

Of course there something else to consider the template will be used on another website. Which means your site could look the same as other sites. You also open up yourself to hackers. Hackers prey on these websites as they can be an easy target. Hackers look for security vulnerabilities in the vast amount of code behind them, after all, they can download the template and read the code like a map to the bank safe and learn which alarms to disable. This is why theme developers are constantly writing security patches and rewriting existing code.

Cheap Website

Poorly Designed

Your website may end up looking very generic, with no personalisation. Cheap websites have very little design, which means it will function poorly and not provide the return on investment you are looking for. It is also very unlikely that your site will be mobile friendly and this is ley with more and more customers interacting with brands on the go.

Updating your website is going to be another painful operation. Alterations are going to be difficult and you’ll end up making compromises at the expense of your brand.

Cheap Websites

Budget Hosting

Hosting is more than just a web server. A cheap website there will be no backups and limited or no support team who can assist with making changes to your website when you need help.

Moray Digital we believe that customer service and support go hand in hand with beautiful web design. We completely understand Website Design, SEO and you can rest assured we are partnered with a hosting company that is efficient and overall you can be sure Moray Digital is guaranteed to look after you and your business.

We simply don’t provide cheap websites; however, we do provide great websites to suit all budget ranges. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you and your business.

Gen Z & How Brands Can Connect with Them on Snapchat

Gen Z & How Brands Can Connect with Them on Snapchat

SNAPCHAT has just released 2 new reports on Generation Z and their social media usage habits and specifically focuses on creativity, and how Gen Z views connection with people and brands online.

The first report, ‘Into Z Future‘, is a 70-page report on key Gen Z habits and trends, including a load of key insights and stats to understand this emerging audience. While Millennials have dominated the marketing discussion in recent times, Gen Z is up next, making these insights even more relevant, and important for marketers to take in.

Snapchat

Snap’s main focus in this first report is on the creative habits of Gen Z, and how Snapchat facilitates them – which also includes some not so subtle digs at Instagram and its common traits and trends:

here’s a heap to take in, and the full report is absolutely worth reading through to get a feel for the key traits and habits of younger users. And within that, Snap has also included a summary of some of the key findings of their research, which I put together below.

Snapchat Generation Z research key findings

As noted by Snapchat, Gen Z is only going to become a bigger consideration for brands, so it’s worth getting an understanding of the key trends in order to maximize your marketing approach for the next shift. There’s a lot of insight to take in here, along with key tips for brands looking to partner with relevant influencers to reach this emerging cohort.

In addition to this, Snapchat has also published a second report which looks at more of the lifestyle and habitual behaviours of Gen Z, as opposed to specific usage trends.

Double Trouble for Facebook users

Double Trouble for Facebook users

FACEBOOK stalking just got a lot more dangerous after the social media giant introduced a new feature.

The site has updated its iOS app to let users like a photo by double-tapping on it.

This action previously allowed Facebook users to zoom-in on photos. Social media users have been quick to point out this new update could land Facebook stalkers in a lot of trouble if they’re not careful. For many users this features not going to bother them but for those Facebook stalkers will now need to be careful. 

Of course this option has been available to Instagram users for a long time and many Instagram users are saying “It was about time! I’ve been tapping pics of Facebook and feeling very stupid for a while now!”

It is another example of the way Facebook and Instagram have been sharing features.

Facebook purchased Instagram for about in 2012 and since then the photo-sharing app and its parent company have become increasingly similar.

In March 2017, Facebook rolled out Stories – a direct copy of Instagram Stories, which in turn was inspired by Snapchat stories.

Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp chats are also going to merge, with a deadline of early 2020.

The buddy-up involves “thousands of Facebook employees” re-designing all three apps “at their most basic levels”.