How to Best Utilize QR Codes in College Marketing Campaigns

QR codes in college marketing campaigns

QR Codes are an effective way to add a digital element to a print campaign, but there are certain things to keep in mind when incorporating QR Codes in college marketing campaigns in order to maximize your return on investment.

The use of QR Codes has been steadily on the rise in advertising in general and in college marketing as well over the past couple years and will continue to rise as more and more students buy and use smartphones capable of reading them.  QR Codes provide a unique way of taking an inexpensive print media campaign and adding a digital element to the campaign allowing for a well-balanced college advertising initiative consisting of print and digital.

Once you have made the decision to incorporate QR Codes into your college marketing, you now must figure the best way to design and implement them.  Having a firm understanding of how they work and what function they can serve is critical to the success of your campaign and getting the best return on your investment.

In a PR Daily article, Bobby Marhamat provides five very helpful tips in how to use and optimize QR Codes as part of your ad campaign, which applies to college marketing campaigns as well. They are as follows:

  1.  Choose your Platform – Different codes offer different features (i.e. color codes, analytics, notifications, etc.).  Decide what features will suit you best over time and make a selection based on your needs.
  2. Incorporate Calls to Action – QR Codes should be used in a way where they will deliver the user to a customized landing/Facebook page that has an incentive for students to utilize.  If you have been successful in getting students to take the first step in engaging in your campaign, you must take advantage of that momentum.
  3. Engage in Social Media – Companies are always trying to find ways to get students to ‘like’ them and their product on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.  If a student shows enough interest to use the QR Code initially, it’s not a far leap to think they will like you or follow you if you make it easy enough for them to do so.
  4. Provide them with Useful Content – A QR Code is useless if a student uses the Code to get to your landing page and it is filled with content that is not interesting to them or can’t hold their attention.  Do the research and find out what they will want to see or provide them with added value when they get to your landing page.
  5.  Keep it Simple – In the end, college students are like anyone else.  Since you will probably only have their attention for a matter of seconds, whatever you want them to do must be laid out in front of them so there is no confusion as to why they are there and what they will get out of the experience.

QR Codes are an excellent way to incorporate a trending technology to a college marketing campaign as well as provide a link between digital and print.  The key is to properly understand how you will incorporate them and to make sure that they fulfill a specific purpose relative to your college marketing campaign.

Want to learn more about using QR codes in college marketing campaigns? Contact Marc Sorel with your questions!

Click on the following link to read Bobby Marhamat’s article: “How PR pros can optimize QR codes”.

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