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QR Codes and your Medical Internet Inbound Marketing

If printed media is still a part of your marketing strategy, why not take advantage of your Internet efforts there as well? QR codes are an inexpensive and fun way to funnel everything from Yellow Page to Newspaper users into your social media channels.

QR codes (quick response barcodes) are no longer new to the marketing scene and barriers to people using them are much lower than many medical professionals may think. Plus, there are a number of creative uses for QR codes that will engage prospects and further your brand. Not only do they work but QR codes are simple to create and use.

Four Steps to Create a QR Code

1. Get a QR Code Generator

The key is to find one that is right for your needs. Some things to look for when choosing a QR code generator include; weather it allows you to design a code that is unique to your brand, whether you can track and analyze performance, and if it is compatible with the most common QR code readers.

  • Free with an option for paid premium service, this generator allows you to “read” to text, URL, phone number, SMS, or vCard. By linking to a vCard, people can save your contact information easily and immediately when “reading” the QR code.
  • Kaywa: With Kaywa you can customize your design for free. Upgrade to the paid version and you can also track performance. The codes can link to a web page, text, phone numbers, or SMS.
  • Microsoft Tag: The best thing about Microsoft Tag as opposed to other generators is its ability to create color QR codes rather than just black and white. It’s also free for all services, including limited analysis of people viewing and going to the tagged item.

2. Create, Design, and Link It Up

The wow factor to creating QR codes is customizing the design of the codes to your brand. Want your code to look like your logo? It’s easy to do. Want it to reflect your website’s design scheme? That too is simple.

The most important thing to consider is your goal in creating QR codes. What do you want to accomplish when someone actually uses your QR code? If you’re at an event, for example, you might want to distribute business cards with a code on them that automatically links to your vCard so it’s easy to save your contact information. If you want to funnel prospects to your web site, link to a landing page that makes a special offer for using the code. Keep your goal in mind when creating QR codes, and just like any call-to-action, make it worthwhile for the person that scanned the code.

3. Test

In all the excitement of creating your first QR code, don’t forget to check to see if the QR code “reads” correctly, and be sure to try more than just one reader. Two free tools to check out your code are:

  • Google Goggles – takes a picture and then tells you what link or item it “reads to.”
  • QR Code Reader – automatically takes you to whatever it “reads.”

Both of these are easy to use and available for a number of smartphones.

4. Track and Analyze

As with any marketing campaign, track and analyze how much traffic comes from each specific code. Are people scanning your code but not redeeming their offer once they get to your landing page? Or are they not even compelled enough to scan your QR code? Knowing this will help you troubleshoot and adjust your poorly performing QR codes to more closely mirror those that work well.

QR codes are a low cost way to engage your audience across multiple mediums. If you didn’t jump on the QR code bandwagon when they first hit the scene, that’s okay! Start brainstorming creative ways to use this great new tool to give (and gather) information, drive traffic to your website, get more leads, and potentially engage a whole new audience.

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About Tim
Tim George is a regularly contributing author to the MDWebPro blog. Tim is passionate about web marketing for MDs expecially the latest trends and results in social media, SEO and inbound marketing. For more, please follow @MDWebPro on Twitter

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