Reading has become bothersome to people. The opinions of experts on web content all agree, unfortunately, that articles should be no more than 1,000 words or people will only read 70% or less. At the same time, an equal number of experts on web content claim that effective content is video based. If you want to market effectively, you must play to your consumer base and if they prefer videos, then that’s what you must give them. In the case of printed material, the handy solution is to use a QR code linked to a video.
The Incredible Opportunity
Since we’re alone, sans consumers, let’s look at the problem from a marketing perspective. Let’s say you want to make a video for putting together Ikea shelving (probably called the Björk or something) or cooking instructions for packaged cornbread mix. Both have different challenges for the consumer. Shelving has small parts and each shelf may be the A part, B part of Björk part. In simple line drawings in printed instructions, it’s often confusing to the purchaser as to which is which, but in a video, you can show them a close up of the actual part and walk them through it.
The same goes for something as simple as adding one egg and a half cup of milk with cornbread mix. A video can give people alternate recipes and show how the finished product should look.
The opportunity a video gives marketers is the insertion of a short ad for other products the consumer might like and purchase. If you like this shelf, then try this end table that matches. If you like our cornbread mix, then try our blueberry muffin mix. It’s a captive audience that is open to suggestion while enjoying their purchase.
Take Advantage of Trends
If we consider the lack of reading a trend, instead of the downfall of civilization, then why not take advantage of it? Give the consumer what they want and they want the easiest method to learn.
Lynda.com became famous and successful because it took computer software manuals of a thousand pages and turned them into video tutorials. The results speak for itself.
YouTube channels that specialize in video tutorials have grown with the current trend of the preference of visual learning, as has the ballooning podcast and online education industry.
Creating videos are inexpensive to produce and a key part of social media marketing. While posted to your YouTube channel, they can be shared on Twitter, Facebook and any other platform as well as being linked via a QR code printed on packaging and instruction inserts.
Be Sure You Follow QR Code Best Practices
Those who say QR codes are dead or don’t work for mobile marketing are those who used them incorrectly. Keep these simple rules in mind when creating video and QR code links.
- Make sure the QR code has a call to action with it so the consumer knows what scanning it will do. Without a call to action, the consumer is likely to skip scanning it and the confusion will be bad for your product and brand.
- Have your logo and/or brand statement at the beginning and end of each video to build the brand and create consumer recall when they hear your name. Just keep the self-promoting short!
- Video production values are very important! Consumers are enamoured with the present CGI special effects they see in movies, TV shows and commercials every day. Cheap videos may have a Roger Corman/Ed Wood charm, if that’s what you’re after for branding but if you have a spokesperson sitting in front of an unmade bed with dirty laundry piled on it (yes, I have seen these) you lose points and people will not continue viewing the video… or it will become viral as the worst video on the planet.
- Make sure your audio and lighting values are top notch. If the product can’t be seen or the audio can’t be heard, then it’s worthless.
- Keep it as short as possible. People prefer videos that are under five minutes. If it has to be longer, break it up into short chapters (as Lynda.com does with their video tutorials.
- Remember to think responsive design for any landing site that contains your video. While most people use tablets or mobile phones for scanning, having a site set up for desktop or laptop devices will not present your video in the best light. Your presentation should be beautiful and professional.
- Have fun! People want to be entertained while learning about anything. Use humor when you can but make sure it’s funny in a safe manner. Be as PC as possible. It’s better to be safe and not alienate potential customers.
Some people have argued that it’s just as easy to hand-key in a URL as it is to bring up a QR code scanner on a device and scan the code. WRONG!
Why was the link invented if typing a URL is so easy? Why have links evolved over the years if people prefer typing to clicking? While all mobile devices now come preloaded with QR code scanners, it’s easier and quicker than ever to scan a QR code.
This all comes back to the preference for videos vs. reading. People would rather click quickly instead of bringing up a form field to type a URL. The fall of civilization may just be the evolution that saves it and QR codes certainly support the evolution of humankind and our society.
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