Quick Response Codes And The Smart Videographer

There’s a technology that is wildly popular in Asia and Europe, and is just now hitting the US. I predict it’s going to be very big here this year. It’s called “QR codes.” You’ve probably seen these strange looking codes.

Quick Response codes are bar codes which do not require a laser to be read. That makes them readable for you on – ready for this? -smart phones! The QR Code can store phone numbers, URL’s, email addresses and pretty much any other alphanumeric data, up to 4296 characters, all in one little squiggly-looking block.

Think of these blocks of code as print-based hypertext links that require no typing.

How does it work? You just download a free app for your smart phone, and presto-chango, your phone is now a scanner -with a difference. The difference is that the information can be a URL -even the URL of a video. The information goes straight into the smart phone without typing, so the URL or phone or message appears instantly on the cell phone. How cool is that?

You Can Create A New QR Code Image In Seconds

There are a lot of free QR Code generator sites online. Here are a couple:

http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/

All you do is put the text (URL, phone number, address, marketing message, up to 4296 characters) into a form, hit “Enter” and Voila! -your QR image appears. Download this black and white image, print it and place it anywhere.

For use in a blog or on a web site, the Google Chart API code is even easier. Just insert this code:

<img src="http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&
chs=100x100&chl=http://videouniversity.com&chld=H"
alt="" />

When it’s in a web page or blog, that code will look like this:

Oh, I almost forgot; you’ll probably want to substitute your URL for the videouniversity URL in the above image.

You Need To Know This Stuff -And Here’s Why

Late last year, A.C. Nielsen predicted that smart phones will be the dominant media device by the end of 2011. That means they’re calling for more smart phones than computers! And we see it all around us; people are relying more and more on their phones to get information right now, rather waiting till they get back home or to the office and logging onto their computers.

Want a bride to see your demo reel right now on her phone? Show her your QR Code!

Google is pushing QR code hard for use in business listings, in Google Maps and Google Places. This technological solution is just about to go mainstream fast. Watch this short little video and see what I mean.

Idea! Put the code on your business cards and you can send prospects to a snappy little video bio of you on their cell phone -without typing.

In my recent postcard mailing (which I hope you’ve received and enjoyed) I had 10 URLs for specific products. Even though they were shortened URLs, people still have to type them in. Next time, I may use QR codes, so you can just point your smart phone at the code and instantly arrive at that product page.


Want to send viewers to a web site or a video on a site? Here are a few places to place your QR code:

1. Put it on DVDs.

2. On a decal in your car or company vehicle window.

3. On your business cards.

4. Put it on a business sign or a real estate for sale signs so drive by house hunters can see a virtual tour of the property on their cell phone, right then and there.

5. Put them on company T-shirts.

6. Put it on the side of a building.

Why not make a large QR Poster and put it in a public space? The code itself, while unreadable by humans, will intrigue passers-by. And most smart phone owners will recognize it and may be tempted to scan it.

Use Them To Get More Business Video Work

One of the best things a producer could do with QR codes is use them to sell more business videos. Try this: Before you go to a meeting with a corporate marketing guy or gal, or a non-profit agency, make a QR code for them with a link to their web site, then print a full page version of the QR code.

In your meeting, pull out the full page code and your smart phone. Ask if they’ve considered doing this. Scan the code print out with your phone and show them the screen when their organization’s website comes up. Then remark what a boost it would be to business if their organization’s video came up, ready to play!

Show them how easy it would be to have their QR codes on their front door, billboards, business cards, trade show booths. And how you can help make that happen.

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4 thoughts on “Quick Response Codes And The Smart Videographer

  1. Mike Rodo

    Been there done that…. I got a card from Google as one of the “Favorite Place”… and I put that on my business card and was my 20X30 signage @ the 2010 Bridal Expos.

    Reply
  2. Jef

    Yep thanks for this article its really useful – we use this on our social media sites too for example our Twitter account – The Web Video Company. Its gettting ppl to figure out what it is and how to use it now ..lol
    Jef

    Reply
  3. Luge

    QR Codes are a very cool tool– when used properly!

    There is much to learn – and to educate others- about best practices in regard to QR code, and of course, jumping onto the bandwagon poste-haste is going to be the norm. Folks get excited, want to use this “new” gizmo, liven things up, jump ahead with handy tech, etc… but be patient, take some time to look into the best practices from the numerous marketing/ tech experts with some background in this stuff. There’s some good methods to reference ( a neat one is above from Victor Petite), but there are many that fall short.
    It takes the consumer/ user effort to get the QR Code reader (or find it on thier phone, if it’s pre-loaded), figure out how to use it, and then actually use it! ‘Educating of the client’ is key here– not many folks know what the hell to do with the QR codes just yet in NA, so show them how to make the most of it with your QR-coded materials, links, images, etc.

    One good point: try to think of a neat reason to use QR codes, rather than as a mere tool to get to another URL text. In that, QR code engagement might be best directing to a vide player, an images, an animated banner, etc versus a page of URL’s, another link to click, etc. make it worth the effort for the user! Also, be sure to have the landing page adaptable to mobile devices– format, design, etc.

    just a few thoughts to fire up a dialogue– all the best!
    - Luge

    Reply

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