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Use Of QR Codes In Digital Marketing

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Anywhere you go, you are sure to see a QR code. Most of the biggest brands today, like Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, The National Football League, and Best Buy have used these 2D barcodes in digital marketing campaigns to bridge the gap between traditional marketing avenues and online media. QR codes are usually small square-shaped black-and-white designs, which can be scanned by a mobile phone, to reveal specified information. They are generally placed on magazine ads, TV commercials, signboards, posters, marketing leaflets, websites and many other places.

Two digital marketing examples of effective use of QR codes are mentioned below:

. Geico: This auto-insurance company created direct mailers for targeted customers, with QR codes printed on the envelope. The marketing material within the envelope contained clear instructions informing the customer about what QR codes are, how they should use it, and what they would gain in return.

. Ralph Lauren: This designer clothing company printed QR codes in fashion magazine advertisements, which linked to its online shopping site. This digital marketing tactic transferred interested customers who simply viewed the ad, to a strong conversion funnel.

Making Use of QR Codes in Your Digital Marketing Mix

The use of QR Codes for marketing purposes can help you acquire more customers, generate more leads and enhance conversion rates. The possibilities of how you use QR codes to connect traditional marketing to digital marketing are limited only by your creative ability.

Below are some interesting digital marketing ideas, which you could use:

. Add a QR code to a marketing leaflet that takes prospective customers to a one minute welcome video on YouTube. This video should have annotations that direct customers to appropriate sales funnels.

. Post a QR code on a public signboard, in which a link to a Google map is embedded. This map gives customers info about the brand’s retail stores that are nearest to them, so that potential customers can visit the location ASAP.

. Add a special offer or discount within a QR code, which customers can take advantage of when they present their mobile phone to the sales person, when checking out.

To summarise, QR codes are increasing in popularity because they offer companies an effective channel for collecting immediate sales conversions from traditional marketing activities. With businesses around the USA adding QR codes to their digital marketing mix, the United States Postal Service has begun offering a special postage discount during the months of July and August 2011.

QR codes also help direct mail marketers save money on postage costs. Just include extra information about the product/service you are selling within the small QR code, and reduce the weight of the sales letters you are sending.

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Bing Deals – A New Digital Marketing Avenue

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In March 2011, Microsoft announced that their search engine ‘Bing‘ would soon be offering a ‘Deals’ service on the same lines as Google Offers, Facebook Deals and Yahoo Local Offers.

. Google Offers is a digital marketing service that makes it easy for businesses to attract customers, by posting special offers, across different Google channels. If a company wishes to create a discount, they just need to sign-in to Google Places, click on the ‘Offers’ tab, and fill in details about their digital marketing offer.

. Facebook Deals allows local companies to post information about special offers, which people can view and use through their desktops and mobile phones.

. Yahoo Local Offers is a service that pulls together discounts from various deal aggregating partners, such as Groupon, LivingSocial and Coupons.com.

With Google Bing, users in the United States will have access to more than 200,000 special offers, at 14,000 locations across the nation. These offers are mostly placed by companies as part of their digital marketing strategies. Just like Yahoo Local Offer, Bing‘s digital marketing service will also act like a deal aggregator, providing discounts from partners like Groupon and LivingSocial, in its search results.

Instead of creating its own deal program like Google or Groupon, Microsoft has partnered with a service provider called The Dealmap, for Bing Deals. The Dealmap is a leading US based digital marketing website that helps users find and share local deals from all over the country. Andy Chu, the director of product management at Bing Mobile has said that the main mission of Bing is to help consumers “cut through the clutter” on the Internet, and make decisions in a quicker manner.

Bing Deals can be accessed by people living in the United States on their personal computers, as well as through their smartphones, using the iPhone and Android browsers. However, people using Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system will not be able to access Bing Deals, because it does not work on HTML5 software. After the US market, Microsoft is expected to launch Bing Deals in various other countries, before it is launched in the United Kingdom.

Bing Deals allows users to search for discounts and special offers, either by location or by category. If a person accesses Bing Deals through a mobile phone, they will also be able to search for deals according to geolocation. People who like a particular deal, can either save it, or share it with a contact through email.

The increasing number of social commerce websites means additional avenues for conducting digital marketing activities. It is vital for digital marketing professionals to ensure visibility of the brands they are promoting on Bing Deals, to garner higher revenues for their clients.

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Online Video – The Future Of Digital Marketing

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Some of the leading digital marketing experts have predicted that online video and television are set to become more central to the way users use the Internet. The popularity of various video sharing websites like YouTube, together with the growth of online TV promoted by leading television channels and publications, has led to the development of a new digital marketing avenue through which advertisers can generate sales.

According to Cisco, a leading information technology and networking giant, online video is expected to strongly dominate the web in the future. In June 2010, they had published a white paper called the Cisco Visual Networking Index. This whitepaper predicted that in about four years, different kinds of online video would generate more than 91 percent of worldwide Internet traffic. This video includes content from video sharing websites, as well as video-on-demand and television streaming. In fact, Cisco expects Internet video, by itself, to account for around 57 percent of global consumer traffic.

This white paper presents a strong challenge for digital marketing experts. If they do not become proficient in creating video-related digital marketing campaigns, they will miss out on a whole range of lucrative opportunities. With a whopping amount of traffic for online videos expected to pour in over the next few years, no digital marketing company can afford to ignore such a huge number of visitors, which could potentially convert into massive sales. Hence, it is important that digital marketing professionals develop skills in creating good video advertisements that will captivate viewers, and encourage them to take the desired action.

Another thing which digital marketing professionals need to consider is the device used by a user while viewing an online video. Today, the devices used by users to view online videos have also undergone a change. Instead of desktop computers and laptops, consumers are now using smartphones, tablets, and platforms like Google TV and Apple TV. Google TV is a software platform that can be accessed on Logitech set-top boxes and Sony televisions. It allows people to watch television, rent movies, as well as surf the web and watch online videos at the same time. Apple TV is a competitor of Google TV.

According to a survey by Harris Interactive, a leading US-based digital marketing research agency, customers are displaying a significant amount of enthusiasm for Google TV and Apple TV. While around 51 percent of people polled were excited about Apple TV, around 45 percent of people were excited about Google TV. This is attributed to the fact that these platforms allow users to browse the Internet through their television screens, which generally offer a larger and clearer picture than desktops.

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Incorporating A ‘Brand Embrace’ In Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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In the digital marketing sphere, the lines that divide search, display, and social media are not always clear. This blurring of lines becomes even more obvious when paid search is combined with display ad targeting. Many leading digital marketing experts refer to this blend as a ‘brand embrace’.

What is a brand embrace?

A brand embrace is a process that involves the use of paid search to identify various groups of prospective customers who are actively viewing information about particular products or services on your website.

After identifying such customers, the digital marketing company uses retargeted ads that follow the customer around while they continue to search for similar products or services on the Internet. Retargeting ads are served by retargeting networks like Google, BurstMedia and ValueClick. They set cookies on the browsers of visitors, which trigger ads on other websites of their retargeting network, when they are later visited by the particular customer.

Digital marketing companies can use various forms of paid search, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo in their retargeting mix, as well as banners, and direct hits. As paid search gets website visitors who are actively interesting in making a purchase or seeking information, it is generally considered the best retargeting option by most digital marketing experts.

The process of ‘brand embrace’

1. Digital marketing professionals begin by adding retargeting code on their landing pages, which will place a cookie on the visitor’s browser, tagging them as a retargeting candidate.

2. Later, potential buyers are driven to their website through paid search. This sets them apart as people who are actively interested in purchasing the particular product displayed on the landing page. A retargeting cookie is implanted in the browser of each website visitor.

3. As the website visitor continues to surf the Internet, the retargeting network will notice when they visit websites that serve digital marketing ads of the retargeting network. Promptly, they will display your ad so that the customer clicks and returns to your website.

4. After a period of time, your company will be able to generate a long list of repeat customers who are actively interested in your brand.

Are you worried about interested customers who don’t convert through paid search? Perhaps you are running a digital marketing campaign to generate leads for your business. In such cases, a brand embrace will help you to continuously target customers who did not convert on the first paid click, or who are still undecided about making a purchase.

For example, if a particular landing page has a conversion rate of 75 percent, there are 25 percent of people who did not convert. Smart digital marketing specialists do not let this 25 percent walk away easily. Instead, they use retargeting to ensure that these customers come back some time in the future

I am a Writer, Blogger and I love Photography, as well as do a lot of Traveling, Counseling, Volunteering (have volunteered WHO health projects, AOL programs) & enjoy life to the fullest.

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