Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to create a CRE QR code...that works!

I provide location advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in southern California. I recently posted about QR codes working for CRE. Today, I will walk you through the step by step process of creating a QR code that will work for you...get people to view your content. The process involves these five steps: Create the content, shorten the URL, generate the code, copy the code to a directory, use the code in your marketing.

Create the content: This is the most time consuming part of the process...or it can be. As you will recall, a QR or quick response code can be embedded with text, a vcard, an SMS, or a URL. Depending upon the type of content that I am embedding I will use two or three different code generators. The one I use for vcards is Moongate. The reason is simple, the generator has more fields than other code generators and the code is easily scannable for IPhones and dumps the info into the phone's contact database. A scan of my vcard appears below:

If you choose to embed a URL...a website, blog, video, that has a http://www address and the address exists, you can simply copy and paste the URL into the generator which I will demonstrate in a moment. If the content doesn't exist...you want to film a listing or a message that can be affixed to a brochure...you must create the content. This can be easily done with an IPAD or IPhone...take the video, dump the video into YouTube and voila...your URL is created. We will start from that premise...the URL exists. We will now create a QR code of a video I shot last week of a listing we have in Santa Ana, California. 1530-1534 E. Edinger, Santa Ana, California.

Shorten the URL: This step can be skipped. The reason that I use this step is because I want to know who scans the code and how effectively it is used. If you shorten the code in a program like bitly, you create a simple analytic for your code. I believe you will have to create a free account with Bit.ly. Once you do, the main screen looks like this:

You copy and paste the longer YouTube URL into the bitly program and the URL is shortened. The long code is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_fiLlRqaCE and the shortened code is http://bit.ly/KHTId4 . By the way, if you are a Twitter user, I would recommend shortening a URL before tweeting it...so that you can see who (if anyone) reads, re tweets your message AND fewer characters are used. We now have a code that we can enter into our generator. I like Kaywa for generating QR codes with embedded URLs...much easier to use and it is free! The landing page of the Kaywa site looks like this:

Generate the code: We are almost done as the last steps are conducted from the screen above. We have created our content, captured the URL, shortened it, and now we simply choose the URL of the "content type". Enter the URL (should be able to copy and paste). Choose what size QR code you want...S, M, or L and press generate. (I have chosen L and the large version appears).The screen below is how the program appears before you generate the code:

When you press generate, the code appears in the box to the left as so:

Copy the code: You can now copy the code by right clicking on the image and saving it. The code is saved as a PNG file and can be used in marketing brochures, postcards, blogs, websites, etc. the cool thing is that if you used the "shorten" step, you can now see who scans the code and views the video.

Use the code in your marketing: Below, you can see how we used a code in marketing another property, 28 Hammond. Go ahead and try it! It's cool.