Sunday, March 27, 2011

Using QR Codes to Promote Your Music



If you’re not familiar with QR codes (quick response code), they are the little black & white checker-box images that are popping up on posters, kiosks, signs and just about everywhere else information is displayed.  You’ve probably already seen them in use and just didn’t know what they were.  When you spot a QR code, simply scan the code with a scanning app on your iPhone, Android, or camera-enabled smartphone.  The QR code can initiate a number of smartphone functions, from linking to digital content on the web (like your music on CD Baby) to triggering a text message.  One of the more useful functions for QR codes in music promotion is to link directly to digital content that enhances the message on your show poster or flyer.
So how can you actually draw people into your music with a QR Code?
For my band’s recent album release show, we embedded a QR code in the concert poster that took people directly to a mobile-optimized site that immediately played a track from our yet-to-be-released album.  This not only allowed the user to instantly hear new music, but also gave them the opportunity to take info about the band with them to check out later at their own convenience.  QR codes turn your postering efforts into a multimedia experience that leaves a deeper fan impression.  See the images below.


The QR Code in action on the concert poster
After scanning the code, the mobile device is taken to an optimized landing page
Where can you get a QR code?
There are numerous QR code creation tools online.  Just Google QR Code and you’ll find a huge list.  The QR code creation tool I used to create the code in our concert poster is called Kaywa.  It was simple to use and free to create your codes.  URL shortener bit.ly also has a way to create a QR code that allows you to track links, so if you love to track your QR code scans, they might be your best bet.
Have you used a QR code in your music promotion?  Tell us how you used it in the comments below.
-Kevin Breuner at CD Baby
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