In this quick guide to promote your podcast with QR codes:
- A QR code is a symbol that a smartphone camera can scan, and use to open a URL.
- You can include a QR code in your business cards and other promotional material.
- Businesses that make stickers and cards can help you generate QR codes for PR materials.
- For people who might not know how to use a podcast app, or have a desktop computer, a QR code can get a link to your podcast on their phones, and help them listen.
- Read on, to find out more…
You already know about sharing your podcast's links. What if those links could be shared, between electronic devices, for you? Some folks say they're not “tech-savvy” enough to listen to a podcast or surf the World Wide Web, yet they know how to use a smartphone. What if you could help them get the podcast on their smartphones, right away? If there were only some way they could scan a symbol and have your podcast pop up on their phones… oh, wait, there is. You could promote your podcast with QR codes.
What Is a QR Code?
You may have seen QR (quick response) codes before. Marketers use them on food labels, signs, and business cards. They look like little black and white checkerboards, gone awry. It's a unique symbol that your smartphone's camera can read and translate into a web address. Most smartphones' operating systems have this function in their camera's software now. However, QR code reader apps are often free.
When you make promotional materials, such as stickers or business cards, you can include a QR code in your image or text. This way, not only do people have a tangible result of a conversation with you (the card or sticker), they can act on it easily. All they have to do is scan the QR code with their smartphone's camera. A notification will pop up, saying, “this links to (your podcast website).”
How Can I Use It?
You should have one page on your web site that briefly describes your podcast, and how to listen, in a nutshell. It should have the simplest possible summary, and links to it on different directories. You want to make sure that the user can sample your podcast in the fewest possible number of clicks. If you use embedded players, you can embed a trailer on that page as well. Let's say the URL for that page is your podcast.com/listen-now.
Many business card and sticker designers include QR codes as an option in the design process. Take Moo.com, for example. Their website walks you through the process of designing the business cards, and generating the QR code. You enter your podcast.com/listen-now. When the website generates the QR code, you just add it to the overall design, like an image.
Include It in a Conversation
My mom is not the most tech-savvy person. Most of her friends are women who didn't grow up with computers, and don't use them frequently. They do, however, like a good radio drama. Many of them have smartphones. My mom carries one of my podcast business cards in her wallet. When her friends ask, “what's your daughter doing these days?” she asks if they have a smartphone, and gets them to pull it out and turn on the camera. Mom shows her friend the card, and explains that I've made a story they can listen to on their phone. She holds the card still so they can scan the QR code. The link pops up on their phone's screen. They tap on it, and voilá. They can listen to Jarnsaxa Rising.
Business cards cost money; including a QR code lets your cards have more impact. Stickers are great as promotional merchandise; they let your podcast logo travel and be seen in places you don't expect. Stickermule uses a process similar to moo.com's, to add QR codes to sticker designs. This way, you don't even have to have a conversation, but let your art do the talking.
Podcast Promotion Beyond QR Codes
There are many ways to promote your podcast, and they all connect with each other. If you want more help navigating the waters of podcast promotion, why not join us at The Podcast Host Academy? We have courses and resources on media kits, vox pops, and much more. Our weekly Live Q&A sessions can help with any podcasting ideas and queries you have as well.