January 12

Video QR Codes: Sticky Notes for the TikTok Generation

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QR codes have made a furious comeback in business circuits over the last couple of years. Is there a way to leverage this technology for education marketers? 

The pandemic definitely helped catalyze this comeback as hundreds of “non-techy” people had to pull up digital menus on their phones through QR codes.

Now, it’s safe to say that almost all of your target audiences, including moms and dads, are familiar with how to use QR codes. 

This, combined with the fact that QR technology is baked into all the major mobile operating systems (just by using the mobile device’s camera), has positioned QR codes to be a powerful marketing and enrollment cultivation tool. 

Of course, you could use QR codes to simply point prospective students and their families to your website or social media platforms. 

But a more effective approach would be to merge them with the more personal, “high-touch” method of video communications to cultivate better relationships. 

That’s why we brought in my friends, John and Mike, to sit down and talk about their new video QR code tool, spokenote

In this episode of The Higher Ed Marketer podcast, we spoke with spokenote’s CEO, John Wechsler, and CMO, Mike Harmon, about the potential for personalized QR code videos in the higher ed space.

Sometimes the best tools are the simplest to use, because if it’s simple and quick, then you’re more likely to use it consistently.

Will the humble QR code remain as popular as it is today? Not sure. 

But video is definitely not going anywhere! That’s why I recommend you check out the potential of leveraging QR technology with personalized video content in this fascinating conversation.

How Spokenote Works

At the beginning of our conversation, John gave us a quick rundown of how spokenote works. 

What we do at spokenote is we give you the ability to add video to anything. 

The way it works is you scan our QR code, and then you record or upload a video. 

After that, wherever you put that sticker, or the QR code, your video plays [on the device that scans it]. 

At the end of the day, we are the utility for the creation and sharing of ad hoc video, and we do it right now with these little stickers.

Here’s a YouTube video showing how this all works in real life.

Using Video QR Codes for Higher Ed Marketing

QR codes have “always had this unique ability to bridge the physical space and the digital space.” 

This bridge could be used in a thousand ways in every marketing sector.

But how can you use it specifically in higher ed marketing? Mark shares his ideas.

I am unbelievably excited about the applications of spokenote within the higher ed experience!

Right now we have a campus in Indiana using the product as part of the admissions process. They’re using student ambassadors to record a message to an incoming student to give them some tips or help them build a bridge as they make this important transition in their life. 

There was a hilarious example [when] one of our customers posted a spokenote on the door of his daughter’s dorm room insisting that there be no boys in the room. It was really clever! 

On the flip side, you could also use [spokenotes] for folks to make introductions about themselves. 

QR codes are Gen Z catnip. They are very, very curious about what’s behind that [code]. What’s the prize behind that code? 

When they get something on the other side [of the code] that is personalized for them, there is absolutely that magic moment, and they’re ready to engage.

John continued by giving an example of how to use video QR codes to recognize student achievement.

One high school here in Indiana was using our spokenote stickers to recognize and honor their student of the month. Each teacher in the high school sent a postcard home, recognizing the student of the month. 

What these students received, with a personalized video from their teacher, was a very heartfelt message about why that student was the student of the month. 

One French teacher did the entire thing in French. I was like, “I don’t know what she’s saying, but it’s really cool!”

How cool must it be to hear that personalized heartfelt message? 

Personalized Video Content Is Key for Gen Z

I’m seeing a lot more schools leaning into using video email delivery with BombBomb, or even doing it on their own. 

In fact, there is a president – at West Texas A&M University – who sent out 3,000 personalized videos congratulating the acceptance of their new students. 

Imagine leveraging the power of personalized video like the example I mentioned above along with QR codes, which you can stick anywhere like a treasure hunt. 

As an admissions counselor, you could send out a quick birthday card with a spokenote QR code inside to get it out the door fast while communicating in a personal way.

That is sure to differentiate you from the other three schools who are sending out the same birthday card, but without the personal video.

The currency of Generation Z

With respect to video, we have to recognize that this is the way of life, this is the way content is both created and consumed for this generation. 

Having a platform that hits them with the type of content they’re most likely to enjoy can have that breakthrough moment and get [their] attention.

Short-form video content is the currency of Gen Z.

More people go to TikTok than they do to Google—that tells you how important video is!

Discover more when you listen to the podcast!

Like all of our blog post reviews of The Higher Ed Marketer podcasts, there’s so much more to learn in the podcasts themselves.

Listen to our interview with John Wechsler and Mike Harmon to get even more insights into:

  • How the pandemic revived QR code applications (5:15)
  • Practical applications of video QR codes in higher ed (14:02)
  • Spokenote’s roadmap for enhancing the custom video experience (21:41)


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Featured image via spokenote.com

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