You’re It! Tag Your Customers with Microsoft Tag

Microsoft Tags are two dimensional bar codes that carry loads of information and enable consumers to access and share useful content easily. They are somewhat similar to the traditional QR codes but with a few added features and advantages. I am going to review this amazing technology in detail and guide you on using it for your small business.

What is Tag?

A Tag is a 2D barcode that connects people with the digital information associated with the Tag. It uses four colors in a 5 x 10 grid and, additionally, the code also works in monochrome. The print size can be varied accordingly. For example, a Tag on a billboard representing a movie can printed large enough to be read from a distance or the Tag can be as small as the size of a penny to be printed on a product.

Key Features:

  • Create five different types of mobile experiences using video, applications and more…
  • Incorporate your logo or art work with the help of custom Tags.
  • Customized customer experience based on their location.
  • Provide your customers a different experience based on how often your Tag has been scanned by them.
  • Analyze your Tags’ performance and tweak your marketing strategies accordingly.

How does it work?

A Tag is basically a machine-readable web link which can be read with the help of a smart phone. The phone needs to have Tag application installed on it in order to read the Tag. When it is read, the Tag application sends the data to a Microsoft server, which returns the publisher’s intended link. The Tag reader then directs the user’s mobile browser to the appropriate website. Some GPS-enabled devices can additionally send the coordinate data to the server, based on which location-specific information can be retrieved.

Tags vs. QR and other 2D codes:

  • Tags are visually more appealing than QR codes, as they offer multicolor images.
  • Tags offer reporting features and access to data that is just not possible with QR codes.
  • Tags have the capability to let you change your data source, unlike other 2D codes that are associated with a single permanent link.
  • Tags can be updated as frequently as you like to point to new websites, thereby allowing you to reuse campaign materials.

How can Tags be used for small businesses?

The best thing is that Tags are free! Yes, they’re free both for commercial and non-commercial usage!

To create a Tag for your business, all you need to is use the Tag Manager tool. In less than five minutes, you can create a Tag for your product. Whenever your clients scan your Tag from their smart phones using the free Tag App, they can experience the content you’ve created for them!

You can keep a track of how well your Tag is performing by using the free reporting tools and even fine tune your marketing campaign if things aren’t going the way you intended. You can even keep track of how frequently your Tags are scanned and where they are being scanned. Different types of Tags can be created with the Tag Manager tool to promote your business. They are:

URL Tags: Share videos and websites with your customers.

vCard Tags: Create digital business cards, thereby allowing your customers to add you to their contact lists!

App Download Tag: If you have a mobile app for your business, then create a smart App Tag which would automatically recognize the type of device scanning it, and deliver the appropriate version of your App directly to their mobile device.

Free Message Tags: If the information provided isn’t enough, then add a Text Tag and complete the information using up to 1000 characters.

Dialer Tag: Now you can put a Tag that will let your customers call you directly without dialing any number, but instead, scanning the Dialer Tag.

Now that you have a general idea of what Tags are and how they can be used, it is time you start incorporating Tags and promote your small business today!

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Farhan Niazi is an experienced web developer with a passion for blogging. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand and is currently working for McCarrison Hayes as their Chief Information Officer. He is the founder of SMB Tech Guide and writes for several blogs and magazines including Two's Company, Stirring Media and TMR Direct. Follow him on Twitter.

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