QR (Quick Response) codes are starting to pick up steam among the growing smartphone-browsing crowd – a statistic that has marketers brimming with creative ideas and promotions. A QR Code works by simply scanning the code with a mobile device that is equipped with a camera and QR Code reader application. These applications can be downloaded for free on popular smartphone platforms such as iPhone and Android.
QR codes are a useful tool used for many purposes: to direct traffic to a website, link users to a YouTube Video, Facebook or LinkedIn profile, provide contact details, and much more. QR codes are also a very valuable tool for mobile marketing campaigns. A quick scan of the code instantly connects to nutrition information, special offers, exclusive content, price quotes, or even the ability to make a hair-cut appointment or save contact information.
The technology is simple to use, comes at little additional cost for your company and requires no special hardware. Done properly, devoting a tiny square of your packaging or ad to a code can open up a different spectrum of interaction with current and potential customers.
How Can QR Codes be used for Marketing?
So how can you take advantage of this growing trend for your business? Keep in mind that much more than web addresses can be scanned. There are a number of practical ways QR codes can be used for marketing and promotions in a variety of settings. QR Codes can be integrated into just about any type of printed materials, including:
- Conference/Event Displays
- Print Advertisements
- Business Cards
- Brochures, Posters and Flyers
- Postcards and Mailers
- View a Mobile Website or Landing Page
- Dial Telephone Number
- Send a Text Message
- Send an Email
- View a Message or Special Offer
- Download Contact Details (VCARD)
- View a Google Maps Location
- View a Social Media Profile
2D Barcode Content Should Provide Special Value for the Customer
It’s work to scan a barcode, so users have higher expectations as to what content they will find. Reward the user with discounts, exclusive content, or useful tips relevant to the code’s context. Consider scenarios that leverage smartphone features (email, SMS, phone call, video, map, apps, etc.) to save the user time.
Consider the following questions before embarking on a marketing campaign using QR codes:
- What call to action should we use to ensure that people scan our codes in the first place? We need to give them a reason.
- What’s in it for the consumer? What will people see when they scan? Should we direct them to a mobilized landing page or perhaps a message?
- How should we track engagement?
- List 5 ways we can retain their interest and get them coming back.
Successful campaigns entice consumers to voluntarily engage with your brand. But “A lot of people think they can just put the bar code on wherever they want and leave it there,” Jordan says. “Lots of campaigns fail because there’s a call to action, and the call to action is poor.”
Are you ready to jump start a QR code campaign?