You’ve seen them—the strange, square, scrabbled barcodes. These marketing tools are slowly making their way into royalty – Facebook and Twitter – and are not expected to go anywhere, anytime soon. These boxes are known as Quick Response (QR) Codes.
QR codes have been used in Japan for many years in a variety of forms and designs. These codes can be placed anywhere and in any size including the side of a building, the back of a bus, or simply on your website, and work in conjunction with smart phones. Anyone who wants to download the application, sometimes called the barcode scanner app, can then hold their smart phone up to one of the QR codes and take a picture. The application will then scan the picture and link you over to a landing page. For example, if you see a printed poster promoting an upcoming concert with a QR code on it, you could take a picture of the code and it will send you directly to the website where you can buy tickets. Or, if you see a product you are interested in with a QR code, take a picture of it to get more information instantly through your smartphone. Some authors are even getting creative with QR codes and including them within thd body text of novels. For example, the author writes about its main character wandering through the streets of Venice. He accompanies it with a QR code that, when scanned, takes the reader (through their smartphone) over to an actual video of the streets of Venice. But more often than not, QR codes are being used for advertising in offline print media like street posters, newspaper ads, bus shelters, and restroom ads where people are most likely to find the impulse to scan and receive. While this may all sound more like a fad, consider these five reasons why your small business should consider using QR codes in its marketing:
1. Mobility, Mobility, Mobility
People are incredibly mobile today. They are also impatient and constantly rushing. QR codes let people quickly scan something that peaks their interest, and later consume it in detail. It’s unlikely you’ll find many people stopping to write down a website address or phone number from an advertisement they see in public.
2. Integrate in All Your Marketing Touch Points
Have your QR code appear in multiple touch points – Facebook, website, print media, tradeshow materials, and swag – and integrate them so that they deliver the user to a landing page with a consistent message, incentive or offer. Or use different QR codes for each medium and track visitors to discover which is most effective for this type of marketing.
3. Majority Use Smart Phones
QR codes require the use of a smart phone. Studies suggest that about 70 percent of people actively use their smart phones on a daily basis. QR codes gives people one more unique and interesting way to engage with their smart phones.
4. It’s Free
There are many QR code generators to choose from, and most are free. Do a search on Google, and download an app.
5. You Can Brand Your QR Code
QR codes are also getting more sophisticated. And artsy. There are now QR code generators that can incorporate your logo into the actual code design to better align it with your branding and for customer recall.
Guest Author – Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to inbound call center. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including telephone answering services to small businesses and entrepreneurs at Resource Nation.