Originally developed in 1994 to aid in the tracking of vehicles and parts during manufacturing, QR codes found their true calling with the advent of smartphones. While still widely used in manufacturing, these codes also have numerous applications that can help marketing strategists.
What are QR codes?
The “QR” in QR code stands for “quick response.” A QR code is a type of barcode in the shape of a distinctive square. Individuals can instantly download the information encoded in this square using a digital device (Thus the “quick response” label).
While technically a type of barcode, QR codes are much more complex, and versatile, than traditional barcodes. They can store a significant amount of information, including up to 4,000 characters of text, allowing businesses to immediately communicate a diverse array of data in a single, concise design.
QR codes are simple to use, making them accessible to anyone who has a smartphone with a camera. Individuals simply open their camera and point it at the QR code. The phone or other digital device downloads the code’s information for fast and easy usage.
How are QR codes used in marketing?
Because of their simplicity and versatility, QR codes have many applications within marketing. Businesses can print QR codes anywhere, on anything, from flyers to brochures, signs to receipts, billboards to digital ads.
QR codes are primarily useful for closing the gap between physical and digital communication.
By placing QR codes on print materials or in physical locations, businesses provide individuals a way to easily access additional information about the business, products, services, discounts, and more, online.
Some QR codes can even immediately dial a phone number or download contact information to make connecting with a business as easy as a single scan or click.
8 Ways to Use QR Codes in Marketing
While QR codes have dozens of uses in the field of marketing, there are a few uses that are particularly effective at helping businesses grow. Here is a look at 8 of them.
Use QR codes to offer discounts.
Customers love discounts, and QR codes offer a quick, easy, and digital way for them to access these savings. Place QR codes on flyers, print advertisements, social media posts, or even digital ads. Consumers can download the discounts onto their digital devices and use it in-person or online to save on your products and services. With an easy discount in hand, they are far more likely to visit your business and purchase your goods and services.
Connect consumers with landing pages.
Typing in a web address manually takes time that consumers may not have. QR codes provide a solution: With a simple scan and click, consumers can immediately access any page on the Internet.
Businesses can use this ability to direct consumers to landing pages for any ad campaign. And, they can do so whether consumers are accessing that ad campaign via print or digital means.
Direct consumers to product information.
Consumers often have questions about the products they are thinking about buying. QR codes can help them find rapid answers to those questions by directing them instantaneously to product pages and details.
A business might put QR codes on product packaging or store signage to help consumers access additional information to help them decide what to purchase. For example, consumers may want to access nutritional information on food, product demos for technology, installation instructions for home-repair products, or home details about a real estate opportunity.
Make reviews simple to leave.
Online reviews can boost a company’s online reputation and set them apart from the competition. Since consumers tend to trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, cultivating positive feedback from customers should be a priority for every company.
QR codes can help. By placing them at checkout, on receipts, in follow-up emails, and other locations, businesses can make it simple to leave a review. All consumers do is scan, click, and leave their feedback.
Provide instance access to contact information.
Business cards can get lost. Writing down information can be laborious. But, QR codes can make storing your company’s contact information as simple as a scan.
QR codes can be designed to immediately download and store contact information on a digital devices when scanned. Businesses can simply place the QR code on a business card, receipt, flier, or ad to make getting in touch easier for potential customers.
Provide consumers with location information.
QR codes can help consumers not just get in contact with your business, but also direct them to your physical location. They can be designed to immediately provide location information for consumers, and even link to directions through Google Maps. With a single scan and click, consumers can find their way to your store, restaurant, bar, church, or organization, increasing the chances that you will see new customers walk through your doors.
Enable app downloads.
Does your business have an app that you want consumers to use? Provide access to it through a QR code. Scanning the code enables consumers to download the app onto their digital device. No more looking through app stores for the right app. And, because QR codes work on every major digital device, your consumers can access your app no matter which smartphone they use.
Send messages through QR codes.
Sometimes, you may want consumers to be able to easily send you messages. Whether you are looking for entries to a giveaway, RSVPs to an event, product upgrade requests, opt-ins for communications for your business, and more, QR codes can help.
When scanned, these QR codes deliver a message to your business, or provide a phone number to whom consumers can text their own custom message. With instantaneous communication available, QR codes make it simple for you and consumers to engage with each other.
Free QR Code Generator Tools
Create a free static QR code with the QRTIGER QR code generator. It has QR codes for URLs, vCards, files, social media, menus, H5, multi-URLs, Wi-Fi, app stores, text, and email, among other things.
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QR codes are powerful marketing tools, and because they are still not widely utilized in marketing, they can make your business stand out. Work with a professional marketer to integrate QR codes into your marketing campaigns and watch your business grow as a result!