What are QR codes and what should I use them for?
QR codes are 2-D barcodes that behave like hyperlinks and can be decoded using your smartphone with a QR code reader. They can link to a new product page on your website, a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter profile, a Google maps reference, vouchers or special offers – just about anything you want to show and tell your customers about. You can also use QR codes to send emails and SMS messages automatically or upload people’s contact details into your smartphone’s address book. They were first designed for the auto industry to track parts.
QR codes – a huge marketing opportunity just waiting to be tapped
The great thing about QR codes is that you are not limited in terms of length, size and space. Traditional advertising works on limits. You pay for extra airtime, advertising and newspaper space. But fixing a QR code to your advertisement, you are literally limitless in the amount of information you can include in your advert. According to the latest UK survey of mobile phone users in July 2011, 45% of consumers already own a smartphone with a further 17% planning to acquire one within the year. In terms of marketing opportunities, there is an audience for QR codes that is just waiting to be tapped!
How do I get a QR code?
It’s very easy. There are several websites which will create QR codes for free like Quickqr and Qrstuff.
How do QR codes work?
The first thing you need to do is to download a QR reader. Most smartphones come with readers already installed these days. You can also download one from the internet for free. After you’ve done this, enter the QR reader on your phone and take a picture of the QR code. This will take you to the code’s location. For example, if you put your LinkedIn or website address into the QR code creator, the QR code created will take people to that page when they take a picture of it on their smartphone.
How do you use a QR code?
You can use QR codes to promote yourself, your products and services in all sorts of ways. For example, you might have a QR code next to each product on your web site which contains product details, contact information and the web link to the page so consumers can review this information on their smart phone and share it with their friends. You could add one to your job advertisement, exhibition stand, company signage and business card so it’s easy for someone to add you to their smart phone address book.
In short, you can add a QR code to any marketing and advertising materials from posters to TV advertisements and use them to connect consumers or customers to:
- Product information
- Contact details
- Special offers
- Special events
- Competition details
- Voucher or coupon
- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
- Latest YouTube video