With social distancing efforts continuing to put a serious damper on many businesses, entrepreneurs and marketing gurus in every industry imaginable have been forced to think outside of the box in order to lure in customers. Many of them are increasingly turning to QR codes, which are a fantastic way to tap into the power and ubiquity of smartphones for marketing purposes.
Nevertheless, many entrepreneurs continue to shun QR codes because they’re unfamiliar with the technology that underlies this technique, while others understand it but simply doubt its efficacy.
In reality, QR codes can deliver a huge boost to your marketing strategy if you know how to leverage them properly. Here’s what you need to know about QR codes for marketing purposes, and what mistakes to avoid if you don’t want to embarrass your brand.
You’ve probably already seen them
If you’ve never heard of a QR code, it’s nevertheless a matter of fact that you’ve probably seen one or two. Originally developed in the 1990s, they’ve since become an ubiquitous part of the marketplace; QR (short for quick response) codes are the matrix barcodes that can be scanned with your smartphone or dedicated scanning device to deliver information to your device.
Many brands in Japan use QR codes for marketing purposes and have been relying upon them for well over a decade, while some Western firms are just beginning to realize how fundamentally important they are toward the future of marketing.
QR codes are even beginning to show up on business cards, allowing you to scan them to access a digital portfolio or a similar dataset. Many video games and digital products use QR codes, too, which is why they’re so popular with young people. Brands that want to appeal to youthful consumers are thus strongly advised to look into incorporating QR codes into their marketing strategy. Whether you’re trying to drum up business for spray tanning companies, local grocery stores, or digital products, QR codes can help customers connect with your brand like never before.
First, you should review what not to do when it comes to QR codes. Implementing QR codes into your marketing strategy in an area that has lackluster wifi is a terrible mistake – customers need connectivity to access your QR codes, so be sure that the area you’ll be deploying them to has great wifi.
Sizing is also important, as many newcomers to the QR code scene make QR codes that are either too large or too small. Toeing a fine line in the middle is your best bet, but you should know that looking into the best size for your use case is going to depend on the media you’re interested in.
It may sound obvious to those who know about QR codes, but you must also ensure it’s physically accessible. Putting a QR code on something like a billboard or other inaccessible location will prevent people from using it properly.
Finally, ensure that people have a good reason to scan the code in the first place – simply plopping the code down and leaving people to figure it out themselves will make them think it’s not something intended for consumer use. Leave a message near the code to ensure they know to scan it.
Consider these clever QR code strategies
Now that you know which QR code mistakes to avoid if you don’t want to end up wasting your precious marketing money, you can focus on learning about the clever QR code strategies that others have employed before you. Learning from their marketing campaigns will allow you to tap into their success and make it your own.
Take some time to review 5 excellent use cases that will illustrate how this technology is meant to be used in the first place, and your brand will soon be employing similar tactics.
Starbucks is one of the most popular brands in the world for good reason – they make it incredibly easy to learn about their new offerings, often by employing QR codes. Readers of popular newspapers and magazines frequently come across QR codes that lead them to web pages hosted by Starbucks that illustrate the latest coffee products they have for sale. This, in turn, drums up additional business for the brand.
Other brands have realized that QR codes can be offered to customers so that they can send personalized messages to their friends or loved ones after purchasing them a gift – a great strategy for the holiday season.
If you fear that your company lacks the technical expertise needed to ensure that its QR code campaign goes off without a hitch, don’t be afraid to hire a dedicated tech expert to manage the process. Local businesses can also keep things simple and put QR codes on their doors to allow customers to scan them to determine things like your business hours. Remember that QR codes can be applied to a myriad of marketing situations, and your brand will soon be accelerating past its competitors.