Quick Response (QR codes) were originally developed in Japan a few years ago and have been used effectively there ever since. Unlike a standard bar code, QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes that connect mobile users to websites, event details, video and other content. Recently, they have started to crop up in the US and other countries also. To most people, they may just look like black and white squares or some sort of strange barcode print but when scanned with a cell phone the codes can offer extra beneficial information and content about your product, a lot more when compared to a standard billboard or magazine advertisement. As social media and mobile marketing are becoming popular, QR codes are being adopted by businesses because they can easily engage customers with spontaneous response.
However, they should be used correcly because you don’t want to risk any damage to your brand that could have long term consequences. Like with today’s other social media technology, news can travel fast so it is important to send the correct messages out to your target audience of consumers. Here are some things you should aim for when it comes to QR codes:
• Try to provide something extra – Most people will expect some sort of special exclusive website content or discount on a product. By providing this you can help to create a positive experience around your brand.
• Make the site mobile friendly – Remember that your customers will be accessing the site from their smartphones so it’s a good idea to ensure your site looks good on a small screen and if you are going to include videos make sure the videos will load quickly and work on the operating system of a smartphone.
• Try to be creative – As QR codes get more and more popular having good original content will help your brand stand out more. You can also be creative by placing your QR code in a new or interesting place (although, this can backfire).
• Provide different content than what’s on your website – QR codes should always be used for additional content that is not available on your website, this will make it more attractive for the consumer to use.
• Make sure your QR code is easy to scan – Try to shorten the URL to make sure your QR code has only a few large pixels, this will enable your customers to easily scan it quickly and accurately. A QR code also needs a small white border of a few pixels in order to be effective.
• Give instructions on how to use the QR code – Because it is a relatively new technology some people may not be aware of how to use it correctly. Providing information on the different available scanner software and how to download it can help people get the latest versions and access your site easier.
• QR code size – Make sure the code is the correct size so that it can be easily scanned, and if the code is on a poster make sure it is at the correct height for easy scanning. You don’t want it to be too high or too low.
• Make sure all of the codes and links are tested and working correctly before your advertisement is printed.
QR codes can be an effective way to promote your brand and market your products. QR codes are a great tool to get people to visit links, images and text. Now, you are able to generate codes, print them and stick them somewhere. It will allow you manage content and access of those codes without the regenerating and reprinting those codes. Have fun with QR codes!