What is a QR code?
QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is a 2-D barcode that can be scanned by a smart phone's camera to transfer information. Based on the type of code it is, it might direct the viewer to a website, make a phone call, deliver a vCard or open a map and give directions and more. The QR code has become a focus of advertising strategy, since it provides quick and effortless access to the brand's website. We're starting to see more QR codes appear in traditional advertisements, they appear in magazines, on signs, on buses, on business cards, or on almost any object about which users might need information.
How can I market my business with QR codes?
QR codes will continue to gain in popularity with the boom in smart phone usage. They are easy to create, and becoming easier for consumers to use. Depending on your business, you can use QR codes as another way to engage your audience, drive traffic to your website (or elsewhere), and build your business.
So where might I use them?
1) QR Codes on business cards. OK, not the most creative idea ever. In fact, this is probably the first way many businesses use QR codes. Rather than overload a business card with all of your contact info you could include the bare minimum for reaching you, then create a QR code that opens up their phone address book and adds your info automatically ( v-card). Or one that leads people to your Twitter, Facebook, Blogged, LinkedIn, Yelp, Foursquare, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, accounts.
2) Labeling on your product. Example: on the back of a print, a money envelope or other product is a QR code that directs the customer to an offer or special for a future purchase .Or to enter in their name and e-mail for a drawing of a Prize.
3) Displays. Few businesses are open 24/7. Don’t disappoint potential customers after you've left for the day. Create a Get a Deal Now! QR code and put it in your studio window or at your tradeshow Booth. One quick scan and you've turned a potential lost sale into an online customer who's going to share a lot more of their contact information with you.
4) Promotions, discounts and giveaways. If you want to encourage patronage from iPhone and Android users, you could create discounts that are specific to the QR codes. You could run these codes in advertisements ( e-mails, Blogs, Facebook) or post them throughout your studio. You could even turn them into a "retweet" so that your shoppers share their discount with their followers.( a social recommendation carries much more weight than a typical advertisement )
5) Use QR codes to get Likes and Follows. You can create mobile-friendly landing pages with Facebook ”like” buttons or lead them to your Twitter page for a quick follow. It’s all about engagement, so a like or follow can create a long-term marketing opportunity.
The list can go on and on!! As you can see, the potential for QR Codes is limitless. What’s most exciting is how they take what social media is doing well now (bringing people together with technology) and extending it to enhance the experience!!