Not long ago, I made the uneducated statement that I just didn’t “Get” QR (Quick Response) codes. Only after a number of you wrote in to introduce me to several creative and unique ways of using them, I am finally on board with the technology! But it did get me wondering: why was I so in the dark? Why did I, as an internet marketer, have so little interest in this nifty technology. Well, the quick answer is that I’d never been properly introduced to them. Just like an interesting person at a party that you hear about from everyone else, I’d only heard about what QR codes are all about, but never made the acquaintance.
Well, I figured I wasn’t alone, so the least I could do is make that introduction myself — and feel free to let me know of other cool ways QR Codes are used in practice.
In today’s wired world, many businesses have switched gears to focus solely on Internet marketing, leaving some of the more traditional offline marketing tactics behind.
This is a big mistake.
The key is learning how to bridge the gap between online and offline marketing, so you can attack from all angles.
QR codes are like barcodes that your cell phone can read, translate, and take you to a mobile website, an informational video, online coupons, etc.
Basically anything involving a URL, text, or other digital data can be encoded.
While not being widely used in the U.S. quite yet (and I emphasize the word “yet”), there are many creative ways you can incorporate them into your offline marketing strategy.
How do you read a QR code? There are all sorts of code reading applications available for free in both the iPhone and Android marketplaces. You simply take a picture of the code with your phone’s camera, and the application translates it. It really is as simple as that.
How can you create a QR code? There are many websites that offer free QR code generators. A search for “QR code generators” will provide plenty to choose from, such as this one from Kawaya.
How can you incorporate QR codes in your marketing strategy? With a little creativity, there are literally no limits to the number of ways in which they can be used.
1) Put them on your business cards so that potential clients can easily import you company’s contact information into their cell phone.
2) Put them on your print advertisements so that customers can view your website while on the go.
3) Create special offers unique to that QR Code that takes visitors to a website where they can download a specific coupon.
4) Link them to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media profiles.
5) Place them on your trade show materials so that potential clients can easily learn more about your company, or be taken to a sign up page on your mobile website.
There is no doubt that the ever increasing popularity of smartphones will drive the popularity of QR codes in the future. It’s just a matter of when.
We’d love to hear more ways you’re using QR Codes in your business, or other creative ways you’ve seen them being used!