QR (Quick Response) codes are a new and innovative way to get your business information out to the general public and your target market. They can be included on a business card, in an advertisement and in many other ways throughout your marketing efforts. These codes help businesses turn any flat surface advertisement, such as print or subway billboard ads, into an interactive advertisement.
Potential customers can scan these codes and they will upload information, such as phone numbers, business names, websites, coupons or anything else programmed into the code, into their smart device. You can connect the code with a mobile application, launch your website when it’s scanned, link it to a video or use it to generate a sales call.
How Can Your Business Benefit from QR Codes?
With the low cost of creating and printing these codes, businesses are using them to increase foot traffic, web traffic and get the message out about a new product or service. They are very powerful and it’s been reported that about 5% of American consumers scanned a QR code in a three-month period in 2011 (reported by The Forrester). This number may seem small, but its growing everyday as smartphone sales increase and more people learn what QR codes are.
Another statistic shows that most of those scanning these codes are younger, affluent males. Among those scanning a QR codes, it’s been reported that nearly 20% have made a purchase after scanning the code. Chadwick Martin Baily reported that nearly 14 million people scanned these codes and over 2.5 million made a purchase after the scan. AT&T reported that over 44 million of their users have the necessary app to scan these codes and the numbers are on the rise.
Your business can benefit in many ways from the implementation of QR codes. Here are some of the most common benefits.
- Helps bridge the gap between online and offline media – With the ability to add a QR code to business cards, posters, billboards, signs, flyers, brochures and any other type of offline advertisement, it’s much easier to merge these two worlds. No longer do you need to print your web address or phone number. When someone scans the code, all the necessary information can be stored within it, making it easier for you and the consumer.
- Community Building and Sharing – QR codes allow companies to create their own small community by connecting the code to a “like” button for your Facebook page. Companies can also create retweets with these codes to allow customers to retweet a message just by scanning the code. With the right implementation of these codes, you can put your social marketing on steroids.
- Create a “call to action” – These codes are great for creating a call to action for your business. You can allow a video to launch when the code is canned, take someone to your website, launch a pre-filled tweet or a number of other actions. The code can deliver a text message with a discount code or it can create a “call us” or “email us” action.
Many other Benefits from Using QR Codes
These three benefits are just the main ones. Your company can use QR codes in many unique ways to create many indirect benefits, as well. One of the most powerful indirect benefits is the social and search engine optimization you get from these codes. A big part of how Google and other search engines rank you website comes from social signals. By using a QR code to create more social sharing, you will indirectly benefit the SEO of your website.
You can also implement these codes into your advertising offering time sensitive discounts for those scanning them. This can certainly help increase foot traffic or if you prefer, send them to the website to use the discount, which increases your web traffic. There are many ways local businesses can implement QR codes into their marketing efforts and create unique benefits.
In-Store Implementation of QR Codes
Many companies are using QR codes within their business to offer discounts, vouchers, information and a number of other things. Maybe you’re promoting a new product and you want to allow shoppers to quickly view a video about the product. Set up a QR code linking to the video and they can view it right on their phone as they’re shopping.
They can also be used in place of paper coupons, which cost more to print, within the store. Since the customer just needs to scan the code to get the coupon, there’s no need to print more than just one code. Once the coupon is saved in their smartphone, they can redeem it at the register when they check out.
Restaurants can implement these codes on their menu and link to more information or even a video about how the dish is made. The information the consumer gets from scanning the code can also include a drink recommendation or an upgrade to the dish. This helps turn a boring menu into an interactive experience for the guest.
Other Creative Ways to use QR Codes
QR codes can be used in many other ways. Use them to provide a free trial download of a software program, to provide discounts within your advertising, sell space you have for advertising including QR codes or a number of other ways. One example of how these codes are being implemented is found from a restaurant offering advertisement on their placemats. They put QR codes on it with the words, “place your advertisement here”. When someone scans the code, they can actually pay for the advertising right then and there.
These codes provide many unique opportunities for branding, discounts and a number of other uses. Whether you want to build your social community by linking to a “like” or “follow” button or you prefer to link to a redeemable coupon, a QR code will allow you to grow your business. Local businesses can use these codes within their business and within their marketing. It’s a quick and easy way to get your information into the hands of the consumer and increase business.