QR – or ‘quick response’ – codes have been buzzing through mobile marketing circles for years, but it’s only recently that they’re starting to pop up in Canada and the United States, primarily due to the impact of smart phones.
QR codes aren’t exactly mainstream yet, however you can find them through major print publications, advertisements, and throughout a variety of different storefronts and buildings. Many of us have seen the codes on display, but it won’t be long before the majority of people will be able to immediately recognize a QR code and begin to take action. So, here comes the big question: how can small businesses leverage this emerging technology?
Moving Foot Traffic to the Web
If you consider the use of QR codes and how it relates to your business, the most obvious use would be to use it to drive real-world people to your company website. Sure, it’s nice to have the extra traffic, but sending them to your homepage won’t always convert them like you’d ideally like – especially if you site isn’t e-commerce based. One idea is to create a mobile friendly survey for customers, directing them there. By offering some sort of incentive for completing the survey, such as a giveaway or contest, you’re able to collect emails and phone numbers and use them for a variety of future uses.
Building Social Media Awareness
An alternative to sending users to your own site is to connect them to your social media profiles. Sending them to Facebook or Twitter will create an opportunity for them to ‘like’ or follow your brand, subscribing to your updates well after they’ve left the store. Facebook has been working on increasing QR code functionality themselves, allowing you to encode a QR code to automatically ‘like’ a brand on Facebook.
You may even want to consider adding a QR code to your business card. Even in this digital age, businesses cards still have a strong presence, and connecting them digitally can have a variety of benefits. As direct traffic, it may play a huge role in the short-term, however by directing the QR code to your company site or social media profile, you can reinforce connections you make out in the real world. This is a great solution for special events, whether it’s a seminar or a tradeshow, it offers people the opportunity to reconnect in a digital way.
That’s right, print advertising! Did you think print was dead? Newspapers and magazine still have a very strong circulation, and a variety of advertisers are using QR codes in ads to increase engagement and push more people online. As with any good advertising campaign, it must be measurable, and prints ads with QR codes can be measured in a variety of different ways. This type of approach many not be optimal across all industries, however service-based companies can leverage this approach in some markets.
Have you or your business used QR codes in any interesting ways? As always, let us know in the comment section below!