A Quick Response Code or QR code is a two-dimensional barcode which consists of alphanumeric data. Compared to a standard UPC barcode, a QR code has a large storage capacity and is relatively easy to read. A QR code can be linked to website URLs, phone numbers or vCards providing consumers with extra information relevant to your product. But enough with the techie mumbo-jumbo – how do I get a QR code for MY business? Read on.
For small business owners who cannot afford to spend a huge sum on marketing, QR code marketing can be beneficial. If business owners can provide customers an easy way to gain access to all the “extra” information related to a product or service, customers are happier and printing expenses are saved.
With the use of smartphones becoming widespread, QR code are more valuable – since most phones have some sort of QR scanner app. Consumers can access information about your products and your services whenever they view your QR code.
Obtaining a QR Code
Getting a QR code is a very easy process with relatively low cost. QR codes for small business offer a significant return-on-investment. Here is what you need to do to get a QR code:
- Where is this taking me? – The foremost thing to consider is the end result of your QR code usage. You should first decide what information your consumer will access once they scan your code. Don’t link the barcodes to your website homepage only; select the most relevant page to be linked.
- QR Code Generator – Next, you will need to find a QR code generator. There are a number of QR code generators in the market, often providing free basic services for QR code creation and some charged premium services for customer tracking. Select a code generator that offers customization options and can create a code unique to your business. Some of the best free QR code generators include GoQR.me, QR Stuff, Kaywa and Microsoft Tag.
- Designing Differently – Your QR code can also incorporate your company logo or some other design in it. Design your code to make it distinctive and recognizable for your consumers. You can also create a color QR code rather than the standard black and white.
- Check Your Code – Before you make your QR code public, you should test it. Your QR code should be “readable” through a few different readers. Google Goggles and QR Code Reader can be used to test your code. You should also check where the code is linked and ask a group of people if the information linked is effective and relevant.
- Keep Tracking – Like any other marketing activity, the performance of your QR code needs to be tracked properly. You should analyze how many times and at which location your code is scanned and how many times those scan leads to responses from consumers. If you find a lack of response, just like any other marketing adjustment, you may need to revise your QR code.
How QR Codes Work
In standard advertising, your consumers are provided with company URL printed somewhere. They need to type the URL in a browser to reach your website. Most of the time, consumers are likely to forget the correct URL even if they are willing to seek information. QR codes point the mobile phone of your consumers right to their needed information, without having them remember or mistype URLs.
QR codes can lead consumers to your company website, your social media marketing pages, your contact information, videos of your business or your location map. It can also lead consumers to “Like” your Facebook page or follow your company on Twitter. If you link the code to an event, it can be automatically saved on the customer’s calendar.
New promotional information or dynamic information can be shared easily without having to spend on a lot of printing material. You can have your QR code to lead to different links according to consumers’ location or timing. For example, a restaurant can use QR codes to display different menus at different time of the day.
Where to Place Your QR Codes
You can have your QR code on your business card, your company brochures and your product packaging – these are the standard spots. Apart from that, you can be creative with your QR code. You can print them on your storefront, on stickers, T-shirts or any other promotional material you give out to your consumers.
If you are running a promotion, link your code to its details or to download free coupons. You can also print your QR code in newspaper and magazine ads. You should also make sure that the destination web pages are supported by smartphone apps.
QR code marketing is an exceptionally useful and essential tool for small business marketing in today’s smartphone-enabled world. It is easy to use, very low cost and can have a wide reach. It can give small businesses the same marketing reach as a large business, saving a lot of marketing expenditures.