Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Five tips for QR codes

Quick Response (QR) Codes can be a great tool for your business, but it’s important to understand what their purpose is and the most effective ways you can use them to boost your marketing.

So, I’ve put together some tips on how to avoid QR code fails.

1. QR Codes are primarily offline tools, not online tools

QR Codes are primarily for mobile marketing.

Putting a QR Code on your website or on your Facebook page is pretty pointless when you can use an image with a link embedded in it. In saying that, you could potentially put one on your Facebook cover image, although be aware that Facebook has stipulated that cover images should not include calls-to-action (CTAs).

Using a QR Code as a profile image is not a great idea as a QR Code should never replace your branding. You want your brand to stand out, not for it to be a squiggly box that looks like everybody else’s squiggly box.

2. QR Codes should be readable

If you have your QR Code on a laminated card, it may not be as readable as if it were printed professionally. Also think about where you are using the code.  Sticking it on a moving truck makes it very difficult to scan - and yes I have seen one like this.

A QR Code essentially works like a bar code. You need to ensure it is the right size, the right colour and the correct resolution for where it is being displayed.

3. QR Codes should offer something valuable to your potential clients

If you do use a QR Code in offline marketing, such as business cards, fliers etc., make sure you offer something of value to the person scanning the code.

There’s nothing more annoying than scanning a QR Code only to find directions to a location or boring information about services on a website (when you weren’t really wanting that information in the first place).

QR Codes are like little presents. The response you want to elicit is delight. So, have a think about what you can do to delight your potential clients when they scan your code. For example, exclusive discounts, coupons, or exclusive content that is relevant to the card, flyer, or ad.

4. QR Codes can and should be fun!

Don’t be afraid to be creative with your QR Codes.

If you’re at a trade expo or a market, you could set up a QR Code Treasure Hunt. If you’re organising a networking event, you could use QR Codes as door prizes instead of raffle tickets. This way, you get to reinforce your branding by giving people a reason to scan the code, which leads them to a page on your website where the person finds out whether they’ve won something cool (for the non-winners you could offer a special deal instead. May as well. They took the time to scan your QR Code.).

5. QR Codes should open the door to a deeper relationship

A QR Code that leads a person to a random piece of information is not going to entice anyone to go deeper.

The website your QR Code leads to should include a CTA to opt-in to your mailing list or an invitation to connect with you on Facebook etc. Don’t lead a potential client to a closed door. If they’re truly interested in your content, they’ll want to know more.

Now over to you: What are some of your ideas for using QR Codes?

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