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What are QR Codes?

© Romolo Tavani / FotoliaWhat is a QR Code? How is it used? Why are they useful? How do I get one? Consumers and marketers alike may not have a full understanding of QR codes. Thus leading to them being poorly used, or worse not used at all. In order to effectively use a QR code in your next marketing campaign you are going to want to keep reading.

So what is a QR code?

It is a Quick Response code similar to a barcode. It is an image that can be scanned using a mobile device, either a smartphone or tablet, with Internet access. Mobile device users can download free QR scanner apps to allow them to scan the code. QR codes are better than barcodes for the fact that they have the capacity to store much more information. They can carry data, links and contact information pertaining to a company.

Why should marketers use QR codes?

© bizoo_n / Fotolia Marketers are constantly looking for ways to reach more consumers. QR codes are just another way to do that. Marketers also struggle to find ways to market in a more affordable and convenient way to drive results. QR codes are free and you can add them to anything you want. Why not use them?

QR codes also give consumers the opportunity to act instantly. There is no need to wait to go home to research the company or product; like one would have to if they heard about a product on the radio. QR codes can boost traffic to your website, if you’re using them the right way that is.

What are QR codes linked to?

QR codes can be linked to just about anything you want, if you are using the right code generator. Some of the most popular items QR codes link to are listed below.

  1. Mobilized Business Page. When using QR Codes to link back to a website, keep in mind that website content should have a mobile version to make it easy for consumers to navigate through the site. If a full website is brought up on a smartphone, likely people will not be able to read anything and leave the site, thus making the QR code worthless.
  2.  Products. When the code is scanned consumers will be redirected to the product that is being promoted. Typically when a QR code is linked to the product, the link will also allow consumers to purchase right then and there.© vector_master / Fotolia

  3. Contact Information. The code can redirect consumers to the customer service or sales department phone number, or it can redirect to a store locator so that the nearest location can be found.
  4. Donation Pages. Many non-profit and charity organizations will use QR codes so that people can make donations. By scanning the code, contributors will be directed to a page where they can make a donation to that particular cause.
  5. Event Registrations. In order to gain more supporters and participants, many companies will use QR codes to help people register for their next event.
  6. Social Media. QR codes linked to a social media page encourage the consumer to “like” or “follow” your business. Thus boosting exposure and reach.
  7. Pinterst. We all know how popular Pinterest is these days. QR codes can redirect consumers to Pinterest to “pin” the product. As a result the consumer is sharing and promoting products.

How are QR codes created?

QR code generators can be found very easily anywhere online. Many of the generators are free to boot. These generators allow individuals to create their own code, some are simple and some give a variety of options. Even though the generators are so easy to find, it is important that marketers do not settle for the first one they come across. Some of the generators produce poor QR codes thus providing target audiences with a less than ideal experience.

How are QR codes scanned?

© Oleksiy Mark / FotoliaWe all know that smartphones and mobile devices have app stores that you could search through for days. QR code scanners come in the form of an app and can be downloaded quickly. Once the app is downloaded, a screen will appear, similar to the screen shown when taking a picture. Just like a barcode scanner, there is a line that appears to be placed over the code. Once the scanner registers the code, the mobile device will redirect to the link.

We all know that smartphones and mobile devices have app stores that you could search through for days. QR code scanners come in the form of an app and can be downloaded quickly. Once the app is downloaded, a screen will appear, similar to the screen shown when taking a picture. Just like a barcode scanner, there is a line that appears to be placed over the code. Once the scanner registers the code, the mobile device will redirect to the link.

QR codes can be effective if used properly. They can do great things if marketers and consumers understand how to use them. These codes allow business to connect with their clients without much effort. The use of smartphones and mobiles devices is quickly surpassing that of computers and laptops. Therefore making QR codes part of marketing strategies is one way business can ensure they are reaching more of their target audience.

If you liked this blog you might also be interested in reading: Graphic Design Tips for Beginners


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