Making a payment or opening a menu? What do you scan nowadays? A QR code! QR codes were invented way back in 1994. QR codes were touted as the next big thing; however, they gradually faded from relevance later. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited an incredible resurgence, your brand must jump on the opportunity.
The most visible example of the comeback of the QR code is probably the restaurant menus. After all, none of us wanted to touch a physical menu during a pandemic. However, it did not stop there. Although you haven’t been dining out, you must have seen or heard about a website-crashing commercial from Coinbase: QR code Super Bowl.
QR codes have emerged as a robust solution for marketers since the boundaries between IRL and the digital world are continuing to blur. QR codes not only store more information compared to regular barcodes but also provide a quick and effective way for users to engage with your business.
As predicted by eMarketer, the number of smartphone users in the US who scan QR codes will reach 99.5 million by 2025 from 83.4 million in 2022. The return of the QR code has been successfully embraced by consumers, and you have to follow their lead.
Let’s start with the basics.
Concept of QR Code and How it Works?
Quick Response codes or QR codes are a type of the matrix barcode, and DENSO WAVE originally invented them to create efficiencies in their manufacturing process. They are a type of smart barcode typically featuring a series of squares involving two-dimensional (horizontal and vertical) scanning.
In the early 2010s, QR codes came into the public eye in the real sense, but it’s no surprise that they didn’t stick. Many people did not even know what they were, and smartphones had just started grossing the market. With expensive cell data and the requirement of a separate app download for even scanning a QR code in most phones, there were high barriers to entry for QR codes.
The recent QR code mania was planted in 2017 when Apple’s iOS 11 update introduced a native QR code reader in the camera, and wireless carriers started providing cheaper unlimited data plans.
Today, all you have to do to scan a QR code is point your phone’s camera toward the code and then click the link. It is easier than it was ever to use, and now, consumers are much more familiar with QR codes and are more comfortable using them than ever before.
Why Is It Time to Adopt QR Code Marketing?
You have to think about QR codes as the amplification channel that will not only help reduce friction between digital channels and in-person marketing while encouraging consumers to engage with your company’s digital content in new ways.
You can bring your offline customers into the digital sphere and thus drive brand awareness. You must get them into your company’s wider sphere of influence, particularly as potential audiences for remarketing.
A common sequence of actions and results flows something like this –
- A user scans the code
- Arrives at a landing page
- Can be directed to different additional pages OR Presented with an offer OR information.
You can add a QR code to in-store signage and product packaging to help customers learn more about your brand. You can go up the funnel by providing a QR code that takes them to a piece of interactive content, such as a quiz, that can build a deeper relationship through an engaging experience that delivers other useful information, such as finding the best product for their needs.
From there, you can classify your users depending on their responses and concentrate your marketing on the products they have indicated they are interested in.
If your product has a user guide, app, or warranty program, providing a QR code can help deliver a much more seamless user experience, effectively piloting users directly to their desired destination. There’s a bonus in the form of less use of paper, a win for both your shipping costs and the environment.
QR codes can also be used to connect your customer profiles to your CRM and loyalty programs. For instance, some companies provide in-store QR codes for customers. Scanning these codes links customers’ purchase data to their points program.
This motivates customers to come back and makes the customer journey frictionless. There’s no need to keep track of punch cards to get your free items or gifts—so long as your QR code is functional.
Tactical Tips for Making an Efficient and Effective QR Code
You can easily find QR code generators, and most are free. Most QR code generators allow you to customize the final code, get creative by adding your brand’s logo or even change the color of the QR code.
If you find these generators too complicated, you can simply click the share icon in the URL bar of Google Chrome and then select “QR Code” to download a Google-branded option. While creating a QR code, you must treat it like tracking for some other marketing channel and add UTM tracking before generating your code. That way, you can collect more accurate usage data and performance reports and ensure proper campaign attribution.
Creating a brand new QR code and landing page is not necessary every time you do something new. Think of the way some restaurants update their drink menu with the latest specialty cocktails every week. Creating a new landing page and a QR code every time would be inefficient for them. Instead, they can reuse the same QR code and update the content on the destination URL.
The same applies to your marketing campaigns. If you have not already created QR codes for evergreen content, think of repurposing campaign-specific landing pages and QR codes rather than starting from scratch every time.
Don’t Use QR Codes in Online Activations… If You Aren’t Making a Connection
When the majority of your traffic is from a desktop, there isn’t much use of QR codes on your website since you cannot expect the audience to dual-screen with their phone. When they are already on your site, provide a simple hyperlink to save them time.
If you want people to look at a supporting asset that you have during a webinar, think of including a QR code and a call-to-action on the closing slide to keep the conversation going. You can provide attendees access to additional, valuable assets such as a whitepaper, an ebook, or even a promotional offer by scanning the QR code on their laptop’s screen with their phone.
Ready to start your QR code marketing journey? Start with the following questions:
- Do you have any print or on-site assets to incorporate in a QR code?
- What relevant destination can you drive the audience to when they scan?
- How can you make the value exchange for scanning your QR code clear?
- Why will this positively affect their overall experience with your brand?
Benefits of Using QR Codes
The following benefits of QR codes highlight why you must start using them –
Ability to Store a Large Amount of Data
QR codes don’t just link to your website, they can link to multimedia files along with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
Scanning a QR code has become too easy for people using a smartphone. They can be scanned from far distances and hence are a useful marketing tool.
Easy to Create
A trusted QR code generator is the only thing you need. No additional technological know-how is necessary.
Today, QR codes have become too customizable, with options to change their color and shape.
Dynamic QR codes allow you to track your campaign performance and provide access to data that you can integrate with Google Analytics.
Pretty easy and highly beneficial, right? If you have never used QR codes for your brand, this article must have made you change your mind. For efficient marketing support and social media management, you can also reach us at Socinova.