What are QR Codes?
QR codes originated in Japan and are short for Quick Response, as they can be read quickly by a cell phone. They are used to take information and transmit to your cell phone.
They are common in magazines, billboards, web pages, and I’ve started to see them on clothing like T-shirts and sweatshirts. Once it is in your cell phone, it will give you details about the business it represents, whether it is a URL, video, or coupon.
So what makes them different from a standard bar code? They are more useful because they can store much more data, including URLS, geographic coordinates and text. The major reason why they are better is because they do not require a chunky scanner to scan them.
Your cell phone needs a QR code reader, it takes 1 minute for someone with a smart phone to find and install the reader from your App Marketplace.
QR codes can include up to 7,100 character of numeric code or 3,000 binary units.
How to generate a code for your business:
You can use Google to generate a QR code for a URL. Go to Google URL Shortener and shorten the URL you would like to connect to a QR code. After the URL has been shortened click details on the right. You will then see your QR code.
Or you can use Kaywa.com to create QR codes for everything.
How Can QR Codes Benefit Marketing
QR codes can be used for call to actions. If you want someone to email you from a marketing material they can scan the code and automatically call or email. Here are some other uses:
You can use them for:
- Product details
- Contact details
- Offer details
- Event details
- Competition details
- A coupon
- Twitter, Facebook, MySpace IDs
- A link to your YouTube video
You can use QR codes that direct users straight to your website, therefore increasing traffic and helping SEO. You can ad them to business listings in directories. If they are added to your website, search engines will see that you have changed and updated pages. The search engine will see a new image and index it accordingly according to Search Engine Land .
QR codes are great to put on marketing materials as it is easier for people to scan it with their cell phone rather then enter in your URL, there is no chance they will mess up the information. They effectively bridge the gap between online and offline media.
You can track your QR codes as well to see the number of times it was scanned. You should test and determine which medium has the greatest reach for your business.
Get ahead of your competition and start thinking about how you can use QR codes in your marketing materials. They aren’t mainstream in the US but more and more companies are starting to realize their value.