HAVE YOU BEEN SEEING BARCODES IN YOUR LOCAL COFFEE SHOP OR EVEN EVERYDAY SHOPPING STORE? HAVE YOU SEEN THEM IN MAGAZINE ADS NOW?! SARA MACKENZIE DESIGN STUDIO IS NOW OFFERING QR CODES TO BE DESIGNED FOR YOUR BUSINESS! WE WILL MAKE SURE THEY WORK PROPERLY AND INCORPORATE THEM INTO THE LATEST DESIGN PRODUCT YOU HAVE FOR YOUR CUSTOMER!
Quick Response codes (QR codes) and other two-dimensional codes are expected to achieve widespread use this year – and for good reason. Consumers want immediate access to what’s relevant and QR codes are being used to make that possible. If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. The key difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold or share.QR code to the Social Media Examiner home page.Bar codes are linear one-dimensional codes and can only hold up to 20 numerical digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. Their ability to hold more information and their ease of use makes them practical for small businesses.
When you scan or read a QR code with your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, you can link to digital content on the web; activate a number of phone functions including email, IM and SMS; and connect the mobile device to a web browser. Any of these desired functions are easily achieved by properly creating your QR code. It’s a simple process of entering the appropriate data into the QR code generator, described below, and it all takes just a few minutes. The ability of QR codes to connect people with each other and to multimedia digital content is very useful for businesses and consumers alike.
Sharing – There’s no limit to how, or even how much, you can share with QR codes. While a video or landing page is easily shared, you could go further and share an entire eBook and even multiple pieces of content that share a common link. QR code Like button to the author’s Facebook page.
Community – Sharing is how you build community, and one of the favorite arenas for doing this is Facebook.
Calls to Action – After building a community, the next logical step is to mobilize them to take action. What are you trying to accomplish? You can alternate special offers by simply linking your QR codes to new landing pages, and you can combine then with email opt-ins to build your list.
Social Proof – To help build a community offline, it can be helpful to use your vibrant online communities as social proof of your influence and expertise. As one example, you can use QR codes to link to specific blog posts that have earned an abundance of activity.
Analytics – QR codes most commonly link to urls, which is why link shortening services bit.ly and goo.gl now automatically generate a QR code for sharing your shortened links.
Practical Uses of QR Codes
Here are some ways for using QR codes that are mostly in practice now, as well as a few that I believe we will be seeing in the very near future.
QR Codes could be used:
- The back (or front and back) of your business card.
- Your brochures and other marketing materials.
- The sides of trucks and trailers.
- Product tags and packaging
- Convention and event nametags
- Restaurant menus
- Event ticket stubs
- Point-of-sale receipts
QR Codes could link to:
- Installation instructions
- Sources for replacement parts and service
- Directions to your business
- The process for hiring your professional services
- Valuable coupons and special offers
- Recommendations for complementary products and services
- Free mp3 downloads
- Customer feedback forms
How you can you maximize your effectiveness with QR codes:
- Provide explanations about their use and benefits
- Encourage actions that support your marketing plan
- Assuage the fears of the technically challenged
- Give reasons to come back
- Experiment with the size, location, and color of your QR codes
- Study your analytics
- Make the process fun, such as a QR code scavenger hunt
The Future of QR Codes and Tags
The potential for QR Codes is limitless. What’s most exciting is how they take what social media is doing well now, bringing people together with technology, and extending it to enhance the experience.
The next generation of barcodes will hold even more information – so much that an Internet connection will not even be necessary. The content will be effectively embedded in the code. Imagine scanning a digital code to manifest physical reality? It’s amazing to consider where this can go.