Small Business Expert
Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.
The use of Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) continues to increase, as free apps are making it easier than ever for folks to focus on these images and see where it will take them. Last year, more than 14 million users scanned a QR code, and that number continues to rise. And interestingly enough, according to comScore, more than a quarter of folks actually scan QR codes directly from web pages. What can a small business owner or marketing professional do to make sure their efforts get noticed? Here are a few tips on how to use QR codes to market your business and engage customers.
Discounts: Companies are finding that consumers want deals, so link your code to a coupon or other incentive to reward customers for checking it out. Don’t be afraid to tie it to something like a short promotional video, at the end of which is the deal. As long as consumers get something out of it, they don’t mind a small investment of time and effort to get it.
Social Networks: It’s a no-brainer to take folks to a landing page where then quickly or easily like or follow you your brand page, but set clear expectations as to what that entails. And again, consider offering special benefits via your social media presence for those that do take the time to follow.
Tinker With The Design: Work with your art department to see if you can place images or words within the center of the QR code to help folks know what it is they’re scanning, and also to catch their attention. Get creative to encourage action.
Be Specific: When you use a QR code, make it really clear what the customer call-to-action is. If you want them to watch a video or consider a specific product, take them to a page that makes that really easy. Don’t just do a generic code that goes to your business’ home page. No one is that interested in showing up and not knowing what to do.
Use Them For Networking: Encourage an extra bit of activity for those you meet while networking by including a QR code on your business card. Or if you’re going to a trade show or another place where you’ll be meeting lots of folks, put one on your laptop bag and encourage others to scan it. It can go to a specific company page or some other link that’s personalized for you, like your LinkedIn profile. It can help make a great and lasting impression on any that scan it.
Gamification: Consider peppering codes throughout your store, website or different ad campaigns, and reward users who are able to find them all. By making QR codes a part of a larger campaign, you prolong user engagement, and hopefully provide positive associations for your brand.
Get Creative: Consider having t-shirts or even bumper stickers made with QR codes, and include cryptic clues as to their destination. The content on the other end is just as important as you’d hate to pique customer interest only to disappoint them with the destination.