Using QR Codes To Promote Your Business
A Quick Response code (QR code for short) is a type of two-dimensional barcode first created by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. More recently, with the advent of the smartphone, the barcode has become a popular marketing tool outside of the industry due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity.
It should be noted that the main target audience for QR Code marketing are those people who use smartphones with a camera feature. So QR Codes, while an innovative addition to your marketing tools, should not be your sole means to advertise.
Increase Your Audience By Keeping It Big & Simple
Smartphones vary in quality and functionality; some have better camera capabilities than others, varying focal lengths, etc.. So, the size and complexity of the QR Code can limit its ability to be read on older, less capable technology.
A QR Code can contain numeric, alphanumeric or binary information types with the following limits:
- Numeric only Max. 7,089 characters
- Alphanumeric Max. 4,296 characters
- Binary (8 bits) Max. 2,953 bytes
The more information that is stored in the code, the more complex its design and the harder for lower-quality smartphones to translate.
It’s a game of percentages really. As you make the dimensions of the code smaller or increase the amount of information stored in the code, you also make smaller the audience capable of conveniently scanning and reading the code.
In general, QR Codes should be no smaller than 1 inch square.
What To Market With QR Codes
As previously mentioned, QR Codes can contain 3 information types: numeric, alphanumeric or binary. What information you choose to promote is really up to you.
Maybe you want people to call your business. In that case you can provide your telephone number for convenience.
Or maybe you’d rather communicate via text message.
Perhaps you have a specific product or company information that you want to promote.
Or, maybe you just want to provide a quick and easy way for people to visit your website.
Where To Place QR Code?
As with any marketing tool, the best place for it is one that attracts the most attention!
Be creative! Make the code as a sticker, business card, yard sign, keychain or you can even make a T-shirt with a huge QR code on it! Just experiment and have fun!
QR Code designs themselves are interesting and the technology is still a fresh concept to most people. Chances are your codes will garner the desired attention and curiosity to lead people to scan them… marketing done!
For use on a website, the most prominent place for a code is the header, upper sidebar or top left of the main content area. They can also be made visible printed pages to later provide readers with a redirect back to your site.
It’s All About Convenience
In this fast-paced world, saving a couple minutes here or even a few seconds there is greatly appreciated.
Even if you are not doing some serious e-commerce business, you can use QR code to advertise your company. The key is convenience, which is also the core of QR Code marketing. As previously mentioned, first and foremost, you need to place the QR code in a prominent location, so everyone can scan it instantly.
Imagine you are browsing the Internet on your desktop and you stumble on a website that you’d like to reference in a meeting, but you are late (and your long-term memory isn’t all that great). Then you see a QR code in the main sidebar. You quickly scan it, instantly transfer the site information to mobile and off you go.
Another example is using QR Codes on print-friendly pages. When a page is printed, the QR code can be included so that wherever the prints go a simple scan will lead directly back to your website.
One caveat to remember: what’s convenient for some may not be convenient for all. To maximize your audience, make sure the information contained in a QR Code (especially if it is important) is accessible for those who don’t understand the technology or have the technology at their disposal.