About a decade ago, as smartphone use was skyrocketing, QR codes seemed like they were going to be the next biggest thing in internet marketing. Since then, they don’t show up as often in promotions or marketing campaigns.
This is unfortunate, as QR codes have the ability to dramatically improve your marketing strategies. Though, their lack of use could be your gain. If your competition isn’t currently using QR codes as a part of their marketing efforts, then you could have the upper hand.
Why Should You Use QR Codes?
What’re the benefits of using QR codes? Even though QR codes didn’t catch on like some people thought they might, they’re still an effective strategy to include in your marketing campaigns. They help you reach mobile users quickly and effectively. Here are a few simple steps to using QR codes in marketing.
Plan Your QR Code Marketing Strategy
You’ll first need to consider your overall strategy for using QR codes. This includes the following:
- Researching your target audience
- Choosing a specific objective
- Deciding on the incentives or rewards
Before you use QR codes, you’ll need to think about your target audience. Make sure they know how to use QR codes. If you believe they’ll need instructions, you’ll have to include the instructions in your marketing content.
You’ll also need to have a clear objective. What do you want to get out of this campaign? Do you want to gain subscribers for your mailing list, gain likes on Facebook, or do you have another objective in mind? Decide on an objective before you get too far into the planning process.
Along with an objective, you’ll need to choose a reason for your audience to scan the QR code. What benefit do they get out of it? This could include admission to a contest, discounts and coupons, a free eBook, or other free content.
Create and Test Your QR Code
The next step is creating and testing your QR code. There’re dozens of free online tools for creating QR codes. Often, when you create the code, you’ll need to link it to a webpage. You don’t have to choose the URL at this point. You can often add or change the URL at a later time.
After creating the code, you’ll need to test it to ensure it works properly. If you haven’t chosen a URL yet, you can simply enter the homepage of your site — for testing purposes. Use your smartphone or tablet to test the QR code. Scan the code and ensure it works properly.
Add Analytics to Your Landing Page
Before you start your campaign, make sure you add analytics to the landing page that the QR code links to. You should also consider using a URL shortener to help track whether your traffic is coming from other sources or the QR code. The sites that will shorten your URL also track visits, including user location and source.
Decide How to Deliver Your QR Code
How’re people going to view your QR code? You could print it on merchandise, include it in eBooks, add it to other web pages, or include it various marketing materials. By researching your target audience, you may get a better sense of how to deliver your QR code.
For example, if you’re targeting the elderly, it’s unlikely that they’ll come across your QR code while browsing the web on their mobile devices. At the same time, it’s unlikely they’ll know how to use QR code without instructions.
QR codes are still under-utilized. While many businesses have dabbled with the use of QR codes, they remain a novelty in many ways.