You’re probably wondering why we want to talk to you about QR codes.
It’s understandable. For some years, QR codes have been one of the central topics of debate when marketing professionals try to determine if a certain technology has gone out of style.
The only sure thing is that a unanimous answer has not yet been reached.
If you research the subject, you will find data that supports both positions: those who are in favor and those who are against QR codes.
in this publication, we want to help marketing professionals who do want to experiment with QR codes. Continue reading for information on how to create yours and increase the chances that consumers will scan it.
How do QR codes work?
These QR codes or better known as “quick response” codes are small black and white bar codes.
How to create them
They usually appear in direct mails, signs, advertising posters and even in television commercials.
Originally designed in Japan for the automotive industry, marketing professionals adopted bar codes because they have large storage capacity and the option to provide additional information to consumers, beyond what a creative or integrated presentation could convey… If a consumer sees a QR code, he can open the scanner on his mobile device and scan the bar-code to access additional information.
Suppose you want to promote a series of podcasts in the advertising of a bus stop. You could create a QR code that directs users to your iTunes page when they scan it. It makes sense, right?
How to create a free QR code
Creating QR codes is very simple with these four steps:
Step 1. Select a QR code generator
There are many generators, but some of the most popular is Kaywa, oysso.com When choosing a QR code generator, keep in mind if you can monitor and analyze its performance, if it allows you to design a code that is unique to your brand and if it is compatible with the most common QR code readers.
Step 2. Design and link your QR code
The most fun to create QR codes is to customize your design according to your brand. Do you want the code to resemble your logo? Ahead! Do you want me to reflect the design of your website? No problem.
To demonstrate that the process is very simple, we select one of the QR code generators above and design a code together. I will choose oysso.
1. Select the type of content you want the QR code to send to the consumer; for this example, we will choose a URL.
2. Insert the content (in this case, a URL).
3. Review the preview, customize the layout and download or embed the code where necessary.
It is very simple. You have more options to customize the QR code; You can modify the colors, add a logo, create options for social networks and more.
Step 3. Test the QR code
Do not forget to verify that the QR code can be read correctly and tests with several readers. The free tool of Google Goggles is excellent for this since it takes an image and informs you what is the link or item that reads. Another good free tool is the QR Code Reader, which automatically directs you to any information you read. Apple’s Passbook also offers a built-in QR code reader in iOS 7. Perform tests to make sure that the code can also be read with this tool.
Step 4. Monitor and analyze code performance
As with marketing campaigns, you should monitor all campaigns or additional materials that use QR codes to determine their performance. How much traffic does each specific code generate? Do users scan the code, but do not redeem the offer when they arrive at the landing page? Or are you even interested in scanning the QR code? Obtaining this information will help you identify the problem, find the solution and modify the QR codes that have low performance, in order to more closely resemble those with better performance. I recommend you include a UTM tracking code in the URL to better measure performance. This is especially important if you use closed-cycle marketing paralytics and if you are used to analyzing detailed reports in your campaigns.
Good practices for QR codes: What you should and should not do.
Now that you know that creating a QR code is very easy, we will mention some of the good practices that will help you increase the chances that people will use the code.
What you should do with these codes
1) Place the QR codes in places where the consumer has enough time to scan the code easily. Although they usually appear in advertising posters or television ads, these are not the best places for users. Use sites and media that give consumers time to scan the code and, preferably, where there is a Wi-Fi connection.
2) Optimize the page to which you direct users for mobile devices. Consumers will use their phone to scan the QR code, so be sure to direct them to a page that provides a positive mobile experience.
3) Offer a call to action (CTA) with the code; that is, it informs users what to do when viewing the code and what content they will access if they scan it. Not everyone knows what a QR code is, and those who do know will not scan it unless they know the benefit they will get if they do.
What you should not do with them
1) Do not demand a specific QR code scanner. Make sure that any reader can be used to scan the QR code. This will make more users access the content you want.
2)Do not use a QR code for the simple reason of using it. For example, marketers often believe that to generate a link between offline and online content they must use a QR code.
While it is not a misconception, it is not always the best. If you have the indicated content to offer a user with a mobile device and have the appropriate means to do so (see the first recommendation in the previous section), it is likely that your QR code will get good results. For example, store chains achieved great commercial growth at the national level using its codes in subway stations, which have great Wi-Fi service for the passengers to do their shopping while they waited.
If after reading this article you’re still not sure if the QR codes are right for you, or if you want to know other ways to connect the offline world with the online world, “Generating a QR code is easy. However, building an effective mobile-optimized landing page is not easy. It’s one of the crucial parts of every serious QR code marketing campaign.
Your QR code marketing campaign must be supported by a strong mobile-optimized landing page. Don’t link your QR code to a normal desktop website. Your customers are scanning QR codes with their smartphones.” says oysso.com.
Making your QR landing pages 100% mobile optimized is A Must!”
The future of QR codes could also imply an evolution; after all, augmented reality apps come from the same concept. For example, AR-News App allows readers to expand a news story and turn it into an article for children by downloading an app and hover over stories with a special marker. Do you notice the similarity with the QR scanner? Maybe the QR codes are still relevant, but they are in the first phase of a long process of evolution.