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Integrating QR Codes into Your Digital Marketing Approach: A Guide

QR codes, known as Quick-response, have become nearly omnipresent in contemporary times. Simply stroll around your locality and you’ll encounter QR codes adorning an array of items, ranging from cinema posters to real estate signs. Moreover, one doesn’t even need to leave the comfort of their abode to stumble upon QR codes; they can be found in emails, on corporate websites, and on various social media platforms.

The prevalence of QR codes can be attributed to their efficacy. They serve myriad purposes, including expediting contactless payments, disseminating content, enrolling for events, and crucially, marketing to potential clientele.

QR codes exhibit efficiency and proficiency in capturing attention and galvanizing individuals into action. Furthermore, they furnish businesses with an abundance of data to aid in fine-tuning their digital marketing tactics.

Continue reading to delve deeper into QR codes: Their mechanics, the advantages of employing QR codes for marketing, and how to seamlessly integrate them into your digital marketing approach.

To Start with: What Constitutes a QR Code?

A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode capable of storing more data than a standard barcode. It also scans more swiftly, even from various angles, sans the need for specialized equipment. To scan a QR code, all that’s required is your mobile device.

QR codes can accommodate over 4,000 text characters, as well as phone numbers and website URLs. Other forms of data that can be embedded in a QR code encompass:

  • vCard files
  • Geolocations
  • Calendar data
  • Contact particulars
  • Email addresses
  • Images

QR codes can be creatively employed, from aiding in generating reviews to capturing leads. This holds especially true given the current technological strides and shifts in consumer behavior, which further catalyze the widespread adoption of QR technology.

Thinking Beyond Conventional Bounds: Inventive Exploits of QR Codes in Marketing

Incorporating QR codes into advertisements is a straightforward endeavor. However, a more imaginative approach not only heightens scan rates but also elevates your overall digital marketing scheme.

For example, major players like L’oreal, who integrated QR codes into taxis for passengers during traffic jams, and Burger King, which distributed 10,000 burgers through a QR code initiative, exemplify how creativity yields results. Nevertheless, not all enterprises possess the resources to execute QR code marketing on such a grand scale.

This notwithstanding, small- to medium-sized businesses can also reap rewards. Here are some imaginative yet pragmatic strategies to maximize the utility of QR codes in marketing:

  • Embed QR codes on product packaging to furnish customers with pertinent information about their purchase.
  • Integrate QR codes into print advertisements to bridge the gap between traditional and digital marketing endeavors.
  • Fashion QR codes that lead customers to a review submission page.
  • Direct scanners to exclusive augmented reality (AR) content.
  • Embed digital codes in emails and online newsletters.
  • Offer incentives for scanning, such as special offers or exclusive deals.
  • Leverage QR codes to guide customers toward app downloads.
  • Provide customers with a sneak peek of forthcoming services, products, or content.
  • Channel scanners to your LinkedIn profile, company bio, or official website.
  • Use QR codes to streamline registration for seminars, workshops, or other events.

Hold On – Do People Still Engage with QR Codes?

The concise response is yes. However, comprehending why QR codes have experienced a resurgence and are more pertinent than ever necessitates a grasp of why they fell out of favor in the first place.

QR codes were conceived in the 1990s by a Japanese firm called Denso Wave. Yet, their adoption in the U.S. was not widespread until several years later.

In 2010, major retailers such as Macy’s, Best Buy, and Target employed QR codes for business purposes, particularly in campaigns designed to deliver value to customers and enhance engagement. Concurrently, eateries, shops, and other enterprises encouraged Foursquare “check-ins” by affixing QR codes on windows and near cash registers.

However, while QR codes were utilized, and continue to be used, in logistical and warehousing contexts, their popularity waned among consumers. This may be ascribed to several factors.

Primarily, most individuals were unfamiliar with them (as per research from INC in 2012, a whopping 97 percent of U.S. consumers).

Secondly, smartphones of that era did not come equipped with built-in QR code readers, and few were inclined to go through the effort of downloading a third-party QR code reader. Visiting a company’s website or social media was faster and required no additional steps.

Subsequently, both tech pundits and marketers prematurely pronounced the QR code’s demise, at least in the realm of marketing. It turns out, they did so far too soon.

This Old Tech Still Packs a Punch

Certain skeptics proclaim that the technology is obsolete. However, the statistics paint a different picture: More individuals are scanning QR codes now than just a few years ago.

As per Statista, 52.6 million U.S. smartphone users scanned a QR code on their mobile devices in 2019, while 75.8 million did so in 2021. This figure is projected to surge to 99.5 million in 2025.

Here are a few reasons why:

Social Media and QR Codes: A Perfect Marketing Pairing

Over four billion individuals globally utilize social media. Therefore, when a social media platform introduces a new feature that streamlines content sharing and access, users are quick to embrace it.

In 2015, Snapchat rolled out “Snapcodes,” a feature enabling users to personalize QR codes and share them to connect with friends. These QR codes also unlocked features like new filters, leading to swift and widespread adoption among Snapchat users.

On the marketing front, brands and marketers could leverage Snapcodes to deliver branded content, offers, filters, and more. Utilizing Snapcodes was seamless because the app doubled as a QR code reader for its users.

Other social media platforms followed suit. In fact, in 2018, Instagram introduced a similar feature called “nametag,” a QR code unique to a specific profile.

Nametags could be scanned using the Instagram app. Subsequently, in 2020, Instagram replaced the feature with QR codes that could be scanned and shared even outside the app.

The upshot is that more people now grasp how QR codes function. It is no longer an unfamiliar technology with few real-world applications. Moreover, apart from comprehending QR code mechanics, today’s consumers are enthusiastic about engaging with content delivered through this medium.

Enhanced Technology, Simplified Access

During the 2000s and early 2010s, individuals had to download third-party QR code readers to scan QR codes. Not so today.

Most contemporary Android phones integrate QR code readers directly into their cameras. The same applies to Apple devices. Even if a user’s phone lacks an inbuilt scanner, it likely features the Google app preinstalled. Through Google Lens, this can be utilized to scan QR codes.

On the marketing front, locating a business QR code generator online is a breeze. While more advanced features like analytics may entail a fee, generating QR codes using a business QR code generator is typically free. This democratizes the benefits of QR codes, extending them even to small businesses and startups.

Contactless Is Key

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of contactless solutions for both B2C and B2B interactions. Almost overnight, eateries began using QR codes instead of physical menus passed from hand to hand. Gas stations commenced accepting QR-enabled

 payments, governments disseminated public safety information through QR codes on posters, and healthcare providers employed them to direct clients or patients to online symptom screening assessments.

Marketing and More: The Merits of QR Codes for Businesses

Now that the general populace understands how QR codes function, social media has revitalized their appeal, and scanning them is more straightforward than ever, they are here to stay. But what are the advantages of QR codes, and why should you start employing them in your marketing efforts?

Trackable and Traceable Business QR Codes

There exist two types of QR codes: static and dynamic. Static codes are generally not used for marketing purposes since they cannot be tracked. Dynamic QR codes, however—the variety employed in marketing—can be. This facilitates easy assessment of the efficacy of your QR code campaign.

A business QR code generator enables users to craft custom dynamic QR codes. Many paid applications also offer simplified tracking and interpretation of data garnered through scans. Employing a business QR code reader, you can access analytics regarding the following:

  • Aggregate scan count – This indicates how often your QR code has been scanned, encompassing repeat scans from the same device or user.
  • Unique scan count – This illustrates how many scans your QR code has received from distinct users or devices.
  • Operating system of the device – This informs you about the type of device your scanners are employing. For instance, if your analytics indicate that a majority of your scanners are on iOS, it implies they are utilizing either iPhones or iPads to scan your QR codes.
  • Geographical location – This divulges the city and country of the individuals who have scanned your QR codes.

All of this data is invaluable for comprehending customer behavior, which in turn informs your targeting and marketing strategies. It also empowers you to gauge the effectiveness of your approach and make adjustments to achieve your marketing objectives.

However, it is imperative to ensure that your business QR code generator and other methods employed for collecting data via QR codes adhere to the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Business QR Codes Foster Brand Recognition

You can incorporate QR codes into emails, ads, newsletters, and even printed materials to guide customers to your social media profiles, encouraging them to like, follow, and interact with your brand. Additionally, you can direct them to your website, where they can delve deeper into your brand’s narrative, offerings, and competitive advantages.

Moreover, imaginative applications of QR codes leave a lasting impression and help etch businesses into the consumer’s memory. For instance, Amazon’s Halloween Surprise campaign in 2020 featured delivery boxes adorned with a pumpkin-themed design where customers could sketch faces, along with a QR code that, upon scanning, unveiled an augmented reality (AR) experience.

Enhancing the User Experience

QR codes steer customers toward a landing page or other URL without the time-consuming steps of memorizing a link and manually entering it into a browser. This expedites the process of guiding customers to their desired destination in their buying journey, be it your social media page for deeper brand exploration, your review submission page for feedback, or your eCommerce site for making a purchase.

Furthermore, creative applications of QR codes are embraced by consumers rather than shunned like traditional ads. This is contingent on the codes delivering value to scanners, such as informative content, a complimentary item or service, tailored content, and an enriched customer experience.

Business QR Codes Aid in Review Generation

Customer feedback holds paramount importance for organizations of all sizes and across all industries, but it is particularly crucial for small to medium-sized enterprises. A report from TrustPilot discovered that 88 percent of global consumers peruse reviews when seeking local businesses.

Conversely, a survey conducted by BrightLocal revealed that 49 percent of consumers place as much trust in online reviews as they do in personal recommendations. Previous research from the same entity also established that 71 percent of consumers are inclined to leave feedback if prompted.

Hence, review generation is imperative. However, soliciting reviews from a larger pool of customers can be challenging, as providing feedback often involves multiple steps. To elicit more responses, it is imperative to streamline the process.

For instance, for clients of Rize Reviews, employing QR codes to generate reviews is a straightforward endeavor. The process unfolds as follows:

“Our customers take the QR code and print them out to get reviews when the customer is physically inside their store, location or face-to-face somehow,” elucidates Tim Clarke, the senior reputation manager of Rize Reviews. “The face-to-face interaction and easy process on the smartphone works great.”

With a QR code, you can direct customers to a page where they can share their thoughts about your services or products. Subsequently, review management can be undertaken by digital marketing consultants or a trusted provider of online reputation management services.

Cracking the Code with Leadshouse

QR codes in marketing, though effective, must be an integral component of a well-structured digital marketing strategy to realize their full potential. An ideal marketing strategy leaves no room for gaps, encompassing a variety of tactics to:

  • Amplify reach
  • Cultivate social currency
  • Generate consistent leads
  • Cultivate brand awareness
  • Foster brand trust
  • Establish your business as a thought leader
  • Augment conversions

At Leadshouse, we furnish a comprehensive suite of solutions that deliver enduring and sustainable success for our clients. Visit our website today to fortify your businesses’ online presence, elevate organic rankings, and safeguard their reputation.

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