QR Codes: What Are They And How Do They Work?
QR Codes: What Are They And How Do They Work?
Short for quick response, QR codes are scannable barcodes that store data. For marketing purposes, they’re commonly used to direct users to landing pages, websites, social media profiles, or even vouchers.
For instance, someone can place a QR code on the back of their business card to direct you to their LinkedIn profile. A QR code on a brochure or flyer may send you to a landing page. And more recently we have seen them being used in restaurants during the pandemic so you can open an online menu.
What Is A QR Code?
The idea behind a QR code is to create an image that can be scanned by any modern day Smartphone and translated into something more meaningful. QR codes are often used to contain web address information and links, but they can be used to direct Smartphone users to a multitude of other media too (e.g. videos, images etc).
But what actually is the point of a QR code? The point of a QR code is to simplify the process of accessing a website. Smartphone (or tablet PC) keyboards are not as easy to type into compared to desktop/laptop keyboards and so most of the time, people can’t be bothered to type in website addresses on their Smartphone.
A QR code is used to simplify the process and therefore, persuade more people to visit a website or a piece of content.
How Does A QR Code Work?
Basically, a QR code works in the same way as a barcode at the supermarket. It is a machine-scannable image that can instantly be read using a Smartphone camera. Every QR code consists of a number of black squares and dots which represent certain pieces of information.
This information in a QR code is an encoded piece of data that can be scanned at the touch of a button by the hundreds of millions of people around the world that use a Smartphone. This makes them great to use in your marketing.
If you’ve ever scanned a QR code with your Smartphone, you’ll likely have noticed that they can be scanned extremely quickly (we’re talking seconds here). This makes QR codes an extremely simple way to access stored information in an instant which, makes them a perfect solution to conversion-hungry businesses.
How can a QR code help my marketing?
1. QR codes can help you stand out from the crowd.
Differentiating your business from your competitors is vital. If used correctly, QR codes can spike the interest of your customers and prospects. Use this opportunity to link QR codes to exclusive offers or valuable content to carry interest through to a sale.
2. QR codes let you target consumers on the go.
Businesses often wish there was a way to interact with customers on the go. Integrating QR codes into your store signage and other print advertising lets you do this. Whether you’re providing coupons for shopping in-store or an easy way to sign up for your newsletter, QR codes make it super easy for customers and prospects to access your information fast on their phones.
3. QR codes make real life interactive like the web.
Many businesses are increasingly using digital advertising, as it is more interactive and easier to track than traditional advertising.
QR codes add an interactive element by turning static content into dynamic call-to-action buttons. From asking customers to leave a Google review to redirecting them to a branded Facebook page, there are many options to engage customers.
Even museums and libraries are using QR codes to create a more interactive experience.
How Do You Create A QR Code?
Ok, you might be thinking, these sound great, and you would love to use one. But you’re probably thinking to yourself, how on earth am I going to create one of those? Thankfully, you don’t need to teach yourself any techy ‘QR code language’ as there are lots of online QR code generators. These make the entire QR code generation process extremely straightforward.
Sites like QRCode Monkey and Flowcode allow you to set up QR codes in a matter of minutes and provide you with proper image formats to use in your designs.
To use a QR code generator, all you have to do is enter the text, URL, phone number, or other information that you want to be scannable. The code generator will do the rest for you and in seconds, it will create a fully functional QR code for you. Most code generators will then give you the option to download or embed the QR code with just the click of a button.
If you want to know how your QR codes are performing you can track them in Google Analytics find out how to here.