When QR codes first launched, marketers hoped the black-and-white scannable codes would bridge the print and digital world. But despite all the hype, QR codes didn’t meet see explosive growth early on. The codes required a special app to use, which besides eliminating the people that didn’t know how to use the codes, could even take longer than simply typing in the URL address itself.
QR codes may not have had the rapid rise originally hoped for, but in 2019, QR codes are no longer underused, funny looking graphics. Now that most smartphones can scan QR codes without a dedicated app, the use of QR codes are on the rise. A report by Juniper Research suggests the scan-able codes will reach one billion smartphone users by 2022.
So how can small businesses integrate the now hot QR code into their marketing campaigns? Here are five QR code marketing ideas, besides just sending customers to your website.
Use a QR code to link to a digital coupon. Clipping paper coupons are a thing of the past. With QR codes, shoppers can scan a code from a printed advertisement and save a digital version to their smartphone wallet, easily recalling the offer when shopping later. Besides saving a few trees by not printing off all those paper coupons, QR coupons are easier to manage and harder to loose. You can even use the element of surprise and use a code that says “scan to see how big your discount is.”
Use as QR code to encourage social media followers. QR codes can be linked to a number of different things — including your social media profiles. Most major networks will allow you to generate a QR code linked to your social media page. Integrating an easy-to-scan QR code allows shoppers to easily find your social networks, which can increase your followers, and that’s never a bad thing.
Give shoppers more details on your products. The packaging only has so much space. A QR code can help customers easily find more information about that specific product. Think outside the box — link to a how to video, a page of customer reviews and more, simply by adding a QR code to the package.
Send shoppers to a dedicated app using a QR code. Does your business have its own shopping app? A QR code can lead shoppers right to downloading the app, simplifying the process of shopping with an app.
Use a QR code to make your physical location — or even contact information — easy to find. Did you know you can link a QR code to your physical address, phone number or email? If you are using QR codes in marketing placed outside your business, a QR code can help potential shoppers find directions to your location, or even dial in your phone number with a quick scan.
QR codes may not have been successful right off the bat, but thanks to improvements in the technology and widespread use, QR codes are gaining traction. Small business owners can use the scanning codes to do more than just send shoppers to their website.