Stepping Outside of the Box: Having Fun with QR Codes

While out running errands recently, I saw a fantastic wall-sized advertisement for a clothing store.  While looking at the display I noticed that every piece of clothing the models were wearing had a QR code next to it.  Being interested in a dress in that ad, I took out my smartphone and clicked the QR code next to it.  I was automatically redirected to the store’s online shopping bag, where all I had to do was enter the size of the dress I needed and checkout.  For me, this was a fun, effective way to grab my attention.  It was also such a brilliant idea from that clothing company.  I bought what they were promoting without entering their store or going to their website to do some online shopping.  Even better, thanks to that QR code, I was instantly given what I wanted in the press of a button. As a satisfied and engaged customer, it got me thinking: how can businesses successfully use the power of QR codes to their advantage? The answer lies in what your business goals are and how creative you are willing to be.

A great first step into getting your business involved with QR codes is to pair them with social media, something consumers are already using on the smart devices for.  Instead of redirecting people to your Website, send them to your social media profiles.  That way you are giving QR-clickers the opportunity to engage with your brand by liking you on Facebook or following you on Twitter.  Want to go the extra mile with QR codes and social media?  Generate a QR code that allows those interested in your business to automatically ‘like’ you on Facebook.  Redirecting people to social media will only strengthen your brand.  As a business you are giving them a chance to receive information about your business, review what you have to offer, and engage with them every time they jump online.

By using this approach, you invite prospects to identify your “voice” on social media while still ultimately driving them to your website for longer form content.  The key is the engagement in formats friendly to the mobile, smart device.

Remember, let your creativity inspire your use of QR codes and to have fun with this “what’s behind door number one” mentality.  Send those using your QR codes to a landing page for your company’s contest signups or event registration.  You can leverage the contact information volunteered by those who sign up in your future marketing efforts.  Or, lead consumers to a special coupon or insider information on your upcoming promotion as a thank you for checking out your QR code.  Either way, you are having fun with your QR codes, generating new contacts for marketing campaigns, and entertaining prospects and repeat customers.

As I mentioned earlier, print advertising still reaches consumers.  Pairing print and QR codes together allows your business to create a bridge between online and print advertising.  Utilizing QR codes in your advertising campaigns will also allow for easy measuring when reviewing your campaign’s effectiveness.  Going to a special event or conference?  Let your creativity shine by placing QR codes on t-shirts or on the back of your business card. Engage the crowd by putting different messages on the shirts.  Or, create a QR code that can generate a phone call.  This is a creative way to give consumers the chance to call your business for more information.

The ways to use QR codes to engage your audience are endless.  The information they provide can literally be anything—photos, videos, directions, event calendars and reviews.  By being creative and having fun with your QR codes, you can surprise consumers and build your brand all in one click.

For more information on getting started with QR code tools, check out these great resources: