22 ways to use QR codes
Today’s technology moves at a fast pace. Just when you get a handle on one part of it something new is already being used. QR codes are the biggest trend in marketing to all those smartphone uses. Smartphones have a free APP available to download that scans these generated codes and reads what is encrypted on them. These can be a great asset to your marketing campaign so have some fun with them. QR codes connect the real world with the digital world.
Though the sky is the limit, here are some examples of what you can do with QR Codes.
- Business Cards- Stick a QR code on the back of your business card and have it link to your phone number, send a text message, link to your website, or even take someone to a Youtube video.
- Flyers-Handing out flyers door-to-door? Or maybe you want to spread the news about an event in a new and innovative way? Slap a QR code on it and link to an event page or a video describing more about the event. Check out how one clothing retailer is doing this. You can also add social media icons so people can share.
- Billboards.-This one way communication channel just became interactive. Calvin Klein used QR codes on billboards in New York and Los Angeles with their Uncensored campaign. It linked to a page with a mobile video and Twitter/Facebook share icons.
- Education.-Use QR codes next to math problems in math books that pull up a video that teaches students how to complete certain problems. Let’s just hope they scan the QR code after they answered it!
- Articles in Magazines/Newspaper.-Magazine publishers can use QR codes in articles that link to more info on the article, a video, or even a discussion board. Wait. Stop. Think about that. Another one-way communication channel that is now engaging. Imagine someone reading an article, wanting to voice their opinion and leave a comment like they would on a website blog, scanning a QR code, and then leaving comments on an article they found in the paper medium. Talk about in-the-moment engagement. Simply fascinating.
- For Sale Signs on Homes-Real Estate, anyone? Print a QR code on a for sale sign on a home that connects the mobile user to a mobile website that shows them more info on the home and includes a video with a walk-through of the home (which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see). Or just link to a Youtube video. Talk about point-of-experience!
- Comment Cards-Tired of paper comment cards? Want to reduce error and capture feedback at the point-of-experience? Or maybe there is a trust issue with the manager and you think he’s trashing some bad comment cards? Either way, mobile web-based comment cards allow for convenience and meet the consumer where there are. Comments can be e-mailed to someone and added to an excel file if need be. Theoretically, someone can file a complaint and a manager (as well as corporate, if needed) can receive the complaint via e-mail and respond to it before the customer has even left the building. Talk about real-time.
- Presentations-More and more I’ve seen less of the traditional speaker presentations. Audiences want to engage during presentations and throw in their two cents, just like they do on Twitter. The unGEEKED e’lite conference is built on this idea. One way to engage the audience is to stick a QR code in a presentation. Maybe the audience can scan it and be put on a mailing list, ask a question, or give their input on the presentation at the end, all via the mobile web. This would work best at conferences where early adopters are present.
- Clothing-Want to be different? How about you stick a QR code on a shirt. How’s that for standing out against the crowd? Or clothing companies can use QR codes on tags to display color, style, size, and more about that item.
- Books.-How about a QR code at the end of each chapter, which links to a discussion board where readers can share comments on a chapter. Amazing. Or maybe you want to describe a concept with digital media. Video, anyone? Or maybe the author wants to link you to a page with errata.
- Outdoor Games-Ever participate in a scavenger hunt? With QR codes, you can leave digital tips for people. How about a video hint or video riddle?
- Interactive Menus-In restaurants, consumers can scan QR codes in the menu and watch a video on how that dish was prepared, see the ingredients, learn more about the executive chef with an interview, or even the staff. Stop. Think about that personal connection for a minute. Think about the story that someone can go tell their friends. They came to order food, but their experience was heightened because they were also able to walk away with a recipe for their favorite dish (or something more).
- Facebook Like-A service called Likify allows someone to do exactly that: like your Facebook fan page
- Call/E-mail Us-Simple enough? Have a QR code that brings up your phone number so someone can easily scan and call you or send you an e-mail.
- Coupons-Use a QR code to link to a special coupon that is shareable via social media. It can be tracked and turned off at any time. Goodbye paper coupons! (Did I mention this is environmentally friendly, too?)
- Name Tags-Although the idea of someone coming up and scanning your name tag at a conference sounds kind of funny, it can definitely help differentiate you and be a great conversation starter. There is a standard for storing contact info on QR codes. Use quiQR to create your virtual contact card today so someone can easily add you as a contact on their phone.
- Website Contact Us-If you already cater to your mobile audience, you can use QR codes on your contact us page. Maybe you want to link them to your mobile resource and remind them to bookmark it so they can use it on the go. Or maybe you want to make it so they can easily scan a QR code and call you.
- Conferences-Conferences can use QR codes for speaker feedback or conference feedback and evaluation. Attendees can share their thoughts via their mobile phone, and not a paper card with hard-to-read handwriting.
- Event Tickets-On a printed ticket, QR codes can be used to link to a video introduction to the event, or maybe link to a free MP3 download for a band. This is also good for tracking tickets, which Eventbrite does.
- Window Displays-Use QR codes on windows displays to give those window shoppers one more thing to look at (and talk about!). It can link to a video with someone talking about the product (very personal), or maybe you want to highlight certain features about the product.
- Classified Ads-Selling a car? Hiring someone? Link to a personal video on Youtube which has you expanding on the opportunity or telling people why it’s a good one.
- Weddings- Put QR codes around the reception room linked to youtube videos of the bride and groom throughout the years.
QR codes are the next generation. One word of warning, make sure to scan your QR code before you put it on your marketing material. If the bar code is too small it won’t scan. So test it out before you go to print.