QR codes: How to Best Use Them in Small Business Marketing

Do you own a small business and you want to advertise it? Our friends over at find my workspace share some useful strategies to help you maximize the use of QR codes.

You might have noticed how some companies nowadays are making use of mobile-scannable QR Codes to offer discounts or promote a marketing gimmick in a given period. These QR Codes look similar to bar-codes that are imprinted in most grocery items, though they look more like a dried out ink maze-like imprint rather than a series of lines with numbers above them.

In a sense, QR Codes and bar-codes are quite the same because both are means to track a product unit, but the two however differ in the capacity of information they can contain. Bar-codes get to have 20 digits, while QR Codes can hold a string of alphanumeric characters.

A QR Code functions like a scannable link towards either your official website, Social Media pages, landing pages, or activate an automated email or SMS for the customer. This is where businesses can include promos and other special offers.

Why use QR Codes?

QR Codes are useful when it comes to promotions and customer engagement efforts for any business – even for small to medium-sized ones.

First, they are more convenient for customers to use as these are simply scanned, and their mobile phones could do the rest. In a way, customers can easily get their discounts even without filling up any sort of form.

Second, they can be easily placed anywhere – from printed materials, to your office desks, counters, and other things that are accessible to your customers. And the best part about them is that, they are highly mobile.

How Do I Get QR Codes?

The good thing here is, you can get QR Codes for your business without additional cost – yes they’re free! So this works to the advantage for small to medium-sized entrepreneurs, because there is no need to shell out additional expenses just to generate a unique one for the company.

The most trusted QR Code generators are Kaywa, iCandy, and StickyBits. Each has different specialties, Kaywa for example is the easiest way to generate a QR Code that could be linked to a certain web page, or SMS. iCandy on the other hand could do the same, but it has more complicated tools for analytics. StickyBits are also useful in a sense that you can easily create and print out stickers containing your QR Codes.

In addition, your customers also need a mobile app in able to scan QR Codes. There are several free providers from the Google Play Store for Android phones, and Apple iStore for iPhone users.

Best Practices for Using QR Codes

Although it is easy and free to get QR Codes, business owners like you should know how and where to place them strategically. As mentioned earlier, they can be placed in things that are accessible to your customers. This also includes:

a.) Business cards – many professionals put QR Codes in their business cards that link towards their online resume, professional website, and the like. You can also do this for your business too! You can link your QR Code to your official website, or Social Media pages so your customers can easily connect with you then.

b.) Promotional flyers, handouts and the like – this is great especially if you are offering a special discount or limited promos. While the flyers and brochures you hand out contain all the necessary information, your attached QR Code will make it easy for your customers to avail of said promo.

c.) Product packaging – attaching your QR Code to your product package feels like a more natural or organic way of marketing compared to handing them out through flyers. It is of course non-intrusive, and it is a way to improve customer retention especially if your QR Codes are attached to a promo or discount.

The most important rule to remember is to place your QR Codes in stuff that are easily accessed by your customers. Moreover, make sure you link your code to the exact page or message that you want them to see – in other words, make sure your QR Codes will provide value for them.

The reality however is that, there are still a number of people who are not accustomed to QR Codes. So while this is a great way to offer your customers something, you may also need to resort to other ways to reach out to those who are not very digitally-inclined.

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