First created in the 1990s to assist with the production process in Japan’s automobile industry, QR codes — named using an abbreviation for “quick response” — can be found all over the place in today’s digitally dominated society. In fact, as most modern consumers have likely noticed, the codes are increasingly being seen on everyday items ranging from product labels and restaurant tables to business cards, billboards and social media posts. One of 2022’s most memorable Super Bowl commercials even featured a QR code — and nothing more — floating around the screen for 30 very expensive seconds.
Of course, after being scanned with a smartphone, tablet or nearly any other smart device outfitted with a camera, the pixelated blocks can nearly instantly direct the device’s user to an online source of desired information and/or data. And for marketers, this creates an opportunity to convey a lot of information in a small amount of space — making it a valuable tool for ad campaigns and other marketing communications. QR codes can also enable enhanced tracking of interested consumers for lead-generation purposes.
Looking to leverage the QR code in your brand’s future marketing materials? Consider these 10 Brandon Agency-approved ways to leverage QR codes to ramp up the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
1. Use a QR code to direct users to your website
When consumers scan a QR code you provide, it can link them to any page on your website you’d like to send them to. This can include your brand’s homepage, a page detailing a specific product or service, a newsletter signup page, or any other chosen destination on your website. For tracking purposes, though, you might want to consider creating a URL that’s unique to the specific marketing campaign in which you’re using the QR code, improving your ability to accurately measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
2. … or a campaign-specific landing page
Of course, by creating a campaign-specific landing page that the QR code links to, you can leverage the enhanced tracking capabilities mentioned above. And in addition, your custom landing page can use wording and imagery that complement and build upon the marketing asset where the QR code originally appeared — helping your brand increase the relevance of the content you present there to these visiting consumers, and thereby raising your chances of moving them along in the marketing funnel.
3. Enhance your business cards with a QR code
Designed to easily fit into a pocket or wallet, business cards are inherently tight on space. But by adding a QR code to the card, perhaps on an otherwise blank backside, you can direct colleagues, potential customers and more to a website conveying much more information. While the options are limitless, the QR code on the business card could direct people to a digital catalog of your brand’s products and services, a portfolio of your work, or enthusiastic customer testimonials, just to name a few options.
4. Add a QR code to your email signature
Similar to the business card QR code mentioned above, a QR code added to a brand employee’s email signature could direct those who scan it to additional information about the employee or the company. Options here could include an expanded employee bio, the company website or the employee’s LinkedIn profile, just to name a few.
5. Have a QR code initiate an app download
For brands with mobile apps to promote, providing a QR code to consumers can provide them with a quick and easy route to initiating an app download. This can help increase app downloads and adoption by eliminating the hassle of trying to track down the app (and weed out apps with similar names and functionality, etc.) for the device user.
6. Employ a QR code that leads to a YouTube video
According to the well-known adage, a picture is worth a thousand words — so of course, a video can be incredibly powerful in conveying a brand’s message. And according to a recent survey, nearly 95% of marketers say that videos have helped boost consumers’ understanding of their products and services. For these reasons and more, having a QR code link out to a video hosted on YouTube can present a great opportunity for brands to get their messaging across to potential customers. The many possibilities here include linking out to a how-to video from a product’s packaging, sharing customer-testimonial videos via a QR code, and linking out to product-promo videos from printed marketing materials.
7. Create a QR code that leads to digital coupons, codes or other discounts
Budget-conscious consumers love a discount, and a good deal has long been among the best ways to capture the attention of potential customers. And by linking to a coupon, code or other discount via a QR code placed in its marketing materials, your brand can provide these purchase incentives in a highly trackable, space-efficient way.
8. Provide directions to your physical location via QR code
Physical addresses can often be misinterpreted, and when similar street names exist in your service area, an address alone can present confusion. Further, there’s not always space for including a map in marketing materials. But by having a QR code link to GPS directions that lead to your brand’s place of business, you can preserve space in your marketing materials and ensure that the destination your consumers are being pointed to is the correct one.
9. Use a QR code to easily add an event (and reminder) to the user’s calendar
When marketing an event or any date/time-specific occasion, providing potential attendees with a QR code that adds the event and even a timely reminder to their digital calendars is a great way to ensure that the occasion is not forgotten — and to thereby help boost attendance.
10. Create a QR code that directs users to one of your social pages
Especially if your brand is looking to increase its following on social media, creating a QR code that links to your social platform of choice can be a highly effective tool for boosting the size of your social audience. You can even create a QR code that links to a spot where visitors are just a click away from becoming a follower on the platform.
2 tools for easily creating QR codes
A number of websites make it easy for your brand to create a QR code that links to your online destination of choice. Two of our favorites are:
- QR Stuff, which will generate a free QR code that leads to your online destination of choice, all while letting you control a range of code attributes such as size, file type and color. Users can even add a logo or other image to their QR codes and, for a fee, add analytics-reporting features.
- QR Code Monkey, another free-of-charge service that allows for high levels of QR code customization and styling, including a variety of body shapes, eye frame shapes and eye ball shapes, in addition to an array of color options and the ability to add a logo or image to your QR code.
Want to ensure your brand is leveraging all of the latest and most powerful trends — such as incorporating QR codes in your marketing strategy — to help your business grow? At The Brandon Agency, our data-driven experts stay on top of all the current marketing developments and tactics, and we’re ready to share our skills and knowledge to help you boost your business. To put our team of pros to work for your brand, contact us today.