Local Online Advertising consultants have many tools in their marketing toolbox. QR codes, as they have been named, have recently become more popular with marketers and consumers. These two dimensional barcodes designed as a square that deliver lots of information about a product or service to smartphones and other devices that can read them are showing up everywhere. Post cards, emails, text messages, bulletin boards, table tents and just about any space that someone may have a chance to see them have been subjected to this relatively new online marketing and advertising technology.
Although these information carrying squares will become more and more intrusive, are they really worth the effort? Are they really a valuable service to consumers and to marketers? Or are they just another blob of digital mass that is crowding our limited bandwidth and slowing the speed of our wireless networks?
According to Sam Mallikarjunan over at Hubspot, the QR code can be useful as an Online Advertising tool if is used properly. Here are five ways that Sam suggest QR codes could be used to increase leads and improve ecommerce targeting and conversions.
1. Email List Segmentation
Use QR codes to create landing pages and capture email addresses. Since these codes are a new technology, people who sign up through this method are usually early adopters, meaning they’re likely to be technically savvy and more receptive to email marketing.
People who can scan a QR code are also more likely to be engaged in social media, so you can also use QR codes to drive traffic to your social media presence. In addition, you can leverage custom landing pages for each QR code so you know that someone scanning an ad for “blue jeans” is interested in that specific product category. You could then link to a landing page dedicated to products related to blue jeans. On that page consider posting opt-ins, ‘buy’ buttons, links to Twitter and Facebook, or whatever else targets those specific users. This can be a very helpful tactic if you have diverse product offerings.
According to a recent study by comScore, users who scan QR codes are more likely to be young, male, and wealthy. If that’s your target demographic, QR code utilization could be a very useful tool.
2. Curiosity Pull
Because it’s encrypted, people are curious about what a QR code says/means/does. This element of mystery marketing means more people might scan your code and end up on your landing page even if they might not otherwise have done so. People see URLs all the time, so QR codes can help overcome the desensitization associated with them.
As with any new technology, people might scan your barcode simply because they are interested in how the code works. You can even add images to your codes, which might spark additional interest. Put them on t-shirts, business cards, and have them shaved into the heads of all of your employees.
…Okay, so they won’t work as a hair style, but you get the point. A QR code is an attention-grabber that can bring you customers and grow your reputation.
3. Social Sharing
Since QR codes can be URLs, you can craft custom tweets that post to the person’s Twitter account when they scan the code, making it easier for them to share your specials and offers.
You may have seen commercials for the new line of smartphones that allow users to post pictures straight to Twitter and Facebook with the push of a button. This is a similar concept, except with QR codes you can provide a landing page and make it simple for users to share your information.
Basically, if a person with 1,000 Twitter followers scans the QR code on your business card, the outcome is similar to you physically walking around and passing out 1,000 business cards with your URL. Actually, it’s better because those followers can retweet the information to their followers as well, which expands your reach.
4. Print Media Tracking
You can also use QR codes to better track the effectiveness of offline, print media by creating a tracking URL and embedding it in your QR code. Traffic from that URL will be associated with that campaign. It’s not going to be a perfect measurement, but it’s another way of aggregating information about the performance of offline media efforts.
5. Connecting Brick and Mortar (B&Ms)
People shopping in stores can scan codes on products or in-store collateral and sign up for special discounts and contests/giveaways. This can help you capture in-store traffic and build your online reach for re-marketing and targeting.
For example, if the same person who scanned the blue jeans ad earlier is now in a physical store and buying your jeans, you can use a code to offer them a discount at your online shop. This way, you can then maximize your exposure to that targeted customer.