Quick Response codes (QR codes) are expected to acheive widespread use this year - and for good reason. Consumers want Immediate access to what's
relevant and QR codes are being used to make that possible.
QR Codes 101
If you're not yet familiar with QR codes, they're similar to the barcodes used by retailes to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. They key difference between the two is the ammount of data they can hold or share.
Bar codes are linear one-demensional codes and can only hold up to 20 numerical digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. Their ability to hold more information and their ease of use makes the practical for small businesses.
When you scan or read a QR code with your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, you can link to digital content on the web; activate a number of phone functions including email, IM and SMS; and connect the mobile device to a web browser.
The ability of QR codes to connect people with each other and to multimedia digital content is very useful for businesses and consumers alike.
Applications for QR Codes
Sharing - There's no limit to how, or even how much, you can share with QR codes. While a video or landing page is
easily shared, you could go further and share an entire eBook and even mulitple peices of content that share a common
Community - Sharing is how you build community, and one of the favorite areanas for doing this is facebook. You can create QR codes that links your mobile divice to a fully functioning "LIKE" button for your facebook page. This greatly simplifies the process of merging your other communities with your Facebook page - and it's all accomplished in one click.
Additionally the accompanying signature "thumbs-up" cleare suggests the purpose of the code.
Calls to Action - After building a community, the next logical setep is to mobilize them to take action. What are you trying to accomplish? You can alternate special offers by simply linging your QR codes to new landing pages or coupons for your business or Open Houses, and you can combile them with email opt-ins to build your mailing list.
Search Engine Optimization - QR codes enhance both your search engine and social media optimization. Now you can increase traffic to those searchable objects to futher optimize them by encouraging more sharing.
Social Proof - To help build a community offline, it can be helpful to use your bivrant online communites as social proof of your influence and expertise. As one example, you can use QR codes to link to a specific blog post or video.
Practical Uses of QR Codes
Here are some ways for using QR codes that are mostly in practice now, as well as a few more that are coming soon.
- The back (or front) of your business card.
- Your brochures and other printed marketing materials.
- The sides of your vehicles
- Product tags and packaging
- Convention and event nametags
- Restaurant menus
- Event ticket stubs
- Point-of-sale receipts
Some practical things your QR codes could link to:
- Installation instructions
- Customer service information
- Directions to your business
- You contact information
- Listing information for Realtors
- Valuable coupons and special offers
- Recomendation for services and products
- Free music or video downloads
- Customer feedback forms
Where We're Going From Here
The potential for QR codes is limitless. What's most exciting is how they take what social media is doing right now, bringing people
together with technology, and extending it to enhance the experiance.
The next generation of barcodes will hold even more information - so much that an Internet connection will not even be necessary. he content will be effectively embedded in the code. Imagine canning a digital code to watch a movie or download a
The possibilities are endless.