You're trying to convince your boss to transition away from old school print media, but old habits die hard. What do you do to boost website traffic, convert more leads, and grow your social media presence using direct mail and flyers? Get a QR code on those print materials!
Although QR codes (quick response barcodes) are no longer brand spankin' new to the marketing scene, they have become more widely utilized, and the barrier to entry is lower than many marketers might think. Not only that, there's a multitude of creative uses for QR codes that help engage others with your brand and bridge the gap between outbound and inbound marketing. So here’s how you can get started with your first foray into creating QR codes that will bring your print media into an inbound marketing world.
4 Steps to Create a QR Code
1. Find a QR Code Generator
There are many out there, but the key is finding the right one for your needs. Some things to look for when choosing a QR code generator are whether you can track and analyze performance, if it allows you to design a code that is unique to your brand, and if it is compatible with common QR code readers. Although there are many other options out there, here are three to consider checking out.
Kaywa: With Kawya you can customize your design for free, and the paid version allows you to track performance. The codes can link to a web page, text, phone numbers, or SMS.
GOQR.me: Also free with an option for paid premium service, this generator allows you to “read” to text, URL, phone number, SMS, or vCard. Read on for an example of linking to a vCard, which allows people to save your contact information easily and immediately when “reading” the QR code.
Microsoft Tag: The cool thing about Microsoft Tag versus many other generators is the ability to have a color QR code rather than just black and white. It's also free for all services, including limited analysis of people viewing and going to the tagged item.
2. Create, Design, and Link It Up
The fun part of creating QR codes is customizing the design of the codes to your brand. Want your code to look like your logo? Go for it. Want it to reflect your website's design scheme? No problem.
But after that's said and done, the most important thing to consider is your end goal. What do you want to accomplish when someone actually uses your QR code? If you're at an event, for example, you might want to distribute business cards with a code on them that automatically links to your vCard so it's easy to save your contact information. On the other hand, you may be gunning for more leads, so perhaps you should link to a landing page on your website to download the awesome presentation you just gave. Keep your end goal in mind when creating QR codes, and just like any call-to-action, make it worthwhile for the scanner.
3. Test It
In all the excitement of creating your first QR code, don't forget to check to see if the QR code “reads” correctly, and be sure to try more than just one reader. A good place to start is the free tool Google Goggles, which takes a picture and then tells you what link or item it “reads to.” Another great free tool is QR Code Reader, which automatically takes you to whatever it “reads.” Both are easy to use and available for multiple smartphones.
4. Track and Analyze
Just like any marketing campaign, track and analyze how much traffic comes from each specific code. Are people scanning your code but not redeeming their offer once they get to your landing page? Or are they not even compelled enough to scan your QR code? Knowing this will help you troubleshoot and adjust your poorly performing QR codes to more closely mirror those that work well.
QR codes are a low cost way of engaging your audience across multiple mediums. If you didn't jump on the QR code bandwagon when they first hit the scene, that's okay! Start brainstorming creative ways to use this hip new tool to give (and gather) information, drive traffic to your website, get more leads, and potentially engage a whole new audience.
Have you used a QR code for your company? Share the creative ways you've used QR codes, and what results you've seen!
Image credit: ell brown