Demystifying QR Codes: A Comprehensive Guide for Your Marketing Needs
In a tech-driven world where convenience is king, quick response (QR) codes are fast becoming omnipresent. Whether you’re looking at a restaurant menu or the back of a bathroom stall door, you’re likely to spot a QR code. Remarkably, about 45% of shoppers engage with QR codes used for marketing purposes.
As the popularity of QR codes continues to rise, it’s crucial to understand what they are and how you can leverage them in your next marketing campaign. This article by MKTG Plan aims to unravel the complexity of QR codes and demonstrate how easily you can create your own.
Understanding QR Codes
Seemingly gibberish, QR Codes carry a surprising amount of valuable information. These square-shaped elements can transport you to a URL, showcase contact information or even evoke a call option when scanned via laser or smartphone. It’s imperative to note that while most smartphones can automatically scan QR codes, special apps may be required for barcode scanning.
You might wonder if the advent of QR codes could mean the demise of conventional barcodes. However, barcodes remain a prevalent means for businesses to identify consumer packaged goods (CPGs) and handle their product inventory.
Barcodes vs. QR Codes: Spotting the Difference
Despite the common ability to hold and provide data when scanned, there are striking differences between barcodes and QR codes.
Shape and Data Capacity
Barcodes are usually seen in a rectangular shape, which enables scanning devices to read data horizontally. But QR codes condense a far greater volume of information in their square shape, displaying data both vertically and horizontally.
Type of Data Stored
Barcodes typically contain key product details such as price and manufacturer information and are primarily used during transactions or sales. QR codes, on the contrary, bear more passive and intangible data, such as location data, URLs leading to promotions, and product landing pages.
How Do QR Codes Work?
The mechanism of QR codes is quite simple. An individual sees a QR code, retrieves their smartphone, scans the code with their camera or a QR code scanning app, and presto – they gain more insight about whatever piqued their interest.
However, the process of creating a QR code is a bit more intricate. Let’s say you’re generating a QR code for a bus advertisement promoting your podcast. The printed code, when scanned with a smartphone, should lead the curious users straight to your iTunes page.
Creating a QR Code: A Step-by-Step Guide
The QR code generation process is relatively straightforward, and the following are the steps you need to follow.
Step 1: Fetch a QR Code Generator
Utilizing any browser on any operating system, go to a QR code maker. For this tutorial, we’ll use qr-code-generator.com.
Step 2: Enter your Relevant URL
After selecting your content type, a field or form will appear where you can fill in the associated campaign information. The resulting QR code will be available for download immediately after you’ve input your details.
Step 3: Customize and Enhance the QR Code
Creating a QR code that fits your brand’s aesthetics is possible. Advanced customization offers a broad scope for creativity and a chance to make your codes reflect your brand identity or campaign design.
Step 4: Download Your QR Code
After you’ve satisfactorily customized your QR code, you can download it without any need for signing up or providing private details.
Step 5: Use Your QR Code for Your Marketing and Promotional Efforts
The final step is to ensure that your QR code is visible on your marketing campaigns and serves to promote your business effectively.
Creating QR Codes Using Phone
Did you know mobile devices can also be used to create QR codes? This relevant feature is available on both Android and iOS platforms.
Using QR Codes: Best Practices
While creating QR codes can be relatively simple, it is essential to follow a few best practices to ensure these codes are effectively used.
Accessibility and Convenience Matter
Haphazard placements of QR codes are likely to be ineffective. It’s recommended that you position these codes in spots where scanning is easy and time is not an issue.
Recommendably, the page your QR code redirects to should be mobile-optimized for a smoother user experience.
CTAs Can Lead the Way
Your QR code should come with a precise call-to-action (CTA), informing users of what they’re expected to do upon seeing your code, and what benefit awaits them if they scan it.
Stick to Universality
Make sure your QR code is universal and can be scanned using any reader. This compatibility will certainly aid smoother user interaction and increased feasibility.
Utility Takes the Crown
Use QR codes only when they serve a purpose and bridge the gap between the offline and online user experience.
QR Code Generators for the Rescue
Despite understanding how QR codes work, creating one might seem a daunting task. This is where QR code generators step in. These are some of the best tools available to generate a quick and easy QR code: Kaywa, GOQR.me, Free QR Code Generator by Shopify, Visualead, The-qrcode-generator.com, QR Stuff, Qr-code-generator.com, QR Code Monkey, and QR Code Generator Hub.
A QR code, or Quick Response code, is a type of barcode that can be scanned using a smartphone or a QR reader. It redirects the user to a particular URL, a contact card, a location, and more, depending on how it’s programmed.
You need a QR Code Generator to create a QR code for a website. Simply enter the URL you wish to embed in the generator, adjust the settings based on your preferences, and download the resulting QR code.
Yes, various online QR code generators offer free services to create basic QR codes. However, features like customization and tracking might come with a cost.