What’s in Your QR Code?

15 Types of QR Code Content

Go to HeidiCohen.comQR Codes (aka Quick Response codes) are pop-art matrix barcodes that can condense information into a small rectangular graphic, that’s also a form of mobile tagging. Originating in Japan, these two dimensional barcodes require a camera and a QR Code reader to decipher the encoded information. With cameras included in most mobile phones, QR Code usage continues to expand, especially given the increased use of smartphones. When it comes to QR Codes, men will be happy because here’s one place that size doesn’t matter.

Why should marketers care about QR Codes?

QR Code matrix graphics transform a wide variety of real world physical media, packaging and products into information conduits with the use of a mobile phone. Gone are the space limitations of offline media and packaging. A QR Code can have up to 7089 characters of information. QR Codes enhance product support, connect to customer service and facilitate purchase. Consequently, QR Codes changes the game for integrated media. Short term, the drawback of using QR Codes is that prospects may not realize they’re looking at one since it’s still a relatively new activity.

What type of marketing information can QR codes convey?

QR Codes provide marketers with a variety of data options and media formats to expand content presentation. Here are fifteen marketing information alternatives.

  1. Website URL. This can be a special targeted landing page or any website resource. The goal here is to enhance the user’s experience by ensuring that the result is formatted for a mobile device in order to provide needed information on-the-go.
  2. Text. Supply users with additional text information. This can be useful for supplying content that consumers should have but you don’t have room to include. It could become the new way to condense the fine print.
  3. Telephone Number. Since most QR Code users are away from their office or home, give them the ability to talk to a human by offering them your phone number, either your 800 number or your retail establishment’s number.
  4. SMS or text message. Present users with a mobile alternative for connecting with your company. This is particularly useful when targeting teenagers.
  5. Email address. Give users your email address. Tailor the email address to the QR Code so it can tracked back to the source of the contact.
  6. Send email message. Provide prospects a way to communicate with you directly. Once the QR Code is scanned it sends a designated recipient a preformatted email.
  7. Contact details. This information appears as a virtual business card. With a means for showing people your QR Code, you can reduce the need for business cards. For example, I attached a QR Code to my badge for Social Media Week.
  8. Map. Show prospects how to find your physical location. QR Codes use Google Maps.
  9. Social Media. This encompasses a diverse array of options such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare and others. QR Codes access these networks via the web.
  10. YouTube Video. Another form of social media that’s great for giving users useful content on-the-go. Use video in places where people need to see how to do something. A QR Code sticker in the trunk of a car can launch a video showing how to change a tire.
  11. iTunes link. Share music and/or the spoken word with your audience.  This can give your brand a human voice in places that it may not have one.
  12. Event details. Make a date by placing information about the occasion in the viewer’s calendar.
  13. Paypal buy now link. Expand your ability to sell without a retail location. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action!
  14. Mobile apps. While this functionality is possible, in reality, its use is limited since only certain phones can handle the redirection. But stay tuned! Mobile functionality continues to evolve.
  15. Wifi login (Android Only).  Give users an alternative way to sign on to your wifi system.

With the expanding penetration of smartphones and other mobile devices, QR Code usage continues to expand and become more mainstream. From a marketing perspective, it’s important to start integrating QR Codes into your content, packaging and products to extend their usefulness to prospects and customers.

Do you have other ways to use QR Codes? If so, what are they and where do you use them? Please leave a comment below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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