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Ever wondered why QR codes are everywhere these days? Also wondered, what are QR Codes and how can they help your business? As we now know QR Codes have revolutionised the business world. Today we take a look at what are QR Codes and how can they help your business.
Quick Response codes (QR codes) and other two-dimensional codes have achieved widespread use over the past few years – and for good reason. Consumers want immediate access to what’s relevant and QR codes are being used to make that possible. QR codes have made information sharing easy and simple to use for anyone who has a smartphone.
QR Codes 101
If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. The key difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold or share.
QR codes can hold and share large amounts of data compared to a conventional barcode. For example, if a store was to replace the barcode on your favourite juice with a QR code, the QR code could potentially give you way more information about the juice. How is that possible you ask? Well, with a well-programmed QR code you could get data on the following data: source of juice, where the fruits were harvested and when, nutritional information, how and when the juice was made, who packaged it etc.
QR code to the Social Media Examiner home page.
Bar codes are linear one-dimensional codes and can only hold up to 20 numerical digits, where 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 them 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 several phone functions including email, IM and SMS; and connect the mobile device to a web browser.
Any of these desired functions are easily achieved by properly creating your QR code. It’s a simple process of entering the appropriate data into the QR code generator, described below, and it all takes just a few minutes.
The ability of QR codes to connect people to multimedia digital content is very useful for businesses and consumers alike.
The Origins of QR Codes
While QR codes are still considered a novelty here in the United States, they’ve been actively used for over a decade in Japan where they were invented. QR is a registered trademark of Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota. Denso Wave has elected not to exercise their patent rights of QR codes and that has encouraged their widespread use.
How to Create QR Codes
Creating QR codes is as easy as populating data you want on the QR code and simply generating your code through your QR code generator. QR code generators will generate unique codes for each case. The best thing about using QR codes is that data cannot be stolen, lost, or altered as each QR code is unique and can only be written once. If one wants to change a tiny bit of information on the QR code, then a new one needs to be generated.
QR code Generators – There are several sites for generating QR codes and they are all free. An Internet search for a QR code generator will offer many choices.
Applications for QR Codes
Applications for QR Codes have also upgraded over the years. Applications can now use QR Codes to communicate, transfer data and help businesses share data faster and safely. 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 multiple pieces of content that share a common link.
QR Code Like
QR code Like button to the author’s Facebook page.
Community – Sharing is how you build community, and one of the favourite areas for doing this is Facebook. You can use Likify to create a QR code that links your mobile device 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 is all accomplished in one click.
Calls to Action – After building a community, the next logical step is to mobilize them to take action. What are you trying to accomplish? You can alternate special offers by simply linking your QR codes to new landing pages, and you can combine them with email opt-ins to build your list.
Although user response varies, QR codes still matter and can be a useful tool for your business. There are several reasons to add Quick Response codes to your marketing and advertising strategies, they can help you connect with the growing mobile user crowd that wants to use their smartphones for everything. They are user friendly everyone can use a QR, and just an easy way to connect with your clients.
Although QR codes may appear as uninspiring black and white squares, companies have discovered different ways to make them more interesting. Another benefit is that they can push your business to reach new creative levels. What can you do with this two-dimensional barcode that will engage your customers?
Companies like Instagram have created colourful QR codes that look more like miniature paintings. JC Penney used QR codes to make digital gift tags, so consumers could create their messages to scan. Tesco took QR codes to another level by using them in its virtual store campaign. After covering the walls of a subway station with images of their products for sale, they added QR codes, so customers could easily scan and buy what they wanted.
QR codes can stand on their own, but they can also be easily integrated with other marketing and advertising campaigns. You can add them to new ads or direct mail efforts. They can be part of email marketing or magazine stories. Since they can be customised, they are a versatile tool to add to your business.
Most businesses use QR codes to give customers a chance to learn more about a company, download an app or get a coupon. However, QR codes can be used in other ways to benefit your brand and increase your income. You can turn them into virtual business cards and save on printing costs. You can feature them on your company’s rooftop or sell the space to others for a profit. You can use them to encourage donations to a charity or non-profit.
QR codes are easy to implement and can help you learn more about consumers. These codes may seem simple on the surface, but they have turned into a good resource for many businesses. If you allow your creativity to take over, then they can help you reach new audiences and grow your business. Now we know what are QR Codes and how can they help your business.