This post is not about proving that QR Codes have an advantage over barcodes. A QR Code was designed to be better than a barcode in inventory management. Here are 4 reasons why they are better than barcodes.
This post is about the advantages of a QR Code when used in print promotions. QR Codes have come a long way from inventory management tools. They are now extensively being used in sectors such as marketing too.
These QR Codes open up multiple possibilities for marketers to better engage their target audience. How?
Using QR Codes on print media allows consumers to engage in a way that is:
1. Quick and error-free
If not QR Codes, the only way to connect consumers to online content is by using a URL. But typing a URL is time-consuming and inconvenient on a mobile screen.
Consumers are also likely to make errors while typing. Compared to this, scanning a QR Code is a much faster and error-free process.
In 2015, Chicago-based Wintrust Financial and technology provider FIS launched about 200 ATMs. These ATMs have QR Code-based cardless transaction capabilities.
Customers can withdraw money simply by scanning a QR Code at the ATM screen using their Wintrust app.
According to Wintrust and FIS, QR Code-based cardless cash withdrawal takes only 8 seconds compared to 47 seconds for normal withdrawal.
This shows that QR Codes are faster and convenient for the user. This is one of the key reasons why QR Codes are so popular in China.
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2. More informative
Unlike online marketing, print-based marketing has limitations. Particularly in real estate space. There is only so much you can do in a newspaper ad, product packaging, and brochure right? Wrong.
With QR Codes, you can give consumers a way to access unlimited information.
In 2015, Nestle’s popular product in India – Maggi noodles – got banned. It was due to claims by authorities that it contained impermissible levels of lead.
The ban was soon lifted but Nestle knew that people now had trust issues. To regain their trust, Nestle took various steps to prove its compliance with people’s health and law. To do it, they shared a detailed list of ingredients and other important information with customers. This could be on safety, environment, society, and recipes.
Obviously, it could not print all of this on the packaging. So the company added a QR Code which led buyers to the mobile site that had all this information.
3. Engaging with rich content
Words are good. A picture is worth a thousand words.
But a video has thousands of pictures. Audio is also more convenient. But unfortunately, you can share these forms of rich content via print promotions—unless you add a QR Code.
Using QR Codes, marketers can share rich content via their print promotions. Thus, they will see better engagement from their audience. For example, packaged food company Chef’s Basket added a QR Code on the packaging of one of its pasta products. When scanned, the QR Code redirects the consumers to a video of the recipe of the pasta dish.
While print media still works well for branding, it is not interactive like outdoor or digital marketing. But with QR Codes, it can be.
By adding a QR Code, you can make your promotions interactive and take inputs from your target audience. You can run a contest, get people to register for a product or event, take feedback, or allow your customers to make purchases right from the newspaper ad or flyer.
A good example is ‘World Park’, a QR Code-based campaign that was run in New York City’s Central Park in 2010. QR Codes on boards were placed in different locations in the park. When scanned, the QR Codes engaged visitors in a Quiz on the park’s history, pop culture, art and music, and science and geology.
If you are a marketer, then you know the importance of analytics. It helps you gain valuable insights into your audience. Thus, helping you identify areas of strength and weakness.
But print media, on its own, has no tracking abilities, unlike digital media. This is where QR Codes help you out. QR Codes help you gauge the impact of print media marketing efforts by letting you track their scanning activity. For example, how many people have scanned it, when did they scan it, and where did they scan it.
In addition to this, it also offers a feature called event tracking. It tells you how people interact with the content encoded in the QR Code after scanning it. For example, it could be clicking on a button that says ‘Sign-up’ or ‘Register Now’.
With this data, you can optimize your future campaigns better.
6. Easy to save
Another advantage of QR Codes is that the user can easily save the data on their smartphones.
For example, if you scan a Dynamic Vcard QR Code, a mobile page with your contact details will open. The page features a ‘Add to Contacts’ button which allows the user to directly save the contact in their smartphone.
See how to make your business card dynamic and exciting.
You can easily convert your barcode into QR Codes. Using a QR Code on a print advertisement gives it a new life. Marketers can engage their customers in engaging ways while making the entire process faster and more convenient.
How to create QR Codes
Now you know what advantages a QR Code can offer you. The next question—how to create one?
1. Create QR Codes one by one
If you don’t need hundreds and thousands of QR Codes, then this is the right choice for you. Here, you get a variety of QR Code categories to choose from. Depending upon your use-case, you can select an appropriate one.
To create one, you simply need a QR Code generator. A simple Google search will fetch you many options to choose from.
But comparing each result to find the best one for yourself is a tedious process. Hence, for your convenience, here is a detailed comparison of the best QR Code generators available online. You can go through it to find the best one for yourself.
Once finalized, you can create your first QR Code. And here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get you started.
2. Create QR Codes in bulk
In case, you want to create QR Codes in bulk, you’d need a bulk QR Code generation service. It allows you to create thousands of QR Codes in one go. You can choose from Website URL QR Codes, Simple Text QR Codes, Serial Code QR Codes, and VCard QR Codes.
You just need to upload a data file with all the details to be encoded, wait for the QR Codes to be generated, and download them in a zip folder.
For more information, here is a detailed guide on how to generate QR Codes in bulk.
3. Create QR Codes programmatically
If you want to integrate QR code generation into your own information system, QR Code API can help you do it.
It allows you to generate QR Codes programmatically in real-time via your own information system. No manual intervention required to create the QR Codes.
Apart from advantages, you should also be familiar with the best practices while working with QR Codes:
1. Add an appropriate CTA
CTA translates to ‘Call-to-action’. It is a small instruction that nudges people to take the required action.
It could be anything such as ‘Scan here to view the website”’ or ‘Scan here to view the file’’.
2. Add a design to the QR Code
If you are planning to use QR Codes for print media creatives, you may also design them. That’s because custom QR Codes attract the audience’s attention and in turn, get more scans.
3. Test scan the QR Code
It is always advisable to test scan the QR Code before putting them out for your target audience.
4. Choose optimal printing format
If you are going to use QR Codes for print media creatives or large posters and billboards, it’s recommended to export them in high-resolution formats—SVG, EPS, or PDF. They ensure that the QR Code doesn’t get pixelated no matter how much resizing is done.
That’s it. That’s all you need to know about the advantages of a QR Code.