If you’re a marketer, you know that print advertising is a crucial part of the marketing mix. It may include posters, flyers, magazines, and even billboards.
Even in today’s era of digitization, print media has not lost its significance. In fact, it has a longer attention span than its digital counterparts.
Hence, marketers use print to keep their audience better engaged. And magazines are one of the best ways to do it. After all, they strike the chords with both Gen Z and millennials alike.
However, marketers face two major challenges when using magazines:
- First, there is limited space to share information
- Second, the print magazines are neither trackable nor actionable
But there’s one way to overcome these challenges easily—QR Codes.
For the uninitiated, QR Codes are 2D barcodes that can store a lot of information and are easily scannable with a smartphone. QR Codes help marketers bridge the gap between print media and digital content.
Moreover, internet users grew by 7.3% from Jan 2020 to Jan 2021. Here, 96.6% of device ownership belonged to smartphone users. Hence, it makes more sense than ever for you to digitize your print media campaigns to engage these users.
This is indicative of the potential of QR Codes in magazines.
Interesting, right? Keep reading to know more about QR Codes in magazines.
A. How QR Codes can be used in magazines
Here are various ways to use QR Codes in magazines:
1. Giving complete product information
Customers today are more concerned about what they are purchasing than ever. Hence, it becomes important for businesses to ensure product transparency.
So if you’re looking forward to advertising your product in a magazine, you may consider adding a QR Code to it. We call it—a Product QR Code.
Wondering why you need one? Well, the limited printing space in magazines doesn’t allow you to add everything. In addition, it restricts you from sharing product videos, guides, images, etc. This is where a Product QR Code comes to your rescue.
It encodes all your product details such as images, descriptions, website links, and even social media sharing buttons.
And you can even track the scanning activity of this QR Code to gauge your campaign performance.
2. Giving coupons and discounts
It’s pretty common to offer discounts, coupons, and offers. They act as magnets to attract new customers to your business while retaining the existing ones.
And you may want to use your company magazines to give the same.
And a Coupon QR Code helps you do just that in a much simpler way. It makes the user experience better for your audience.
How? When scanned, it shows the coupon code to the end-users with the option to redeem it. This way, they do not need to carry the coupon everywhere or remember the code and can avail of it with a simple scan.
3. Gather feedback from your audience
Getting regular customer feedback is an essential part of any business. After all, that’s how you can determine whether your customers are enjoying your services or not.
But getting customer feedback is not an easy job. That’s because your customers first have to manually type the URL to your feedback form and then fill in the details. This consumes quite a lot of the customer’s time and, hence, they often don’t bother putting in the effort.
However, a QR Code can make this better. You just have to create one for your feedback forms and print it in magazines.
Customers can then simply scan it to fill the form. No need for them to manually type anything. And the best part is that the simpler the process, the better the conversion (forms filled) here.
As a business person, you probably own a website for business-related operations. This could be for anything such as providing detailed business information or getting orders online.
Whatever the use case is, you’d like people to visit you online. And a Website URL QR Code can help you do that. Just create one and place it inside your magazines. As your customers scan it, it will take them to your website in no time.
Similar to a business website, you may also have business social media accounts. And needless to say, you’d want the relevant audience to follow you online.
Here, a Social Media QR Code can help increase your social media following. Just print it on the cover of your magazine and customers can scan it.
When they do it, they will see a custom page containing buttons with links to all your social media accounts. Hence, they get the choice to select their favorite one amongst them to follow you online.
5. Increase app downloads
Many businesses today have mobile apps. And if you too have one, you’d want people to download it.
An App Store QR Code can make the whole process easier for you and your audience. Just place it in your magazines. When scanned, it will take the end-users to your app on the relevant app store depending on their phone’s operating system.
Also, if you’d like them to visit a particular page in the app, you can create an App Deep Link QR Code.
6. Create a mobile landing page
What if you don’t have a website for your business but still need to take the end-users to a landing page?
Well, a Rich Text QR Code can help you out here. It allows you to create a customized landing page with descriptions, images, and buttons. In other words, you have your own landing page (just like a website) without the need for any software developer. Convenient, right?
B. Benefits of QR Codes in magazines
A QR Code offers various benefits while optimizing your customer’s magazine experience. Here are some of them:
1. Editable content
Say you created a QR Code to provide product details. And after a few months, you’ve made improvements in your product and need to put this information out. Here, dynamic QR Codes can help you do it. They are editable. That means they allow you to edit the encoded content anytime you want without the need to create a new QR Code each time.
2. Scan tracking
The second and the most important benefit of QR Codes is that it allows you to monitor their scanning activity. This means you can track details such as:
- How many people have scanned the QR Code
- Where did they scan it
- When did they scan it
- Which device they used to scan it
All this data can help you better optimize your magazine campaigns.
3. Event Tracking
Say you want to know how your customers are interacting with the content after scanning the QR Code. This can be anything such as hitting the sign-up or register button. Event tracking can help you monitor this data easily.
4. Custom design
QR Codes are customizable. That means you can customize the design of a QR Code by adding a logo and color or a background image to it.
Do you know why it makes sense to customize QR Codes? Because it is a known fact that custom QR Codes attract 50%-200% more scans than basic black-and-white ones.
Hence, if your use case is promotional and you want to attract as many scans as possible, consider adding a design to your QR Codes.
5. Error Correction
Error correction is a unique feature of QR Codes. It ensures that QR Codes remain scannable irrespective of damage, dirt, or distortion.
C. How to create a QR Code for a magazine
Now you know why it makes sense to use QR Codes for a magazine. Next question is—how to create one?
1. Decide on a QR Code category
Depending on what content you want your end-users to see, you’ll need to select a relevant QR Code category.
Once you’ve decided on the QR Code category, head on to find a suitable QR Code generator. For your convenience, here is a detailed comparison chart of the best QR Code generators available online. You can go through this to find the best one for your use case.
2. Create a QR Code
Using Scanova for demo purposes, here’s how you can create a QR Code for a magazine:
a. Go to Scanova
b. Select the relevant QR Code category
c. Enter the content you want to encode and click Continue
d. On the page that loads, name the QR Code and click Create QR Code
e. Now, you’ll see the preview of the QR Code along with the Edit Design option
f. If you click on the Edit Design option, you’ll then see two design options to choose from—Custom Logo Design and Custom Background Design
Custom Logo Design: It allows you to add a logo in the center and colors to the QR Code. The logo can be an image or text.
Custom Background Design: It helps you place your QR Code on an image.
g. Once you’ve decided on the design, Update it and click Download. A window will open prompting you to sign-up for a 14-day free trial. Once you’ve signed up, proceed to download the QR Code
Note that no credit card information is required to sign-up.
8. Now you’ll be asked to specify the QR Code image’s size and dimensions. Once you submit the details, click Export
That’s it. Your QR Code will be downloaded and ready for use. It is always advisable to test scan the QR Code before putting it out for your customers.
That is all you need to know about how a QR Code can make your magazine better. You can now go ahead to create a QR Code and boost your business’s print media marketing effort.