As an entrepreneur or owner of an SME, it’s important that you stay on top of any technological advances that could somehow be of use to you. Social networking sites have proved their usefulness in developing a relationship with potential customers, but when it comes to out-and-out advertising then QR Codes are the next big thing. If you’ve never heard of them, then now’s the time to start learning – and discover how your small business could make the most of what they have to offer.
What are QR Codes?
QR stands for ‘Quick Response’. In essence, these codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be read by smartphones. However, instead of verifying a product, QR Codes give information, such as links to websites, phone numbers and even images. You may already have seen or used them without knowing what they are. Typically they look like crosswords, a mixture of black and white boxes and geometric shapes. Using a QR reader or your smartphone, those shapes transform into something else – something that your business might be able to take advantage of.
Why are they important?
QR Codes might not be that commonplace now, but they are definitely something you should have on your radar. For example, a retailer would be able to place QR codes on the products, connect the information to a payment apps and account everything with a software like Intuit QuickBooks to account revenue. Smartphones are swiftly becoming the norm in mobile communication, with over 50% of us already owning one and that number increasing on a daily basis. Industry experts predict that within two or three years the majority of business interaction will be carried out through mobile devices. With the range of business apps available, the days of a businessman tied to the same desk and the same laptop are over.
As a result, QR Codes have the potential for major impact on the way that businesses market themselves; it’s business on the go. Here are a few ways your small business could make use of QR Codes:
Making the most of QR Codes
1) Use them as teasers, by encoding an advert with a link to your website. A ‘get more information here’ trailer is a great way to drive traffic to your website which, ultimately, is what you want.
2) QR Codes can be printed on virtually anything, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking they’re only for glossy billboards. A QR Code on a paper flier could generate as much interest, so print them and deliver them or even put them on peoples’ windshields.
3) Embedding a QR code on a banner is a good way to generate interest. That banner can then be used at your own events or, if you’re sponsoring a band or supporting a charity event, can be a great strategy to advertise without your brand name swamping those who need to be in the spotlight. QR Codes are brilliantly subversive; you can advertise without being seen to be advertising.
4) Put QR Codes on the back of your business cards. They’ll inspire the imagination and get people interested in both your card and your company.
5) QR Codes can be printed on stickers that can be stuck to the back of trucks or cars. You can either ask your employees to use them or strike a deal with a local taxi firm or haulage company.