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How to Use QR Codes to Build Your Business

by Monika Jansen on July 27, 2011

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QR codes have gotten a lot of buzz lately, but can they really help you grow your business? I first noticed them last fall, but I have only seen them used sporadically by small businesses.  So I decided to do a little research and came across a “crash course” on how to get the most from QR codes.

If you haven’t thought about using them, consider it, because QR codes allow you to provide relevant information to prospective customers instantly.

How They Work

Several sites, such as Kaywa, the ZXing Project, and Delivr, offer free QR code generators. If you feel especially creative, Kerem Ekran offers a generator featuring custom colors and formats for your code. Simply fill in the fields, hit the “generate” button, and instantly receive your own QR code.

To read your code, you’ll need a QR code reader app such as i-nigma for iPhone, the most widely used reader in the world. Android users can try Barcode Scanner, and Smartphone users who already own the price-checking app Red Laser can use this app for QR codes as well.

How They Can Work for Your Business

QR codes have plenty of applicable uses for your business. Here are just a few:

SEO: QR codes can enhance your optimization efforts for both search and social media. You can link your QR code to valuable music, image and video content to build traffic.

Sharing and Community Building:  QR codes enable marketers to share landing pages, funny photos, or even entire eBooks. You can even use Likify to create a QR code linking your Smartphone to a “like” button on your Facebook page.

Calls to Action: QR codes can be used to mobilize your brand community to take action on a special offer, and you can combine the offers with email opt-ins to build your lead list.

Specifically, you can use QR codes to provide information about a product’s use and benefits, give customers a reason to come back to your place of business or website, or to implement fun challenges for your customers, such as a QR code scavenger hunt.

You could also link your QR codes to installation instructions, the process for hiring your professional services, or valuable coupons and special offers. Finally, you could place QR codes on your business card, your brochures and other marketing materials, or product tags and packaging.

If you’ve successfully used QR codes as part of your marketing strategy, what have you found most useful?

 

Image via Flickr (creative commons) by clevercupcakes

 

 

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