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A Complete Guide to QR codes

QR code or Quick Response codes are a type of matrix barcode. They can also be said as a 2D code. It can be scanned by mobile phones that have the required reading software downloaded and installed like RedLaser. The data lies inside the QR codes itself and it can be used for the purpose of web address, contact information or names. They are mostly used in offline services like postcards, advertising, signs and presentation. QR codes can drive one to some sort of information, or a website or an application. They are a kind of shortcut for information. Users, instead of remembering the web address or number would just scan on the QR code and get to the desired information.

Qr code
QR code

QR codes are a quiet old technology that were earlier used in supply chain and now are being used in the marketing space. This technology was first developed in Japan by Denso-Wave Corporation. Dense Wave did not exercise any patent rights on the QR code and allowed their widespread use.

Other companies have also tried to create codes like QR code and the most noticeable is Microsoft in the race. Microsoft has developed their own patent software  known as MS Tags. They cannot be read by many readers like the QR codes. They have a Microsoft Tag Reader to read the MS tags. It is one’s personal choice to choose between a QR code and MS Tags. MS Tags are more creative in the graphic designs by having logos and images with the tag.

How to use a QR code?

To read a QR code which is an image one needs a phone with camera capabilities and an application downloaded to analyze the image. If one has an iPhone, Blackberry or Android one needs to have a QR reader .It’s an obstacle to read the QR code until the manufacturer of the QR code will offer a native QR code recognition reader. To download a QR code, search for “QR code” in the Application Store or Marketplace. Then open the app and hold the phone on the QR code so that it can detect the application and show you the data or direct to the web address.

What are the advantages of QR code?

QR codes have many advantages. It’s the best method to direct people to the required website and focused more on the mobile campaign .

It arouses a curiosity in people as it cannot be read without scanning.

One can use to know more about a service, product or a person.

Using QR codes is convenient as one need not remembered the complete or complicated website links.

QR code can have any kind of data at the back end not necessarily URL .It can have an image, text or content. So using it is fun.

How can QR Codes help grow in Business?

QR codes are used by retailers that can help them track the price of product and inventory at the point of sale. The QR code can hold a sufficient amount of data. They can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters which make them easy and practical to use. One can connect to digital content of web activate email and number; connect the mobile to a web browser. QR codes have the ability to connect people with each other using the medium of digital content.

QR Code Generators

One can find an ample number of sites for generating QR codes while searching on the internet for example Kaywa  and Kerem Erkan which are food are generating QR codes that can contain a  link to a web page, phone number, text or SMS. These links have greater capabilities, one can even customize the color and format of the codes.

QR Code Reader

One of the most popular QR code readers that work well on all the Smartphone is I-nigma. This reader can be used with any type of camera phone. Barcode Scanner can also be used with Smartphone for QR code reader. Another QR code reader that has been recently launched with the latest technology is Red Laser.

Applications for QR Codes

Sharing

QR code has unlimited capability of sharing . One can share a video or web page easily. One  can even share a compete eBook and also multiple content that can have a common link.

Community

With the help of Sharing, one can build his own community  and one such example is Facebook. For this, you need an application known as “Likify” that can create QR codes to link with the mobile device to the working LIKE button on the Facebook. With the help of this, one can easily merge other communities to the Facebook page and everything will be done in just one single click. Also the thumbs-up sign accompanying the Like button suggest the usage of the code.

Calls to Action

Once the community starts building, the next step is to make them mobile and put them into action. One can easily do this by linking the QR code to the new landing pages. One can also link them with email options to expand the list.

Social Media  and Search Engine Optimization

QR codes help a lot the in the optimization of Search engine and Social Media  as it has the objects like video, music clips, images and content, hence increasing your social graphs.

Social Proof

With QR code one can help build an offline community, with the use of one online community that can act as a social proof. This online community will be the guardian of the offline community.

Analytics

There are lot many good links that helps to generate QR codes that provides analytic ability. It also provides link shortening services. Some of the example for creating such links is bit.ly and goo.gl.

Practical usage of QR codes

Some of the common ways in which QR codes is being used these days  or will be used in near future are as follow:

  1. QR codes can be used at the front and the back of the business card.
  2. On the marketing material and Boucher
  3. On packaging and product tags
  4. Even name tags and Convention
  5. On the menu card of restaurants and hotels
  6. At the ticket counters of movie , bus , train ,flight or more.
  7. At the point of sale receipts
  8. They can be used at valuable coupons or offer
  9. On download of free mp3
  10. On the instruction of installation of any software
  11. Can be used to give direction to one business.
  12. Usage of complementary products and services
  13. On the customer feedback forms

 

How to maximize the effectiveness of QR codes ?

To provide more effectiveness to one QR code one should try to give a complete explanation about its benefits, way of usage, and use. One needs to have actions that help one improve the marketing plan of the QR code. Examining the analytics is also important. Users should have a reason to come back to QR code  so one should try to make the QR code more interesting and fun like a scavenger hunt. Various experiments can be done with QR code with its size, color and location to increase the effectiveness.

Practical Examples of QR codes

United Airlines

Many of the airlines are now using the 2D codes in the form of digital boarding pass.

Google Places

If one registers one business with Google Places one will get a QR code to one’s company or website. One must make sure that the QR code provides the relevant information that the users are looking for and are interested in like special offers and deal.

Cure Starts Now Foundation

This is an organization that uses QR codes in partnership with many small or big business.

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