Getting people through your website door is not all about Google page rank. Sure, Google is the most pervasive and go-to service for searching for services on the web. But even if you’re number one for your given key phrase on Google's search results page, you're still sitting on a page surrounded by your competitors.
In a metaphorical sense, your potential customers are still on the footpath, comparing the signage of different storefronts. There are hundreds of different decisions that a shopper must weigh up before deciding to enter your virtual business.
Wouldn't it be better if you could bring potential customers straight to your digital door, free from the interference of competitors and business-grabbing advertisements?
There is. And it's easy to set up, easy-to-use, adaptable and quick.
Hello QR codes
QR codes (short for quick response codes) have been around, especially in Japan, since the 90s. And while there have been a couple of bubbles in usage in the last five years, the automatic inclusion of QR code reading apps since Apple's iOS 7 for iPhone has boosted usage rates significantly.
Here, then, are some opportunities and tips for using QR codes effectively for your business.
QR codes ... everywhere
Use QR codes prominently on your vehicle signage, leaflets, and other marketing communications to direct potential customers to your website or to a specific page of your website. If using a QR code on your vehicle signage, make sure it is large enough and clear enough to be scanned by motorists in other cars. The secret is simplicity. Don't try to fit too much information into one QR code. Leave the bulk of your information for your website; the QR code is simply an easy way to direct a potential customer to go where you want them to go.
Use a QR code as a vCard
Most mobile devices are able to read, format, and save vCard information direct to your address book on your smartphone. Make sure you include your phone number, your mobile number if applicable, your email address and your website; with a simple one-click scan process your potential customer now has all your necessary details.
Use QR codes as a customer-get-customer device
Have them ‘share' a QR code via their Facebook page; should one of their ‘friends’ arrive at your business through that shared link, then the original poster qualifies for a prize or discount of some sort.
Free', ‘Exclusive', ‘Special offer'
Use QR codes to direct customers and potential customers to special offers or value-added content that is otherwise not available. Link them to an exclusive YouTube video, give them priority enrolment in a webinar, or give them a sneak peek at your new Facebook promotion.
Use QR codes in all your print collateral
Use QR codes in direct mail pieces, postcards, posters and other print advertisements to direct customers to discounts and signup offers. Research proves that having people interact with (especially) print marketing in this manner more than triples the response rate.
Stuck for space?
The very nature of print ads means that space is limited. Use a QR code in conjunction with your print pitch to give prospects more information than would otherwise be possible within the limited space of a print advertisement.
Help customers remind themselves
Let customers or prospects send themselves reminders via SMS — along with your marketing message of course.
QR codes that talk!
Use them on your next fridge magnet promotion, for, well, to be honest I'm not quite sure, but goodness knows I want to see it. You do too, right?
Show customers where you're at
Do customers seem to have trouble finding your office or place of work? Why not send them a QR code with an embedded Google map and embedded directions? With one simple graphic you've saved many lines of explanatory text and countless questions like, 'Was it the third street on the left or the fourth street on the right?'
If you have a product or service in an information industry where the lack of expertise can be daunting or could even be a block to sales, then your product or service can benefit from QR codes. Take wine, for example. Wine is a product that many people fear. They fear making the wrong choice and looking a fool, or being judged for their (inexpertise) choice. Using QR codes, wine labels can convey complex information to ease choice, allay fears, educate the amateur, democratise expertise, and breakdown potential barriers to purchase behaviour.
We’re always looking for ways to help our clients stand out and get a marketing advantage. Maybe some of the ideas cited above could be adapted to your business; maybe there are other ways to use QR codes to get your business ahead of the pack; perhaps it’s not QR codes at all that fits, but you’d like some other ideas.
If you’re after some new ideas or a fresh way of looking at things, give as a call or drop us a line. We’re more than happy to toss around some ideas and see where we might help.
Or use your smart phone to scan the QR code.