Custom QR Codes
Whether they’re on cinema posters, cereal boxes or magazine adverts – QR codes are everywhere nowadays. You only need to look at print media to see how they have penetrated daily life. The rise in popular use has been driven by advances in technology, as well as the dominance of smartphones.
To stand out from the crowd we can produce customised QR codes that can not only feature your logo and be produced in different colours, but also feature interesting artistic treatment.
What are QR codes?
QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a cell phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone. You see QR Codes in a magazine adverts, on a billboards, on web pages or even on t-shirts. Once it is in your cell phone, it may give you details about that business (allowing users to search for nearby locations), or details about the person wearing the t-shirt, show you a URL which you can click to see a trailer for a movie, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local outlet.
The reason why they are more useful than a standard barcode is that they can store (and digitally present) much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. The other key feature of QR Codes is that any phone with a compatible QR application and internet access can perform a scan. Once the code is read a target webpage is opened. The full Wikipedia description is here.
How do I scan a QR Code?
All you have to do is download a free QR reader and away you go. Among the most popular apps are ‘RedLaser’ [can be used on iPhone, Android and Windows models] ‘Barcode Scanner’ [Android] and ‘QR Code Scanner Pro’ [Blackberry]. The majority of these are completely FREE, and all you have to do once you install one is to use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode, which will then automatically load the encoded data for you.
QR codes can act as great shortcuts to exclusive offers and content while you’re on the move. It gives users the ability to access sites in a flash, eliminating the need to open up a mobile browser and type an entire web address in.
What can be encoded into a QR Code?
Your business, no matter how small or large, could use QR codes in a number of ways. In its simplest sense a QR Code is an ‘image-based hypertext link’ that can be used offline – any URL can be encoded into a QR Code so essentially any webpage can be opened automatically as a result of scanning the barcode. If you want to encourage someone to like your Facebook page – have your Facebook profile page as the URL. Want your video to go viral – encode the URL in your QR Code. The options are endless.
In addition to website URLs a QR Code can also contain a phone number – so when it is scanned it prompts the user to call a particular number. Similarly you can encode an SMS text message, V-card data or just plain alphanumeric text. The smartphone or 2D barcode reading device will automatically know which application to use to open the content embedded within the QR Code.
You might auto generate one next to every product on your web site containing all the product details, the number to call and the URL link to the page so they can show their friends on their cell phone. You could add one to your business card containing your contact details so its easy for someone to add you to their contacts on their cell phone.
Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, TV ads etc containing:
- Product details
- Contact details
- Offer details
- Event details
- Competition details
- A coupon
- Twitter, Facebook, MySpace IDs
- A link to your YouTube video
Where can QR Codes be placed?
The answer to this is almost anywhere! QR Code printing can be done in newspapers, magazines, brochures, leaflets and on business cards. Further to this they can be put on product packaging or labels, or on billboards or even walls. You could even tattoo a QR Code on your body – now that would be an interesting take on giving a girl/guy your number in a bar!
You can use QR Codes on a website but they should not generally be used as a substitute for an old-fashioned hyperlink because obviously the user is already online and doesn’t really want to fiddle around with their phone only to find a website they could have just clicked through to in half the time.
QR Codes for Marketing
If you want to use QR Codes for business or marketing purposes then you should consider that people have higher expectations from scanning a QR Code than they do simply clicking a link on a website. You should offer something special or unique to people that have taken the time and effort to scan the barcode.
How will Google see them?
If you add them to your website, the search engines will see that your pages have changed, and that you are updating pages. The search engine will see a new image and index it accordingly. At some point soon, the search engines will likely recognize QR codes and possibly index the content in them.
Who invented the QR Code?
Denso-Wave – a subsidiary of the Toyota Group – are attributed with the creation of the QR Code as far back as 1994. Originally it was designed to be used to track parts in the vehicle manufacturing industry, but its use has since grown tremendously.