QR Codes are getting popular in New Zealand. However, most people with a smart phone still don’t know how to use it. Because AutoPlay are good buggers we have put together a helpful guide to get you familiar with them. Think of it as QR Code 101!
A) What is a QR Code? It’s just a two dimensional bar code
Both types of codes are processed through a barcode or QR code scanner and the information stored within the codes is displayed.
B) That’s great! But how can I use QR Codes?
First and foremost you will need a QR Code reader. The most commonly available reader is your smartphone. The most popular of these are the iPhone and Android OS mobile phones.
You will need to install the following software (or “Apps” as they are called) to your phone.
Just click on the links in the Recommended QR Code Scanners section on the right hand side to download the software onto your phone.
C) What can you do with QR Codes?
A QR Code basically stores information within itself. The type of information stored depends on what you are trying to achieve.
D) What to look out for when creating a QR Code?
You’ll want a QR Code that is readable by the general public and leads them to the online location of your choice. You’ll have one chance to get it right so make it count.
The ‘readability’ of the QR code depends on two factors:
1. Data type
Another way to look at data type - ten rows of text would need more dots to represent than one line of text.
The more information you store, the more complex the QR Code looks.
2. Correction level.
Both QR codes above have the same information stored within. The one on the right has more error correction code, which means it can withstand smudges and dirt and will still be readable.
The more error correction code, the harder for the QR reader to read it.
E) Intelligent use of QR codes
When properly used QR Codes can be a valuable marketing tool. More importantly, they are a great way to move your audience from offline to online.
F) Now try this
Now that you have downloaded the QR Code reader/scanner and know how to use it. Try scanning these:
All the QR codes used in this guide are useable too. Try them!
G) How can QR Codes be used?
For Car Dealers
- Print Adverts - QR Codes are a great way to move your offline audience online. Instead of listing your website address at the bottom of your full page Herald advertisement why not include a QR Code? This will not only eliminate the possibility of the website address being remembered incorrectly, but will also help to speed up their visit to your website as they are “in the moment”
- Window Cards - Chuck a QR Code on the window card that every car carries. People viewing the window card will be able to scan the QR Code to visit your website where you need to provide them with additional content or offers that are not available - great for after hours passerby’s who stop to check out one of your cars
- Special Offers/Vouchers - Add a QR Code to a flyer or print advert to link to a special voucher or offer that is only available by scanning the QR Code. Make sure to stipulate that this special offer is only available by bringing in their smart phone and presenting the voucher.
For Real Estate
- Roadside Signs - Include a QR Code on roadside signs so that passerby’s can scan and visit the listing online. Highlight the fact that photos of the interior are available if they scan the QR Code.
- Print Listings - Drop a QR Code on printed listings such as Property Press etc and invite the public to register their interest on your website.
- Ever seen billboards straddling the roadside - think Tui’s iconic Yeah Right campaign. Plonk a big QR Code on them so passengers can scan them as they drive past. Link it to your website or special offers online. Hundreds of tourists with smartphones could pass by your ad each day. *Hint: Position them somewhere they’ll have to stop. Rest stops, restaurants, café etc
- Flyers – Put QR Codes in all your printed ads. While currently the use of QR code in printed ads is low, their use will increase over time. Make it worthwhile for customer to use the QR code, like an offer or exclusive content.
Most QR code scanners will save the addresses scanned into the smartphone. Customers will not have to remember where or what they have scanned - allowing them to view content at a more conveniant time.
H) Final thoughts
You may be thinking “So what? I’ll just use website links directly on my printed ads.” While it is technically correct that a website link has the same goal as a QR Code, they don’t create as much immediate engagement with the audience. The more engagement that a potential client has with you, the more likely that they will warm to your products. The moment that client takes the time to scan your QR codes; he or she has already decided that your business or products are worth finding out more about.
There is a certain ‘cool factor’ when you use a QR scanner that you just can‘t replicate when typing in the full website address manually. Furthermore, let’s say you are already running a successful website and run multiple promotions regularly. Would it be easier for customer to enter the full website address like "http://autoplay.co.nz/promotion/2012/2ndquater/promo1.htm" or just open their QR app and instantly be taken to your website? It’s cooler, easier and more effective so it’s worth giving it a go.
To find out more about QR Codes and how they can practically be used by your business contact AutoPlay on (09) 361 1505. We don’t sell QR Codes but we know they work and we’d be happy to talk to you about all your digital needs.
So that’s QR Codes 101 complete - now you know enough about QR Codes to get started. AutoPlay will continue to update the guide with the newest happenings in the QR Code world.