This article was first published on 03/12/2014 on GraphPrint.ie
These strange looking images are a really useful marketing tool that can link your print marketing with your digital marketing activity. They look complicated but they are incredibly quick, easy and free to generate. Best of all you can link your website analytics to the code so you can track how they are used which brings a whole new level of feedback to print material than has previously been available. This quick guide will show you ways that you can use QR codes as part of your next marketing campaign and you’ll see the results for yourself.
What are QR Codes?
QR Codes are Quick Response Codes are barcode that are readable by free smartphones apps. They allow you to encode over 4000 characters that can be used to display text to the user, to open a webpage or social media page, save a contact to the address book or to compose text messages.
QR Code Generators
As you can see from a quick Google search for free QR generators there are 1000's available. Just enter free online qr code generators into your search engine and pick one that you like the look of. They are all very similar. However, some of generators insert their own website name on your code on the free version and others enable you to generate codes in a range of sizes which is useful depending on where you want to place it. So check them out until you have one you like.
How to Make Your Own QR Code
Think about what you what the QR code to link to or what you want the user to get from using this. If you want to drive traffic to a special offer you are running or a new product you are launching then you copy the link to that page into the generator. To make sure you get it exactly right you are best to copy and paste this from your browser so that there are no mistakes.It takes just seconds to generate and then you just need to test it to make sure that it links to the content or page that you want it to. Once you've done that you can (or get your graphic designer to) insert it into your print material.
Using Google Analytics to Track your QR Code
You can track and monitor how many visitors are scanning the QR code to get to your site which is really valuable information to know, especially if you've placed your QR code on flyers or business cards for example. To link a QR code use Google Analytics custom URL builder tool. This lets you to create a URL that is specific for each campaign activity that you want to track. To use it, you enter the location of where you will be placing the QR code in the campaign source field, so business card for example. The campaign medium is QR Code and then name the campaign so that you will be able to identify it. It will generate an URL that looks something like this and which you enter into the QR Code generator as before.
Once you try these codes you’ll see how easy they are to use and how much additional information you can provide customers with in a printed ad or poster or flyer or business card or…….the possibilities are endless. You'll see the real value that linking them to you Google Analytics account offers your business and they could change the way you use print marketing material in the future.
Hi, I'm Siobhan Fitzharris and I love all things marketing related. This means that I spend a lot of time reading about and doing marketing and I like to share what I think readers and small business owners might like and can use to grow their small business.