Marketing with QR Codes

Two weeks from today, I’ll be representing Algonquin Studios at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference. This year, in addition to exhibiting at the conference, Algonquin is participating as the official QR Code Sponsor and we’ve created what we think is a pretty cool and engaging interactive experience for conference attendees to participate in.

One component of this experience is a series of educational pieces about the use of QR codes in marketing but, since most readers of this blog won’t get to experience presentation we’ve developed for the LMA attendees, I thought I’d share some of the topics the presentation covers here:

Are QR Codes a Good Fit for Your Business?

Probably; they’re easily adaptable to many industries. Provided your clientele is comfortable with smartphone usage and wants to engage with you on an “outside the box” level, adding QR codes to your marketing campaigns is an easy way to boost visibility and reach. Just remember to stay focused on using codes in ways that provide your visitors with value and they’ll likely become a great addition to your overall advertising and brand awareness outreach.

How Can You Use Them?

Arguably the best thing about a QR code, from a marketing standpoint, is their wide range of applications. You can create codes that lead to information about your company, employees, products and more:

  • Employee bio pages or vCards
  • Event dates and registrations
  • Special offers and discounts
  • Social media profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • How-to/Instructional videos
  • Product reviews/comparisons
  • Shopping cart pre-population
  • Phone numbers

And codes can be used on all sorts of company collateral:

  • Business cards
  • Signage
  • Trade show materials
  • Sales brochures / Leave-behinds
  • Corporate apparel
  • Product labels

Why Should You Use Them?

Because QR codes can help you go beyond your traditional marketing and advertising efforts. You can include audio and video elements, create a series of codes that take people on an educational journey, as we’ll be doing at LMA, or help your message reach a broader segment of the population.

QR codes also make it easy to collect information. You can track when and where codes are scanned and identify repeat visitors. You can also create codes that lead to forms asking for contact info like phone numbers or email addresses.

Things to Remember When Using QR Codes:

First and foremost, remember that codes are most effective when used on printed collateral. We’ve seen people use them on web pages, but this makes little sense since the point of most codes is to direct you to the internet. We’ve also seen them used in emails but, since people read emails on their computer or mobile device, this is also an odd choice. Scanning a code would either be really silly (think about holding your phone up to your computer screen in order to scan a code that leads to information on your phone) or downright impossible (how do you use your phone’s camera to scan something on your phone’s screen?).

  • It’s also important to remember that your landing pages and content need to be mobile-friendly (i.e. navigable on a small screen). And, as mobile engagement is often on-the-go engagement, you’ll want to keep things short and sweet.
  • Think about if your viewer will have WIFI access. Sure, subway stations can seem like an ideal place for an ad – you’ve got a captive audience with nothing to do but wait for the next train; why wouldn’t they scan your code?  But, since many subway lines aren’t equipped with WIFI, you could literally paper the walls with your codes and people still wouldn’t be able to scan them and access your info.
  • Remember to keep your content updated. There’s nothing worse than scanning a code that leads to an out-of-date promotion, a registration page for an event that’s already taken place, or, worst of all, a non-existent page. Even if your code was originally intended to drive traffic to time-sensitive content, once it’s over, leave a landing page loaded with something interesting for code scanners who come late to the party.
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2 thoughts on “Marketing with QR Codes

    • Thanks for asking! QR codes are a great idea for use on legal marketing collateral – leave-behind brochures and proposals – to direct prospective clients to more detailed, lengthy information about case law, practice areas, case histories, or to specific attorney bios. We’ve also seen them on business cards (we have them on ours here at Algonquin Studios), leading to vCard or bio pages on a web site. Another great fit would be using them for seminar registrations.

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