The Unlikely Rise of QR Codes and How a Digital Marketing Agency Uses Them
If you weren’t aware of QR codes before, you’re certainly aware of them now. In the pandemic era, QR codes became essential in nearly every digital marketing strategy to deliver a touchless experience to the consumer.
Originally developed back in 1994, the QR code was invented by Masahiro Hara of Denso Wave, of Japan. They were originally intended to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, and they allowed for high-speed component scanning.
Although QR codes showed massive potential early on, they weren’t widely adopted by consumers for a few reasons. Most notably, scanning QR codes required the use of a special QR code-scanning app, which made the process inconvenient for some smartphone owners. That isn’t the case any more.
Years later, marketers adopted the QR code as a means of directing people to a specific website or landing page. For instance, ad agencies in Kansas City were able to incorporate QR codes into advertisements for events at the American Royal for their annual BBQ competition and for special events and concerts in the Power & Light District.
In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a marketing agency near you that has never incorporated QR codes into their overall digital marketing strategy at some point.
The Resurgence of the QR Code
The QR code had all but faded into obscurity up until very recently when the pandemic broke out, and businesses needed to devise convenient touchless solutions for their customers. The QR code became important for restaurants and bars that needed to do away with their potentially hazardous traditional menus.
Customers can now scan the QR code on their table to access the restaurant’s menu using their Apple or Android smartphones. Customers receive up-to-date information, direct from the business, who no longer has the financial burden of ordering countless single-use menus – a true win-win scenario.
Another perk of the modern QR code is that the separate scanning app is no longer required. Smartphone users can scan the QR code using their camera app, thus, cutting out the proverbial middleman.
With customers now ready to scan QR codes in the restaurant, owners and managers can continue to use them to share information, including their latest promotions.
The QR code scanning process is now as convenient as it is effective, which has brought new life into the technology as it gains mass appeal among consumers and marketers alike.
How a Digital Marketing Agency Can Incorporate QR Codes into Your Marketing Strategy
Of course, replacing paper menus is just one of many uses of the new and improved QR code. As a digital marketing agency that prides itself on being at the forefront of technology and making data-driven decisions, we employ several ways to integrate QR codes into your overall digital marketing strategy.
Here are three of the most popular methods.
#1 – QR Codes in OTT Commercials
Over-the-top (OTT) video marketing is the delivery of ads through streaming services such as YouTube or Hulu, and they just so happen to be the perfect spot for a well-placed QR code.
A person watching a video about a special event your business is promoting can be directed to an official event page using a QR code, or they can scan it to get more information about a promotion. It’s quick, seamless, and gets your audience to the exact place you want them to be. No typing required.
Another great perk about using QR codes is OTT marketing is that it’s trackable, which means you’ll know exactly how well your video is performing based on the scans. Views and “likes” are great, but a QR code scan is a true sign of engagement.
#2 – Directing from Print Media to Digital
Traditional marketing materials like business cards, brochures, flyers, and print ads only have so much space to work with. However, with the resurgence of the QR code, businesses and marketers can direct recipients to their website, landing page, YouTube video, or personal profile so they may continue telling their story.
What’s great about this is that QR codes take up very little space on something printed, so they’re very easy to incorporate. Additionally, you’ll be able to track how many visitors you generated from your QR code since they’re tracked separately from those who searched it through Google or who manually typed in your URL.
Think back to the 2022 Super Bowl. Remember the commercial that was just a QR code bouncing around your TV screen? Coinbase, the advertiser, reported 20 million scans of that code, which took visitors to their website to learn more about cryptocurrency.
Although your small business web traffic probably won’t hit 20 million visits in the span of a 15-second ad, QR codes do a bang-up job of driving traffic and generating leads.
#3 – Loyalty Programs
Retailers are now using QR codes as a means to push their loyalty programs to customers who have bought their products. Check your receipts on your most recent purchases for QR codes that lead to loyalty points or exclusive discounts.
Scanning the QR code not only helps your customers collect their rewards points, but it’s also an opportunity to retarget them with a digital ad for your upcoming promotions. You know they already shop with you; reel them back in.
Work with a Digital Marketing Agency That Uses the Power of QR Codes
iFocus Marketing is a full-service agency that specializes in digital marketing in Kansas City. Although we’ve earned national reach and work with clients all over the country, we make a point to maintain our boutique feel by giving our clients the individualized attention they deserve.
Our digital marketing strategies have proven successful in a long list of industries, thanks to our expertise in search engine optimization, paid search advertising, and, even QR codes. iFocus Marketing can do everything from generating your QR code to developing the website or landing page you want it to direct to, and distributing the ad that showcases the QR code.
Ready to get started? We’d love to meet with you!
To get started, request a free discovery call. We’ll learn more about your goals, your challenges, and what you hope to gain from your partnership with iFocus. Once we have that info, we can start developing a personalized digital marketing strategy that’s tailor-made for you and your business.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you reach your goals.
Brandon Tietz is a senior digital copywriter at iFocus Marketing with close to a decade of marketing experience. He has written for clients in retail, real estate, automotive, education, manufacturing, healthcare, consumer goods, and several other spaces. In addition to copywriting, he has authored books, published short stories, written for several online and print publications, and was named “Best Local Writer” by The Pitch for his debut novel. He’s currently living the dream in the ‘burbs with his wonderful wife and their two dogs, Dr. Croutons and Professor Pickles.