The use of QR codes has been increasing ever since camera phones came into vogue, and have practically exploded in popularity. Even if you don’t know exactly what a QR code is, chances are you’ve seen them around.

They look like static in a square. But that static is actually a two-dimensional barcode that can be read by most cameras. You can generate a free QR code right now to know how it works. This free QR code generator can help you get started in no time.

QR stands for Quick Response and basically you can make them do anything. Once your smartphone captures the image, the QR code can send it to a document, a website, a video, or even provide a discount coupon.

The ubiquity of QR codes—and the smartphones that can read them—has resulted in several clever uses of the system to reach consumer audiences. After all, all you need is an app that can read QR codes (built-in cameras of some smartphones can read them natively) and you’ll be set to consume these unique portals to information. Let’s take a look at some ways to get to your target market to use QR codes.

 1. Link to location data

Do you have a physical store or restaurant? In this age of convenience, people can barely remember their own phone numbers, much less the much more complicated street address.

How do you get potential customers to your store? Take your Google Places site, convert it into a QR code, and spread that around. When people scan the code, they’ll be automatically taken to their Google Places app, and they can use their phone’s GPS to find and go to your location.

 2. Link to menus

As the owner of a physical establishment that sells goods and services, it’s usually a good idea to let people know just what it is you’re selling. Create a custom website or image that lists what you have—if you own a store, this can be akin to a directory, but for restaurants, this is similar to a takeout or delivery menu.

Even better, let every item on your menu be interactive in such a way that tapping on an item gives more information about that item, and provides an opportunity to order said item.

 3. Link to a phone number

Sometimes, the best way to entice potential customers is to speak to them yourself. Open your company up to new blood by providing access to a hotline. Since most people’s QR readers are on their phones, they can instantly be connected to you.

Let them know about the product or service that you offer, and field any questions that they might have.

You can change this strategy up by linking to other contact details, such as your company’s Facebook profile or official website. The important thing is forging a personal connection with the customer, which can convince them to convert.

These are just a few strategies to make the most out of QR codes. Because they can literally link to anything, the possibilities are endless. The best thing about QR codes is that they fuse the offline and online worlds together.

Customers who are used to things like print media or physical advertisements will be transported to the digital media sphere. For example, if your potential customer sees your QR code on a flyer, a newspaper ad, or a local pizza box, then they can just whip out their phone and see what you have to say.

QR codes are easy on the environment as well. Instead of having extensive text or images that are excessive on ink and paper resources, you can just print out a simple black-and-white code that connects to all that information in digital format. That way, anyone can take your information with them—it’s all in their phone.

How have you used QR codes to augment your business? Let us know in the comments below.

Author bio: Eunisse De Leon is a marketing writer aiming to help small businesses make it big one step at a time. She’s also interested in Asian culture, animal welfare, and art.

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