What are QR Codes and why do I need to include them in my marketing?
QR stands for quick response code and is essentially a type of barcode that hyperlinks to an embedded web page. To access the embedded information the viewer of your QR uses their mobile phone to take a quick picture of the code (using QR Code reading software), then is redirected to the corresponding website landing page, Facebook fan page, or YouTube channel.
Already popular in Europe and Japan, with increased smartphone usage QR Codes are starting to take off in the U.S. as well. You may have seen these codes starting to pop up in magazine ads and other print materials. Now they are making their way into large format media, such as vehicle wraps, store front advertising, billboards, other signs, and television.
Just recently The Weather Channel used a QR Code during their broadcast to promote their Android Weather Channel App. Viewers could scan the QR Code displayed on the screen to quickly download the app to their Android phone or tablet.
How can you use QR Codes in the travel industry?
- Print Marketing – Add QR Codes to your brochures and print marketing materials to promote events, specials, discounts, or just to connect with travelers.
- Online – Integrate QR Codes into your website, blog, and social profiles to stimulate your online community to learn and share more about you.
- On Site – When visitors arrive and/or depart you can keep connecting by displaying QR Codes that allow people to share feedback, obtain repeat visit discounts, or that simply thanks them for their business.
Keep the QR Code Interesting!
QR codes should be used thoughtfully. Only those items or offers that will be improved by additional content should have an associated QR code. Putting codes on everything is excessive and unnecessary, and it also reduces their impact.
- Discounts, Coupons, Specials, and Events are great ways to gain initial attention.
- Games, trivia, and little known facts can be used to keep visitors occupied, entertained and engaged.
- Resource and informational links provide added value and are more likely to be stored and shared with others.
- Loyalty programs can keep the conversation and the transactions going well after the visit.