A QR code is essentially a type of barcode. The primary difference is that a QR code will give you access to a huge amount of information if you scan or read it.
With QR codes becoming increasingly commonplace, we’ve put together a handy guide to answer all your questions, provide useful information about generating and reading QR codes and give you tips to use QR codes effectively
to attract attention, make waves in a saturated market and enhance consumer experience.
Whether you’re keen to use a QR code generator, or you want to learn more about the benefits for a dynamic, original marketing campaign or an exciting new business venture, we’ve got you covered.
How to use the QR code generator
One of the best things about using QR codes is the simplicity and speed involved in generating new codes. A QR code generator is designed to provide you with a speedy, seamless, hassle-free means of making a QR code. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow if you’re using the QR code generator:
- Choose which type of QR code you’d like to make (examples include URL, V-card, email, WiFi and WhatsApp)
- Fill in your details: add your link and any other information you’d like to include, for example, your contact details.
- Customise your QR code: you can add a logo, edit the colours or add a frame, for example.
- Click to generate your QR code.
- Save your QR code.
What is a QR code?
A QR code, or Quick Response code, is essentially a two-dimensional barcode, which offers a lot more detail and information than a standard barcode.
QR codes are usually black and white, they are square and they comprise a series of pixels.
QR codes have become incredibly common in the last few years, but they have actually been around for a long time.
They were invented by Denso Wave, the Japanese subsidiary of Toyota, to track cars over 20 years ago.
Over the course of time, QR codes have evolved and they can now be seen everywhere from restaurant and cafes menus to marketing brochures, apps and health facilities.
The exponential growth of the QR code is largely down to the popularity of smartphones.
You only have to look around you on the bus or when you’re sipping on your coffee at a cafe to see that we’re glued to our phones.
Smartphones make it easy for people to access information and undertake tasks by scanning QR codes.
According to statistics, 11 million US households scanned QR codes in 2020. Figures
from Statista also suggest that QR code usage has increased significantly since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Over 40% of UK and US residents said they had noticed an increase in QR code use in the last 12 months.
Types of QR codes
QR codes have become more advanced and detailed in recent years, and you can now use a free QR code generator to create a raft of different types of codes.
One of the most brilliant aspects of using QR codes is their versatility.
QR codes can benefit all kinds of different organisations, providing advantages for business owners, employees and customers.
Popular types of QR codes include:
- App store QR codes
- Video QR codes
- Feedback, ratings and review QR codes
- Social media QR codes (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, YouTube)
- Business page and website QR codes
- Payment QR codes
- V-card QR codes
- Image and photo gallery QR codes
- MP3, music and podcast QR codes
- PDF QR codes
- Email QR codes
- SMS QR codes
- Coupon and voucher QR codes
- Events and ticketing QR codes
There is an abundance of QR code types available and it’s now possible to design and generate a QR code for a whole host of purposes.
From scanning a code to get into a concert to reading a menu, the options are endless.
What are the benefits of QR codes?
Using a QR code generator offers an array of benefits for small business owners, creatives, consultants, coaches, marketers, customers and event organisers.
With a huge range of QR code types available, QR codes are used for a diverse range of purposes, and they are perhaps more important than ever as we recover from a pandemic that turned the world on its head.
Scanning QR codes is a safe, effective way to access information, sign into facilities or attend events or appointments and place orders and make payments.
Here are some of the main benefits of using QR codes:
One of the most significant advantages of using QR codes is their versatility. You can use a QR code for almost anything in 2021. From ticketing and ordering a takeaway pizza to marketing products and asking for feedback on a recent purchase, QR codes can be utilised by all kinds of individuals, businesses and organisations.
Connecting online and offline marketing
We are spending more time online than ever before, but traditional marketing materials and methods still have a role to play. When you use QR codes, you can connect online and offline marketing, encouraging people to use the code to learn more if they see your company information on a leaflet or a billboard, for example. You can bridge gaps, reach audiences across a variety of settings and create a seamless transition from one channel to another.
Engaging with customers and building a community
Customers today want more than a great meal or a fabulous outfit. People want to connect with brands on a deeper level and they want to buy from businesses that align with their values. QR codes promote engagement, they enable you to build communities and they encourage people to get involved in social media conversations and learn more about your brand.
Clear, effective calls to action
A call to action is designed to provide clear instructions that persuade the individual to take the next step. A QR code offers a simple, effective means to connect with the customer and urge them to continue on their journey. This may mean giving you a call, signing up to a mailing list, following you online, placing an order or making a payment depending on your objectives.
Lowering printing costs and protecting the planet
Scanning QR codes offers a cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative to printing leaflets and product information. With a QR code, you’ve got everything you need at the touch of a button with no need to use paper or pay for printing services or ink. We all want to do our bit for the planet, and this is an easy way of making a difference.
We live our lives at a hundred miles per hour and we’ve got used to having everything at our fingertips. One of the most attractive benefits of QR codes for customers and businesses is speed. You don’t have to wait for web pages to load, people to answer your call or join a queue for live chat. You can scan the code and access the information you want or need in an instant.
Creative QR code ideas
The beauty of QR codes is that they offer a vast array of possibilities and this means that you can really go to town and show off your creativity.
If you’re thinking about using our QR code generator, and you’re looking for inspiration, here are some brilliantly creative QR code ideas:
scan a code on a brochure or poster to take you to a special offer.
scan to reveal a treat, saving time and money on postage and packing.
scan a code at an expo or event to enter an exclusive competition or giveaway.
use QR codes to make it quick and simple for your customers to rate their experience.
Contactless mobile payments:
avoid queues at the register and stay safe by scanning to pay.
Discounts and coupons:
scan a coffee cup, a poster, leaflet or a clothing label to get a discount on your next buy.
Brilliant QR code campaign examples
Brands all over the world are using QR codes to boost sales, engage with customers and provide easy, safe ways to shop or access information.
These case studies and real-life campaign examples show how QR codes can make a difference:
Spotify’s celebratory playlists
Are you missing your friends or do you wish you could be there to celebrate your sister’s birthday? Using QR codes, Spotify offers users the opportunity to share playlists and celebrate together in spirit through a shared love of classic tunes and tracks that instantly take them back to happy times. If the recipient is a premium user, they can simply scan the QR code, kick back and listen.
Sukiennice Museum- breathing life into a trip to the museum
Many of us associate museums with school trips and traipsing around following a guide not really paying attention to the works that should be delighting our eyes. To elevate the museum experience and provide an interactive, enjoyable tour, the Sukiennice Museum in Poland uses QR codes to provide a story for each painting. This is a fun, accessible way to learn for visitors of all ages.
L’Oreal’s taxi campaign
Most commuters complain about spending too much time in traffic, waiting for buses or trains and sitting in taxis. In a bid to increase sales and boost customer engagement, L’Oreal decided to capitalise on commuting woes and offer an alternative to staring into the distance while waiting in huge queues by providing QR codes on their posters and billboards across public transport sites and in taxi cabs. The codes enabled users to access tutorials and promotional product videos. Statistics suggest that the taxi campaign increased app downloads by 80% (source).
Reading a QR code
Most devices now have a built-in QR code scanner. If your smartphone has this feature, you can simply open the camera and hold it above the QR code. If nothing happens, check your settings and make sure that scanning is enabled. If you still can’t read the code, don’t panic! You can just install a QR code scanner and, hey presto, you’ll be ready to scan in no time.
QR code FAQs
Still have questions about QR codes? Check out our useful FAQ section below:
What is a QR code generator?
A QR code generator is a tool you can use to create your own original QR codes. Simply follow the instructions, customise your QR code and then save it ready to use.
What can I use a QR code for?
QR codes are hugely versatile and they can be used for a whole raft of functions. Examples include accessing restaurant menus, attending events with a QR ticket, signing in for an appointment, making a contactless payment and providing access to more information about a brand or a product.
What does QR stand for?
QR stands for Quick Response.
How can I scan a QR code?
If you have a smartphone, it’s likely that your device will have a built-in QR code scanner. Open the camera and hover above the code for a few seconds. If this doesn’t happen, make sure QR code scanning is enabled and then try again. If you have an older phone, you can download a QR code scanner.
What are the advantages of using QR codes?
QR codes offer advantages for both businesses and brands and customers. Brands and organisations can use QR codes to enhance customer experience, increase engagement, market products, websites and apps and simplify and speed up the buying process. Customers can benefit from safe, easy, quick ways of making payments, accessing information and checking into places.
QR codes are everywhere and it’s no surprise.
Offering a raft of benefits for mobile users and businesses, QR codes provide all kinds of functions.
There are several different types of QR codes and you can use a QR code generator to create bespoke codes to promote your business or provide a better service for customers.
If you’re not already using QR codes, why not see the benefits for yourself and make a QR code today? Book a Call
and let’s chat about all the ways we can use QR Codes in your marketing!