This article was originally published a few years ago. The information, tips and techniques explained may outdated. Examples shown on this page may no longer work. Please consider this when viewing the below content.
Watch the video above to find out about QR codes and how to create one.A QR code is a 2-dimensional barcode that is scanned by mobile phones or portable computer devices with cameras. When the QR code is scanned, then the embedded QR information is decoded and interpreted into text. The QR stands for “quick response”, because information is quickly read and decoded by the mobile phone within moments.Most smart phones of today either have QR barcode reading software included in the phone’s tools, or otherwise there are QR code apps that can be downloaded to the phone from "Google Play for Android" or "Itunes for IPhone".Marketers and businesses are starting to incorporate QR codes more into their advertising.The reason for this is simply the fact that there are so many mobile phones in use. People are on their mobile phones all day long, not just for talking and texting, as it once was, but now even more so for social networking and sharing of daily lifestyle information.To take advantage of this, a QR code is a simple and effective way to provide information immediately and easily to your market.If you look around, you will see QR codes on billboards, websites, magazines, advertisements, posters, business cards, product items, t-shirts, cards and much more.To read the QR code simply activate your QR code app and point your mobile device at the QR code square.Then the QR barcode will be scanned and the embedded information will be transmitted to your phone and decoded.What can a QR code be used for?Any text that can be typed out, can be shared by QR barcode.
- URL link to your website or blog or a particular web page- this saves the user typing it out, so it is especially useful for long URLs
- Contact information including phone numbers, addresses, names, and other relevant details
- Links to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks
- Special codes for promotions or sales
- A discount code for purchasing online or in-store
If you want to add a barcode to a product you simply create a code with the required information embedded in it.To create the code, there are programs out there that can generate a code, but the technique shown in the video is probably one of the easiest and it's free.A couple of important tips for creating QR codes:
- The more information that you embed in your QR code the harder it becomes for a device to read and interpret. So keep the text length down, so it will read quickly and easily, otherwise people won't bother.
- You can shorten long URLs so that they take up less encoded space by using a URL shortener
Have you come across any great QR code campaigns, or perhaps you've used them yourself... leave a comment below
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