Small square barcodes are popping up everywhere. If you have a smart phone with a simple scanner app, you can start exploring the world of QR codes for yourself. Many advertisers are using these codes on their ads, products, and packaging, but they can be created by anyone using simple apps or online tools. You can make them work for you in many ways, both personal and professional.
Advertising Your Business
If you have a small business, to advertise, you can make use QR codes, as big companies and advertisers already do. All you need to generate a QR code is an app on your smart phone, or an online service that creates them for you. QR codes are usually scanned, simply by taking a picture and so they don’t require any kind of special materials or printing. The code simply needs to have enough contrast so that the pattern of dots stands out sufficiently. If you print tags or labels for your products, you can include a QR code on them that, when scanned, will automatically take your customers to your website. You can put them with care instructions, or with special coupons to use on future products, or on how-to videos.
If you have a business card, include a QR code in the design that will automatically transfer your contact information via a vCard. Even if you don’t normally carry business cards, a QR code stored in your phone, with your contact information in it, is a fast way to give your details to other people. If you are using QR codes to make professional contacts, you can also use codes to link people quickly to your online portfolio, or to a video introducing yourself and your professional skills.
Tag Your Belongings
QR codes aren’t simply for containing links. You can use them to contain basic text information, which means you can tag lots of items with QR codes that tell you more info. For example, if you are packing belongings into boxes for storage or in preparation to move, generate a QR code label for each box and it includes a list of the items stored inside it. This way you can include a very detailed list that will stay with the box itself. When you need to locate an item later, you can just scan the codes until you locate the right box. Laptops, phones, tablets, cameras, and other personal gadgets can be tagged with QR codes in case of loss. A stranger who finds your item can scan the code to get your contact information.
QR codes are a great way to trade all kinds of complicated information fast. An Android app called App Referrer creates a QR code for each of the apps stored on your phone. When someone asks you what app you use for something, instead of typing in the search information to find it, you can just pull up the QR code for that app on your phone. You can encode a QR code with an address which, when scanned, will link you to Google Maps and create directions. Because QR codes can contain URLs or simple text information, you can generate a QR code to answer any question you are asked frequently, and use it to direct someone to that information, automatically giving them the link, contact, app, or whatever else you would normally tell them.
QR codes aren’t just tools for big advertisers. Once you start using them, you may find all kinds of ways that you can tag items and pass on information with these quirky square codes.