QR codes - what are they and how to use them


What are QR codes?

A QR code is a 2D black and white barcode which can be used to store text, a web link, contact information and other data. QR codes can be scanned using free applications available for most smart phones. Once the code is scanned, the application either displays the content or, in the case of a web link, takes you to a web page.

QR codes can be printed and reproduced on just about any material and can be sized as required, with the minimum width being around half an inch, depending on the complexity of the code which is determined by the amount of data encoded within it.

How can I use QR codes in my marketing?

QR codes are most commonly used to link printed or display material with related content online, giving mobile users quick access to more information. Examples include:

  • Placing QR codes on business cards to view the company website or employee’s profile
  • Promoting a competition or event and capturing prospect data
  • A link to social media destinations such as Facebook pages, Linked-In profiles or Twitter accounts
  • A link to detailed information such as nutrition, traceability and provenance on food and drinks packaging
  • Giving users easy access to downloads such as PDFs, music or video
  • Connecting For Sale boards with property details on the Estate Agent’s website

How do I generate my own QR codes?

Snap.vu is a free online QR code generator which has a number of useful additional features:

  • QR code tracking and email alerting so you know when your code is being used
  • Shortens web addresses so the QR codes it generates are simple and work even with phones which have low resolution cameras
  • Offers the option of displaying your contact details online and made available for download in vcard format

Snap.vu was developed by Cognique as a service to clients and is now used globally by thousands of businesses including McCann, AT&T, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, Hilton, Printing.com and MinuteMan, among others.

More information

A more in-depth article on QR codes for marketing can be found on this Search Engine Watch article.

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