Marketing is never free. Trying to improve organic search efforts forces you to hire writers, PPC advertising can cost a fortune, and traditional marketing is put in the hands of another company who wants your money. For this reason, companies want to make sure that every advertisement or marketing campaign they produce gives consumers a way to buy. Whether it be a phone number, an email address, a website URL, or a store location, that marketing campaign will give consumers no reason to walk to away confused. However, many companies have found that all of the contact information goes in one ear and out the other when most people look at an advertisement. What if they see your ad on the bus, but don’t have a piece of paper or time to punch the information into a phone? What if they rip out your ad in the newspaper, but lose it on the way to work? What if they see the information on TV, but the screen changes too quickly?

Companies can hope that these consumers will remember the company name and find it online when they have more time, but many consumers simply don’t take the time. Fortunately, companies are now utilizing what is called a Quick Response (QR) Code. A QR code is a quick and easy way for a reader to save a company website into their phone. All the consumer has to do is pull out their phone, take a picture of the code, and let their phone send them right to your company website. They have become extremely popular for a few reasons:

Why QR Codes Work (and Why Your Company Needs One)

These little codes offer many benefits not only to the consumer but to small businesses. Consider a few of the reasons so many companies are factoring these codes into their marketing efforts:

• They work great for brands that are less popular. In other words, they level the playing field when it comes to competition. Consumers normally wouldn’t remember the name of a small business, but taking a picture of the code is almost as easy.
• While some advertising measures force you to take out small business loans, creating a QR code is completely free. All you have to pay for is the printing of wherever you want to place the code.
• You can link to whatever webpage you want (it doesn’t have to be the homepage). If you have a particular ad that coincides well with a specific webpage, you can send consumers there. Furthermore, some companies link to social media pages. This helps get your friends and followers up; thus grabbing more consumers for the long term.
• You can actually put a QR Code over a company logo. This way those who click the logo will also be noticing your company logo; thus helping promote your brand.
• They utilize technology and give consumers a reason to get on their phones. This makes them more popular than just about any other “traditional” advertisement.
Getting started creating a code is actually very simple. Once again, QR Code generation is free (and takes about ten seconds), so at the very least your company should give it a try!

Setting up a QR Code is as Easy as 1, 2, 3

1. QR Code Application – In order for consumers to use the QR Code features they must have the QR Code application. Most current smartphones have this code already installed, but urge your customers to download the code just in case. The application is sometimes called a “barcode scanner app.”

2. Create the Code – Visit, type in the URL where you’d like to code to link, pick the size, and hit generate. It’s as easy as that.

3. Print the Code – You can copy and paste the code wherever you’d like. Most companies place the code on mail, street advertisements, and brochures (generally not online). Treat this code as if it is a picture. Go about your campaigns and advertisements like normal.

Extra Tips to Keep in Mind

Once your QR is out there for the public, people will begin taking pictures on their phone. However, although this is not a new invention, many are still unsure about these little jumbled boxes. It is in your company’s best interest to explain what a QR Code is and how to use it. Urge those looking at the advertisement to take a picture. At the very least, you will get people interested in the Codes looking at your website.

Overall, these Codes work wonderfully for small businesses because they are so quick, easy, and affordable. Obtaining a QR Codes does not require anyone with a special background or special training. You can literally ask anyone in your office to create the code. If you’re interested in seeing how it works, try clicking the Code I have generated above. You will be amazed!

Author's Bio: 

Amanda DiSilvestro is an expert writer on toll free numbers based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as workers compensation insurance. You can find more of her articles as well as vendors comparisons for your small business needs at