Inside Airbridge
Four Steps to Successful QR Code Marketing
August 31, 2022
Minah Lee

The Big Game has always been popular among advertisers thanks to its large captive audience. In fact, a 30-second ad slot for Super Bowl LVI was as expensive as $6.5 million in 2022. While there are questions about whether these ads really work, at least Coinbase did it right and took advantage. Its $14 million ad, which simply bounced a QR code around on a black screen, led to a 309% increase in installs week-over-week, followed by another 286% climb the next day.

As proven by the crypto app’s case, QR codes can be a massive punch in your marketing campaign when deployed well. Beyond simply directing users to a web or app page, these black-and-white bar codes can achieve a variety of goals including raising brand awareness and generating leads.

Let’s take a deep dive into how useful QR codes can be in marketing and how Airbridge’s trackable QR codes with deep linking capabilities are even better.

The comeback of QR codes

QR codes – or quick response codes – are two-dimensional codes consisting of black cells on a white background. Invented in 1994 to provide easy access to information, QR codes reached a peak of popularity in 2011, saw a decline afterwards, but have come back recently.

How interest in “qr code” rises and falls globally since 2004 in Google Search
How interest in “qr code” rises and falls in the U.S. since 2004 in Google Search

If the first QR code boom came with the spread of smartphones, the “renaissance” was due to the pandemic, as the need for contactless user experience grew. For instance, many restaurants replaced physical menus with QR code-based digital menus and QR code mobile payment was widely adopted. For-sale signs in front of houses also include QR codes to provide more details these days.

Four steps to a successful QR code marketing campaign

Nowadays, QR codes are found just about anywhere from receipts, product brochures, and T-shirts to billboards and even TV commercials. Their use cases are as diverse, from directing users to a web page to sharing information in various formats. Such omnipresence of QR codes make them an excellent marketing tool when in the right hands.

However, despite the great potential, there is no guarantee that a user will install your app and make a purchase just after scanning the code. Then, how can marketers make a success out of QR codes? Here are the four steps you should take.

1. Follow your target audience to place your QR codes

Understanding your target audience is always important in marketing, even when deciding where to place QR codes. You want as many people as possible to scan your code, and for this to happen, it should be in areas your target audience frequents and can easily take out their phones. Identify who’s engaged with your brand to provide potential users with the right content at the right time.

For instance, QR codes can be placed at restaurants to provide seamless digital experiences.

  • Visitors will scan a QR code to read menus or product details on their own devices. Then, they will proceed with contactless ordering and payment – everything like before, but safer.
  • Alternatively, the QR code may show various content such as a video about brand values or an infographic on nutritional facts, all of which help raise brand trust when in-person communication is limited.

But they don’t have to be at the restaurant – consider where your audience is and what they are looking for.

  • To target parents who want to get done with dinner preparation while picking up kids, you can hang flyers with a QR code at school gates and direct them to your app where they can place takeaway orders at nearby restaurants.
  • Similarly, you can create ad posters with a QR code for food delivery and post them in subway stations to target hungry passengers on their way home.

2. Give the reason to scan your QR codes

Once you have decided where to place your QR code, the next step is to make people actually scan it. The key here is to specify the incentives to do so – what information does the QR code carry and why does it matter? Be persuasive and transparent so that you can give your target audience the reason to pause for a moment, take out their phones and check out what you are presenting.

Here are some of the values and benefits you can propose:

  • Offer discounts and promotions to those who scan your QR code.
  • Link instructional videos to your QR code and put it on product detail pages.
  • Add Google Maps URL to your QR code to provide directions to your store or restaurant.

Using QR codes in marketing helps with user acquisition, which is the first and foremost stage of the AARRR framework. It could also reduce marketing spendings on paid ads by sending users straight to a web or app page. In the same vein, you can minimize competition on paid channels since user engagement via QR codes is not only direct but also instant.

3. Streamline user journey using QR codes with deep linking capabilities

Now that you’ve got people to scan your QR code, you want to minimize their chances of dropping off by creating a seamless user experience. The web or app page linked to your QR code should be mobile-friendly and meet the audience’s expectations. You also need to check if your code works and update it whenever there are updates.

Airbridge’s tracking link and QR code creation page for Custom Channels

With Airbridge, you can generate QR codes for your Custom Channel tracking links. This feature allows you to personalize user experience by directing each user to a different destination. In addition, Airbridge’s QR codes have deep linking capabilities to route users to specific in-app content, thus making the user journey even smoother and preventing churn.

📌 A Custom Channel refers to an owned media or earned media channel which is not officially integrated with Airbridge, such as the product or service’s website, e-mail, blog, and social media. You can type in the name of the channel of your choice when you create a link for your Custom Channel.

To give you an idea of how to generate QR codes and tracking links in Airbridge:

  1. Select channel, campaign, ad group, ad creative, etc. to define Campaign Optimization Parameters.
  2. Set the redirection path to one of the three: an app store, the app (via deep link), or the website. Users can be sent to different destinations depending on their device type.
  3. Register a thumbnail that acts as a preview of your tracking link when shared or posted online.
  4. Hit the Create Link button and check out your tracking link as well as your QR code.

The strength of Airbridge’s QR codes is that you don’t have to generate a new code every time you modify your deep link or redirection path. In other words, you can guarantee a streamlined user experience all the time.

4. Track, collect and analyze user data to maximize marketing effectiveness

Using trackable QR codes with deep linking capabilities, like those of Airbridge, can be a great way for you to capture first-party data in this cookieless world. Furthermore, with the collected data and the help of an attribution solution, you can measure the performance of your marketing campaigns. Airbridge’s QR codes in particular allows you to conduct cross-device analysis for various marketing channels, even for the trickier ones like TV ads.

With Airbridge’s QR codes, you can learn more about: 

  • Channels that are effective in acquiring target audiences
  • The impact of a marketing campaign on long-term user retention and engagement
  • Changes in post-acquisition user behavior for each channel.

What’s next?

We’ve explored the four steps to maximizing marketing effectiveness with QR codes. Specifically, we’ve seen that trackable QR codes with deep linking capabilities, when placed at the right place for the right audience, could serve as a powerful tool for user acquisition and behavior analysis.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of using QR codes in your marketing. If you’d like to learn more, talk to our marketing experts at Airbridge and grow your business!

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Minah Lee
Product Marketing Part Lead
Minah is Airbridge's product marketing part lead. She creates content, plans various marketing campaigns, and collaborates with the growth of teams, customers, and partners.
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