To build a successful hyperlocal media business, you need to know more about marketing than your clients. That allows you to come up with lots of creative marketing projects they haven’t thought about before. QR codes are one example.
What are QR Codes?
You know how everything in the grocery store is tagged with a scannable barcode that includes tons of information about a product? Now there’s a way to pack that kind of information just about anywhere. And it’s a huge opportunity for your local media outlet to stand out as a marketing expert for your business partners.
QR (“quick response”) codes are similar to standard UPC codes. You can generate codes for just about anything, and those codes are linked automatically to a website, or a phone number, or a block of text. Anyone with a code scanner — you can download free ones for your smartphone — can scan the code. Their phone will automatically open the website, or call the phone number, or display the text linked to that code.
What Does This Mean for Your Media Business and Clients?
There are endless possibilities with QR codes. ReadWriteWeb published a list of 5 ideas. Here are three other ideas:
1. For a client’s Facebook fans, create a QR code that links to a special, “secret” page that offers them 10% off their next purchase. Only by subscribing to the Facebook page can they access the discount.
2. Create a series of fliers branded with your media website’s name. On each flier, put a different QR code. Post them inside your sponsor’s businesses, and encourage your readers to collect all the codes. Put a different clue in each location and give away a prize to the person who solves the puzzle.
3. When you’re at a public event, hand out information telling people what QR codes are and how they work. Put a QR code on the handout, and link it to a page on your site that lists a special offer from an advertiser.
If anyone has successfully used QR codes in a campaign, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.