Jakk Ogden from UK content writing services agency Content Hero talks about QR codes, and how the wrong content accessed through a QR code can affect business leads and reputation.
I’m sitting here drinking an ice cold carbonated drink and on the back of the bottles label is a QR code. I take out my smartphone, launch my QR and barcode scanner app, and hold my handset in front of the QR code to see where it takes me. The page being linked to is a simple form which asks for my personal details. The web page is poorly designed for mobile, it isn’t in the slightest bit interesting, and I feel like I have wasted my time.
Will this experience stop me from buying another carbonated drink? No, but it will make me think twice about scanning a QR code again.
QR codes have for years been a top way of bringing traditional print media to life, by offering an interactive link to the internet. QR, which stands for Quick Response, is a tried and tested technology which businesses globally use in their print marketing material. Marketing is a platform for companies to influence buyer decisions. While print media is becoming more obsolete in a world where digital media is simply more exciting and interactive, QR codes are bridging the gap and linking the two platforms together. The trouble is, many companies are linking to the wrong stuff.
You wouldn’t link to bad content through your website, so why do so through a QR code?
When designing a website, its internal linking structure is vital to easy and intuitive navigation. If you own a gadgets store which stocks numerous toys and gifts, you would not link a women’s hair cutting set page to a men’s bald joke book product. That simply would not work, and in fact, could be seen as insensitive. What I am saying is if we take so much care to ensure that our website visitors access the pages we want them to on our websites, and so much care as to ensure that our web pages have fantastic content writing, why fall at the second hurdle and direct potential customers to bogus content through print?
Well written, engaging content that is relevant to your target audience is something to be proud of. It is not always easy finding the perfect words to get a positive reaction. But when you do, you can increase a company’s online revenues and conversions exponentially.
When thinking about the web pages you are going to link a QR code to, take the effort to design a page which is not only built for mobile, but speaks to your intended audience effectively. A good rule of thumb is to never link a QR code to a page which you would be unhappy showcasing on your websites home page, or where the majority of your web visitors land. For promotional pages, stick to the facts and sell your QR code web visitor a reason to stay on the page and hand over their information. After all, if they aren’t going to get anything out of it, what’s the purpose of all of your efforts in the first place?
Of course, QR code placement plays a big factor in what potential visitors can expect of the web page they go to. In print, businesses very often tell a reader where the QR code will take them. Sometimes, they don’t. From experience, I’d say that the most effective form of QR code is one which visitors can trust. Therefore, telling a potential lead where their QR code will take them will likely increase interaction.
If you link to bad content through a QR code, you are essentially failing your customers. A traditional web user will give a website around 5 seconds of their time before they decide whether to stay or go, and QR code users are even more fussy. Remember, they were reading something in print, and took the next step towards accessing your web page.
What do you think? Is the effectiveness of a QR code determined by the linking web pages quality? Do you have any experiences of bad QR codes? I have enjoyed writing this post for you fine readers at Content Launch, and will check back in the coming days for opinions. In the meantime, enjoy!