What is a QR Code? - QR stands for Quick Response and the codes are basically two dimensional bar codes that can be read by smartphones enabled with a reader. They give users the ability to create paper based links. QR codes can be used in printed marketing materials such as magazine ads, flyers, business cards and even t-shirts. (They can also be used on websites and blogs.) QR codes can link to text, contact information, websites, your Facebook page, video or even geo-coordinates. They turn a real world object i.e. a barcode on a piece of paper into digital media - essentially extending the Internet into objects in the real world and vice versa. (Very exciting stuff for techno geeks like me!)
They give you the ability to provide "extra" information using a very small space and to deliver that information directly to a person's phone.
Why should horse professionals be excited about using QR codes in their marketing?
Let me count the ways! Or at least describe a few scenarios and common horse business marketing challenges that QR codes can help you solve:
1. You are at a horse show and you have horses for sale. Let's say you brought flyers with you. Now, you can put QR codes on those flyers that link to your contact information and more information about the horses - think videos! This information will be delivered right to the phone of each interested party.
2. You want to run a print ad but you are tired of not knowing how many people really find your offering worthwhile. Now, you can add a QR code to your ad - maybe link it to your website with a special offering and track responses.
3. You want to get more out of your business cards. Now, you can put a QR code on the back that links to your Facebook Profile or automatically enters your contact information.
4. You've got a nice truck and trailer with your barn name etc...on them. Now, you can add a QR code so that interested parties can upload your information or go straight to your website.
O.K. I could go on and on! But I try to keep our tips to about a page long. So where can you get a QR code generated and where can you get a reader? There are many different free generators and many smart phones now come preloaded with readers but here is an easy place to get both http://www.i-nigma.com/hp.html
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Get a jump on the competition! If you want more QR tips and best practices be sure to read "8 Things to Think About When Using QR Codes to Market Your Horse Business" and check out "Equestrian Professional's QR Code Resource List" plus get bonus marketing strategies with "Equestrian QR Codes Gone Wild" and be sure to hop on this month's Horse Business Hotline.