What To Know Before Using QR Codes in Your Digital Ads

Adding QR Codes to your digital advertising campaigns drives user engagement. They are particularly effective for cross-platform web traffic. When someone sees your ad on a computer, they could scan the QR Code with their phone or tablet to visit your webpage, social media profiles, or app download page. 

Generating Dynamic QR Codes for your digital marketing strategy is easier than ever. These QR Codes integrate seamlessly with the marketing platforms you’re already using. Trackable results help you monitor key performance metrics like scan location and volume. Here’s how to implement QR Codes in your digital ads.

Why do you need QR Codes for digital advertising campaigns? 

Placing QR Codes in your digital ads is essential for tracking your engagement and performance. It also contributes to a seamless user experience, sending your customers directly through the sales funnel with a simple scan. These are just a few of the unique benefits of QR Code advertising

Effortless campaign analytics

When you use QR Codes in your digital marketing campaigns, you’ll get clear data to inform your future business decisions. 

Say you’re using digital ads to drive traffic to your mobile app. If a consumer sees the ad on their computer and then downloads the app manually on their phone, you won’t have any data linking these two behaviors. However, if the consumer used a QR Code to get from the ad to the app store, you can see that scan data and use it to evaluate the ROI of your campaign.

All Dynamic QR Codes come with tracking data that collects location information (city and country), time scanned, unique vs. total scans, and operating device information. You can even integrate your QR Code digital advertising campaign with Google Analytics. 

This gives you a clear overview of the entire process, from QR Code scan to purchase. You can also use this information to track PDF downloads, video views, app downloads, social media engagement, or any other call to action (CTA) you want to use.  

An overview of QR Code scan tracking data.

All-purpose QR solutions

Today’s QR Codes integrate with a wide range of platforms. Whether you’re advertising with PPC ads, display ads, social media, email marketing, or another strategy entirely, you can add a QR Code. Dynamic URL QR Codes send users to a direct link, while other types of QR Codes send users to a mobile-optimized display page. These display pages are customizable and include additional CTA buttons to drive further traffic to your website. 

Easy editing

Unlike Static QR Codes, Dynamic QR Codes are editable, even after they’ve been published. You’ll be able to update your links or landing page without the hassle of changing your entire ad campaign. You can also change the appearance and function of existing QR Codes to use in future marketing campaigns. 

Fully customizable

QR Codes are easy to customize to suit your brand. When you design your QR Code, you can change the shape and pattern, add brand colors, create a custom frame, and add your logo in the center. You can also add an editable CTA to further drive engagement. Once you’re done building your QR Code, you’ll have the option to download the image as a JPG, PNG, PDF, SVG, or EPS file.

An overview of the QR Code customization panel in QR Code Generator.

Top use cases for QR Codes in digital ads

There are many innovative ways to use QR Codes across your digital marketing materials. QR Codes also integrate seamlessly with print ads, billboards, business cards, and other offline marketing materials. With this approach, you’ll build brand awareness seamlessly. Here are some exciting ways to integrate QR Codes into your marketing strategy. 

Advertise your new single on your website

A QR Code appears on the Three Sparrow’s web banner.
The Three Sparrows releases their new single with a QR Code on a web banner.

For musicians, QR Codes are an effective way to drive traffic to your latest single or album. QR Code marketing sends your audience directly from an ad to your Spotify, Apple Music, or Soundcloud page for instant streaming or download options. Scanning a QR Code also means your listeners won’t need to remember any album or song names.

You can also create an MP3 QR Code, which embeds your song directly in a customizable landing page. You can add links and CTA buttons, encouraging visitors to download the song, share it with friends, or book live show tickets, for example.

Ideally, you’ve already created a paid ad campaign with a visually appealing design and bold copy that reflects the style of your music and captures the attention of your target audience. You should display your paid ads across the internet and also strategically place them on your website.

Adding a QR Code to your display ads helps turn interest into action. You’ll also be able to track where your streams are coming from to learn more about your listener base and improve your marketing strategies.

Appeal to the gaming masses on YouTube

QR Codes enable users to download mobile apps.
Cosmo Riders promote their mobile app with a QR Code on a YouTube ad.

Sixty-five percent of Americans play video games in some form. If you’re a game developer, you need an effective way to connect with this huge audience. This is where YouTube comes in—200 million people watch gaming content on YouTube every day, making it an ideal platform to connect with this audience. 

By launching an ad campaign directly on YouTube, you’ll connect with people around the world who are passionate about gaming. YouTube ads show up before and during videos as well as on search pages, so you’ll reach viewers who are already watching streams or game reviews.

Take your ad campaign a step further by adding a QR Code to send viewers to a mobile app store or Steam page to download your game. With strategically placed QR Codes, you can get interested viewers playing right away and significantly increase your download numbers. You can even use QR Codes to launch promotions specifically for YouTube viewers, such as a discounted download price or exclusive in-game content. 

Boost your event attendance with email advertising

St. Paddy’s Day party QR Code email advertisement.

Email marketing is a form of advertising that has stood the test of time. The average open rate for marketing emails across all industries in 2023 was 36.5%, making this a very effective way to reach your audience. 

Emails are a particularly great way to let your customer base know about upcoming events, whether they’re in-person or online. Sending out an email before the event also allows your users to RSVP, so you can get a headcount and plan accordingly.

To streamline this process, use a QR Code that links directly to an event landing page. When recipients open the email, they can scan the QR Code with their phone to get important information about the event. 

From the landing page, they can navigate to your website to RSVP or buy tickets if necessary. Once you’ve created a QR Code for your event, you can repurpose it on social media to spread the word about your event even further.

Drive traffic to your website

A QR Code displayed on a Facebook digital ad.
Adding a Coupon QR Code to your digital ad on Facebook increases the foot traffic to your online shop.

A QR Code campaign helps drive traffic from around the internet to your website. If you sell products or services directly on your webpage, this extra traffic could directly impact your sales numbers.

Include QR Codes in your paid ads that lead directly to your website. If you’re focusing on a specific product, service, or promotion, make sure the QR Code leads to a corresponding landing page, rather than your homepage. You can even use QR Codes to share exclusive coupons for more engagement.

Get more followers on social media

A strong social media presence is a must for your brand in 2024. Ninety percent of people report buying from brands they follow on social media, so your online followers could turn into loyal real-life customers. 

To increase your follower count and boost engagement across your entire platform, place QR Codes linking to your social media pages in your brand’s advertisements. This drives traffic directly from an online display ad or a print ad directly to your social media, where followers can engage with your brand more directly.

Make sure that each QR Code is clearly labeled with the appropriate social media platform to prevent confusion. Alternatively, you can create a QR landing page with links to all of your social media in one place, which helps save space in your ad campaigns.

Increase app downloads

If your brand has an app, the use of QR Codes can help you increase your download rate. Place QR Codes with a link directly to your app in your advertising campaigns. Make sure the QR Codes are clearly labeled so users know what to expect. This will encourage interested users to take action and download the app right away.

It’s also helpful to mention the benefits of downloading your app in your marketing campaign. For example, your app might offer exclusive content, special promotions, or social features. This information will entice users who might not otherwise be interested in your app.

Simplify the user journey to product or landing pages

Landing pages are an important part of any sales funnel. They provide detailed information about a specific product or service, and they use highly targeted marketing copy to increase engagement among consumers.

However, getting your audience to the right landing page can be tricky. This is where QR Codes come in. For each ad, you can create a custom landing page and add a QR Code to the advertisement to funnel your users there.

How to implement QR Codes in digital ads

QR Code Generator PRO makes it easier than ever to add QR Codes to your digital ads—no technical expertise needed. Here’s how to create QR codes for your next digital marketing campaign.

  1. Sign up for QR Code Generator PRO. We offer advanced customization features and seamless integration with the marketing tools you’re already using.

  2. Design your QR Code. You can customize your QR Code’s design to match your existing brand assets. Choose from a wide range of colors, frames, and shapes based on your preferences. You can also add your logo and a customized CTA directly to the QR Code. These custom design features make your QR Code look modern and engaging.

  3. Link the QR Code to your content. Once you’ve created a QR Code, you’ll need to connect it to the content you want to share. You can link the QR Code to a URL to share a web page directly, or link it to another asset like a social media profile or app store page. You can even link 2D Barcodes and PDF files. If your QR Code links to a landing page, make sure to customize that landing page with the appropriate brand assets.

  4. Test the QR Code (and optimize user experience). Before launching your marketing campaign, test each QR Code to make sure it works properly. Put yourself in the user’s shoes and look for ways to make the experience as seamless as possible. You may need to reposition the QR Code or adjust your landing page for functionality.

  5. Track the performance over time. With a Dynamic QR Code, you’ll be able to track the number of scans it receives, as well as a variety of other key metrics. You’ll also have the ability to edit your QR Code as your marketing strategy evolves.

Enhance your digital advertising campaigns today

When you’re planning your next digital advertising campaign, use QR Codes to drive traffic to your site and create a seamless customer experience. QR Codes will also help you track campaign performance to determine which advertising strategies are most effective. 

Try QR Code Generator PRO today to build engaging custom QR Codes for your brand!

Tobias Funke

Tobias Funke is Bitly’s Vice President of Product. With a background in software engineering, he has a decade of combined experience in product development and the QR Code space. Tobias leads a team that developed one of the most successful and popular QR Code generators available. His entrepreneurial and growth mindset helps build products that continuously disrupt the market. You can connect with Tobias on LinkedIn.

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