For those of us residing in North America, we may be under the impression that QR codes were a thing more than ten years ago, but never got picked up as a key digital function.
Fast forward to 2019, you can now see international brands integrating the use of QR codes into different marketing efforts. The cashier at H&M now features a QR code that prompts you to scan and redeem an offer.
A partnership between Roots Canada and Travelzoo Canada featured a large QR code prompting passerby to scan to access their collaborative contest details.
Because of the reliance on QR codes within the WeChat ecosystem, here at Catalyst Agents, we have made it a common practice for us to embed trackable URLs into branded QR codes, so we can tell when traffic is coming from a particular channel. Instead of printing a trackable URL in long-form or shortened form on marketing collateral, tracking them with QR codes can provide you with an additional layer of insight.
For example, if you have a flash sale campaign, is it easier FOR THE USER to type in instagram.com/roots or is it easier for them to scan a QR code using their camera? (Note: you can now scan QR codes with your iPhone camera.)
It’s easy to see how using a QR code with an embedded tracking link makes it easier for both the company and the user.
The proliferation of WeChat in overseas markets in the past few years has again triggered the trend of using QR codes, this time with companies eagerly coming along for the ride because of user-driven demand.
WeChat users scan an average of 12 QR codes per day, whether they are visiting websites, WeChat official accounts, adding a contact on WeChat, or paying for something using WeChat pay...all of these functions are completed by the scanning of a QR code.
Now, WeChat is going one step further, by integrating search keyword prompts with branded QR codes. If your company has a WeChat official account, the past practice to gain awareness for your company’s account was to distribute the QR code for the account so prospective followers could scan it and follow your brand; now, with the search keyword prompt function available in the administrative platform, you can generate a branded QR code accompanied by a 'search keyword prompt' of your choice that is up to a limit of 10 characters.
For example, if Birks Jewelry launched a new collection under the name "Birks Iconic", they could utilize this search keyword prompt function on their print and digital ads as pictured below. Birks Jewelry should publish a WeChat article with the keyword "Birks Iconic" in the headline, to make it easier for users to find the latest product information in WeChat search.
Users who see the above promotional graphic will go into the Search function within WeChat and type in the keyword, which will pull up the latest search results including the Birks Jewelry WeChat article on the new Birks Iconic collection. This helps to add more context to the call to action, driving both awareness of both the brand's official account and the new collection with the search keyword prompt.
If you are planning ahead for your WeChat 2020 strategy, make sure that you check out this function to accompany your upcoming WeChat marketing campaigns.