How QR codes Drive Web Traffic with Print Media

How QR codes Drive Web Traffic with Print Media

Print media isn’t dead. QR codes are playing a big part in its life support. Sure, it’s more expensive than digital advertising and faces certain geographic limitations, but it’s also able to make a strong connection with your audience. After all, it’s hard to ignore something physical in your hands. That’s why direct mail still performs well, despite the cost. Research has shown that 65 percent of consumers are influenced to make a purchase after receiving a direct mail piece. Similarly, a pervasive real-world advertising presence is very effective, with billboards and posters as a constant visual reminder of your brand.

All that said, print media does have some limitations. While it helps establish your brand and can drive conversions, it’s usually not able to drive customers directly to your landing page. Consumers are likely to Google your company name or use voice search, and depending on your SEO, they may or may not arrive at your preferred web destination. If you’re running a specific campaign or want customers to access a product page, you usually have to rely upon digital advertising to drive the desired web traffic.However, there are some creative ways that you can link the physical and digital realms. Here’s how to use print media to drive customers to a specific digital location.

Deploy branded shortlinks to facilitate traffic

People hate typing in URLs, so printing a URL on your flyer, poster, brochure, or billboard is nearly pointless. Most users will simply Google your company and click on whatever search result is at the top. If that turns out to be your website, that’s great. But what if the flyer is for a specific event or service, or you want to drive people to a giving link or registration form?Use Rebrandly or a similar service to create a shortlink that’s branded for your company, e.g. The shorter, the better. Users will be more likely to type a shortlink into their browser than a regular URL.Plus, you can use these branded shortlinks in your Tweets or other social media advertising, where they’ve been shown to increase your clickthrough rate.

Focus on hashtags to connect with the community

If you’ve got a compelling hashtag with which your followers are regularly tagging their posts, why not let it do the talking? It may seem counterintuitive or even silly to include a hashtag on print media, but it’s actually a great way to drive real-world users to your digital presence.People remember hashtags, perhaps more so than company names. Hashtags also offer something irresistible to most users: the opportunity to share their own content and feel connected to a community of like-minded people. These are psychological phenomena that you can tap into to promote your company. Combining a strong, compelling image with a popular hashtag that’s tied to your company is a one–two punch. You’re likely to see great results if you deploy this combination in your billboards, posters, handbills, and direct mail.

Use QR codes to link the physical & digital

Years ago, Japanese developers created a technology to bridge the gap between the real world and the digital one. QR codes emerged as a means of inventory tracking and supply chain management, but quickly became a favored trick of marketers who wanted to drive real-world users to digital destinations.QR codes faded into near-oblivion due to their limitations and — let’s face it — ugliness. Recently, though, they’ve experienced a resurgence as the technology has improved and QR codes offer the potential to enhance the physical world with easy access to websites, social media profiles, and more. Plus, you can now brand your QR codes and make them (somewhat) prettier.What’s most amazing about contemporary QR codes is that they finally offer a seamless link between the digital and physical realms. It’s as simple as hovering your smartphone camera over a code, whether it’s blown up on a wall or printed in the corner of product packaging. Either way, it instantly takes you to a landing page, dials a phone number, or opens a new email. There’s immense potential for marketers to direct real-world consumers to their desired digital destination.

How to get started

If you’re interested in using your print media to drive web traffic, you’ll benefit from the technologies described above. However, it’s also important to develop a strategy before you dive into cross-platform advertising. Align your messaging between the physical and digital realms, and take care in targeting your audiences for cross-platform advertising.

For example, consider who is most likely to access a website after a print prompt, compared to those who would rather pick up the phone and call. Older demographics are more likely to call, while younger ones are more likely to access your social media presence. Coordinate your print-to-digital advertising accordingly.If you haven’t yet grown a company hashtag, do so before you attempt to leverage it in print media.

You’ll want the hashtag to have a lot of activity and recognizability before you deploy it in the real world.If you’re using QR codes, you’ll need to map out all the links before printing them. Create a chart of desired digital destinations, then easily generate QR codes for each @ You can create countless QR codes for free and organize them easily. Remember, you can always update destinations for each code, even after printing, so you may want to create one unique code for each print asset, rather than creating a code for each digital destination.As consumers increasingly expect a digitally enhanced world, they’re more likely to desire convenient links between what they see in the physical realm and what they can access on their smartphones. Make it easy for them to bridge the gap, and you’re more likely to see leads convert to customers and existing customers become regulars.

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