QR Codes are a valuable asset to your Instagram page. Learn how to strategically grow and promote your business by using Instagram QR Codes.
Last Updated:  March 23, 2021
QR Codes are everywhere, from stores, up to your favorite bars and places to go to, as well as online – there is a good marketing reason behind it.
Add to that the fact that they can provide you with unique experiences, such as customizing different items, as in the case of Nike, who made customized shoes by using QR codes, or allowing you to view content, as Coca-Cola did through their dynamic QR codes. They can even aid in simply faster check-in, in an airport, for instance, or check-out, as in the example of IKEA.
Leaving aside any technicality, today’s marketing industry concentrates quite a lot on the idea of establishing an emotional connection with your audience. Truth be told; there are many ways out there through which you can achieve this: content, promotions, or something real they can relate to. However, the emotional connection stands above all because of its simplicity.
And if you think about it, social media has got to the point in which just liking and sharing a post isn’t enough anymore. Of course, these actions will always be at the core of how social media platforms operate, but there are other ways in which the whole process can be backed up. In this case, we are talking about connecting through an Instagram QR Code, which relies on efficient and straightforward marketing aspects.
In this article, you will be introduced to 5 steps that will allow you to achieve Instagram success by using QR Codes.
You must’ve noticed a QR Code at least once around you. In some contexts, you might know what that QR Code does. For example, a QR Code printed on a bar’s menu will take you to that menu without the waiting game. Things tend to change on Instagram, though. QR Codes are designed here to take you to a specific Instagram account, where users can follow your page, like your products, or check out the items you’re selling, all of it by using their phone camera.
A few years back, Instagram launched what was known as a “Nametag.” The Nametag option was an internal QR Code system, which means you needed to use the Instagram camera to get specific information instead of using your phone’s camera and opening the information on a different browser.
The good part is that the Nametag has been replaced by the QR Code, meaning that you can generate QR Codes directly on the platform and have them scanned on a third-party camera app.
Knowing your audience’s behavior is the first step to consider once you decide to generate a QR Code. Some people might not know exactly what QR Codes do or where they’re going to take them. As on Instagram, QR Codes are used to follow different accounts or share their accounts; they can save you the trouble of typing the wrong account name and following the wrong person.
As easy as it might sound just to generate the QR Code and start sharing it, it might not do the trick for all users out there. Particular attention should be given to a few elements regarding your audience: from interest to age.
Another important step is knowing exactly what you want to do with your Instagram Codes. This is where using the proper CTA comes into place – you need to let the users know what to expect once they’ve scanned the Code. It could be as easy as “Follow us for more exclusive products” or “Connect with us on Instagram as well.”
This leads us to the last point of strategy planning: providing your audience with something that encourages them to engage with your Instagram content. An easy process will influence users to engage in a better way. This can also have a beneficial impact on the number of followers.
Using a dynamic QR Code will also allow you to see how many scans you get, where most scan actions come from, and what types of devices your followers use. As opposed to a static one, this type of Code can also help you plan for the future and put together what needs to be done to keep bringing new followers to your page.
We’ve talked about the fact that Instagram QR Codes can now be scanned from any third-camera app. But how do you get your QR Code out in the world? Printing it could be one of the easiest things you can do once your Code’s been generated. Once printed, you can use the physical version in shops or places where you know your audience would go to.
For example, if your Instagram page concentrates on beauty products, placing your printed QR Code in a place where you can buy only music instruments might not be the best idea. Think about it: you scan a QR Code, and you expect to see the latest releases in music instruments, but instead, you see the newest skincare products.
Use your QR Code on your business cards: not only do you promote yourself, but you also give your information to people who might be interested in what you have to offer.
Depending on the type of business, the generated Instagram QR Code can be used for promotional purposes on anything from bill receipts up to posters, brochures, or product wrappers.
3. QR Stickers
People usually look for something that catches their eye, and a well-customized QR Code might just do the trick in some situations. As mentioned above, placing your QR Code in popular places could be an excellent place to start, especially when the setting allows you a more alternative approach to the situation.
There is also the case in which you have a business that delivers certain types of products, and you want to raise the number of followers you have on Instagram.
Attaching your Instagram QR Code to the packaging of your products might help you grow those numbers. People won’t have to guess what the QR Code represents and will most likely scan it.
Think about it this way: random QR codes might not necessarily seem like the most trustworthy ones. Just about anybody can create a QR code and have it point to a specific online environment you might not know anything about. This is why a QR code that you know is coming from a reputable and known source is safer to scan and will also make people more willing to do so.
Stickers don’t have to be used on packaging only or even in physical contexts alone. Your QR Code can also become a “sticker” for video sharing too.
Colors, patterns, and designs can be a part of your Instagram QR Code. Even though you might think that these elements should be used primarily on your webpage, they can also affect your QR Code.
Instagram is, in the end, a visual platform – you use it for sharing photos, stories, and reels. This also means that your QR Code should concentrate on the visual idea of the forum.
Attention-grabbing elements are essential on a platform that uses the visual component to interact. By customizing your Instagram QR Code, you will only make it easier for people to associate with and even recognize your business or page.
The best part about it is that you don’t even need to go into something complicated to make people curious enough to scan your Code: you just need to use the proper design, colors, and fonts to make it eye-catching and attractive enough for your audience.
5. Test It
Your success is one step away, and in this case, it concentrates on properly testing your Instagram QR Code before the print and distribution process. Mistakes sometimes happen, and it might not even be your fault – and this is why making sure that your QR Code points to your Instagram error without giving a “user not found” error is essential.
There could also be rare cases where your QR Code doesn’t display your page but rather a different page, which is not something you strive for when promoting your business. Testing your QR Code could save you a lot of unnecessary trouble, especially when you want it to redirect your Instagram profile. Just like in the case of a broken web link, a broken QR Code might cause people not to follow your page or engage with your posts.
After dealing with error-free Codes, there is one more thing to look at. Quality is another crucial element of a QR Code, and we’re talking here about both the Internet and printed QR Codes. A blurry or not appropriately resized QR Code is not aesthetically pleasing, and not to mention a low quality might also lead to no landing page.
People are usually looking for simple and effective things, and that is exactly what Instagram QR Codes do: they make it easier for everybody to just scan the QR Code for Instagram without having a specific app installed. Of course, Nametags might’ve been something specific for the Instagram platform at one point, but it didn’t necessarily make life easier for its users.
You had to go to the Instagram app, tap here and there and get the results only after going through a rather tedious process. By using QR codes, Instagram has managed to remove the “click-barrier” the original Nametags had imposed.
The market is constantly adapting to changes, and Instagram did the same thing by incorporating QR codes.
Ovi Negrean is the CEO and Co-Founder of SocialBee.io, one of the fast-growing media management tools that help you put your social media posting on autopilot. He and his team help startups, small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs reach their marketing goals and scale.