Digital signage is one of the best advertising mediums for many brands. The effect it has on brand awareness is unparalleled.
According to research, 85% of customers notice advertisements on a billboard. Its popularity is further attested by the fact that OOH (out-of-home) advertising market is expected to grow at 13.8% CAGR by 2028.
However, there are quite a few drawbacks to using outdoor advertising:
- You cannot market them on multiple channels and devices.
- Message retention takes a hit.
- You can’t build trust among customers or engage with them easily.
As a result, most digital signage fails to hold the customer’s attention (dwell time) and loses out on potential leads and conversion.
Thankfully, there are QR Codes in signage.
With a QR Code sign, your customers can view a digital display ad and immediately scan the QR Code to get more information.
This technology bridges the physical and digital worlds—enabling a seamless omnichannel marketing experience. Most importantly, all this happens in real time, not later when the advertisement would have gone out of the customer’s mind and lost its effectiveness.
In this article, you’ll get to learn more about:
- How to create outdoor QR Code signs for your business,
- Which industries can benefit most from QR Code signs, and
- Best ways to leverage a QR Code signage.
Table of Contents
- What is a QR Code sign?
- 5 reasons why you should be leveraging QR Codes in signage
- Innovative ways to use QR Code signs
- Best practices to follow while creating QR Codes for signage
- Frequently asked questions
What is a QR Code signage?
QR Codes in signage resemble any other smart digital sign such as a small decal, or a big billboard. The addition is that of a QR Code along with the custom text and design.
Custom QR Code signs help tie your printed marketing assets to digital screens for enhanced accessibility.
Moreover, QR Codes make it easy for customers to interact with the digital signage and follow up with an action like booking an appointment.
When a prospect scans the QR Code on the digital signage, it takes them to an online page such as a newsletter, a landing page, an app, or a video.
How can QR Codes in signage improve your marketing campaigns and boost revenue?
There’s already a lot going for billboards. Combined with the power of QR Codes, digital signage can bring in better ROI for your campaigns.
Here are some of the benefits of leveraging QR Code signage for your business:
#1 Greater brand awareness
Studies reveal that digital signage has a 47.7% effectiveness on brand awareness.
Digital mediums such as signage already guarantee a certain amount of brand recognition. Adding QR Codes to that mix can boost your reach even further.
With QR Code signs, you can customize every aspect of your brand image: logo, color, graphics, font, messaging, and even the QR Code.
By adjusting the shape, color, and frame of QR Codes on your digital signage, you can align them to your brand aesthetics and boost brand recall.
Read More: Create a customized QR Code for your brand in 3 easy steps
#2 Lower printing costs, higher engagement
Using digital QR Code signs can help you save a lot on printing costs while boosting engagement.
For instance, one research finds how using digital signage has helped churches reduce printing costs by 76%. Restaurants too saved up to $30,000 on printing costs.
With a digital QR Code signage, all you need to do is create your design, add the QR Code, and deploy it on the screens.
Conversely, you will be able to generate a higher engagement from your campaigns. This is because QR Code signs boost scannability, customer attention, brand trust, and instant action.
According to a study by Nielsen, 40% of viewers are highly engaged by the messaging they see on a billboard. Moreover, 74% of those who see an OOH ad end up making a purchase.
If a static signage can command this much engagement, you can estimate the added benefits of an interactive signage.
#3 Access to tracking and analytics
Although many brands use digital signage for marketing, they face difficulty in measuring campaign performance.
With QR Codes in signage, you can measure the results from your campaigns. Adding a QR Code to your digital signage can help you unearth information such as the number of people interacting with your ads.
With QR Code analytics, you can track essential metrics such as the total number of scans, unique visitors, the device used to scan, location, time of the day, and much more.
Note: QR Code analytics are available with dynamic QR Codes only. Moreover, special features such as the location of users are available on a permission-based model.
#4 Easy to edit
You can edit dynamic QR Codes with zero hassles.
Let’s say, you want to change your marketing campaign based on seasonal events. With a static QR Code or digital signage without a QR Code, you’ll have to change the entire design and make a fresh QR Code.
However, with dynamic QR Codes, you simply need to change the URL destination for the QR Code and deploy it.
Learn more about Static vs. Dynamic QR Codes.
#5 Retargeting option
Another great advantage of using QR Codes in signage—with dynamic QR Codes—is that you can identify the customers who are not interacting with your ad and retarget them.
Let’s say a customer has viewed your ad, and scanned the QR Code but didn’t take any action. You can remarket to them through Google and Facebook Pixels. This will make them recall your brand and increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Not just that, retargeting can also provide you with a lot of insights into the customer intent and their interest in your products and services.
6 innovative ways to leverage QR Codes in signage for your brand
With over 85% of people owning a smartphone, it has never been easier to reach customers via digital means.
QR Code signs are helping organizations share product information with customers, offer an engaging experience, and build loyalty among other things.
A great example is the growing use of QR Codes in signage for smart cities. They are using street sign QR Codes for a wide range of use cases like promoting important landmarks and aiding navigation. Smart cities like Abu Dhabi and Brazil have already implemented this. More and more cities are following suit.
Here are some of the innovative ways marketers can leverage QR Code signs:
#1 Communicate brand updates to your customers
QR Codes in signage are a great way to keep customers aware of your latest updates. In many cases, an email can get missed. But an engaging display ad about your latest update is sure to get their attention and pursue them to take an action.
For instance, let’s consider you’re launching a new product line or setting up a new store. You can create an attractive QR Code sign in a prominent area to generate awareness.
A good example here will be how Marketing Werks, an experiential marketing agency, helped several retail brands drive more customers with QR Code signs. It has launched several successful in-store campaigns using digital signage for brands like Sam’s Club, Clorox, and Stop & Shop.
“We’re placing QR Codes on in-store signage to drive more connectivity through the mobile device. This is important because e-commerce sales via smartphones are seeing an exponential rise. It also drives more synergy between our marketing efforts, helps us reach end-users better, and thereby increase sales for our clients.”
– Peter Strum, Associate Account Director at Marketing Werks
#2 Drive more footfalls to your event
When it comes to promoting events, there’s no channel like digital signage. While social media and email are effective channels in their own right, they are not without their problems.
Firstly, there’s a huge chance for them to get missed. Next, customers need to go through a lot of steps to finally book an event.
With QR Codes, you can improve the UX that causes dropoffs and boost conversions. Registering for events takes only a few steps. Customers can directly scan the code from the ad and they will be taken to the form.
Not just that, QR Codes in signage will unlock a plethora of analytics for you to measure your campaign performance. 54% of event marketers struggle to show event ROI to decision-makers. With QR Code signs, this is going to change.
#3 Boost your app downloads
The rise of smartphone usage has led to the widespread adoption of not just QR Codes but mobile apps too. This is good news since mobile apps contribute a lot in driving revenue to businesses and more importantly building loyalty.
More and more brands are leveraging mobile apps nowadays. Higher app downloads by customers are translating into higher revenue and loyalty.
QR Codes in signage fit into this picture perfectly since they help to drive more traffic to your mobile apps.
For instance, let’s say you’re an airline brand that wants customers to stay connected to your brand and choose you as their preferred carrier.
A fast and effective way is to place QR Code sign ads behind each seat in the aircraft. This way, customers will be sure to notice it and can go on to download your app.
It’s also a great way to reach out to a wide number of potential customers without being too intrusive.
#4 Generate more sales for your business
With QR Codes in signage, you can ramp up the success rate of your marketing campaigns and drive more sales.
Adding a discount coupon or offers to your promotion will ensure more customers will avail of it—boosting your sales figures.
You can make the experience more immersive for the customer too.
Add another layer to it by adding an augmented reality (AR) element to your QR Code signage. This can also be a great incentive to draw customers in for an unmatched in-store experience.
For example, let’s say you’re an eyewear brand and want to drive more appointments to your store this month. You can create an engaging QR Code sign, add an early bird discount, and get more bookings.
#5 Improve social infrastructure with street maps
QR Codes in signage have the potential to make navigating super easy for citizens.
Adding maps for each locality can help pedestrians navigate the streets easily. You can deploy them at strategic locations. Citizens can scan the location QR Code to access the area map and reach their destination.
You can also use QR Code signs to boost awareness about local places of interest and help tourists access them. Deploy signs highlighting the sightseeing options in a locality so that tourists can scan the code to learn more about them and locate them.
#6 Generate more leads for your real estate business
Selling properties can become way easier with QR Codes in signage. They can help your potential home seekers enjoy a more immersive experience in exploring your properties.
Moreover, QR Code signs will also help in instant and faster decision-making—leading to higher sales.
You can advertise properties with features and prices on display signs. You can use the QR Codes to help people schedule a tour or set up a meeting.
In some cases, you can also save time by directly linking a virtual tour to a QR Code sign. Apart from offering an immersive experience, it can save the client’s time by providing them with a virtual tour right there.
5 elements to consider when creating a QR Code signage
Research finds out that outdoor QR Code signs lead to a recall rate of 55%. So, digital signage is already effective in driving awareness for your brand.
With a few best practices in mind, you can drive even more ROI from QR code signs. Here are some of the things to keep in mind:
#1 URL destination: Align it to your goals
The most important element of QR Code signage is the URL destination. It is the page the customer will reach once they scan the code. That’s why choosing the right page is important to get the right results.
The URL destination you choose depends on the industry you’re in and the business goal you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re a restaurant brand, you can link the QR Code sign to a touchless menu. Or if you’re a retail brand, you can tie the code to a customer survey landing page.
If your goal is to build a list for your newsletter, you can direct customers to a contact form. Or if your goal is to promote a new product line, you can send them to the ‘Newly Launched’ section on your website.
The URL destination options are endless.
#2 Call to action (CTA): State clearly what the customer needs to do
Your QR Code signage should clearly state what action the customer must take. Further, it should also make clear what resources the customer can expect by taking that CTA.
This context from CTA will motivate customers to scan the code. It will also increase the conversion rate of your campaigns.
Customers can be unsure of scanning codes so adding a little detail always helps. For example, you can create a CTA with specific directives such as ‘Scan to receive 10% off’ or ‘Scan to join our mailing list’.
#3 Size: Make it easier for people to scan
The size and dimension of your QR Code in digital signage are extremely important for the success of your campaigns. Be it in-store or outdoor digital signage, the size matters a lot.
If the QR Code sign isn’t big enough, it’ll not create the impact you expect from the campaign because of low scannability. Ideally, 1cm by 1cm is the minimum size of a QR Code for easy scannability.
You can use this formula to calculate the minimum size of your QR Codes:
QR Code size = Distance between the QR Code and the mobile device/10
It’s always ideal to use QR Code signage for spaces such as window decals, tabletop displays, or freestanding banners, where people can scan the code from close quarters.
#4 Location: Adjust the placement for best visibility and scannability
Selecting the placement of your QR Codes signs is also key to their effectiveness. Placement doesn’t just mean where you’re placing the QR Code sign but the height at which you’re placing it.
For billboard ads, you have to choose a location that garners maximum visibility. In case you’re planning to place them at your store, you will need to consider the distance from the ground.
Take an estimate of the average height of your customer and place the sign at eye level. This will ensure people can spot it and scan the QR Code easily.
#5 Branding: Make it eye-catching and personalized
Just like any other element of your marketing campaign, your QR Code signage can also be a great place to incorporate your branding.
While designing the digital signage as per your branding, you can customize the colors to make your QR Code uniform like your logo. You can also incorporate the logo and brand colors in the QR Code.
However, please note that the simpler the QR Code is, the better its chances of engagement. While adding colors can make it eye-catching, you can keep the QR Code design standard and customize the rest of the sign.
In case your QR Code sign is installed in a space where its design doesn’t matter—such as in front of a payment kiosk, or where it isn’t accompanied by other design elements—you can play around with the design of the rest of the signage.
Create QR Codes for digital signage
Get started with QR Codes in signage for your brand. Make it easy for customers to engage with your ad.
Frequently asked questions
#1 How do QR Codes in signage work?
Customers need to scan the QR Code on digital signage and it will take them to the desired landing page.
#2 How to use QR Code signage for my brand?
Depending on your industry, you can create QR Code signs in different ways. You can use them for street signs, to offer virtual property tours, to boost your app downloads, to drive more sales, and to get more appointments. The use cases are endless.
#3 How big should a QR Codes on signage be?
Size is important for QR Codes on signage. It must be at least 2 centimeters wide by 2 centimeters long to be scanned by modern devices easily.