Yard signs and banners have traditionally been a very cost-effective way to get the phone ringing. With the recent explosion in smartphones, savvy small business owners are figuring out ingenious ways of using these traditional signs as a doorway to interactive web sites and social media engagement.
QR (quick response) codes are one of the best ways to get immediate action from people that are seeing your signs. Smartphones make it as simple as snapping a picture of the code, which brings the user directly to your website’s home page, a landing page, or a social media page. Combine these codes with clever copy on a vinyl banner or yard sign, and you can elicit an immediate response that bridges the gap between traditional advertising and your interactive marketing efforts. The only downside to using QR codes is that it requires the user to have a free QR code reader app installed on their smart phone.
An alternative to using a QR code is shortening a long web page address (called a URL) so that people can quickly type it into their phone or desktop browser. You can turn a long url — www.supercheapsigns.com — into a shortened URL — bit.ly/q1cge quickly and easily. As an added bonus, many of these services have traffic metrics, so you can create several unique urls and track which signs are diving the most traffic.
There are a number of URL shortening services that bring your URL down to about 20 characters, so it’s simple to type in. Here are three you can try:
These techniques can be utilized throughout a variety of small businesses and are cheap and effective. Here are some examples we’ve seen that might relate to your small business:
- Real estate agent linking yard sign riders to online property flyers
- Restaurants handing out stickers with QR codes that link to their menu and specials
- Contractors and remodelers using signs that link to a portfolio of their work
- Special events organizers linking straight to the event’s registration page
- Landscaper signs that link to a web portfolio of cool projects
- Roofing companies that link to online appointment forms for a neighborhood after a hailstorm
- Local sports teams running a ticket promotion in exchange for social media activity
In a time when your customers have a near infinite amount of information at their fingertips, it’s important to make it easy for them to learn about your business as conveniently as possible. Using prominent banners and signs with QR codes and URLs will allow your customers to quickly access your interactive website and learn more about you on the fly.
Rich Wiseman writers for Super Cheap Signs — one of the leading online sign companies in the US. The company currently ships more than 10,000 yard signs, banners, and magnets to 50 states every week.