A QR code is a quick and easy way to connect your offline audience with online content. Consider using them on marketing materials, business cards, and more! Here is a step-by-step tutorial for creating a new QR code in Canva.
What is a QR code and why should I integrate them into my marketing efforts?
QR codes are “quick response codes.” History has it that QR codes were generated in the early 90s to label car parts with their own product code. Today, they’re used on offline marketing materials like flyers, business cards, and in-store stands by cash registers to encourage users to head online.
As a marketing mama, you can integrate a QR code into whatever physical marketing material you would normally place a link to. Instead of asking someone to type out your website, consider printing a QR code. Instead of advertising links to your social media sites, consider downloading a QR code to your phone so a business prospect can scan it and be sent directly to your social media page. A shop page would also be a great link to integrate into a QR code.
How do I use them?
QR codes are very simple to use. In any smartphone, open your camera app and hover your camera over the QR code. When your camera recognizes the QR code, you’ll be prompted to head to whatever link is embedded in the QR code.
You can embed affiliate links, contact information, a landing page, phone numbers, social media profiles, and other business material in a QR code. For the purposes of this blog post, we will be pointing our offline audience to online, digital content. For the purposes of your own marketing, imagine what your target audience would need and use links that would point them to that.
However, even though this is a convenient method for those with a smartphone, it does limit your ability to reach people who do not have a smartphone.
So how do I make a QR code?
Let’s create a QR code for some social media posts!
I want you to think of a facet of your business you want to promote. Maybe you’re trying to drive a following to your Pinterest page. Maybe you’re trying to promote a product you’re selling. Go to that facet of your business and copy that link into a notes section on your phone or computer.
My favorite, FREE design tool is Canva. If you don’t have a Canva account, you can create a free one (please note: I use the paid version of Canva (called Canva Pro), where I pay a monthly subscription. If any advice listed in this blog post deviates from something you’re seeing on the free Canva account, please be aware the information in this blog post wasn’t intended to be misleading.)
Step-by-step – how to create a QR Code in Canva
1 – When you are in Canva, I want you to hit “Create a design.” Select “Custom size” and create an image 1080 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high since those are the dimensions for standard Instagram posts.
2 – When you are in your design, you will navigate to the editor’s panel to the left.
3 – Scroll to “Apps” and select “QR Code.” This is Canva’s built-in QR code generator.
4 – Paste the QR code into the URL box and hit “generate code.” On your blank canvas, your QR code will appear! This is a unique QR code specific to your link. However, it will not generate a transparent background. Your QR code will have a white background you can edit.
5 – Prior to putting the finishing touches on your design, I want you to scan the QR code with your smartphone camera and verify that it does in fact drive traffic to the link you intended. If it doesn’t, simply verify your link is correct and generate another QR code.
6 – Put the finishing touches on your overall design.
7 – To change the white background color of your QR code to match your Instagram post, navigate back to “QR code” under the editor’s panel. Hit the “customize” drop-down. Adjust the background color manually or paste your HEX code for your exact color code.
8 – Want to create a QR code for a PDF file that you will print as a flyer? Simply open another design in Canva and adjust the dimensions of your project. Don’t forget to change your design from pixels to inches! You can also use a Canva template. Just search “flyer” in the Canva home search bar.
Canva truly is a great tool for the beginner marketing mama.
Polishing up your design
When you’ve finished your design in Canva, I’d encourage you to scan your QR code again. This extra step will make sure there are no design elements layered over or under your QR code that will prohibit a seamless scan.
If you aren’t a naturally gifted designer, take advantage of Canva templates! There are so many to choose from. Canva also lets you plug and play your color codes, images, and more.
But what about a transparent background?
Here’s why I’m not diving into how to create a transparent background on a QR code. Sometimes simple truly enough for your marketing efforts. Do you need a transparent background? Or is the green monster on your back telling you you need to do more?
You should also consider the advanced features that would be necessary to get a transparent background. And let’s be real – we’re all busy mamas trying to promote our businesses! Let’s focus on creating simple, visual content that speaks to our intended audience and drives business.
Other business tools I recommend.
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Are you interested in learning more about what we do here on the homestead? Check out “Everything You Need to Know About Raising Chickens.” For more on what I do as a homemaker, check out “How to Make Healthy, Affordable Kitchen Swaps.” And if you want more content on marketing, check out my “Marketing for Mamas” tab.