The business card is dying. Similar to how online websites are replacing newspapers, technology is replacing the print business card. Because we expect everything at our disposal, a business card seems to use space in our wallets and pockets. The internet is the popular way to scout businesses.
Except it isn’t the sole approach. Offline customers don’t have access or understand the web. These people prefer the old-fashioned way. The assumption is the elderly don’t use the internet while younger people will. Don’t believe the stigma. Treat every prospect as an individual. Reach as many people as possible by using both the standard and online business card. Two methods are better than one.
The search engine business card
The information found to the right of all search results is the online business card. When a user types in the company name, name and contact information appears on the right like a standard business card. The difference is the search engine version provides more information.
A standard online business card exists for businesses who don’t have local chains. The company name and logo are on the first line followed by the company website below it. The next line contains the Wikipedia link and summary. Underneath it is one to ten quick facts. Social media profiles are below it, and the last line is ‘similar results to the listing.’ Equifax provides a great example. Nevertheless, the structure varies by search engine. It’s effective enough for celebrities, athletes, colleges, historical figures, and makeup brands to use. Type a celebrity name or a college for examples.
Because the business wants to connect to local users, local business cards are free to include more details. These details resemble an online business card, and it is great for sharing across social media, email, forums, and blogs. Standard local pages vary by search engine. Most contain photos and company name. Customer reviews from Google, Yelp, or another source is below company name. Across from company name and reviews are text link boxes for the company website and directions. Bing, however, has the website and directions below the title. If maps are necessary, it’s a welcome visual. Address, phone number, and hours of operation are below the reviews. Since local business cards rely on customer feedback, supplemental reviews may continue below.
The print business card
To reach the maximum fan base, create hard-copy business cards. Business cards hold on to relevance for two reasons: non-web-savvy people and face-to-face interaction. While plenty use the online version to find you, not everyone uses the internet. Ignoring these potential customers is ignoring possible revenue for your business. A business card will reach those people.
Additionally, in-person meetings are so valuable. Chats online can never bring the personal touch that face-to-face encounters do. Online discussions require expressing thought first, then a clarification. Customers on the receiving end misinterpret the message conveyed and react negatively, hence the clarification. The clarification disrupts conversation flow and agitates both parties involved. With one in-person conversation, you can hear the message, feel the energy, and learn lessons. A business card is the cherry on top.
The best business cards reflect the business’s image. Business card size is normally 2×3.5 rectangles, but various sizes and shapes exist. Regardless, use the front and back side. Incorporate company name, company colors, company logo, company slogan, and contact information onto the card. Add both offline and online contact information. Proofread cards for errors before printing. Print business cards on thick stock paper. Transfer the business card design to stationery, print, and advertising materials to unify the brand image.
Successful businesses use the most strategies to reach the intended customer base while remaining budget conscious. The decision to select one method or the other is hindering the business. Therefore, use both business cards to cover all bases. Both methods are affordable first impressions on new and loyal customers.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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