Back to the Future – Digital Business Cards
Digital business cards make a lot of sense in 2022. With in-person events and networking back on the rise, digital versions of traditional business cards offer a way to extend your brand and business with tech-savvy professionals in an instant. Better yet, combine the past and future by adding a QR code on your printed business card.
What is a Digital Business Card?
Business cards have long been a staple in the business and entertainment world. They allow you to show all your contact details in a single place that you can hand to a prospective client or customer to keep the conversation going.
Digital business cards serve the same purpose as traditional paper cards but add the capacity for additional links and information that shows the full range of your background and capabilities. They allow you to list all your social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and you can include links to videos, web pages and PDFs. The most exciting feature of digital business cards is that your team can automatically queue their contact and company information on a prospect’s phone to be saved with one simple click of “save contact.”
The point of digital business cards is to create a single, simple, shareable file with all your contact details. That way, the recipient has no friction to save your contact information, learn more about your company and easily follow your account on social media.
Look for apps that create your digital business card without requiring the recipient to download the same app themselves. The best business card apps work across devices and operating systems, allowing anyone with a smartphone to download and store them.
How Can I Get One?
There are many digital business card services available for individuals and large enterprises. Here are a few of our top picks for companies looking for a professional, cohesive and branded digital business card service.
Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology: Popl, Linq and HiHello
If you don’t want to spend the time opening a digital business card app, Near Field Communication tech is the way to go. NFCs are small devices like tags on your phone, Apple watch bands, or a credit-card like business card that allow you to share your contact info by tapping the NFC to any compatible smartphone. The other person doesn’t have to download an app to receive your info; it just automatically transfers over with a quick swipe! Another huge advantage for NFC sharing — no Internet needed!
HiHello, Popl and Linq all use NFCs with their app for individuals or teams to pass their information to prospects. All three also offer their own lead capture capabilities that integrate directly with CRM software, which is great for event and trade show lead capture.
HiHello is the only company of the three that doesn’t sell their own NFC devices, but encourages customers to buy their own on Amazon.
How do NFCs work?
Once you have your NFC device, you download an app and create your digital business card. Teams and companies can utilize admin level solutions to build branded templates, manage and organize employee profiles.
Each digital business card profile can include so much more than a paper card: photos, embedded videos, links to landing pages and more. By implementing a digital business card strategy, sales managers and business development directors have the added value of seeing lead capture and other analytics which can be difficult to track at networking events or trade shows.
Key features to look for in a business-wide digital business card software:
- Branded template creation
- Admin level control over all digital business cards
- Integration capabilities for CRM, HR platforms, marketing automation software, etc. (Make sure your go-to tech is covered!)
- Dynamic QR codes, URL, email and text sharing capabilities
Extra Bells and Whistles
HiHello has a few extra features that are helpful to lead capture: a business card scanner that turns paper cards into contacts and the ability to create multiple digital business cards depending on the circumstance. For example, you may need to share different information when talking to a potential client or a potential partner — with HiHello, you can craft a profile for both circumstances.
Any digital business card worth it’s salt should offer digital business card sharing via QR code, URL, email and text. Popl and Linq are known for their NFC digital business card tech, but both companies also can be used without the NFC device.
Stickly QR: Haystack and Beaconstac
QR codes have finally been adopted for common use by the general public. Many companies use dynamic QR codes to create digital business cards. It’s so easy — with a quick QR code scan, the scanner can save your contact information, visit important web pages, or watch a pertinent video with a few clicks.
Pretty much every digital business card software offers QR codes as a way to share your digital business card. An important feature to look for in a digital business card software is the scan to autosave a contact capability. Some companies have hacky ways of doing this through Apple Pay, or Google Pay. This is added friction to accomplishing the task at hand. Two companies that got it right with dynamic QR code virtual business cards are Haystack and Beaconstac.
Haystack is a virtual business card solution software specifically for large enterprises of 1,000 or more. They implement QR codes, unique URLs and “autosave as contact” digital business card sharing with a huge emphasis on their admin control, HR and CRM integrations and cybersecurity. If you are looking for a slick onboarding experience with a dedicated team to walk you through the shift to virtual business cards and don’t want to mess with NFT devices, Haystack may be the software for you.
Beaconstac also peddles dynamic QR code digital business card solutions with cool features like bulk creation for up to 2,000 business cards, CRM integrations and fortified security.
Does that mean paper business cards are dead?
Definitely not. Traditional business cards are still a simple and effective way to connect with professionals. There is no need to choose one or the other! A paper business card has its time, place and audience. Many industries are still not on board with the digital world, and prefer paper and pen over tech solutions. Other industries may be at the cutting edge of tech, and digital business cards make sense to streamline their networking efforts. If you have a team that relies heavily on in-person networking and relationship development, a digital business card solution might considerably improve your lead capture workflow!
Branding Your Digital Business Card
Once you finalize your choice on software, it’s time to create a branded, cohesive and professional template for the entire team. Make sure all employees have current, professional headshots! When it comes to branding and professional photography, look no further than Kinetic for assistance. We love providing the tools and collateral for brands to shine from custom photography to a brand refresh. Contact us today for your marketing and creative needs!