Sometimes new technologies come and radically transform how things are done, making obsolete whatever was before them. Some other times, they serve to enhance the old ways of doing things and make them more effective. How does the augmented reality trend affect business cards, our age-long marketing tool?
The use of business cards can be traced to as far back as 15th century China when businessmen used it to announce their intention to visit another person. But what started as visiting cards, over time, evolved to become a very valuable marketing tool, especially in the industrial era, and a must-have for both business people and workers as well.
In its basic form, the business card contains your contact information. It helps you easily introduce your business to strangers and also leave them with something you would be remembered for.
Being a marketing tool, you would ideally want as much relevant information as possible to be contained on the card. However, the small design of business cards has always limited what you can have there. But this is where augmented reality comes in.
By now you would have already known some basic things about augmented reality. Actually, it is a technology that overlays digital information on real-world objects. Unlike its sister technology, virtual reality, which takes you completely into a virtual world, augmented reality brings the virtual world to the real world, so to say.
With augmented reality, your business card can now do so much more.
Less is Now More
Whatever amount of information you had wanted to host on your business card is now possible with augmented reality. You can have more of your business and contact information, display your full résumé, and easily showcase your portfolio. The amazing thing is that you can achieve all of these without having to increase the size of the card. As a matter of fact, your card can even be smaller than what it used to be and still convey this much information.
Turn Your Business Card into a Live Ad
Instead of just being a paper card with information printed on it, augmented reality can turn your business card into an advertising medium, displaying live ads when viewed with a phone or any other mobile device. It gives life to the information on the card.
Create Engaging Experiences for Potential Customers
The best a normal business card can do is show the information that has already been printed on it. But with augmented reality, your card can do more. You can create engaging AR experiences that would be displayed through your card. This is a sure way to make the card more interesting to whoever holds it, and it is worth more than just an ordinary paper.
Increase Conversion Rate
Augmented reality business cards allow users to interact with the digital information displayed when the card is viewed from a device. You can include CTAs and prompt potential customers to such actions like visiting your website, following a link to purchase a product, calling you directly from the AR app, etc. Your augmented reality business card can also display your elevator pitch.
Make Your Card More Valuable
Think about the number of cards that get exchanged at a typical business meeting or conference. Augmented reality gives your card more value and makes it stand out from the crowd. It gives your customers a “wow” effect, increases the appeal of your card, and makes them want to pay more attention to it.
How It Works
There are several types of augmented reality. The most common one is the marker-based AR. What this means is that a visual symbol called a “marker” would be used to trigger the display of digital content at a certain position in relation to the marker.
Marker-based AR uses image recognition to track the marker when an object is scanned, and this is one way to implement an augmented reality business card. The card is designed with a marker on it. When scanned with a mobile phone and the marker is recognized, it will trigger the AR experience built into it.
A very easy way to achieve this is through the use of a QR code as the marker. Since most smartphone cameras are built with QR scanning feature, it means more people will be able to enjoy the AR experience you’ve linked to your card. Depending on the action tied to the QR code, when scanned with a phone camera, users can be directed to a browser which opens up with more information, or even to a social media app like Facebook.
Another way to achieve this is through the use of special AR apps. This does not require the card to have a QR code; the marker can be tied to a particular visual element on the card. However, it would require users to have a designated AR app which would be used to scan the card and deploy the AR experience.
Get Easily Remembered by Customers with More Valuable Content
Think about this from the perspective of your potential clients. When they receive several cards in one day, it could be hard to remember who gave them which. Augmented reality solves this problem by allowing customers to easily find out more about you.
Here are things you can add to allow customers to familiarize with you and make remembering you easier:
- Contact information
- Your pictures
- Links to your social accounts
- Website links
- Animated 3D models