Posted on July 12, 2016 by Dan Quick
Playing with the Pokémon GO App revealed that there was a Rattata on my coffee mug.
Merriam-Webster defines the word fad as a something (such as an interest or fashion) that is very popular for a short time. That would be how many people might describe Pokémon in light of the skyrocket in popularity of the new Pokémon Go App from Nintendo. The only catch of this description is that Pokémon actually came out in 1996. That all aside, what exactly is Pokémon GO anyway? And what is causing the fervor over this newest edition of the series? Below you’ll find the layman’s rundown of what in the world is going on, and more importantly, how you can profit from it.
Pokémania? What is it?
You’d think that a good way to begin understanding the world of Pokémon is to first grab your nearest adolescent or millennial and have them explain it. Having tried that first, I quickly realized that most of the nomenclature of follows the same conventions of The Smurfs wherein everything is smurfy or smurf-juice or smurftacular. This is less than helpful. Then I tried playing along with a coworker on his app and, while that helped to illustrate the addictive qualities of the game, I was almost left with more questions than before. Therefore, following some extremely in-depth research into the surprisingly expansive Pokémon universe, I’ve boiled it down to the basics here-
- Pokémon GO is a free app on iOS and Android that uses the player’s device to create an Augmented Reality (AR) of their surrounding world that is connected to Google Maps.
- In this AR version of their surroundings, certain monsters (Pokémon) pop up all over the place and the goal is to capture and collect them with Pokéballs. It’s basically just like a huge scavenger hunt that requires a smart phone.
- There are a set number of the creatures in the game (about 720 in total) and only the first 151 original ones are in the app. Note that this likely means several expansions to the app are in the future, thus keeping the game fresh.
- There are ways to get more of the valuable Pokéballs to capture Pokémon which you will need (trust me, I used up like 10 of my co-worker’s ammo trying to snag a Golbat.), along with other discoverable items scattered throughout the world.
- The catchphrase of “Gotta Catch ‘em All!” is no joke. The stories of mobs of people scouring random locations and coordinating Pokémon crawls are popping up all over the country with no signs of slowing down.
There are, of course, myriad other nuances to the whole world of Pokémon that I’m certainly enraging avid fans by having excluded, but for people who just want the basics, this is a good place to start.
One of our Support Team All-Stars got into the spirit with an example of how to shamelessly plug your business with Pokémon GO.
Why Should You Care?
This is the part that most people will likely overlook, but Pokémon GO is a legitimate revenue stream for your business. What’s that? How are a bunch of tunnel-visioned teens going to impact your bottom line, you ask? They don’t even have the money to spend that you want to collect, you say? False. TechCrunch reported that the daily in-app revenue of Pokémon GO is nearly five times that of the highest earning mobile game on iOS. These players are outspending the most ravenous online gamers at a dizzying rate to the tune of $1.6 million per day, and that’s not even accounting for all of the Android users out there, either. They have money, they want to find more Pokémon, and they might as well be doing it in your own place of business.
Great, So How Do I Pokémon GO?
Start by never asking that question verbatim, they’ll see your naiveté a mile away. Next, follow these 6 simple steps to bring in the crowds.
- Head over to the App Store or Android Market and download the app to get started, you’ll need one to accomplish all of the following steps.
- Keep an open mind and go play around with it for a bit. You don’t have to be the Great White Hunter and collect all of the Pokémon in your area, but familiarizing yourself with the interface and language will help.
- Find out if your business is a Gym or Poké Stop. These are randomly assigned hubs for players to get Pokéballs or to boost their stats.
- Be ready to put some money into the app and look at it the same way you would as a boosted social media post or Google Adwords investment. Plus, this is way less expensive (which will become clear in the next step) considering an initial investment of $100 will bank you a whopping 14,500 Pokécoins.
- This is the most important part, make sure that you buy a Pokémon Lure. These are virtual devices that draw more Pokémon activity to your location. And where there are Pokémon, there will be players. An 8-pack of lures costs 680 coins and one lure gives you an hour of boosted activity. With the aforementioned $100 investment, you can effectively create 84 hours of activity at your store for $1.19/hour.
- Next is to get creative on an incentive for the players when they arrive. You can search online for chalkboards and sandwich boards of businesses that leverage their lures to street traffic but remember that the “street” here is the key. It has been a long time since the walk-by customer was so prevalent as it is with this game, so be sure to capitalize on the heavy foot traffic with something that is playful yet still adds value.
Stay Tuned For More
We aren’t saying this is the new Burma-Shave ads or anything, but Pokémon GO easily has the momentum to be a fast and easy way to keep your business ahead of the curve. Plus, as we’ve shown here, the barriers for entry into the market are unbelievably low and, at least for the time being, not likely to be leveraged by your competitors. You should make sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for more useful tips Pokémon GO and other, more conventional, marketing tactics and trends for your business.
Posted on July 7, 2016 by Dan Quick
Everyone is looking for ways to connect with and sell to new customers. Growing your audience and engaging with them with meaningful, and ultimately lucrative, interactions is a fundamental building-block to creating a healthy, sustainable business. One healthy, sustainable business right now that has something to tell you about how to manage that is one you’ve probably heard of – Google. In their 2016 Google I/O keynote speech about local search, they revealed some stunning information about how to execute successful growth strategies for your own business.
Local Search Fueled by Local Numbers
Local telephone numbers are integral to creating your Google Places account. Without an active, verified local telephone number, your Google Places information will be incomplete and you’ll miss out on all the local searches for your business. Why is that important? Because according to the authorities on search (seriously, who knows search better than Google?), mobile and local searching is growing 50% faster than standard searching. Furthermore, local searches tend to be people who are ready to shop which is why 75% of local searches result in an in-store visit within one day! Store visits, as you likely know, are an incredibly high indicator of sales conversions, especially after following previous online research. In fact, that is where all of this compelling evidence supporting the power of local search powered by local telephone numbers culminates into the best statistic yet. After compiling literally billions of data points over the past year, the local search experts at Google have determined that a whopping 28% of local searches result in a sale.
Stop Giving Away 1 out of 3 Customers
All of this together mounts a pretty compelling case for updating (or even beginning) you Google Places account today. Get that process started by establishing or updating your local telephone number with VirtualPBX today. It’s an inexpensive and irreplaceable identifier for your business with an immediate, directly positive impact on your bottom line.
What Else Can Local Search and Local Numbers Do For You?
The benefits of adding a local number to your Google Places profile are clear and powerful, so you’ve got nothing but great things waiting for you once you’ve done that. But watching the whole presentation can teach you all sorts of other great pieces of advice, so we’ve embedded it below.
How else can you let a few minutes’ investment result in boosting your ROI on web search results by nearly a third? Spoiler alert- you can’t, so take advantage of this local search advantage while you can and before your competitors do!
Posted on July 5, 2016 by Dan Quick
We’re a passionate group here. Everything from providing innovative technology and communications platforms to the total commitment we have to giving the industry’s most dedicated support team is proof of our passion. But, because you’re reading this blog, you probably already know that we’re passionate about offering a real, human, and most importantly valuable voice of business here with what we write about. The reality is, though, in spite of our commitment to excellence, we can only cover so much. This is where your opportunity for guest blogging comes in.
ShareASale & Guest Blogging
If you haven’t seen yet, we proudly offer one of the most lucrative, well-supported affiliate programs in the industry. Well we’ve decided to flesh that out even further. Now, for our active affiliates, there is also another opportunity to get more out of their relationship with VirtualPBX through Guest Blogging. We know that we don’t know everything (gasp!) but what’s more, we know that our affiliate partners are so successful partly due to our comprehensive sales support, but mostly because they are experts in their own fields, too.
Getting Started Blogging With VirtualPBX
With this type of a library of excellent information available in our immediate network, we want to simultaneously widen the breadth of topics we cover here and give even more value to our partners. That’s why we offer up to $100 for each approved blog that they provide. All of the details are available on our Affiliate Program Sign-Up page, but we really don’t want to throttle it too much with requirements. Have a successful customer story? Want to share a unique insight on how technology helps you at work? Feel like sharing how you and your customers benefit from VirtualPBX? We welcome anything and generally turn around approvals in just a couple of days.
So what are you waiting for? We know you have plenty to talk about, and we want to help you get a larger audience to share all the gems you’ve got! Hop on your laptop and get started with your first idea, and for inspiration you can always feel free to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for topic ideas on your first stab at guest blogging. Until then, happy writing!
Posted on June 23, 2016 by Dan Quick
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, right? Well for the most part, that’s a true statement, but there are some cases where lunch comes pretty easily. Freelancers and digital nomads who use our virtual phone systems have learned how to stretch a dollar with our service, and we’ve got a few more tricks for them, too. For many people who rely on the gig economy to make ends meet, affiliate programs like ours are a real shot in the arm. In fact, ours is one of the most lucrative payouts in all of the hosted telephony industry, and we’ve just made it even better.
Dash On Affiliates
By now you may already know about the award-winning hosted telephone system, Dash, but what you may not realize is how Dash can help you make money, not just save money. Through the VirtualPBX Affiliate Program you can almost earn that free lunch simply by promoting your own website. Wait, that can’t be right, can it?
It’s true, not only does each referral from you to a VirtualPBX plan come with great commissions, the rate of businesses switching to a hosted communications plan is actually on the rise, too. In fact, in a recent study by the Edgewater Network, it was found that over 70% of businesses plan to switch to VoIP over the next two years. For entrepreneurs savvy enough to have enlisted partners like VirtualPBX into their referral network, this massive shift into VoIP represents a veritable bonanza of business. This combined with the fact that both the new Dash and VirtualPBX’s Office Plans are each eligible for referral bonuses, and that free lunch might just be come a reality, after all.
More Than Just Support
We at VirtualPBX want you to succeed as a small business, just like all of our customers. As a referral partner, we make that happen with more than just the most comprehensive marketing materials available in the referral marketplace. We’re also available for referral coaching, problem solving, and regularly update you with our informative Referral Partner Newsletter.
Even if your favorite restaurant won’t actually begin offering a free lunch any time soon, you can rest assured that becoming a VirtualPBX Referral Partner will be the best way to at least pay for an extra dessert. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!
Posted on June 22, 2016 by Dan Quick
This is going to be neat. We’re very excited to bring you this blog post because we had the opportunity to partner exclusively with the online software and hosted PBX reviewers at Software Advice on a recent study of business owners and their adoption of VoIP. The widespread adoption of VoIP has brought hosted communications to every corner of the nation and generally into every possible industry and sector, as well. What hasn’t been quite as clear, however, is how factors like population density and company size directly has impacted the rate of adoption of VoIP. That is until now.
The Scientific Method
Before we dive into the results, it’s important to point out that the independent experts at Software Advice through their routine, objective methods have collected the data we’re analyzing. We’re using that raw data to apply context into the findings through our extensive experience with servicing the growing hosted telecommunications market over the course of the past two decades. Together, we’ve been able to collaborate to shed some compelling insights into how the adoption of VoIP can impact competitive advantages for businesses all over the country.
Opportunities To Outshine Competitors
Of all the data we got to analyze, easily one of the most encouraging conclusions from it is also one that is somewhat understandable. Businesses looking for a leg-up on their competition will be in luck if their operations are further out from densely populated city centers. This is because that we learned that adoption of VoIP in more rural areas is lagging behind that of VoIP adoption in more urban settings. The reason this is not terribly shocking is twofold, but I would also assert that this is a temporary situation, as well.
First is that the general adoption of VoIP follows the trend of all new technologies in that early adopters and the venerable “Gary Gearboxes” of the world tend to live in more urban environments. This makes the trickle-down of new technology into areas outside of city centers more gradual. However, just as we’ve seen with everything from HDTV’s to smartphones and beyond, there is only a matter of time standing between now and when cloud-based communications are ubiquitous, regardless of population density.
Another reason that adoption of VoIP, ahem, lags in more rural areas is that high-speed internet access isn’t as widely available there as it is in inner cities. This, however, is where there exists the greatest of opportunities for companies outside of big cities that want to get ahead of their competitors. This is because, more often than not, simply optimizing your network for VoIP is all that it takes for maintaining the fastest, most reliable, and crystal clear audio connection. Fortunately for those business owners savvy enough to take advantage of a service like this, we happen to know some networking experts.
Net Takeaway – VoIP is Outpacing the Alternatives
Probably the most compelling, and decisively clear, result of this study is that at a rate of nearly 2 to 1, adoption of VoIP is increasingly the choice for most business owners. We know that the reasons behind each of these decisions will vary, but from previous collaborations with Software Advice we know that the two most common reasons for making the switch to VoIP are for the cost and feature advantages it has over a legacy, on-premises PBX. This growth in adoption of VoIP really comes as little surprise as we’ve been seeing more and more companies decide to stop overpaying for technology that is cumbersome and outdated. Interestingly, though, once companies begin to get larger, there is a leveling-off of the choices between on-site and hosted PBX systems.
We believe that this is primarily due to a misconception that VoIP is only for smaller organizations on a tight budget, when in fact hosted systems like the VirtualPBX Office Plan is designed specifically for the most robust and demanding enterprise organizations in mind. We believe that, just as we’ve seen with younger, more modern companies, as larger teams begin to educate themselves on the actual capacities of a hosted system, they too will make the adoption of VoIP part of their path to success, as well. This is further supported by the fact that a full-blown unified communications system likely exceeds the needs of smaller organizations as evidenced by their relatively lower adoption among the smallest of respondents.
Your Own Adoption of VoIP is Just a Click Away
No matter where you live, adoption of VoIP is the fastest way to add lightning fast, unwaveringly reliable, and crustal clear telephone service to your business for pennies son the dollar over what it costs for a hardline connection. Also, the added benefits of mobility, customization, and the flexibility to change your system as your business grows makes a hosted communications strategy a win for almost any company. Furthermore, for those businesses in rural or less densely populated areas, acting quickly to adopt a hosted platform will surely be the best way to stay ahead of your competitors for the foreseeable future. So why wait?
Get in touch with one of our expert telephony consultants today and begin getting the most out of your communications. Until then, be sure to keep an eye on the latest research from the technology reviewers at Software Advice, and to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for more updates.