Toll-free vs. vanity numbers: what’s the difference? [TEST ARTICLE]

Your business has gotten big enough that you have customers, prospects, employees and vendors scattered across the country. You don’t want long-distance fees discouraging them from calling you. 


Getting a toll-free number for your business is the logical next step. But now you’ve got some complications to sort out. Do you want an 800 number? Or, do you want a vanity number, like 800-BEST-BUY?

from The Grasshopper Blog – Insights for Entrepreneurs vs vanity numbers whats the difference/

Understanding Metaverse Marketing

In recent years, technology has been growing and transforming very quickly. They have developed innovations that were unimaginable in the past. The metaverse is a unique virtual environment that has started taking over the Internet. Virtual reality and augmented reality are becoming accessible for more people, and it produces value that was not seen before. 

What Is the Metaverse?

In the Metaverse, people are represented by virtual avatars. The virtual worlds inside of this space grows and evolves based on what the user does. It is a universe that expands and grows as more people join. It merges reality with the virtual world, and it exists in real time. It is a fully functioning universe where users can create, own, sell, and invest. They can also be rewarded for labor. It has different platforms and user-generated content. 

Marketing in the Metaverse

It is important for digital marketers to stay informed and understand the latest technology. It is important to reach millennials and Gen Zers on this platform. Take a look at some of the ways that you can market. 

  1. Parallel Marketing

It is important to create parallel marketing in the Metaverse that fits with what your business does in the real world. You can create a virtual version of what you sell in real life and sell it in the Metaverse. 

  1. Make it an Immersive Experience

You can make it an immersive experience by placing ads on virtual billboards. You can offer ads that users can interact with in the virtual world. For example, you can create a virtual concert of a virtual exhibit for users. 

  1. Create Collectibles

People love to collect things, and you can offer items that are exclusive to the Metaverse. You can create and sell limited edition items, and people will display them and trade or sell them. This is a great way to advertise. 

  1. Engage with Communities

People get put off by advertising, so you can engage with communities instead. You should consider partnering and offering experiences to users and creating content for community members. 

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Planning Out Your Video Marketing Strategy

Marketing is constantly evolving, and people are conditioned by what they see. Today, video marketing is a critical aspect to your strategy. Customers are always faced with video marketing, and you need to be in it as well. You need to determine the best type of video to use and post them online. 

Creating Your Video Marketing Strategy

Video marketing has been around in some form for a long time. Commercials are a great example. You will want to make sure that you research what everyone else is doing so that your content is relevant. You need to make your strategy so that you know your budget, timelines, production process, and more. Take a look at the steps for creating your video marketing strategy.

  1. Create Video Goals

You need to start by creating your video goals first. You need to consider having a video for each step of the sales process, but choose the one that is most important. The stages include the following:

  • Awareness: this is when the viewer realizes that they have a need. Your video should introduce your brand.
  • Consideration: now that the viewer realizes that there is a problem, they are doing more research. You should provide them with what they need.
  • Decision: now you want to make sure that your video shows that your product solves the problem for the customer. 

You will want to use awareness videos to attract customers, and consideration videos to engage them. If they are close to making a purchase, you should use a decision video. 

  1. Target Audience

The next step is to determine who your target audience is. It is very important so that you can resonate with your audience. If you make a video for the right target audience, they are more likely to watch it and you will get a conversion. The way to do this is by creating a buyer persona. This allows you to get inside of your buyer’s mind, and it should be modeled on your target audience. Consider who your product is for and the purpose of your video. You need to know where your target audience hangs out so that you know where to post your video. 

  1. Consider Your Story

This is the creative part of the process. It can be a lot of fun, but it is hard work. You need to create your main character, who is your target audience. The conflict is what needs your customer has, and the quest is how you bring your product to their attention. The resolution is how your product can solve the problem. 

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A Landing Page’s Influence on Business

Your landing page is important for many reasons. You should have a separate page where your customers are sent when they click on any calls to action. Some people try to get away without using them, but they are critical to lead generation. Take a look at the following ways that your landing page influences business. 

  1. It Generates Leads

Your website’s job is to tell your story, attract new visitors, and convert them into leads. For this reason, you need landing pages. They will help you generate leads. Studies have shown that sending someone to a landing page is more likely to capture a lead. It is a simple way to do this. A landing page gives people exactly what they are looking for, and it makes it so that they don’t need to filter through other information. 

  1. It Helps You Collect Demographics for Prospects

When you have a landing page, it is a way to get visitors to give you information in exchange for an offer they want. They fill out a form, and then you give them what they came for. This data is valuable to your business because you will be able to better understand your leads. Your sales reps can have better conversations when they know what leads are looking for, and it will help your sales. 

  1. You Can Track Data

Another benefit is that you can track the data from landing pages. You will actually find out how engaged visitors are. You can learn whether your offers are being downloaded, and you will know how many people are signing up for webinars. You can also tell how engaged your visitors are and get an idea of how prepared they are to make a purchase. 

  1. They Remove Distractions

When you use a landing page, it will inspire specific actions from your visitors, and they don’t have any distractions. If you send them to your home page, they could be sidetracked by blog posts and more. This way, they will go right to what they are there for, and they won’t have other links to distract them. 

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AI’s Role in Marketing

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is making huge strides today. It can boost the productivity in your business by as much as 40%. There are many advances in technology right now, and AI has shown itself to be a very powerful weapon. It allows businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Take a look at how AI can drive business value and help you be successful. 

AI Marketing

AI is artificial intelligence, and how you define it depends on what it is doing. It is used in many different applications, including marketing. It allows computers to read behaviors and act like humans. It simulates human intelligence, and it makes sure that rote tasks can be done. There are examples of AI marketing, such as Gmail and Google Docs’ smart compose. This is where the computer reads what you are writing and makes suggestions. 

Why AI Marketing Matters

One of the main reasons that AI marketing is important is because most customers expect businesses to understand their needs. It helps marketers evaluate information and data, and it takes in information from social media, emails, and the web. 

AI Automation

AI helps your automation be more intelligent. It can help translate data into decisions and meaningful interactions, which positively impacts your business. The important thing is that it is able to turn data into actionable insights quickly and accurately. The speed is critical to success. Marketers can decide how many campaigns to create, and they can learn the best actions for their customer. 

Minimizes Errors

AI also minimizes errors. It tries to avoid human intervention, and it can help with human errors. This is especially important for data security. Businesses worry about safeguarding their customers’ personal information, and AI can learn, adapt, and react to cybersecurity to make it more secure 

It Saves Money

AI can save money, which helps eliminate old strategies for marketing. You can use it to save money by getting this done more efficiently. This ends up increasing your revenue. It can handle repetitive and mundane tasks and does them more quickly and accurately. This saves money in the end. 

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What Is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a series of instructions that tells the computer how it should transform facts into useful information. The facts are data, and the data needs to become useful information. There are algorithms for everything, and they help computers perform their functions with routines. They are used for trading systems and pricing financial instruments. 

Understanding Algorithms

Financial companies often use algorithms for loan pricing, stock trading, and other automated functions. Algorithmic trading helps decide the timing, pricing, and quantity of stock orders. Computer algorithms reduce the amount of time something takes. It also helps to make slow processes better. They can save money for many companies. 

The Process for Algorithms

  1. Input the Data

Computers need an input of data to make a decision. To put it into perspective, when you get dressed, you need to know what clothing you have, what is expected, and the weather. You may need to know other personal preferences. In computers, this information is imputed as data. Terms can be assigned to different things, and the end result yields information. 

  1. Transformation

After the data is input, computation takes place. This is the process of arithmetic, decision-making, and repetition. This is a series of if … then statements, and the repetition can be in as “for each item …” 

  1. Output

The last step is output, which is where the computer expresses the answer. The output is essentially more data, but it can also involve presenting information. The computer might place words on the screen or it could be another form of communication. 

Machine Learning Algorithms

Machine learning algorithms are where the computer collects data to predict what people are going to do in specific circumstances. An algorithm will constantly put data in and take it out, but when you click on a movie or a type of post, you will find that you get a lot of new ads about similar topics. Every piece of technology that you use has algorithms, and it is a great way to collect data. There are many algorithms working behind the scenes. 

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Ecommerce Marketing Strategies to Implement

There are many different ecommerce strategies to choose from, and you need to do what it takes to stay up to date with the latest trends in your market. When you complete your ecommerce website, it is a significant development for your brand. However, you need to make sure that your website structure is effective and that you have a marketing strategy. 

  1. Create Your Own Content

When you create your ecommerce website, you will need to create content for it. It is important that the content is high quality and original so that your customers feel like they are deriving something of value. When they spend time interacting with you, they are more likely to make purchases and continue following you. The important thing is to make sure that you produce creative and original content. 

  1. Optimize Website Layout and Design

You should always take the time to test your website layout to make sure that it is easy to use. Customers should be able to find everything they want without any effort, and it should be intuitive. You can look for patterns in your customers’ behavior, which will let you know which parts of your website are the most successful. After you test your website, implement changes to improve it. 

  1. Social Media Marketing

One of the most powerful tools for marketing is social media marketing. You can communicate directly with your customers, and you can reach people who may become your customers. It allows you to make your marketing messages more personal, and you can generate engagement to drive traffic to your website. There are different platforms that you can use, but you should remain consistent throughout. Make sure that your brand sends out the same message no matter what social media website you use. 

  1. SEO for Ecommerce

Another very important tool for improving your ecommerce site is making sure that you use search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is important because it ensures that your customers find your website when they run a search. The key is to make sure that you update your content regularly, and you should make sure that your customers have a good user experience that is free of errors. Your content should be useful and valuable, and it should provide information that helps people. Use keywords naturally in your content so that your content matches what they are looking for.

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Creating a Secure Website for Your Company

When you have an online presence, customers can find you and have more confidence in your brand. It is important to make sure that security is a high priority when you build your site or customers may stay away. Take a look at how to create a secure website for your business. 

Choose a Qualified Host

There are different hosting options out there, and each has advantages and disadvantages. It is important to make sure that whichever you choose has good security features. For example, look for web application firewall (WAF) and denial-of-service (DDoS) protection. Some of the more established providers allow you to choose how safe you want your site. 

Choose a Great CMS

When you create your website, you need an excellent content management system (CMS). The best ones are always updating their protection and making sure that you have fast processes. If you want your website to be secure, you need a CMS that is robust. It defends your website with very little in the way of security gaps. 

Manage Your Add-ons and Plugins

Add-ons and plugins enhance the user experience for anyone who visits your website. However, if you have too many, it can slow your website down and make it less responsive. Make sure that you know all about any add-on or plugin before you decide to use it. You will also need to update it regularly to keep it secure. When they are outdated, it puts your security at risk. 

Provide Different Access Levels

If you have a number of different people working at your organization, it may benefit you to provide different access levels. It is easier to supervise and control your security if you restrict permissions for specific areas of the website. You can have separate logins for employees, and you may reserve full privileges for people who play a major role in the company. 

Choose Reliable Passwords

One of the biggest ways for security to fail is having passwords that are easy to hack. The best way to handle this is to have a strict password policy. Make sure that people are choosing passwords that include upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. You should require the passwords to be changed after three to six months. They shouldn’t be anything that people can guess. Another way to make your website more secure is with two-factor authentication. 

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Brand Building: The Foundation of a Startup

Your brand is one of the most important aspects of your startup. It is how people perceive your business, and it is the thing that causes them to say good things and encourage others to give your business a try. It takes time and consistent effort to build your brand from scratch. Take a look at some of the benefits of brand building.

  1. Builds Trust

One of the most important benefits of brand building is that it builds trust with your customers. Customers are quick to think of brands that they are familiar with, and the best way to build this trust is through honesty. Customers want you to be clean in your messaging and stay transparent about what you can do. Most importantly, stay consistent. When you are consistent, your customers know what to expect. 

  1. Boosts Motivation

When you take the time to build your brand, it also builds trust with your employees. They are proud of the company they work for because they understand what the goals are. This helps boost morale and makes them more motivated. They also feel more loyalty for a company they believe in. Studies show that most people won’t work for a company with a bad reputation. They also want to work for a company that has social views and culture that align with their own beliefs. 

  1. Customer Loyalty

It is difficult to build customer loyalty today because they have many different options. The Internet has opened up markets so that customers can find the best offers, and offering a better price isn’t always enough to build customer loyalty today. They want to feel valued, and they want to feel that your views align with theirs. Make sure that the values of your company are shared by people in your target audience. 

  1. Increases Value

When you have a startup, you need to have a clear picture of your brand guidelines. It is important to make sure that your brand is consistent, and you have to continuously work on building it. You need to make sure that it is visible, and then show that you follow your guidelines. You will find your brand increasing in value as more customers become loyal. 

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Five Technology Trends to Look Forward to in the Next Decade

Every decade brings with it the promise of new technological breakthroughs, and the 2020s are no different. These five technological trends in particular appear primed to push the boundaries of the tech sector and change the world.

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI has been with us for a couple decades now, but it’s set to take another leap in the years to come. As machines become more advanced, so too are they increasingly improving their ability to learn, which in turn helps boost their overall intelligence. The expansion of AI has implications for everything from smarter robots to developing deep learning to improving algorithms.

  1. More Chatbots

We already talk to Siri and Alexa, and chatbots are already present on many websites. Still, as AI improves, the technology behind chatbots and home assistants is bound to get better – and as it does, it could radically shape the way companies handle customer service.

  1. The IoT

This is another example of something that’s already here, but will grow even more ever present throughout the decade. As the integration of the Internet of Things into the Internet and our lives expands, we may see a whole host of changes, from more digital assistants and smart homes to more sensors and scanners with Internet connectivity.

  1. 5G Possibilities

Few things have reshaped life in the past 15 years than the invention and incredible expansion of smartphones and digital devices. Everyone now has the Internet at their fingertips wherever they go, and 5G is set to make connectivity faster and better than ever before.

  1. Self-Driving Cars

One of the most exciting possibilities for 5G technology is one we have been awaiting for many decades now – self-driving cars. These require incredibly fast connection speed, and 5G may finally provide engineers and programmers with speeds fast enough to accomplish the near-instantaneous car-to-car communication necessary to make them work. Companies such as Google and Yandex are already experimenting with prototypes of these cars. Not everyone is excited, though – just a couple years ago Yandex Taxi workers protested in Russia at the threat this poses to their jobs, with smoke bombs being set off outside Yandex Taxi’s Moscow office.

Each of these impending tech breakthroughs have the potential to reshape the world. Still, these technologies are just a set of tools, and it’s up to us to determine how to use them and what their global impact will be.

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