If you manage a content marketing team, you have enough on your plate to worry about without stressing about your business phone bills. Pricey telephone bills can certainly hinder your marketing efforts if you’re constantly worried about racking up calling charges.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provides a cost efficient alternative to using traditional phone companies to send and receive phone calls. VoIP is an Internet phone service that transmits voice data over the Internet instead of a traditional phone line. Switching over to a VoIP provider could benefit your content marketing efforts and help you get ahead in the following ways:
1.) Evaluate Your Internet Connection
The first step in reaping the benefits of a VoIP system is to ensure that your business is fully prepared to support a VoIP phone provider. Most VoIP companies prefer businesses to have high speed Internet access, but there are some exceptions. Use an Internet speed test to check your Internet connection’s speed and VoIP capability.
2.) Decide on a VoIP Provider
There are countless VoIP providers on the market that can suit the needs of your business. Whether your marketing team needs five or 500 phones lines and extensions, there is a compatible VoIP company out there.
VoIP companies such as Vocalocity allow you to build your own plan, adding on metered, unlimited, and virtual extensions at your own discretion, while other VoIP providers like Jive provide you with set tiers based on the number of extensions you need. On average, VoIP phone plans cost around $20/month per extension.
Once your marketing team is set up with VoIP service, it can begin to experience the many benefits of a VoIP system.
3.) Use VoIP to Make Free and Unlimited Nationwide Calls
Before successful content marketers can start the marketing process, they first need to do their research. Research teams may work in many ways, from checking out the competition to checking in with customers. This could mean digging into social media outlets and national news sources to check trends and gauge interest, but at the same time, it may also include picking up the phone and asking questions.
One of the best places to find a direction for your marketing is through speaking with your current or prospective customers. Of course, your customers may be spread around the nation, and you won’t want calling rates to impede your efforts at receiving valuable customer feedback.
Fortunately, countless business VoIP providers offer free and unlimited nationwide calling on basic plans, and oftentimes Canada is included in this package, too. This means you can spend as much time on the phone as you need, gathering research information without encountering a single long distance charge.
4.) Take Advantage of Cheap International Calling Rates
It’s also likely that in an attempt to cross-promote your marketing content, you’ll want to arrange blog exchanges or set up deals with advertisers and clients. Just because these advertisers and clients live in the UK, or even China, doesn’t mean you should miss out on an opportunity to strike a deal because you can’t afford the calling fees to speak with them over the phone. Eventually, you’ll want your marketing platform to expand across the globe, and you’ll need to reach these contacts on the phone for clarity and negotiation purposes.
With a traditional phone provider, this task may seem daunting, as it’s not uncommon for these companies to charge as much as $3.00 per minute for calls outside of the US. Just one twenty-minute call with an international client could cost your marketing team $60.00!
Contrastingly, VoIP providers usually charge just pennies for international calls. Some VoIP companies charge as little as $0.01/minute to certain international destinations, which significantly cuts the cost of the per minute charges you may rack up while talking with international partners or advertisers.
5.) Download the Mobile VoIP App
Content marketers cannot afford to slack on the latest information or updates concerning their topic. By staying on top of the buzz, you can improve your public presence, while gaining recognition and credibility in your field. It’s important, therefore, that you have constant access to news sources, your email, and your voicemail at all times.
If you currently use a smartphone, you can already search news websites and check your email from your phone, but if your business uses a VoIP provider, you may also get access to your VoIP service through their mobile app. Mobile VoIP apps are also compatible with tablets, laptops, and PCs. Mobile apps allow you to log into your VoIP account on your device, send and receive calls from your VoIP desk phone number, and check your desk phone’s voicemails all on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Having access to your VoIP office number and messages, means you can stay in touch with other key players and receive high priority voicemails at all times, even if you’re not in your office. Perhaps you receive an urgent voicemail about an inconsistent fact or breaking news concerning your latest blog, but it was sent after hours on a Friday evening. Waiting until Monday morning to retrieve this demanding voicemail could result in detrimental effects to your credibility.
Additionally, because you are signed in under your VoIP account when you make or receive calls with the mobile VoIP app, you’ll have access to those free and unlimited nationwide calls and cheap international calling rates. This feature allows you to start your customer feedback research or contact your international clients on the subway or from the backseat of a cab before you even arrive to work.
6.) Program Find Me Follow Me VoIP Feature
There is, however, a chance that your business VoIP provider does not offer a mobile VoIP app, and in this case you can still forward your desk phone calls to your mobile device. The Find Me Follow Me option allows you to program other phone lines to ring when a caller dials your office number. With this feature, you could forward your office calls straight to your cell phone, home landline, or even another business line, so that you significantly lower your chances of missing a phone call.
Rachel Greenberg is a tech and telecom writer in San Diego.