[En] Wordpress as your marketing platform

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Your Wordpress website is live. It looks fresh and clean, works smoothly, your visitors can easily find what they need and you are able to add and edit content fast and without a lot of hassle or feeling like an engineer. Well done! You are ready to grow your business! Right..?

A CMS is an essential tool to manage your website, but on its own it’s not helping you with your marketing efforts. What might even be more important than getting your content to your audience, is getting to know your audience. You would like to know who they are, what they are looking for and why they are interested in your content. You want to let your marketing efforts to be guided by all these insights and all performance metrics of your website, but how can you set up your Wordpress website to accommodate this? Let see... 


Attracting and converting leads

Visitors don’t just show up as if you would have opened a new store in a busy mall. You have to actively pull them to your website. One of the most obvious and not to be underestimated approaches is to make sure your website ranks high in the search engines result pages. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not the most straightforward and transparent activity you’ll be busy with as a marketer, a proper SEO tool is mandatory to be successful.

Start with installing the excellent Yoast SEO plugin for Wordpress. There are other alternatives out there, but being around the longest Yoast SEO still is the leader of the pack. It helps you with keyword optimization and handles some of the technical optimizations you would otherwise have to handle yourself, like building a sitemap or adding structured schema data to your website to let the search engine know in detail what your page is about. It also supports you actively in creating good content by calculating the Flesch Reading Ease Score or suggesting internal links to promote other content on your website. Don’t be pennywise and get yourself a premium license, it’s definitely worth it.

When you are all set up and you are ready to create proper content it’s time to analyze what you actually have to create. Services like SEM Rush or Moz are essential for a well considered SEO strategy. Not only to figure out what your audience is searching for, but also to analyze how your pages are performing compared to your competitors. They help you decide what content to create next, what you focus should be for a certain campaign and why it’s a waste of effort to create a lot of content around a keyword that is never used. Both of them do not come cheap, but without them a SEO strategy is pretty much impossible.

Don’t forget to connect to an Ad Platform, whether it be the native networks from Google, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, or an Ad Platform like AdRoll or BuySellAds. Advertisements do cost money, most often paid per click or per display, but unlike traditional SEO it is very easy to get insight in the ROI of your efforts, and as such a profitable business case is a breeze. Don’t forget to add the tracking pixel to your website, or you will not have the metrics needed.


Talk to your audience

The best way to engage your audience is to talk to them. In the end; you are not a vending machine popping out cans of Coke. However impossible to imagine a world where a marketer would not look at graphs and statistics on a daily basis, emotions are still a deciding factor in business decisions. You want your potential customers to trust you, to have a great experience when engaging with your product or service. Not only the tone of voice of your website pages or blog articles, but also when sending an email; do you write “Hi John!” or “Dear mister Smith”?

The most obvious way to actively reach out to your prospects and customers is to reach out with newsletters and other forms of email marketing. Email marketing is often an underestimated part of a business’ marketing activities, as a lot of people associate newsletters with spam. Compared to visitors coming from a search engine, people more often convert on your website when coming in from a newsletter. 

An email marketing platform such as Mailchimp or Moosend. Make sure you have your subscription forms properly set up in your Wordpress website to allow your visitors to actually subscribe to your newsletters.

When you’re done setting up your email marketing, don’t forget to add a chat to your website. Yes, I’m talking to you as a marketer. As many associate chat with customer service, it can actually be used as a marvellous marketing instrument. Your leads don’t only expect a chat on your website, almost 80% of the businesses report their revenue increased when they started to use a live chat on their website. And let’s be honest, in the end marketing is all about the Benjamins, isn’t it?

Before you blindly install a chat plugin like LiveAgent or SnapEngage, go and visit your colleagues of customer support in the other room to ask what software they are using. If they already use a customer service platform like Intercom or ZenDesk, it’s wise to use their chat functionality as well to fully integrate communication. Don’t forget to connect your email marketing platform as well to get a better overview of your leads.


Get to know your audience

Every touchpoint of your audience with your business provides you with useful information. Looking into your website analytics you can find out what pages people are most interested in, talking to prospects you can find out why they are or are not interested in your business specifically. Now it’s time to bring it all together and get a full overview of people you have engaged with. Not talking about Excel, which is often named “the worst CRM in the world”, mainly because it isn’t a CRM.

Many tools in your marketing stack have a CRM in one form or another, such as Mailchimp and Intercom. Maybe your friends from the Sales department use Salesforce, which takes many forms, but is essentially a multitude of functionalities built around a CRM. Other big players in the market are Microsoft with Dynamics, SAP - arguably only to be considered for enterprise-level companies - and Pipedrive, the latter being tailored to Sales departments however.


360 view of your contacts

The biggest challenge with implementing a CRM is getting a complete 360 view of your contacts. Whichever CRM you choose, make sure you connect all your other tools and services to make sure your CRM holds all data, and your other tools always have all relevant data available. Most CRM systems have tons of integrations available, or you can use an automation platform like Zapier or PieSync to distribute your data across all platforms. They can be used to automate common tasks as well, for example updating contact data when someone filled in a form on your website, or handing over leads to your sales department to follow up.

A CRM doesn’t provide you with insights however. To make intelligent choices on what to do next and to gain insights in how your marketing efforts help your business, you will need reports and analysis. PowerBI is arguably the most used BI platform in traditional businesses, but a lot of full SaaS solutions are available, such as Looker and Databox. Make sure you make a well-informed decision when getting a data platform, as getting your data in there and setting up useful reports isn’t always easy.


Congratulations! Frankenstein is alive!

Your marketing stack has now grown with 20+ tools and services, and all are connected to each other and to your website one way or another. Is this a problem? Not necessarily, you can do whatever you need to do as a marketer. Is it efficient though? Definitely not. Maintenance costs are pretty high, as you have to make sure they all interact with each other, and not to be overlooked, you will jump back and forth between each tool. With excessive use of plugins and integrations you can tie it all together in Wordpress, but it will definitely feel as a Frankenstein solution.

Preferably you will have a marketing platform where everything comes together, whether it be analysis and reporting, sending marketing emails, chatting with your customers or writing new blog articles.


Don't mistake a marketing platform for a marketing suite 

Don’t mistake a marketing platform for a marketing suite however, which locks you in with the functionality provided. An actual platform will allow you to connect to all specialised services you want to use, it brings it all together in one, single place as a pivot point for your marketing efforts.

But do you actually need all this? When I have a website, people can actually find me, right? True, but a website on its own is like a car you never drive in; it may look good, shining away on your driveway, it’s completely useless however and will not help you in any way.