October 22, 2016, I presented what I know about WordPress and marketing to a bunch of really great people, who know way more about WordPress and marketing than I do.
Yeah, that’s not scary at all.
Notes for the presentation:
1 & 2 Marketing Magic
It occurred to me a while ago that a good analogy for marketing is magic. People’s attitudes towards magic and marketing are the same. I’ve actually heard people say “apply some marketing magic to it and it’ll work”. When done right it seems effortless and easy and wondrous. So at a surface level that analogy works.
But there’s a deeper level to magic. The mechanics, the presentation, the audience. This too is a pretty good analogy, so I’m going to use that today to show how some marketing magic can benefit your efforts, specifically using that wonderful stage we call WordPress. First off, let’s start with what we’re trying to accomplish on that stage and talk about our plan.
3. The Performance Plan
The more a magician plans, the better the performance. So too with marketing. And this path is the latest roadmap in a long line of road maps that marketers keep re-drawing to give logic to the mystery. To give credit to the the in-bound funnel by HubSpot is a pretty good way to explain what digital marketing looks like. (Inbound Maketing – Marketing efforts that get customers to come to you). They have a free certification course so you can learn all of their marketing jargon.
Lots of Marketing Jargon
Content Marketing – Marketing based on giving customers advertising (content) they may actually want to look at.
The drive for content is making people do stupid things just so they can have content. I shot a video for a client, a case study. Our supplier’s marketing department PAID us to use the footage for themselves. Great. Not really branded for them, but whatever, it works. THEM our competitors are using the video from our suppliers as their NEW content on their own website. Unedited. With our brand in shown in it, AND a voiceover saying what a good job WE did. Like I said, stupid. Don’t fall into the trap of requiring QUANTITY of content, always shoot for QUALITY of content.
Landing Pages – Specific purpose page that you drive customers too. Having a dedicated page for each goal/conversion makes it easier to track what marketing activities are working. It’s easy to track results, landing pages help figure out how you got there. Some companies will build these for you as part of their packages, BUT their pages are part of their system, so if you leave their eco-sphere, they go away. Better to build your own in WordPress.
Growth Driven Design – ongoing small continuous improvements versus “build and forget”. We see this in development all the time, incremental improvements. Your marketing efforts can be done this way too – constantly improving and getting better through smaller efforts AND big showy product launches. It comes down to your business culture and environment as to what will work for you.
4 & 5 & 6
So when picking your plan you have to decide what kind of magician you’re going to be.
The Vegas Show to the Street Performer, to a large extent this is large business vs. small but not entirely. It’s more about attitude. Every business WANTS to be the big Vegas show, but that might not work for their industry or their people! Choose a marketing attitude that fits and WORKS for your resources. A street magician’s act may not work in a massive venue and the improv needed for a street magician’s ever changing landscape may not work for a big business marketing efforts. Don’t fight it. Know what stage works best for your business.
Let’s drill down into a magician’s trick to figure out what marketers should be doing.
Magicians connect with their audience in some way and use their audience to elicit true emotional responses everyone can relate to. IF you use good, true emotions to tell your story, this WILL create action from your audience. Think WestJet Santa. Think the recent lost Lego toy story from their customer service department. Think only the big guys can do this? Think again. I’m going to show you how, right now, how a small business can make an emotional connection to a customer.
But first, I need a beautiful assistant. Cause that’s also something magic and marketing have in common.
I’ve seen your work. It’s awesome, right? And you use markers, inks, and digital tools in your work? Great. What if I told you that I have an illustration device that instantly allows you to correct any mistake you make while drawing? Would that be cool? Ok, I can do better than that, what if I were to tell you that it’s purposely priced for an artist’s budget? Would you be interested? Ok, I can do better than that, what if were to tell you that this new device is ecologically green, used by professionals everywhere, and that if you want, I’ll have one of my sales guys deliver it to you NOW so you can start using it right away? What would you say to that? Great, you can sit down now and we’ll make that happen.
Here’s what’s I did.
- I’ve done my research, I know what my customer is about.
- I’ve tailored my marketing pitch to that particular customer.
- I’ve gotten my audience emotionally interested in the product.
In sales terms, she’s a hot lead. Now’s the time for marketing to hand off to sales the customer interaction. Ryan, you’re my sales guy, take this pencil and make that sale.
Woohooo, you go tiger, she’s ready to buy that thing.
In the end, all the marketing and magic can’t fix a crappy product.
- Where to perform.
Ok, now in terms of magic and marketing you get to choose where you perform. I choose one to one marketing with my target audience. To the audience here, I was broadcasting, hopefully, you were also broadcasting on twitter for me. I’m cashing in on the SEO and SEM boost all these keywords will give me on my site, where the notes and presentation live.
Three stages. One performance. That’s my small business equivalent of a Vegas show.
I’ll show you a little bit later about how these stages can all live and interact on your WordPress site.
9 Know your audience – CRM
So if you get nothing else from this talk, remember this “Know Your Audience.” A Customer Relationship Management system will do that for you. CRM’s helps to manage all of your company’s interactions with existing and potential customers. It acts as a hub for your customer’s contact details to keep them accessible, searchable, and manageable. In addition, a high-end CRM boasts features such as calendars, task management, email marketing, website form creation, data analysis, and automation of contacting and marketing to your clients.
You can run CRM’s through your WordPress sites or run your CRM through a service provider or set up a GPL CRM system like SugarCRM. There are so many options here and you’ll have to do your own research to see what suits you best. Look for systems that integrate with your WordPress marketing systems. Too often CRM’s are set up for sales people and not marketing people and it becomes very frustrating for marketing purposes. Don’t let that happen to you.
The importance of a CRM system, even for small businesses, can’t be overstated. A business absolutely NEEDS to track customer interactions and information.
- Tracking and Metrics
If you don’t track what you’re doing in marketing you’re letting your ticket window take all the credit.
“I sold 500 tickets yesterday, what did you do?”
“ummmmm, I don’t know.”
“Pffft, marketing? That’s why salespeople get bonuses and marketing people get free muffins.”
Track your efforts and the results of your efforts if you want credit for them.
Ok, time to put some of this into the WordPress frame of reference.
You all know and love WordPress and know all the good reasons to use it. For marketing purposes, one point I want you to consider is ownership of the data you create. I don’t like the idea of being tied to one vendor for eternity because it’ll be a fight to get my own data from them if I leave them. Your marketing data should remain your intellectual property – so WordPress allows you to keep that in-house, and that’s a very good thing.
Which brings us back to that CRM thing. The more your customer data can live in WordPress the better off you are. It allows you to integrate other systems and change them easier when you need to.
Here’s an integration that lives outside of WordPress. Woohooo, it ties your email campaign info directly to your CRM. MailChimp and SugarCRM. Sweet. Not cheap, and now you’re tied in pretty heavy with these systems.
- The more pieces that are supporting your CRM the more open it is to breaking.
- The fewer pieces you have the more dependent you are on those pieces.
- & 17.
There are CRM plugins that turn WP into a full-fledged CRM. These aren’t robust CRM systems by a long shot, don’t allow for much customization, but may be exactly what a small business needs to get a CRM working for them. I’ve heard good things about these two.
Measuring. To find out what you’re doing on your site you have to measure what’s going on. The big daddy of all this is Google analytics, JetPack has a plugin that shows basic site usage on the dashboard, but if you’re at all serious about tracking your marketing successes you have to dive into Google. To measure your efforts you have to put in a tracking code for your measurement tool. But once you start getting into it, you’ll need analytics tag, adwords tags, social media tags, remarketing tags, etc, etc, it turns into a pain really fast. But there are plugins to help you with this. BUT there’s so much overlap, trying to find what plugin does what with what tag is nuts.
- 20. & 21.
Enter Google tag manager. Here’s how it works. You enter all your tags into the manager. It gives you ONE tag that you insert into your header (I use the Header and Footer plugin for that). Then you don’t have to use tag insertion plugins or plugins with that feature. One spot, easy peasy.
Skystats is a newer plugin, kinda cool. It gives you a dashboard of analytics and social media data right in WordPress. Good for weekly presentations where people just want an overview. The free version only gives past 30 days though. Still trying this one out.
Email marketing is extremely effective. Build that CRM list and use it. It also forces you to have and create good content. And oh so measurable.
Remember, all the stuff you want people to do NEEDS to happen on your site. Lead people to your stage where you can control the magic and present it how you want to and NOT be dependent on other stages.
Which ties into OGP. Use this plugin. Basicallyc it adds a nice snippet of a page, to the page, that social media sites use when showing a link to that page. OGP is your flyer in the digital world. Have it installed and then look good when people share your pages on social media.
Speaking of social media, here’s a quick rundown on social media sites and why they matter to marketing. Oh, use HootSuite. Just, yeah, just use Hootsuite if you have more than one social media account.
Again, use those uncontrollable pages to drive people to your stage. I always tell clients if they are going to use a social media channel, own that channel, drive people to your site often, and run a feed of it through your site via a plugin. If you create content on social media, it becomes THEIR content with all of THEIR ever-changing rules. That’s stupid. Control and own your content. Put content on YOUR site than parse it out to your social media channels to draw people to your stage. It’ll live forever on your site so years later it is still working for you. Old content on social media is dead media. Social media is a ravenous monster that eats up all of your content. And gives you shit in return.
Use Social Media to get people to your stage where you control the performance.
Facebook is to your business what Coca-Cola is to corner stores. They’re USING your brand. Co-branding only helps the biggest brand!
Ok, now Facebook is the TV of this generation. It hits the largest possible audience, yet allows for hyper-targeting models. LOVE the targeting potential of Facebook. I use it for customer research when not using the ads. Consider: Facebook can tell you how many female college educated single women, between 20 and 50, who love horses, living within 10 miles of a particular riding stable? IS it 100% accurate, no. Is it THE most accurate least expensive demographic assessing tool ever? You betcha.
Twitter is great for instant interactions and an awesome way to slow down or stop a pissed off client from further damaging your brand. Ads? Meh.
LinkedIn is stupidly important for sales people, it’s replaced cold calling. Yet really stubbornly hard to wire into WordPress in a meaningful way AND it doesn’t play nice with almost all CRMs. That’s why it’s important to use LinkedIn to draw people back to your stage.
Pinterest! Not just for stay at home moms. Don’t discount this one for B2B. It has REAL value as a link building tool.
Ditto for Instagram. There are plugins that let you run feeds of Pinterest and Instagram through your WordPress site. Their API changes often so these plugins great broken all the time. Ugh.
- & 32
Use Yoast plugin or equivalent to make sure you’re not driving away Google. Don’t be a slave to it, but know what it’s trying to do for you.
Ok, I’ve talked about good content. SEO is like having good design in your flyers, it gets your efforts in front of more people. But SEM? Search engine marketing is highly effective at targeting VERY specific customers IF you have good SEO practices with good content.
SEM is becoming the norm. People accept Google ads in search results and being valid responses to their queries. And more and more page space on google is being used for advertising.
Consider this, I’m a hand-made soap store, there’s one in Wolseley. And I want to show up on the front page of a google search for “bath soap stores”
Take a look at this screenshot. What chance does a small business have at cracking the organic listings? Zilch. Or it’ll take massive amounts of effort and time. I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m saying prepare for a fight that you might not win! OR you can buy SEM ads and be right there at the top for as long as you can afford it. I ask my clients “what do you have, time (SEO) or money (SEM)?” Both are wasted unless you have good content on your stage.
I’ve quickly zoomed through a lot of information, sorry about that, but if I can leave you with just three ideas, I want you to remember this about WordPress Marketing Magic.
1. KNOW your Audience.
2. TELL wonderful stories.
3. And keep it on YOUR Stage.