“It’s the Economy, Stupid” was the focus that helped Bill Clinton win the 1992 Presidential election. Marketers of all stripes need to realize that the sentiment applies to the key to their marketing success: It’s the Website, Stupid. Small businesses would be well served to have a good look at implementing a web marketing strategy using WordPress as the platform for their corporate websites.
Let me clarify right from the start. “Website” means “Web Presence” and includes on and off site representations of your brand. And, if your business actually does have off site (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) brand presence, the need for the website is even more crucial. It serves as the mothership for all the great, helpful content you should be producing, and it holds the ultimate key to SEO success for your brand and terms.
One the reasons Marketing Automation still has 10% or less adoption is that it’s complicated stuff. There’s forms on websites, auto-replies, workflow rules, data capture requiring segmentation, email marketing, and so on and so on. A larger enterprise can hire the internal and outside resources needed to get the complex gears of Marketing Automation turning. Small folks? Forget about it!
It has to be brain-dead simple not because SMBs are brain dead, but because they need stuff that’s easy, efficient and just works. Some can get away with just a Facebook page, but most need more. Yes, the most important tool in today’s marketing toolbox is the website. Yet, most remain flat, boring digital brochures. There’s no interaction, no imagination, no change to content and – probably – nearly no customers.
We’ve seen how crazily successful sites running on WordPress have become. It started as a blogging platform, and it’s still primarily used for that function. However, I expect to see many more businesses start hosting their entire website using the WordPress platform (on their own domain – not on wordpress.com like this blog is hosted).
Here’s some reasons why:
- There are plenty of free themes that would let a small business get up and running on day 1
- WordPress is easily customizable with very little technical knowledge.
- While taking next steps requires some technical setup, there are plenty of guns for hire that can launch your site
- After site creation, non-technical users from the business can easily update content, write blog posts and start engaging with their audience. The CMS features of WordPress are its bread and butter. It doesn’t get much easier.
- With custom CSS and WordPress Pages, including static content for product, solution, case studies and other “core website content” is now easy
- WordPress plugins make WordPress sites extensible
- These plugins also make WordPress sites inherently social, and SEO friendly. This is huge. No site should lack capability to share content and create engagement (and links back to the site)
There are certainly WordPress naysayers who worry about performance, scalability, security – all valid challenges to explore and ensure they are well-understood. However, these same concerns and statements have been made ad naseum against SaaS players who host volumes more data (and more secure data) than WordPress. We also see incredibily high-traffic sites like TechCrunch on WordPress and high-traffic eCommerce sites like MP3.com (I link to them as if either of the sites need my link power to help their SEO!). We also see a nice selection of businesses using WordPress. What I’m surprised about is why there aren’t a whole boatload *more* businesses taking advantage of this platform? Hell, I’m ready to move off of wordpress.com already to take advantage of the Plugins I miss from my previous company’s blog (The Connected Marketer on Genius.com). Maybe I’ll blog about it once I get off my duff to do it (no snide remarks – this isn’t a business website – at least not yet – it’s a hobby).
So, what do you think the reason is that more small businesses don’t launch on or move to WordPress? I imagine there’s a large community of developers who specialize in CMS-driven sites that could churn these out at low-cost with high quality and quick delivery. What’s holding you back, SMBs?