Move Faster, Reduce Costs & Increase Success with WordPress

Published May, 5 2016
This session was presented live at a past SoundBoard event.
Main Stage
9:45 am - 10:25 am

WordPress ElementsAs technology advances and consumer expectations grow, it’s easy to get left behind even if you actually know what needs to be done. It may sound great to have your customer emails plugged into your analytics software to better personalize buyer experiences and track ROI on content production, but that doesn’t magically happen. The technical barriers to getting these systems built and integrated with one another can potentially be quite significant.

Fortunately, WordPress–a free open source web content management solution–is a great solution for businesses looking to reduce some of the technical barriers to implementing the exciting new tools that make up today’s modern marketing stacks. While WordPress may not yet be a purely magical solution for every instance, the open and extensible framework upon which it is built makes it dramatically easier to customize and extend. More importantly, it lets developers create and share their code in the form of plugins, so you can just enable great new features into your website with a few mouse clicks!

Earned, Owned, And Paid Media: Then And Now

A lot has changed since just this year (Pokemon Go!), let alone since 2000. A study by Huge Media found a major shift away from paid media since the new millennium, 90% to 60%. Accordingly, Owned and Earned media have become much more predominant.

Owned and Earned media

This shift in priorities reflects the increasingly complex, non-linear journey that customers take before an actual purchase. Businesses can’t just throw money into ads and neglect other channels and expect good results.

Online Marketing Channels

There are so many channels and touchpoints your target audience encounters that you have to think about when designing and implementing successful marketing campaigns, that it can be overwhelming.

Content development, customer service, data analytics, ecommerce, campaign management— someone has to do all that, and integrate it in a way that resonates with customers and feels authentic. That’s clearly no small task, and indeed an entire industry has sprung up of vendors and service providers to help businesses manage it all:

Marketing Landscape

Yes, this is impossible to read! If you’re curious, you can drill into this by visiting this link.

Of course, trying to master all or even some of these technologies would be impossible, and even if you could it would be a poor use of your time! Each one of these companies are “best in class solutions” for each of their respective Marking stack solution groups.

Living In A CMS World

The good news is you don’t need to master everything. A powerful Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress can integrate with these solution helping your business with everything from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content personalization, international syndication, lead generation, and more.

It’s no small wonder then that companies consider a powerful CMS like WordPress the foundation of their digital strategy.

“Digitalization is increasingly becoming a strategic imperative, forcing IT application leaders to consider Web Content Management to help drive not only their web strategy, but also their overall digital strategy.” — Gartner, 2015

Marketing Trends To Leverage

Today’s complex marketing environment largely fall into four major trends, or buckets, that businesses need to be aware of maximize the impact of their efforts.

  1. Brands as Publishers
    To stay competitive, brands have to stay agile, and produce content that engages their audience. The choices are infinite these days — people want to know what brands stand for, the ingredients of food, how to get help using products, and more—and they want it all online.
  2. Omnichannel Environment
    Brand experiences are everywhere, not just offline, on a website, on social media, or in any one place. Businesses need to adapt to this reality, and remember that customers are demanding seamless sales experiences that may involve numerous channels, devices, touch points and content.
  3. Personalization
    The marketing industry has spent the last 15 years perfecting the art of delivering personalized online ads. The next 10 years will be all about intelligently personalizing relevant content for users on web sites. Why should web pages be the same for all when everyone is different? The opportunity to “know thy customer” and offer relevant, contextual, and unique content at the right time has huge potential. We have only begun scraping the surface of what is possible.
  4. Cloud Computing
    The debate over cloud computing is over, and the cloud won. The power and efficiency of deploying assets online is just too great. Yet, few people really understand it, so you want to make sure you’re choosing the right vendors who know how to leverage the cloud in predictable, scalable, and secure ways. You lose some control over your data in the cloud, but if managed professionally, that’s a good thing.

Leverage Marketing Trends With WordPress

Successfully exploiting these trends requires a powerful, open, secure, reliable and flexible web content management system that can integrate with many major marketing technology vendors. That’s where WordPress comes in.

WordPress is a free, open source, extensible, web content management system. And for all intents and purposes, it has already conquered the web. Out of hundreds of millions of websites in existence 27% are build on WordPress, and it has 60% of the CMS market. Additionally, 27% of the top 10,000 websites by traffic run on WordPress.

WordPress Marketshare

Offload To WordPress, Focus On Your Business

Whether you use Amazon for fulfillment, Shopify for an online store, Mailchimp for email campaigns, Hootsuite for social media posting, or any combination of the countless other marketing tools, most will have some pre-built way to integrate with WordPress.

That integration is how you can unlock the potential to engage your customers offsite and enable them to shape their own user experience on your site.

Consider this: If you’ve got a hot new product, like Ello last year, how are you going to get it in front of a huge audience? By integrating with WordPress from the outset, you’ve got a massive potential audience of 27% of the internet right out of the gate. WordPress is winning the market share of web content management systems and thus it’s a great bet that any tool you use today, and many tools that will come tomorrow will end up with a WordPress integration.

Turn Your Website Into A Command Center

The beauty of WordPress is its open source community, flexibility, and rich ecosystem of constantly updating plugins that help your website transform into the command center for your business. Rather than try the sisyphean task of learning all the ins-and-outs of every piece of marketing tech, WordPress allows you to offload all but your core competencies so you can focus on business development. Similar to the Apple app store, if you’ve got a business need, with WordPress “there’s a plugin for that.”

WordPress Myths vs. Facts

There’s definitely some misinformation and misunderstanding out there about WordPress. Fact is, WordPress is a highly flexible, scalable, and secure platform. Here we take on the common myths about WordPress.

WordPress Isn’t For High-Traffic Sites: FALSE

As we mentioned earlier, 27% of the top 10,000 (i.e. high-traffic) sites are WordPress. CNN, National Geographic, Uber, Colourpop, SoundCloud, and Asana all run on WordPress. These companies certainly know a thing or two about creating content, personalizing user experiences, building websites, and slinging HTML, but they still rely on the WordPress platform. Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself.

WordPress Isn’t Secure: FALSE

In fact, one of the world’s top, award-winning online security firms, Kaspersky’s, runs on WordPress. Even NASA trusts WordPress with their web content management needs.

This myth may be based on the fact that WordPress is an open-source platform, which people may interpret to mean “not secure.” That means that security issues that evolve over time (which happens in closed systems, too), are not hidden from the public.

However, transparent, open systems like WordPress are inherently stronger because there is an army of people identifying and solving problems, and anyone can audit the code for risks and raise a red flag. In a closed system you would likely never hear about a security issue, let alone if and when it was fixed. There also isn’t any accountability with closed systems, you can’t audit them to ensure that what the system’s gatekeeper claims about their security, you just have to take their word for it.

WordPress Doesn’t Integrate: FALSE

This is perhaps the silliest myth surround WordPress. There is somewhere in the ballpark of 44,000 plugins and integrations available and that grows daily. And since WordPress covers so much of the web, it is typically the first integration available to new technology.

To that point, when Google recently launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative (AMP), it launched with a WP plugin immediately available. You literally don’t have to have any SEO or coding experience to upgrade your website pages to AMP; you just download and activate the plugin, and the “magic” of WordPress does the rest. WordPress helps seamlessly integrate the world’s best technology into everyday businesses.

You may be familiar with SEO by Yoast, one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. Though it doesn’t replace the need to ever think about SEO again, it does make configuring most of the technical elements of SEO on a site very easy and intuitive. If people can’t find you, you don’t exist.Just yet another example of WordPress plugin helping you spend more time focusing on your core business.

WordPress Is Free Like Puppies Are Free

Common myths dispelled, we can point out one of the best things going for WordPress: it’s free! That’s true, but WordPress is free like puppies are free. You may adopt a puppy for free, but it still takes and investment of time, energy, and puppy love.

Who will build your site, and keep WordPress updated? Who will help help you orchestrate your epic digital ideas? Who will help you build the email campaigns that get triggered on your site? Who is going to host your site, and make sure it’s regularly backed up and loads before a second goes by and customers bounce, like we do at WP Engine?

WordPress is free software, but at the end of the day it’s just a zip file of PHP files. It’s the fact that it’s open and free that has created an amazing ecosystem of services, tools, and professionals who can help you build your marketing engine on top of WordPress for a cost that won’t break the bank. So rather than spending your marketing dollars on closed platform licensing fees, and certified professional consultants, and long development timelines, use WordPress to bring your marketing ideas to life.

Integrate, Automate, Elevate!

Why reinvent the wheel, when there’s so much off-the-shelf tech ready to be integrated, and so much talent ready to help all over the US (and world)?

Think through where you are struggling and then develop systems within your website that integrate, automate, and elevate your business!