- Posted by Sam Brennand
- On March 18, 2014
- 4 Comments
If you’re an entrepreneur with limited resources, skills, or expertise when it comes to sales and marketing, WordPress should be your best friend.
And not just because it’s a cost-effective way to build and manage your website. So why should you care about WordPress?
Inbound lead generation is one of the best ways for startups to grow quickly and without breaking the bank.
As I’ve written about previously, the cornerstones of any inbound lead generation strategy are tightly integrated networks of content, SEO, and social media. A great website that seamlessly integrates these elements is no longer an option.
Thankfully, WordPress’ ease of use, flexibility, and strength of community have quickly made the platform one of the best inbound lead generation tools around. WordPress lead generation is low-cost, effective and accessible to any startup or small business entrepreneur.
Here’s 4 reasons you should embrace WordPress to help your business find more leads.
1. WordPress Themes
The biggest consideration in the inbound lead generation process should be your content. But once you’ve created the right types of content for your audience, it needs a great home to play its part in the lead generation process.
In the past, designing and building a great website was an incredibly expensive proposition, particularly if you wanted one that worked hard to generate leads. Thankfully for startups and small businesses everywhere, WordPress themes have made it possible for everyone to build a great home for their content.
If you studied computer science in high school, building out your website from a WordPress theme will be a cakewalk.
Heck, if you have a passing interest in basic HTML or CSS, I promise you’ll be able to figure it out.
The beauty of using WordPress themes are their simplicity, functionality, and affordability (you can get world-class templates for just $50). Built by professional web designers, these templates remove a huge amount of work from the development process. Most web hosts now even feature “one-click WordPress installation” which makes the process even simpler.
Themes make it dead simple to add all of the elements you need to generate leads.
To make things easy, when picking a theme with lead generation in mind, make sure the theme:
- Is 100% responsive (meaning it will look great whether you view it on a desktop, mobile phone or tablet)
- Uses shortcodes (makes building out your pages simple and straightforward)
- Has unlimited colours & fonts (to help your make sure your brand is represented)
- Is SEO optimized (very important for your inbound lead generation efforts)
- Comes with support (most theme developers are very willing to help with minor customizations)
- Is ‘Retina Ready’ (if your target audience will be viewing your website on Apple products)
ThemeForest, iThemes, WooThemes, StudioPress, Obox, and ThemeJam are all great places to find a template that meets your functional needs, promotes your brand, and positions you well for points 2, 3 and 4.
2. Social Media Integration
Take a look at a few of the top themes on the aforementioned theme-market websites.
I’d bet you can’t find a single one that doesn’t highlight social media integration as a key selling point.
Obviously, theme developers know how the market has shifted. They understand what their customers not only want, but need. Today, it’s essential that every great website makes it easy to share to social media with just a few clicks.
In addition to social media-enabled themes, WordPress plugins (more on this later) also make it easy to integrate social media into your site.
For example, as you can see from the above photo, the easy-to-install AddThis plugin for WordPress not only allows our visitors to share content they find useful in a single click, but also allows us to gauge how well our content performs over time.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that social media can never exist in a silo. It has to be closely integrated with your overall marketing and sales strategies to be effective. Using WordPress to integrate social media into your website is a great place to start breaking down the barriers between your content and your audience.
If you’re looking for more on WordPress and social media, here’s a great read on social media sharing plugins.
3. Newsletter Integration
While it’s true that over the last few years the meteoric rise of social media has taken some of the shine off of email marketing, a well-developed email marketing strategy is still a vital cog in any inbound lead generation effort.
As this blog post from KISSmetrics pointed out, email still has 3x as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined. Email is far from dead.
It’s the vehicle by which you can deliver content, build, and nurture customer relationships over extended periods of time.
And whether you’re a fan of Constant Contact, MailChimp, or another email provider, chances are there’s a widget or plugin for WordPress (if you’re unfamiliar with widgets, here’s a great primer).
For example, at VA Partners, our newsletter is powered by Constant Contact and visitors to our site who elect to sign up for our newsletter are immediately added into our mailing list on Constant Contact. It’s simple, quick, and you don’t have to worry about manually doing it yourself when you find a few free minutes between running your business and sleeping.
As a best practice, use your newsletter or mailing list sign-up forms as a primary call to action throughout your blog posts and in your sidebars.
4. Other Inbound Lead Generation Plugins
I debated trying to define what a “plugin” was on my own, but I think WordPress sums it up pretty well. In WordPress’s own words, a plugin:
“Can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine.”
Powerful stuff. And not really that far off from reality.
As you can see from the image above, there are over 29,000 plugins listed in the plugin directory that have, astonishingly, been downloaded over 617,000,000 times.
When it comes to inbound lead generation, this is where you can find a huge amount of value-add.
Here’s a few of my favourite plugins that we use here at VA Partners that help to solidify WordPress as a great inbound lead generation platform:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
- Ad Injection
- Gravity Forms (integrates with Constant Contact or Salesforce too!)
- Twitter Widget Pro