When it comes to an online marketing strategy, business owners look for tools to help them execute their strategy. Often, the tools are expensive, especially an all-in-one application such as Hubspot.
Hubspot is a great set of tools for those that have the budget, but what about smaller businesses and solopreneurs?
There are many options available to those are our customers without breaking the bank, and those options are directly tied to what we know best, WordPress.
Online Marketing Strategy
To execute an online marketing strategy, you need to, at least, have two things.
First, you need a strategy. using a framework can help you develop a strategy. Obviously, the strategy will vary from business to business based on needs, etc.
The second thing you need to have are the tools to execute the strategy.
It is important to note that marketing automation is a big part of your online marketing strategy. Marketing automation refers to the automation of tasks involved with online marketing and often handled by a more comprehensive, all-in-one, type of solution such as Hubspot or Marketo.
Those tools have their place as long as there is a budget.
But what about the small business? They can execute online marketing with a strategy and the tools to help.
Online Marketing Frameworks
Let’s take a look at three frameworks for an online marketing strategy
The first was put together by Shama Hyder from the Zen Marketing Group in Dallas. She first mentioned it in her book The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue.
Shama uses three words to identify her framework: Attract, Convert, and Transform. The three words make the acronym ACT, and she calls her framework the ACT Methodology.
Attract is what the business does to attract traffic to their website. Some of those things include social media and engagement with customers and potential customers in various online forums.
Convert is the technique of converting the traffic into both leads and customers. This is accomplished via various methods such as lead magnets, landing pages, and well-placed contact forms. In addition, businesses will use email marketing to help nurture those leads.
Transform is where the business transforms their leads and customers into fans who then help drive referrals back to the business.
Hubspot coined the phrase Inbound Marketing. Inbound marketing is a terrific term to describe online marketing as businesses work to create traffic into their website, hence, inbound.
Hubspot’s framework is very similar to Shama’s.
The Hubspot Inbound Marketing framework includes Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.
Attract, in the Hubspot framework, also refers to the process of attracting visitors to the business website using blogs, keywords, and social publishing.
Convert is the term that Hubspot uses to describe the second part of the process. The framework uses calls-to-action, landing pages and forms to convert visitors into prospects.
Close is a term that defines an additional step in Hubspot’s framework. Utilizing email, workflows, and a CRM, businesses “close the sale” turning those leads into customers.
Delight is the final part of the framework process. Using social monitoring, surveys, and smart content, the customers become promoters.
The process of the individual moving through the framework, or the funnel, includes stranger, visitor, lead, customer, and promoter.
As you can see, the framework leads the individual through the process giving direction to the strategy.
One last framework is proposed by Smart Insights. Smart Insights is a UK based digital marketing training website. They do a terrific job and have loads of good information.
The Smart Insights framework is Plan – RACE: Reach, ACT, Convert, Engage.
Smart Insights covers their framework in depth on their website:
The terms are different, but the idea and the actions are closely aligned with both Shama and Hubspot’s framework.
They created a terrific Infographic identifying and describing their framework.
Adopting a framework will help you set goals. I like the ACT Methodology because I think it is easier to remember and contains everything the other two contains.
All strategies should have measurables built in. Consider adding that to your strategy and the ability to adjust.
The second thing that an online strategy should include is tools.
Viktor Nagornyy has been training WordPress business owners in the art of online marketing for several years now. He has helped several business owners successful switch to WordPress from using Hubspot.
He found that these business owners did not need the entire Hubspot tool.
One of the things that Viktor does so well is to explain what tools you need to run online marketing.
- Here are some of the tools Viktor says is needed:
- Landing Pages and Lead Capture Forms
- Lead Nurturing/Autoresponders
- Email Marketing/Email Blasts
- Social Media Updates/Monitoring
- SEO Tools and Optimization
Each one of these different tools is available to use with WordPress either as an integration with a third party tool or a WordPress addon.
One thing to understand about tools is that they do not generate leads. They can, however, help you generate leads. This doesn’t just apply to online marketing, but it applies to anything.
Of course, in order to generate leads, you need to have traffic. Traffic takes time unless you have the money to invest in some highly targeted online ads and a few TV commercials.
We are going to take a look at some WordPress tools which can be used to help generate leads from the traffic you have.
The SumoMe app is a suite of plugins you can install to your website that helps capture emails easily.
SumoMe has several different apps including List Builder, Welcome Mat, and the Scroll Box.
In addition, SumoMe has other apps including Heat Maps, Smart Bar, Highlighter, Contact Form, and Image Sharer.
It is a suite for executing an online marketing strategy and traffic generation.
On their website, they note:
We’ve spent over 4 years building these tools internally to grow our AppSumo Newsletter. They helped us grow to over a million subscribers.
We’ve noticed many struggle to collect emails at all because the tools just aren’t available or are far too expensive. So we thought why not make them available so you can do the same?
That’s our goal, plain and simple, to help you grow your website traffic.
SumoMe also comes with a generous library of growth hacking articles for websites, on their blog, to help you build traffic and turn them into customers.
Gravity Forms is a premium WordPress plugin that has some terrific benefits. With Gravity Forms, you can integrate a contact form right into your landing page, make complex contact forms, create surveys and much more.
Yoast SEO Plugin
The Yoast SEO Plugin helps website owners optimize their on-site SEO.
The plugin has been one of the most popular plugins created by Joost De Valk’s team. The plugin helps with techniques such as optimizing focus keywords, meta descriptions and social media integration with Open Graphs. The basic level of the plugins is free, but Yoast offers a premium version.
All in One SEO Pack Plugin
The All in One SEO Pack plugin, like Yoast, helps websites optimize their on-site SEO. Like Yoast, this plugin allows you to optimize your on-site SEO configuration and gives you access to customizing Social Meta.
The AIOSEO plugin was developed in 2007 and has almost 30 million downloads.
Leadin is a terrific plugin for helping track, identify and store information about your website visitors. Once your visitor has filled out information, either for your email newsletter, or your contact form, you will have information about the visitor and a database of users who have interacted with your website.
The CoSchedule app revolves around a calendar which allows you to schedule blog posts as well as social media posts.
The application helps you with our social media management, your marketing, and editorial calendar, and marketing workflow management. In addition, it integrates with several popular tools such as Google Docs, Evernote, and Google Chrome.
CoSchedule is developed by Todaymade who started by looking to create a better project to help manage an editorial calendar. The result is CoSchedule.
Wrapping it up
There are many tools you can use to help execute your online marketing strategy. The tools mentioned in this post are WordPress specific. There are other WordPress specific tools that can help you execute your strategy as well.
What kind of tools do you use for yourself or for your clients?