Small business marketing presents many unique challenges, not the least of which is creating an effective inbound marketing program. Marketing budget, time and expertise can all prevent small business from taking the first steps to generate leads online. However, if there’s one thing every small business can do, it’s blog. Tools for small business blogging like WordPress are simple to install and use, and while it won’t substitute for a full-blown inbound marketing program, the new WordPress JetPack plugin offers a cost-effective way for small business to implement inbound marketing tactics and begin generating leads. With more than 1.5 million JetPack downloads and counting, your small business will be in good company using the JetPack plugin for WordPress to begin generating leads online without breaking the bank.
Inbound Marketing WordPress Style
JetPack is the new, free WordPress plugin that comes standard with every new install or update (you’ve been waiting for a reason to update… now you have it!). The Jetpack plugin works with your self-hosted WordPress site to give you access to the powerful marketing tools found in WordPress.com. After installing JetPack, your small business WordPress site will be transformed into an inbound marketing platform with tools like:
- Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server—this was previously provided by WordPress.com Stats and is a pretty awesome free analytical tool to help you start understanding site behavior, gauge the reception of your content, and help you provide better content to your consumers
- Email subscriptions for your blog’s posts and your post’s comments—this can easily be added to your sidebar as a widget so people can sign-up anywhere on your site and receive notices anytime
- Social networking enabled comment system
- Simple, Akismet-backed contact forms – once you activate your Akismet plugin, your website will benefit from its built-in spam filtering
- A widget for displaying recent tweets—previously provided by Wickett Twitter Widget
- Image Widget for Calls To Action that can be sized and set up to link to your landing pages
All of these add-ons are included in the free WordPress JetPack plugin and empower your small business inbound marketing with insights into your prospects and leads that visit your site and by allowing you to integrate web and social media activities. So it’s a great start! But even with the JetPack plugin installed, you’re still missing a very important component of an effective inbound-marketing-enabled website: custom forms for your landing pages.
A WordPress Plugin For Custom Forms
One of the things that inbound marketing software platforms like Hubspot offer that are missing on an out-of-the-box WordPress website is custom forms. Without robust forms, your inbound marketing can’t generate leads. But fear not, there’s a plugin for that. The WordPress custom forms plugin that offers a good balance of easy-to-use and powerful, Hubspot-like options, is called “Custom Contact Forms.” Install this plugin and you’ll be creating simple forms in minutes. And as you get more proficient, you can add complex forms with custom styles, drop down selections, checkboxes, and completion redirects to ‘Thank You’ pages. This plugin enables your WordPress site to follow inbound marketing best practices like the exchange of your quality small business content for information about your small business prospect. The Custom Contact Form plugin stores all your form entries, allowing you to export prospect data as an Excel-compatible CSV file to be used in conjunction with your other inbound marketing campaign tools like e-mail tools, lead nurturing tools etc.
Generate Some Small Business Leads
The JetPack and Custom Contact Forms plugins will transform your WordPress small business website from an online brochure to a basic inbound marketing platform. You’ll be able to collect data about your prospect’s response to your content and social media activity and your new forms will enable you to begin tracking and converting leads in your small business sales process. And that’s what inbound marketing is all about!