If you are a small business without a large budget for marketing, it can be difficult to implement an inbound marketing strategy. Say you’re new to the idea of "inbound" marketing and you have little analytical data - you’re not a big fish in the pond but you want to make some waves. While it won't substitute for a full-blown marketing strategy, WordPress has a cost-effective solution for your needs through JetPack.
The New Inbound Marketing Kid on the Street
JetPack is the new, free tool that comes standard with every new WordPress install (Hint hint: It may be time to update). Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com. It offers several tools that are made to integrate with WordPress functionality seamlessly that are vital to getting started. Here are a few of note:
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
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 free and are key to getting you better information on your traffic and organizing/integrating your social media and website together. But even with the power of JetPack, we are still missing a key ingredient: custom forms for your landing pages.
How to Get Custom Forms
The plugin that I have found to be the easiest to use, yet still very flexible and robust, is called “Custom Contact Forms.” You can create simple forms all the way to complex forms with checkboxes, dropdowns and custom styles that redirect to your “Thank You” pages. This plugin is critical to simple Inbound Marketing for your WordPress site because it supports the Inbound life principle of offering good, free content in exchange for some information from the user. Custom Contact Forms stores all your form entries and allows you to export them in a CSV format to be used in conjunction with your other campaign tools (i.e. E-mail marketing software, databases, etc).
Go Ahead, Get Started
These tools should help you form a beginner’s basis in WordPress to start collecting data with your new content and integrating basic social media and subscription functions, which are some of the vital tenants of successful Inbound Marketing.
Also, be sure to activate your Plugin called Askimet, which will filter and guard your site from spam. Find more tips on how to easily safeguard your WordPress site from hackers, here.
Jesse is a Web Developer at Kuno Creative who regularly contributes his technical expertise to Kuno's blog. He carries a Master of Science in Mass Communcations and has over 3 years of experience in web development and design.