WordPress developers who create themes and plugins for sale usually want to increase sales and profits — that’s a given. But what’s the best way to go about reaching that goal? It can be hard to get your brand and your product out there enough for people to buy it. Though it can seem daunting to begin to market yourself, we have some ways to make it easier.
This article will first show you how to create a simple, effective promotion plan for your WordPress products, and then offer nine different tools to implement that plan.
Create a Promotion Plan
Even if you’re restricted to a tight budget, or don’t want to spend a lot of time or money on your product promotion, you still want to take the time to at least outline and document a promotion plan for your product.
This doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You just need three fairly straightforward steps.
Step One: Identify Your Channels
Decide where you’re going to promote your product. You’ve got several options here, starting with social media. Don’t simply pick a site or three. Be specific, and choose the sites where your target market will already naturally be found, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, or something else entirely.
Consider YouTube, which can be quite effective for promoting WordPress plugins and themes. You could create a simple screencast showing how to install and setup your product, for example, and turn that into a YouTube video.
Also, think about implementing some kind of outreach component. Other bloggers, review sites, and power WordPress users can be great resources to help you expand your audience reach if done appropriately.
“Appropriately” is key. It’s perfectly acceptable to pitch a guest post to a WordPress blog that accepts guest posts from developers, but be prepared to follow their guidelines and don’t expect a bunch of links that are wholly self-serving.
Podcasts are another natural fit for WordPress developers and offer a number of opportunities, including paid sponsorship, guest interviews, and reviews or mentions. One to look at is Plugins A-Z, a podcast all about WordPress plugins from hosts Marcus Couch and John Overall.
Finally, decide whether it’s worthwhile to invest in paid channels such as Google ads or social media ads.
Step Two: Identify Specific Tasks
Now that you know the outlines of your promotion plan, it’s time to drill down into specifics.
If you know you’ll be incorporating social media into your promotion plan, decide on the details for each channel you’ll be including. How many tweets, posts, pins, etc.? How many times a day or week will you be posting?
If you’re including an affiliate marketing component, think about how you can make it easier for the affiliates. The more work you do, the more affiliates you’ll enlist and the more heavily they’ll promote your product. If you’ll need to outsource specific tasks, note that here as well.
Step Three: Pinpoint the Timing
Certain items in a promotional campaign must come before others. You need photographs before you can pin images, and a sales page before you can use social media to direct people there.
Some tasks will require more lead time for production, others for review or implementation. Still, others can be accomplished much more quickly or off the cuff. Write out your target deadlines for each task.
Promotion Tactics & Tools for WordPress Products
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to find the tools to help you implement it. We’ve compiled the nine best promotion tools for WordPress.
Post Promoter gives you easier tools to promote your assets on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use it to add and share a number of different kinds of social content, including Twitter cards, featured images, Facebook page posts, and more. It also offers scheduling tools for each channel.
Post Promoter costs $49 for one site or $99 for up to five sites.
Another option for social media promotion is Hootsuite. It works with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Instagram and offers bulk message scheduling to save loads of time.
You can use it for free for three accounts, or get pro access for $8.99/month and connect up to fifty accounts.
Tailwind is yet another social media management tool, but it’s just for visual-based promotions on Instagram and Pinterest. It offers analytics as well as scheduling, so you can see which images people are pinning most often from your site.
Pricing is based on a monthly fee but for most developers, the “bloggers/small business” level of access at about $10 is probably sufficient.
A/B or split testing is really the only way to know for sure what’s working when it comes to marketing and promoting your business online.
Nelio offers straightforward coding-free implementation, letting you take care of test management straight from your WordPress dashboard.
Nelio is available for a monthly fee or you can pay annually for a slight discount, based on three levels of access from $29 a month for basic up to $259 per month for enterprise-level solutions.
Simple Page Tester is true to its name – quite simple – and offers straightforward testing of WordPress pages and elements. It will even tell you when it has enough data to “declare a winner” between your two variables.
While the plugin is free, you’ll need to purchase a license for a one-time fee of $59 (for your own sites) if you want to gain access to running tests on custom post types and other premium features.
If neither of those quite fit the bill, we’ve provided other options in our comprehensive guide to WordPress split-testing tools.
SumoMe is a suite of tools that can help you sell more products, from lead capture to conversion rate optimization and beyond.
It’s available for free but for premium access with pricing from $29 to $119 per month, billed annually, you also get A/B testing, VIP support, and more.
Landing pages are a digital marketer’s best friend, and Thrive Landing Pages employs a drag & drop editor that lets you customize just about any aspect of your landing page.
You can work from scratch or choose one of over 160 templates.
A single site license is $67 with one full year of support.
WebinarJam is a highly popular service that also offers robust webinar training, email message templates and copy-and-paste blueprints.
The cost isn’t cheap at $397 per year, but for unlimited webinars for audiences up to 5,000, it’s not a bad deal, compared to other vendors whose monthly fees range from $50 to $200 for up to 100 attendees.
AdEspresso helps you test, refine, and optimize your Facebook ads. Its Facebook Ads Compass tool gives your ads account a report card so you can see how you’re doing on various levels, letting you perfect your ads more easily.
Pricing ranges from $49 to $499 per month with Facebook ad budget limits at each level – for instance, the $49 level covers up to a $3,000 monthly ad spend.
The most important part of promoting yourself is creating a workable plan. Then you can use the tools listed above to put the plan into action. Though it can seem difficult to get started, it’s a necessary step to get your brand and product in front of potential buyers.
How have you been promoting your WordPress themes and plugins? Share your best tips in the comments below.