We’re drowning in content, but that doesn’t mean you should stop making it. But what you create definitely needs to stand out, which means making something that’s both different and engaging.
The one thing that I think fits both of those criteria are “apps”.
Apps = Interaction
By app, I don’t mean creating something fancy that you need to publish in an app store. It’s merely a shorthand I use to mean “interactive application”, a small piece of code that encourages visitors to interact with it via taps, clicks, swipes and other actions.
It might be a real mobile app. It can also be a plugin you publish in the WordPress directory, a browser add-on, or even a simple quiz you put up on your site. And since we’re all about WordPress plugins here, that’s the kind of app we will talk about below.
Useful Plugins Lead to Sticky Users
People who use plugins often add it to their site to solve a specific problem. But for you, the plugin maker, the app actually does one additional thing. It helps build your authority.
One adage says that the more often people are exposed to your message, the more likely they are to remember it and take action. Ads were a great way to do that before they became expensive. Content was the next best thing but since it was so easy to make online, you’re competing with a lot of other guys who make better content than you.
While content can easily be discarded after use, plugins have a longer life span. If it’s easy to use and produces results, people will use it time and again. That’s multiple exposures right there without having to make new content each time.
And those users are more likely to recommend your plugin, a nice side effect of using it often. More people using your plugin, the more chances they will use your other plugins and eventually try out your products and services.
Who’s Using Plugins for Marketing?
But I’m not alone in discovering this revelation though. A few other keen minds have thought that publishing a free and useful plugin then adding a few small “ads” is a great way to get customers and clients.
Let me show you some examples:
- WordFence. A very powerful plugin that guards your site but it also has a small ad at the side where you can hire security professionals in case you get into more trouble than the plugin can handle.
- H5P. A brilliant plugin for creating interactive content, or in other words: an app that makes apps. Each piece it makes is branded with their logo so if you get curious how you can build a piece similar to the one you’re seeing, one click lets you install the app for yourself.
- Zotabox. This plugin lets you easily add attention-getters on your site, from popups to countdown timers. Personally, I use it to add Facebook Chat on my pages. It’s easy to configure and try out a few of the free features and once you’re hooked, you can pay for the other options.
- YITH – if you’ve ever dabbled in WooCommerce, you’ve definitely run into at least one of the dozens of plugins made by this company. Their plugins work well but their upsell is a simple nudge to buy their more powerful pro versions.
So I think this method is quite effective if you’re into selling software, and not just WordPress paid themes and plugins. It’s also a way to share your services in a non-salesy and helpful way.
How To Use Plugins for Marketing
If you’ve already made a useful plugin, the next step is to find out how to insert your marketing message inside the app. Here are a few examples:
- Add a can’t-miss link back to your own site in the plugin’s options.
- Insert a link to your sales page on your plugin’s description in the user’s list of plugins. You can even put it right beside the Activate link so they can’t miss it.
- Add a dismissable notice at the top of the page to lead the user to your homepage.
These are just a few of the ideas that other plugin makers have used to market their other products and services. There also other more unsavory ways to promote within your app but I don’t recommend them if you want to really convert the user to a customer.
I’ll probably be creating a brand new post to cover not just how to market your business within your plugin but also how to market the plugin itself.
It might seem like an extra step versus just promoting your business or services directly, but keep in mind that unlike content or ads, plugins stick around a lot longer. And it’s also easier to market something useful and easy to install.
I’ll be adding a link to the new post here once I’ve made it. You can add me on Facebook if you want to get notified when it’s up (I’ll post it on my feed). Or send me your email below.