Why So Many Marketers And Advertisers Are Now Turning To WordPress

We interviewed 11 leading marketing and advertising professionals to find out why they're all using the same content platform

17Apr

There’s nothing more frustrating for a digital marketer or advertiser than a website that doesn’t allow them the flexibility and control to do their job.

Because when it comes to websites, marketing and advertising teams need more than just form and function – they need flexibility. They need sites that meet the needs of their buyer personas, use data and creativity to craft user experiences, and map out customer journeys in ways that help meet wider business objectives.

So where does WordPress fit in? And why it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for the modern marketer?

Not too long ago, managing websites was the responsibility of IT departments and developers. Websites were simply a means for displaying information for users. Now, marketers and advertisers are taking control, thanks in large part to the rise of WordPress. It’s flexible, intuitive and anyone can update it – which means you no longer have to pester developers when you want to implement a new feature or plugin.

WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging platform to the powerhouse that it is today. Just recently, it reached a huge milestone when web technology survey firm W3Techs confirmed it now powers 30% of all websites. It’s also the most popular CMS with 60% market share – Joomla (3.1%), Drupal (2.2%), Magento (1.2%), Shopify (1%), and Squarespace (0.9%) don’t even come close.

Some of the biggest brands in the world, including Microsoft, Facebook, Sony, and Beyoncé, are using WordPress in different parts of their business. So too are marketing and advertising agencies.

You don’t have to build a complicated or custom website to achieve your marketing and advertising goals. All you need is WordPress and the right integrations to build a powerful and flexible website.

Flexible and Limitless

So many marketers and advertisers move over to WordPress because it’s easy to customize it to suit the needs of any business or organization. Whether it’s the ability to easily optimize a site for SEO, publish a blog post, manage content and push it to social, design landing pages, or run campaigns that bring everything together, marketers and advertisers need to be able to move from an initial assumption or idea to deployment as quickly as possible.

With a well-developed site running on WordPress, you can make this happen.

The fact WordPress is so popular has led to a huge developer community, with a near endless list of ways you can extend functionality, whether it’s with existing plugins or building custom solutions that integrate with marketing automation systems and CRMs.

Many marketers and advertisers integrate their site with tools like Hubspot and Salesforce.

Unlike newer platforms such as Squarespace and Wix, there are no limits – anything you can dream up, you can do with WordPress.

Kochava, a mobile attribution and analytics platform, transitioned from Squarespace to WordPress when it wanted a number of modules for measuring lead generation that SquareSpace just didn’t offer.

Kochava switched to WordPress after initially launching with Squarespace. Lead Generation Specialist Troy Olson says the transition to WordPress was relatively easy, but highlighted that businesses looking to migrate their site should put thought into their theme.

“The theme for your site should be responsive to mobile phones, tablets, desktops, and across all devices because the world is going mobile,” Troy says. “The responsive template removes barriers in analytics while making it run to learn about who is using your site and how they use it.”

EZmob CEO Idan Kfir agrees.

EZmob makes it simple for advertisers to set up mobile advertising campaigns, providing a self-service interface so marketers can see reports in real-time. The company originally started out using Wix, but Kfir says with the company now drawing 3 billion daily impressions and traffic from over 160 countries, it outgrew the free website builder because it wasn’t business-friendly.

For EZmob, choosing the right WordPress theme is crucial

He says it’s important to think long-term when choosing a WordPress theme.

“Make sure the theme is scalable and can be adjusted because business changes. It is very important to invest a lot of time to choose the right theme that won’t be out-of-date within a year. The theme should have good support and a good community,” Kfir says.

When deciding what platform to use, Morgan Friberg, Senior Marketing Manager at mobile app optimization marketing and retargeting platform Liftoff, says his company decided to go with WordPress because it “has been around for a long time.”

“So they have a great community of developers, plugins, and stability on their side,” Friberg says. “There are many other options for tools to run websites on. WordPress has been great for our needs.”

Liftoff says WordPress has a great community of developers 

He says if there’s a specific function you need for your site, it’s important to do your research because there’s someone’s probably already built it into a plugin.

Kargo, a company that creates immersive advertising experiences for mobile users, had a hand-coded site before switching to WordPress. This created huge problems for the company because when changes needed to be implemented, it took hours of developer time.

Since moving to WordPress, Kargo has been better able to connect with its audience and push content live more frequently because the marketing team doesn’t have to go through developers. The company is more active on social media as a result, and monthly visitor traffic has increased.

Kargo’s original website was hand-coded. 

Likewise, mobile ad-tech company Persona.ly has been able to leverage the flexible nature of WordPress for its blog and content branding.

Product Marketing Manager Joseph Iris says WordPress has helped the company’s marketers to post in other languages, such as Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, and has provided the best way forward for recruiting partners and publishing content.

He says when it comes to working with WordPress sites, it’s always good to have a developer on hand.

“Even though you can operate WordPress all by yourself, it’s best to have a developer somewhat available to help out with tweaking the blog’s appearance and functionality when required and, ideally, to create a custom theme to complement your brand’s identity,” Iris says.

Persona.ly uses WordPress to publish content in multiple languages

It’s Cost Effective

The fact that WordPress is free and open source makes it an ideal solution for marketers and advertisers looking for a cost-effective website platform. While the core software is free for anyone to download, the only costs required to set up and use the CMS are associated with hosting, domains and, maintenance – costs you would also be expected to pay when using any other CMS.

There are also costs associated with using plugins and themes (many of which are free), web design, as well as development if you want customizations beyond what a plugin or theme can provide. Exactly how much these costs amount to depend on your needs and potential plans for growth.

Ease of Use and Collaboration

With each new release of WordPress, the code design and development teams improve the software’s user experience, making it easier to manage and publish websites.

The initial surge in the popularity of WordPress back when it was first launched in 2003 was largely due to its ease of use. The user interface, ability to customize the dashboard, availability of user roles and access levels made is intuitive and accessible for all members of a marketing or advertising team, from interns to marketing directors.

With WordPress, you can create users with full administrative privileges and the ability to create new sites, manage other users, and perform systems updates. Likewise, you can allocate reduced user roles to certain team members, giving them permission to view content. There are also combinations of capabilities for user roles in between.

Print and digital advertising service Valpak works with 160 franchises across Canada and the United States. According to EVP and Chief Information Officer Chris Cate and Strategic Communications Manager David Williams, they use WordPress in their marketing groups to convey content and advertising information to consumer audiences.

Valpak makes full use of user roles for its employees

The company regularly updates its content on WordPress regularly to keep organic traffic flowing to their sites, but what they enjoy most is that WordPress allows their employees – through user roles – to implement content any time of the day.

Rainy Day Marketing also uses WordPress for collaboration. The mobile advertising platform, which drives targeted visitors to apps while tracking impressions and traffic types, settled on WordPress after considerable research. The most important factor was that it provided functionality for creating and displaying advertisers’ products.

The company recently partnered with Uber, Uber Eats, and Lyft to promote their ride-sharing and food delivery opportunities. To accommodate those campaigns, Rainy Day Marketing created DrivingToEarn.com using WordPress. The marketing team didn’t need coding skills or HTML knowledge to assemble a nice placement for advertisers in a short amount of time.

Rainy Day Marketing uses WordPress to quickly deploy microsites

It’s Secure

WordPress is open source and licensed under the GPL. This means that anyone can modify and enhance the core code, and any contributions are comprehensively peer-reviewed by an international and dedicated community of developers.

Generally, security issues arise from poorly built or maintained third-party plugins and themes, or simply due to basic security failures, such as opening sharing passwords with colleagues. With some solid security measures in place, such as keeping the WordPress core software, themes and plugins up-to-date, as well as forcing users to strengthen their passwords, WordPress is no less secure than other CMSs.

Publishing network Providr uses WordPress to securely post trending entertainment, celebrity news, videos, and other viral content. The company transitioned to WordPress two years ago because of the many plugin options available.

With so many visitors to the Providr website, security is a top concern. The company uses SSL and keeps regular backups.

Providr uses SSL and HTTPS

Troy Olson says security is also a priority for Kochava: “We use an SSL certificate and secure customer areas of the site. Sensitive information is under pass and key and we do regular updates of plugins.”

It’s also crucial to have a staging environment for your website. Liz McConomy, Director of Marketing at local marketing platform SweetIQ, says it’s important to use a staging environment for testing your website so you can find mistakes in QA.

“Also, test things out, find what works for you, and if it stays the same for too long it gets boring. Change things up to keep drawing in new people,” McConomy says.

SweetIQ recommends using a staging environment for testing QA

It’s SEO-Friendly

WordPress is considered the most search engine friendly content management system available, thanks to its structure, sitemaps and RSS feeds. Using the latest SEO-tactics, which are fairly easy to implement with WordPress, along with installing SEO plugins and carrying out some additional tweaks, WordPress can be a powerful SEO asset as part of an inbound marketing or advertising strategy.

Mobile publishing and monetization platform Fyber uses WordPress to power its corporate website and blog. To keep their site fast and secure – both ranking signals that Google looks for – the company ensures minimal page bloat and uses a well-built template.

VP of Marketing Einav Dinur says WordPress helps Fyber better connect with its audience, allowing her team to quickly adapt content and makes changes live site in seconds. She says WordPress also helps the company respond to trends in the market and get the latest insights on their audience.

Dinur says using SEO techniques is important, but so is focusing on producing relevant, quality content.

“While there are plenty of bells and whistles you can add on to your blog or site, from pop-ups to chatbots, it’s content that brings value – that’ll keep your audience coming back,” she says.

“Use SEO, SEM, and retargeting to make sure you get discovered and make sure to offer a newsletter subscription so users can opt-in for future updates.”

Fyber publishes relevant, quality content and publishes it with WordPress

It’s Scalable

With a solid hosting stack (such as what Pagely already provides a number of higher education institutions), a sound database configuration and a sensible use of plugins and customizations, there’s no limit to how you can use WordPress.

In the early days of WordPress, the platform wasn’t suited to large numbers of users. But as it has evolved, it now powers some extremely high-traffic sites. It’s also being used in inventive and innovative ways to serve marketers and advertisers around the world.

AdEspresso helps medium and small businesses optimize their Facebook ads and started out using WordPress before moving to managed WordPress hosting. To keep their site moving fast, the AdEspresso team uses caching and unifying CSS, Java, and other free tools. They also use Google Sites to check if any improvements can be made to their site, and always optimize images.

The company specializes in Facebook advertising, and encourage fellow advertisers to book ad content that is shown to the right people. They also recommend investing in backing up a lot of Facebook advertising and developing a solution for managing picture cafe because it creates customizable targets to people about things they are interested in.

For AdEspresso, performance is a priority

Conclusion

You don’t need a complicated or custom built website to achieve your marketing and advertising objectives – WordPress has everything you need. And if it doesn’t, there’s a plugin out there that can add the functionality you need, or a developer who can build it for you.

WordPress takes the complexity out of websites. Publishing online is no longer in the realm of web developers. Now, anyone can do it. WordPress gives marketers and advertisers the platform they need to build powerful and flexible websites that integrate with all the tools they need.

As the platform continues to evolve and increase its 60% CMS marketplace share, its use in the marketing and advertising world will continue to rise. I have no doubt even more WordPress websites will be at the heart of marketing and advertising strategies in the years to come.

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