How WordPress developers can market their products
You’ve been busy building a new WordPress product. Maybe you took a stab at creating your very own theme or you developed a pretty rad plugin to add additional functionality to a site. But now that you’re done building it, what comes next?
Assuming you want other people to know about your product, it’s time to market it.
In an article about whether developers are doing enough to market their products, Kevin Muldoon, a blogger who focuses on WordPress and Internet marketing, came to the consensus that, no, developers are not doing enough to market their products. But marketing your product can have some huge benefits, besides the obvious hope that more people will buy it. For example, marketing your product can:
- Make you look like an expert in the field.
- Make your product look more credible.
- Give you a larger audience for the next product you release.
And the thing is, marketing your products doesn’t have to take a lot of work. Sure, if you really start to enjoy it or really want to make a profit, you can get into some pretty advanced marketing techniques. But for the average developer, some basic (and super quick) additions to your workflow could make a big difference for your product.
Let’s dive into some easy ways to market your product.
Update your social profiles
Do you have a Facebook or Twitter? LinkedIn or Instagram? If yes, let your network know what you just created! Those people already follow you, so they’re highly likely to care about your product. As you’re finishing up development, you can share sneak peaks to build some hype, or you can share demo links once you’re finished to get real users testing your product. Not only will your followers enjoy it, but you’ll have the opportunity to get some early feedback on your product.
Not sure what to say? Try some tweets like these:
- Only 1 more week until PRODUCT goes live! Want to be one of the first to know? Sign up here: LINK
- Looking for a new product that does FUNCTION? I’ve got the solution. Check it out: LINK
- I just released a new PRODUCT! Try a free demo and let me know what you think: LINK
Write a blog post
If you enjoy writing, consider drafting up a blog post about your product. You could explain what it does, why you wanted to create it, and even go into the process a bit. This is something that’s easy to link to, so it’s easy to share with friends, family, and influencers. Plus, anyone interested in the theme or plugin will greatly benefit from such a detailed write-up of what it is and what it does. And if it’s high quality enough, you’ll get some major SEO brownie points to help more people find your product!
Post on Dribbble and Behance
Much like social media, Dribbble and Behance are great for sharing your theme or plugin with your network. The benefit here is that your network on these sites consists solely of other designers, who I’m guessing are most likely your target audience. This is a great opportunity to gather feedback and discover what works well and what doesn’t. And if your product is a hit, you might just turn some of your followers into customers!
Create a video tutorial
The more resources you can provide about what your product is and how to use it, the more people will enjoy it and be willing to share it to their own network. A video tutorial is a great way to do this, as it shows functionality and acts as a great resource for people to come back to when they’re using your product.
Know your features
Whether it’s for your product page, an email, or even something as small as a tweet, you’ll want to have some standard copy that you use when talking about your product. Think: what would the description of your product be? Make sure to include things like:
- A short 1–3 sentence summary
- Basic functionality
- Customizable features
- The cost
- Whether any upgrades are available
- The level of support you’ll offer
- Any unique features
“Clearly define your product’s unique value proposition. Focus on innovation and not the competition. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Create something unique for a niche market. All of these things make reaching your target market much easier.” — Graph Paper Press
Provide killer support
Hopefully you were planning on doing this anyway, but providing great resources to help customers troubleshoot issues can actually help your marketing efforts. Create an FAQ page, provide outstanding documentation, and consider offering some level of support for your product.
The better your product is, the more likely your customers will be to promote it for you. And word of mouth marketing is one of the best strategies you can have.
“A successful marketing technique that we’ve done is word of mouth marketing. We’ve usually done this by providing great support for our users, and always going above and beyond to make sure they’re happy. Being active and providing constant support for users is something that we constantly try to improve.” — Themify
If you strive for quality, a piece of the marketing puzzle will fall right into place.
Now that you’ve got the basics of a marketing plan in place, you’re ready to start making some sales. But first, there’s one more important thing you need to decide: where are you going to sell your product?
When it comes time to sell your product, you’ll have to make a big decision: to sell on a marketplace, or sell on your own? Just like everything, selling on a marketplace has pros and cons, and you’ll have to decide what’s right for your business plan and your product.
One of the major pros of marketplaces is that you don’t have to worry about selling your product on your own. Instead of having to establish your own eCommerce site, you just add your product to a marketplace and call it a day. They’ll handle the transactions, you just collect the checks.
Plus, selling on a marketplace can definitely help your product get noticed. With product categories and search functionality, many people believe it’s easier for your product to be found on a marketplace than it is in thousands of Google search results.
Those perks come at a price, however, and I mean literally. In exchange for doing a lot of the work, most marketplaces will charge you per sale (and it isn’t cheap). Some even charge you differently depending on whether or not your product is exclusive to that marketplace, or if you’re selling it on other sites. Obviously, this can really affect your overall profit.
“The WordPress marketplace is extremely competitive, with many established brands that are still very much active and competitive launching new products. Creating a solid brand reputation is vital to any new developers success.” — Themify
There is no right or wrong answer. It just depends on how you’d like to run your business, and if you’re willing to share some of the profit. If you’re willing to go that route, these are a few we’d recommend:
These basic marketing techniques are quick, simple, and are really only small adjustments to your workflow. Doing these things are easy ways to get your product noticed and help you find your first handful of clients.
If you’d like to continue on the marketing train, however, there are some “advanced” techniques that can really help skyrocket your theme or plugin. (I say advanced, but I promise, they’re easy too! They just take a little more time than the basics from above.) For more marketing strategies for your WordPress product, head to the original article on The Layout.
Have you marketed a WordPress product before? What worked (or didn’t work) for you?