Episode 10: Why Wordpress
Speaker 1:0:00Welcome to make the logo bigger. We're a strategy for his company, right? So as everyone should be, I mean you've got to start with your objective and then Kinda work your way backwards from there. The podcast that takes you behind the scenes of a marketing agency, conscience getting so much more expensive. We just got to figure out more economical ways to provide that service to clients from two guys that get paid to do this stuff on a daily basis. People love behind the scenes type stuff. They want to see how you work. You know, they want to know more about your process, so be open and honest. Here's your host though, Rice. Usually the best ideas don't actually sit within where you are. They're usually come from somewhere else, and Mike, Carol, you need to design first and then create content to the design. And now the obligatory legal disclosure. Bill Rice and Mike Carol worked for Kalydeco. Hey, marketing and design agency. All opinions expressed by bill and Mike are definitely the opinions of Kalydeco opinions expressed by guests of this podcast. Well, they could be right or wrong. Who knows? This podcast is for informational purposes and has a reasonable probability of making your marketing better. And now this week's episode
Speaker 2:1:07make the logo bigger. This is bill rice and I've got with me Michael. Carol. How you doing? My good buddy. How are you? Doing well. Doing well. So we're going to talk a little bit about wordpress today and it seems like, you know, wordpress is one of those things where even people love it or they're fearful of it. So, um, so we're gonna Kinda go through that and we, I've done a lot of wordpress development work and it seems like it's kind of in a prominent position and they have sweat 68 percent of the web now or something like that.
Speaker 3:1:38At the minimum. It's huge. I haven't never looked up the stats in a long time, but like it's an, it's an absurd marketplace share.
Speaker 2:1:48And it's funny as we talked to new clients about, you know, redesigning websites or designing a website for the first time, but mostly redesigning. We're actually seeing a fair amount of business from people that are actually trying to come off of something else because we're wordpress is just starting to realize I guess it's a lot easier and it is of course a robust enterprise type platform. Now as far as content management systems, is that Kinda what I'm going to be thoughts on that are, you know,
Speaker 3:2:19you know, the weird like I guess I'd call it the we're sort of unfounded fear about wordpress is that it's somehow like unsecure or not as serious content management system, which I find very funny because most clients when they come to us, like if they're looking for a more sophisticated crms like a, like a drupal or you know, or, or even a custom made cms that handles like vast, vast amounts of content approval processes. Right? Like, oh, it's got to go to this editor. Then it has to go to this person and you know, and so on and so forth. None of them are like are leveraging any type of marketing process or marketing strategy that would even necessitate that. Or you have an organization large enough that would necessitate that, so they all fall back on this weird like, well, we're presses on secure and it's going to get hacked, but the only reason why it gets hacked, right is because everybody uses it.
Speaker 3:3:12I mean, that's the, that's the problem. That's why the numbers are up. So like, it does not surprise me that people are finally coming around on these other platforms. These clunky sort of require in house development resources to do or test anything. Um, and coming to wordpress, which is a truly beautiful, easy to use, open source content management system, um, that with an awesome secondary marketplace that allows you, the digital marketer to like try new pop up plugins or whatever you want to do. Now we can talk about like, why not to use the thousand plugins on your website it a little bit, but um, but it allows people to do their job. And, and I think the, I think the marketplace is like starting to come around to that. And the frustration level is reached a pinnacle for a lot of content creators and marketers out there that they're finally like, you know, are willing to look past what is a, by the way, a bizarre, you know, fear of wordpress and start to leverage it the way that it should be. So I'm glad to see that for those people.
Speaker 2:4:07I think a lot of people had their websites going, one or two things always happened and I think this brings them around to competing more practical with the content management system and wordpress specifically is, is before you deliver a website and neither one or two things would happen. One, you'd have to have a huge maintenance contract because in order to do anything, you don't have to retain a literally a development shop in order to kind of keep it alive or make any adjustments that you want to. Or a second you just let it, you know, just age, like something horribly quickly. Uh, and it just sits out there. And then you just sort of abandoned it and trying to forget about it because it's so hideous to look at it to begin with. So I think that that's kind of the flavor that they were getting, where people are like, Hey, I need to get in there and I need to make adjustments and um, and he would need to or want to because they realized like, that means the web moves at the speed of content these days. If you can't get published to your website, especially the way got a google has gotten with, you know, wanting relevant results all the time and update things. If you're not publishing your, you're invisible.
Speaker 3:5:14Oh, your traffic's going to drop off immediately. I was talking to um, a sort of a new friend of mine, Bill actually haven't even talked to you about yet, is named Shane. He works for a different agency, you know, here in the Michigan area or whatever. And he sent me a chart over slack that was like, look what happened to this traffic when they stopped publishing on this blog that killed our content program for one of his clients. And the drop was way more precipitous than I ever would've thought it would've been. So like obviously the idea with content, you know, so everybody listening knows is that evergreen are good, solid seo content is kind of the gift that keeps on giving. I mean you'll find that your largest traffic generating pieces of content or sometimes your oldest pieces of content that they're still relevant but answer a key question or you know, a key search key search keyword or whatever it's going to be. Um, and you could live off of that for a little while, but to your point, he's seeing, and I've seen it too, more and more of that. If you don't keep your website relevant, it doesn't even matter what you did in the past anymore. Like Google will just simply see you as a nonactive non publishing, sort of non changing entity on the web. And they want things to be current. And I think that hit it's gonna get larger and larger and larger is that algorithm gets smarter and smarter.
Speaker 2:6:26Yeah, no, totally agree. I guess another kind of important approach or we should talk about is really some of the misnomers and some of the, uh, I guess sort of false expectations or constraints that people think that are inside of wordpress. And so I think probably the top one is design constraints and just not being able to sort of get the design you want into wordpress. Um, I think that, uh, you know, that's one of those that's way overstated. I think it comes from a place where, you know, before you had to have kind of, there was a very limited number of theme options and then maybe then it moved through. I've seen over the years and move through kind of a life cycle where then there were lots of theme options, but you still sort of needed to get a done theme because we're pressed, was still relatively technical and difficult to sort of design within to kind of now that I think there's just no real design constraints.
Speaker 3:7:31No, I mean there's, that's what I was gonna say is there, there's no limitation whatsoever. And that from a design perspective, there's barely any limitation from like a, a, you know, a content management system, customization perspective. I mean, you can, you know, at Kalydeco we've pushed the bounds of what wordpress can do. Um, and it's pretty much anything that 95 percent of businesses would need it to do. There are very few instances that we've ran into. They were like, oh, well, okay, you know, maybe wordpress isn't for you. I mean, that's very rare. Usually that comes with some sort of custom software application that you're trying to build or know something like that. But I think that's the biggest thing that people need to remember about wordpress these days is there aren't any limitations. And if you find the right developer or agency to work with and you can make wordpress do anything you want, um, if you're willing to kind of spend a little money on it, it's doing it custom isn't necessarily cheaper or easier. But like, but then again to your point, Bill, like with the vast expanse of like the theme marketplace, you don't even need any of that technically. I mean, you can, there's no reason why someone with a little bit of elbow grease and willingness to learn can't build a site on wordpress almost as easily as you would on wix or squarespace or something like that and have all the power of like an enterprise platform. Yeah.
Speaker 2:8:53I think that's really the only difference between that and doing something custom. Of course it's just, there are constraints, right? And, and, but the theme developers are getting really kind of a, you know, just amazing at what they do and sort of conceptualizing all of the different sort of ways that you could use their theme and then making sure that the design stays consistent. Um, and, and well kind of integrated so that when you mix and match these components, they actually tuck in and look like they were kind of designed to go together versus like something that looks really Frankenstein. And I think that's, that's the thing that you start to run into with things like squarespace and wix. Although the better, especially for simple sort of websites. But um, but as you start to mix and match those things, it looks really easy on the 32nd commercial spot. But when you actually try to put it together, it starts to look a little little clunky.
Speaker 3:9:45Well that's the most important thing that you just mentioned, right? So, like, so here's a misnomer about wix or squarespace or wordpress or anything which is like if a platform you think is going to give you a template or a theme rather with the demo content in it, you have to remember that like if talented and experienced graphic designer, a writer or somebody like some, somebody who's done this before as created that demo content. So when you're looking at a theme on the web and you think you're going to buy that out of box theme and they're going to make your website look like it, no matter what, like nine times out of 10 you're not. Unless you have a professional graphic designer to create the images are backgrounds for certain areas on our website. Someone to be able to understand how to write good copy. Like it's still. The interesting thing to me is whether it's Wix, squarespace, wordpress or whatever, there's no such thing as an easy diy website like just go to search the web for like the most awful looking websites ever. And you get to see that if someone is building website with no experience creating content, no experience with graphic design or no, sort of like Ifr, what is artistic and looks good. Like I don't care what platform you use the website still going to look like crap.
Speaker 2:10:56Yeah, that's for sure. Um, so another kind of misnomer I guess a little bit is just the, and I think this is the fear of anything that's described as cms or, or that sort of thing, but, but just the ability to kind of maintain it going forward. So some people think that kind of puts the onus on me and I may not be able to figure it out because I'm not very technical. I think, you know, wordpress has gotten really good. It's just, I always tell people if you can edit a word document, it was no surprise to the word press and word kind of connectivity. But um, but if you could know, if you can edit a Microsoft word document, you can probably publish a piece of content on wordpress fairly simply. And then to kind of go beyond that, one of the strong points that I always bring the people that are trying to kind of make this decision is just the, what I call a massive secondary market of just talent in wordpress.
Speaker 2:11:54Yeah. Whether you're talking about somebody that is just managing it as far as content publication, um, or is actually managing on another level of kind of making some, some fairly simple changes. I'm all the way up to developers that could make hardcore changes. I'm choosing wordpress really ensures that you don't get locked in to any particular agency. I mean we've, we've had some horror stories about clients that have come to us that have literally been locked in to their agency for far longer than they wanted to be just because they are on some Weirdo proprietary content management that the agency came up with.
Speaker 3:12:31That is 100 percent correct. If you are, if you are listening to this podcast and you are like working for your own company and like bill said, considering this, I will underscore that vr because if you go to an agency and they said you need to use our proprietary cms run for the hills, that that is just an excuse for them to keep you as a client. No matter how much you hate them, like there's no reason. Even if it's not word press by the way, there's no reason for you to use a proprietary cms unless you are like Ford Motor Company trying to manage a content team of like 250 global people, in which case I would still make an argument for you that you should use wordpress.
Speaker 2:13:09Do you need some approval processes and stuff like that. I think this is something as they become more kind of enterprise a capable, if you will, certainly not just for the enterprise, but enterprise capable. Um, wordpress is doing a pretty good job as they kind of move up into that food chain. I'm adding some, a default features that actually allow you to put things in draft and review and pending and that kind of stuff. And then then of course this is always a huge benefit of wordpress. There's a ton of developers that are building almost anything you can imagine and one of the things that I noticed people are building out plugins for that are more robust is actually that content approval process right there within wordpress. So you can get that granularity if you're um, you know, we deal with a lot of financial services, fortunately haven't had to get too detailed here, but financial services companies that have a lot of legal and compliance processes and so if you need those kinds of things, you can certainly find a plug and facilitate it.
Speaker 2:14:10But that also gets back to like, what do you need and what, what will you actually use? We actually, it's kind of funny, we on a recent client, we tried to kind of implement that because they did have a pretty tight legal and compliance process. But when it got right down to it, legal and compliance has so much been sort of conditioned just to use word documents. It was like or pdfs. It was like it made a horrible mess when we actually tried to institute it was, it was a nightmare of of grand proportions just because that's just not their behavior. And so when they got in there, it's a new piece of software and trying to figure it out and what you thought and probably what the software engineer thought when they developed it as, hey this is going to make workflow so smooth. But sometimes
Speaker 3:14:58you know that
Speaker 2:15:00that what seems simple to you when you're designing it in a bubble versus what behaviors have already been conditioned or just a world apart.
Speaker 3:15:08Oh that's a totally separate conversation. Right? Which is like the. Yeah, the difference between like how not even just software engineers but like people who are in the industry interpret like what is easy to use versus like what the general marketplace interprets what is easy to use. That's a totally separate conversation I'd love to have with Upr. Like I run it, I'm running into that a lot.
Speaker 2:15:30So important when you're thinking about building software or websites or, or even doing marketing and you really going to start with like what, what is the normal natural, organic, comfortable, um, sort of behavior that your audiences is looking at. So anything else on wordpress before we cut to a quick break and we're kind of rounding out sort of the authoritative a reason to use wordpress versus anything else.
Speaker 3:15:58Uh, you know, what the only thing I'll say is just wrap it all up is like use wordpress. That's it. Like find a good agency that understands, that understands wordpress really well and do some research about the platform. And actually my last piece of advice be to spend more time thinking about the things that you want to change everyday and the things that you're not going to have to change and work with your agency to have a really tight plan on like customizing the wordpress cms itself to work for you and your company. That's, that's a big component. I think a lot of people make access.
Speaker 1:16:32You're listening to cold [inaudible] make the logo bigger podcast. You can find this on the web at [inaudible] dot com. K A l a D C Dot Com. Now back to the show.
Speaker 3:16:48Hey. All right, so we're talking about biggest challenges are rabbit holes of the week and you've got something that you were going to kind of lead off with today. Yeah, so like one of the, it seems like a, like a wish lounge at all to anyone in an agency setting or like even anyone in a like in an in house marketing department, but getting started like, like how do you really kick off a marketing engagement board, a new client or maybe your in house at your company and you've got this brand new initiative that you want to, you know, that you want to kick off and it requires buy in from several different places and whatever else. And, and so like, like once you say to you, okay, we're going, we're doing this, I'm getting everyone to buy in. Get somebody to jump in, get everyone to understand that.
Speaker 3:17:34Like now we're moving and at what speed we're going to move and all that kind of stuff. So the reason why I wrote this down as a rabbit hole thing, vr is that we had a client not too long ago that we kind of like, we're kickstarting and sort of like fitting in, you know, spitting and trying to get the thing started for like, I don't know, it was like four months and we were trying to figure out like, okay, well, like what's the next communication? Or like the, the definitive thing that we can do that's gonna all of a sudden be like the client themselves. But like, yeah, let's do it. We're ready to go. And they would say they were ready to go and then we would get no response. And so, you know, I just wanted to talk about that a little bit. It's like it's, it's a more challenging thing and you would think usually at the beginning of something is where the excitement exists. Um, but we're finally, I found out that like the beginning is kind of really challenging because it feels daunting to people or they're not ready for something new or, you know, I don't know what it is, but we've had a couple of times recently where that's becoming a real challenge. So I just wanted to, I wanted to spit ball it around a little.
Speaker 2:18:34We've definitely run into that. There's a whole bunch of reasons why, you know, starting as hard. Um, and I think just to kind of hit on a few that I've seen and kind of worked through. I think one is just, you know, in any sort of way, trying to get like two organizations probably with different processes, different workflows, even different cultures to kind of work together in a tight way that, uh, that a marketing group needs to work together. Um, I think could be one of them. Uh, the other thing that I've seen a lot is it really has this special. I mean, we've seen this over and over again. It really depends on who comes to your champion or what we call sponsor is inside that organization. And their level of, uh, sometimes it's not even there, they're kind of level or title or anything, but really their level of influence in the company.
Speaker 2:19:32Sometimes sometimes you get somebody that's super influential and can champion everything and move mountains inside the organization that you get somebody else that maybe is younger, uh, maybe at a lower level or maybe just for whatever reason doesn't have as much influence in the organization. And although they have the ability to kind of get the agency in there, they don't have the influence to kind of really move those efforts forward. And so yeah, just getting them mowed over who just going to keep handing things and nothing really gets approved. And that's, that's super frustrating. I'm sure for the person that's in the organization, but for us as well as just, you know, we'd like to work and that kind of stuff.
Speaker 3:20:14The other thing I know, the only thing I wish I wonder about some times is, and I know this is a fault of mine and yours as well, but you're better at it than I am Bar, which is like, I love big ideas. And so if you asked me to solve you solve your problem, like I'm not going to solve a little part of it. I want to solve the whole thing. And the whole solution to that problem by the way is more than likely going to be fairly complicated. Um, and so I think one of the things that I ran into, or I run into more often than not is like trying to break down whatever you're into, much smaller pieces and make them consumable so that, like, your kickoff doesn't feel so broad. Um, it feels right. It feels very focused, you know, very achievable, I guess would be the way to do that so that people know what's happening when it's happening and like, what do you expect, you know, the results or whatever else obviously can't predict results, which is obviously the worst thing you can ever ask your agency to do by the way, is to tell you how good it's going to work.
Speaker 3:21:16Um, obviously they have an idea of how good they think it'll work, but you never know until you actually try something. So. But yeah, I think that's maybe that's another thing I think I've learned, which is like just trying to reduce whatever the project is you're trying to start into a much more like bite sized components and then going after that little thing and then once you get started, the momentum usually kind of carries itself
Speaker 2:21:37pretty pretty recent client engagements and turn it into a whole podcast in itself because there's so many. So many things that go into play here when when you're trying to start with a client that there's a lot of things and strategies you can talk about that sort of thing. But one of the things that I'm seeing in a couple that we've started recently is either there's a new person coming in that has a lot of things I want to get done real quick and slash or. And they cannot produce the same sort of environment or results is somebody that's coming in that maybe hasn't been able to get an agency to help them. And so they come with tons of pent up demand. And so whereas we normally come in with sort of an overall, we like to come in with the strategy, we like to think big, we like to think through the kind of long, the sort of a longterm approach which would always produces the best results.
Speaker 2:22:32And instead what happens is we actually make the proposal like that and people liked to approve proposals that are strategic. But then when we actually rubber meets the road and we get started, we just get run over with all these little one off things that they want to get up and show their manager they did something. And so you get overrun with all these little one off sort of marketing initiatives or like I said, pent up demand or little things that they get done and say they had a quick result but probably aren't as effective is, is actually sort of methodically going through, um, you know, building out the marketing plan if you will, as it was presented. And so that's a little frustrating. But we were trying to get better at accepting that versus pushing back on it. And it's kind of run it in our own way because I think in any sort of kind of relationship you have to give a take a little bit and you have to build some trust and credibility and that sort of thing. And so you've got to give a little bit I guess at the beginning. But. But that can be frustrating too.
Speaker 3:23:34Yeah. It's a balance though, right? Because there's a, that's a tough trap to run into for an agency because usually an agency is brought in to produce big results, right? Like that's why they're you the dollars that you're paying us and, and you know, and so on and so forth. And, but to your point, if your point of contact or you know, you're sort of champion within the agency has these kind of smaller needs that need to get done. You need to make sure that you are, that person's like no pressure release like to be helpful to them is important. And sometimes that means being more of a creative services department that it does. Being a strategic partner, you know? And so that's, it's a very tough line to walk because I think you're right that we've had to learn a little bit so you know, to stop pushing so hard on like, well if we don't follow the strategy, it's not going to work or whatever the case is and then just find the thing that they need right away, get your foot in the door and then create a foundation of trust.
Speaker 3:24:30Like you said, I think it's, it's a really smart way to go about it. But I think the challenge is if you do that for too long, then you becoming this, you know, like, like I said, like nothing like a creative services department and a creative services department by the way, does not produce big results. Like it just, it just fills orders and you know, and the team gets frustrated and it's not, it's not an easy line to walk. That's a tough one. When clients really, you know, make that challenging or don't understand how long it takes to execute a strategy or aren't willing to take the time that you'd like to run up time to get a true strategy up and running in to see, you know,
Speaker 2:25:04wrap it up. I think it's always a tight balance between, you know, one meeting that person look as good as they can in their organization, which is critically important to us, but also balancing that with achieving the, the reasonable Roi. Pay Your Bill, right? Because nobody likes to, you know, to go negative on that. So we've always been those results into play. And so I think that's, that's one of those things where you just kinda gotta get in sync and build that trust. Um, but yeah, it's always a bit of a trick as we're kind of getting started. So we, like, like I said, we could spend the whole time on that. Actually, there is one, this is a seed for future episodes that I've been thinking a lot about is how to get the cheapest bill from your agency. Um, and so then we've talked about is really, you know, if you want the most efficient economical agency engagement, a lot of things we've talked about, there's some, some optimizations to be made there. So I want to do a whole episode on that though.
Speaker 3:26:06I love that idea by the way. That's a, I almost hate to give it away for this incident.
Speaker 2:26:13The future trends. Are you going to take a swing and growth hacking again or do you want to do something different?
Speaker 3:26:22No, no, I think the, it's not necessarily a trend, but in a previous episode I made it pretty clear that I thought growth hacking was like a stupid idea, like the, like the notion of it. And so I, I'm here to eat a little crow and simply say that I was corrected by technically the man that invented the term or coined the term was Sean Ellis. Um, and I was reading some stuff from him and basically he came back and said was like I never intended growth hacking to mean like exponential hockey stick growth and everything you do. Or I never intended it to mean like some Weirdo, strange tactic, like creating your own slack channel or you know, whatever the thing is that is going to drive that type of hockey stick growth. What he said basically in his piece, he was like, growth hacking. Is it simply the practice of attempting to try different things, finding what works, finding traction and doing that. He's like, that can be ad words, that can be anything. A growth hack is not the way he thought about it was I think the like as a term for testing, not necessarily a term for like exponential
Speaker 2:27:24components to that we're seeing more and more becoming the nature of websites. But I think one of the things that he did early on in some of these really successful growth hackers did our, the marketing department stood alone as our creative department or division. Um, and there was no technical expertise in there. Even our own shop is an amalgamation of technology and marketing and creative. And so we're, we're using those together. So then when we come up with a marketing strategy, we're almost always thinking of how we can develop a feature, develop an experience or develop something unique. They will actually more easily drive the behavior that we're trying to create or the results we're trying to create. And I say, I think really messaging together this kind of what some people are calling Martech or marketing tech, I think that's kind of the innovation that probably closest captures what, what kind of the advantage was to really put that technology close to your marketing department or inside of your marketing department. Um, so that you can get those things that happened.
Speaker 3:28:31Yeah, I think that's a great way to put that bar. And so I stand corrected. Growth hacking is an excellent term. I've been, I will no longer disparage it. Uh, it just needs to be used correctly. It kind of like, um, what's his name used to? People use the term
Speaker 3:28:47barbarism a, what's the term I'm thinking? Oh Man. Anyway. And it doesn't matter if there's a, there's a term in English language that people continually. Oh, uh, brutalize. Oh, I see. So people always say that you know, that that brutalize that person, but really brutalized means to like make someone brutal. So like whatever happened to gangs con when he was a kid, brutalized him as opposed to like just getting beat up. It's not getting brutalized anyway. So I will use growth hacking or its proper term. I encourage you to do the same thing. I also encourage people to go ahead and do it bill set, which is like, look for that unique feature, that unique message between strategy and technology and create something new and interesting for your audience. And then you will get the, you know, the wrong way of growth hacking.
Speaker 2:29:31So with that, we're going to wrap it up. Last words obviously use wordpress, which by the way, it makes it actually easier to do
Speaker 4:29:38growth hacking ultimately, right? Yeah.