WordPress Marketing Playbook: 7 Strategies, 33 Examples

Company: WordPress

Founded: 2005

Founder: Matt Mullenweg

Description: Blog platform

This playbook focuses on marketing strategies and tactics used by WordPress. 

The marketing playbook series is for founders who want to: 

1. learn from real-life examples
2. discover which growth strategies fit which businesses and industries
3. find the 20% of strategies that return 80% of results

Tool Marketing

WordPress bought LeanDomainSearch and hired the developer. The tool acts as a funnel for WordPress by driving traffic to other Automattic tools. (LeanDomainSearch)

Content Marketing

2. Interviews

Matt Mullenweg leverages podcast audiences by doing interviews. He shares lessons and raises brand awareness.

He often talks about the importance of independent publishing and the trend towards distributed teams. (Interviews)

3. Open Source

The open source community indirectly contributes to for-profit company.

Improvements to the ecosystem increase the value proposition for WordPress.com. The hybrid model of mixing for-profit companies with open source seems to be on the rise. Red Hat and Sidekiq are two other examples. (About)

4. WordPress Blog

WordPress eats it’s own dog food by maintaining a blog. They share product updates, acquisitions and educational content. (Blog)

5. Documentation

Documentation helps WordPress provide scalable support. It’s also great for SEO. (WordPress Docs)

6. Forum

The WordPress forum is a source of user-generated support. It also gives the WordPress team insights into common challenges. (Forum)

7. WordPress Discover

WordPress Discover collects the best content published on the WordPress platform. It acts a showcase for what writers have created with WordPress. (WordPress Discover)

8. Twitter

Twitter acts as a central feed for WordPress content and news. (Twitter)

9. WordPress Go

WordPress Go is for technical topics aimed at WordPress site owners. It includes tutorials and how-to guides. (WordPress Go)

10. Distributed Podcast

Matt Mullenweg owned his central role in the distributed work movement by starting a podcast. Distributed is also great for keeping the WordPress brand top of mind. (Distributed Podcast)

Flywheel Marketing

11. WordPress VIP

WordPress offers a high-touch experience for enterprise customers. (WordPress VIP)

12. Domains

Most bloggers want their own domain name. WordPress keeps prospects in their ecosystem by offering domain registration.

Most domain registrars offer self-hosted WordPress solutions. WordPress.com removed the risk that prospects would opt for a self-hosted solution while buying a domain name. (WordPress Domains)

13. WordPress Themes

Designers invest in the WordPress ecosystem by creating themes. These are platform-specific assets that make WordPress more attractive to bloggers.

WordPress helps designers with distribution by hosting a theme directory. (WordPress Themes)

14. WordPress Plugins

Developers also contribute to the WordPress ecosystem with plugins. These platform-specific assets increase the value proposition of WordPress over other platforms. (WordPress Plugins)

15. Multiple Platforms

WordPress removes friction by making it easy to use across devices. (WordPress Platforms)

16. Jetpack

Jetpack is a utility toolkit for WordPress. It makes sense to have security features coming from a trustworthy source. (Jetpack)

17. Woo Commerce

Woo Commerce enables e-commerce on WordPress sites. This makes WordPress a viable alternative to platforms like Shopify. (Woo Commerce)

18. Gravatar

Gravatar helps manage identity. It’s used by tons of sites across the web. As the developer, WordPress tightly integrates with Gravatar. (Gravatar)

19. VaultPress

VaultPress is a backup and security service that complements their main offering. (VaultPress)

20. Longreads

Longreads gives WordPress bloggers distribution for long form content. This raises visibility of creators and gives them a reason to create more. (Longreads)

21. Cloudup

Cloudup is a content storage and streaming service owned by Automattic. (Cloudup)

22. Simplenote

Simplenote helps users keep notes. It doesn’t complement WordPress as well as some other Automattic tools. (Simplenote)

23. Crowdsignal

Crowdsignal is a survey tool that helps bloggers understand the interests and attitudes of their audiences. (Crowdsignal)

24. Akismet

Akismet improves the quality of the WordPress ecosystem by filtering spam. (Akismet)

Freemium Marketing

25. Free Plan

The free plan makes it easy to get started by removing friction.

Lock-in for WordPress isn’t as hard as some other apps. It’s easy to export your content to a self-hosted solution. (WordPress Pricing)

Viral Feature Marketing

26. WordPress Branding

Free, personal and premium WordPress plans come with WordPress.com branding on sites.

WordPress turns customers into billboards with branding.

This viral strategy is reminiscent of Webflow, Glide and Superhuman. (WordPress Branding)

Micro Marketing

27. WordPress Meetups

Meetups bring the WordPress community together and helps them learn from each other. (WordPress Meetups)

28. WordCamp

WordCamps are similar to meetups. (WordCamp)

29. Special Teams

WordPress, as a billion dollar company, preserves the spirit of a smaller company by using direct emails to acquire customers.

The Twitter thread shows that WordPress has a ‘special projects’ team that does outreach to acquire and onboard customers. (Thread)

Social Proof Marketing

30. Customer Success Videos

WordPress went beyond testimonials to tell stories of customer success.

This is reminiscent of how Shopify uses video to help with growth. (Page)

31. Trusted By

Like other SaaS companies, WordPress uses well-known brand logos to trigger social proof and gain trust. (Page)

32. Testimonials

WordPress also uses testimonials to trigger social proof. (Page)

33. Usage Stats

WordPress is one of very few companies that can make such a claim. This is a remark-able statistic that gets people talking.

We figure that if it’s good enough for over a third of websites then it’s good enough for us. (Page)

Thanks for reading!

Which company you would like to see next?

Let me know — @DruRly.

Check out the playbook series for more growth strategies.