If you're already using WordPress and want to take your content marketing efforts to the next level, there are a few essential plugins that can help. Like Bonnie and Clyde or Romeo and Juliet, WordPress plugins and content marketing are a perfect match – without the bank shootouts and suicide pacts.
Here are a few of the most essential plugins for those looking to streamline the production of their content, improve its reach and make it easier to find.
In the post-Mobilegeddon world, your site's load speed has a huge impact on search ranking, a critical component of content marketing. There's a plethora of caching tools available for WordPress sites, but the folks at WP Dev Shed recently pitted over 20 of them head-to-head in a battle royal for intergalactic caching dominance. The control website loaded nearly three times more quickly with WP Rocket than without it, and the plugin was able to handle more requests per second than any of its competitors.
An oldie-but-goodie with a blue chip client list that includes CBS, Salesforce and Disney, Optimizely has been a heavyweight in website optimization and A/B testing since 2008. Founder Dan Siroker headed up the web analytics department on the Obama campaign that year, and he took what he learned to build a comprehensive suite of optimization tools that integrates nicely with other platforms like KISS Metrics, SiteCatalyst (now Adobe Analytics) and of course, Google Analytics.
Optimizely supports sophisticated analytics initiatives like multivariate testing, custom test cookies, and manual API experiment activation. And if you're new to the world of content analytics, the Optimizely Academy offers a robust set of tutorials and lessons, divided by skill level.
Put the spreadsheet down and slowly back away from Google Drive. Edit Flow is a powerful tool for content marketers looking to get a better grip on their editorial workflow. You can create custom workflow statuses restricted to certain members of your team, get an at-a-glance view of your upcoming content, and even change the CSS classes applied to posts on your calendar.
The notifications feature allows you to segment email alerts into different groups. With WordPress' native filters, you can decide whether or not team members can subscribe to updates, or make it so that notifications only show up for specific status changes.
I particularly like Edit Flow's support for editorial metadata. You can build custom number, text, or date fields into your workflow and use them to share details like when you need to send the piece in for a client preview before it is published, or to pass notes on to the writer. Powerful stuff.
Slideshow-style flipbook presentations are all the rage in content marketing these days. Take SlideShare, which began as a simple slideshow app and now averages 60 million monthly unique visitors, making it one of the 120 most visited sites in the world according to CMO.
PDF Wizard is technically not a plugin itself – it's an extension of the Responsive FlipBook WordPress plugin, but it's worth mentioning on its own because of how much time it can save. Instead of using FlipBook the normal way, which involves uploading a group of jpeg images and arranging them in the right order, PDF Wizard allows you to quickly find a single PDF file and convert it into a nice-looking flipbook.
With just a handful of clicks, you can repurpose your latest white paper or case study into an easy-to-browse presentation. PDF Wizard generates the shortcode automatically, and with its preset functionality you can ensure that your presentation stays consistent with any relevant brand or visual guidelines. It's a slick way to combine visual and text-based content into one absorbing piece, even if you have no technical training or coding knowledge. And since the extension is hosted on FlipBook's servers, you don't have to worry about it slowing down your site's load times.
You're using social share buttons for your content, of course, and you've tried them in every style. Sidebars, fly-ins, exit pop-ups: you've done everything short of performing a soft-shoe routine while holding a card with a bit.ly URL just to get a retweet.
Social Locker puts a fresh spin on social buttons by changing the way visitors share your site's content with their networks. It gives them a more compelling reason to engage with you on social media: the plugin literally puts your content in a locker that only opens up when someone Likes it on Facebook, retweets it on Twitter, or gives you a +1 on Google Plus. It's presented in a sleek way, with a couple of different options when it comes to how exactly your content is "locked."
But Social Locker is much more than just a visual tool – it generates a report that lets you determine which pieces of content are being unlocked the most. Since this reporting feature integrates with your Google Analytics dashboard, you don't have to worry about using yet another platform for web analytics. You can compare it side-by-side with all the metrics you know and love, like conversions and page impressions. With support for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube (and Pinterest and Instagram) on the way, Social Locker could single-handedly ramp up your content's popularity on social.
There you have it – five plugins that help you use WordPress to kick your content marketing into overdrive. Now go rock it!