The term “online hub” is often used interchangeably with “website”, but they represent two different forms of online communication and activity. A website is, primarily, a one-way conversation: you might have a contact form or a comments section, but for the most part, a website acts as an online brochure. An online hub is interactive; it brings all the different elements of your online activity under one roof, it encourages community and conversation.
WordPress is fantastic at enabling people to create their very own online hubs, with very little technical knowledge required. Rather than taking people to Google Hangouts on Air or another third-party site for a webinar, plugins like WPWebinar allow you to host it on your own website landing page. There’s a wide range of CRM plugins available, allowing you to edit forms and manage contacts through your WordPress site (if you’re already using WooCommerce, the “WooCommerce Customer Relationship Management” plugin is well worth a look). You can use plugins like Sendpress to manage your newsletter. If you run a podcast, you can use your WordPress blog as the foundation for the podcast’s RSS feed.
And, of course, you can use the PeepSo plugin to create your own private social network, rather than having people come back and forth from a Facebook group.
There’s multiple benefits to this. Driving people to your own website improves your search engine rankings (the more visits you get, the higher you’ll rank). It gives you full control over and ownership of the information you share, and in turn, the information people share with you. Plus, while people are on your website doing other things, they’re likely to have a look around and see what else you have to offer; eg, if you’re hosting a webinar on your own website, you can put some links on the page for people to click and view while they’re waiting for it to start. You’ll also slash your advertising spend: it costs you nothing to run an advert or promote an event on your own social network (keeping your money in your own wallet, rather than Facebook’s). Plus, you can never underestimate the power of connection and conversation when it comes to conversions. If people are interacting with you and your business rather than just reading about it, that’s going to build trust and that trust is going to translate to sales.
To learn more about how PeepSo can help you go from a simple website to a thriving online hub, check out our features here – we’re adding more all the time.