How To Get A Positive Return On Your Marketing Investment
Calculating return on your marketing investment (ROMI) is something of an art form. Unlike capital investments, which have a fixed, upfront cost and clear results, marketing investments evolve over time and have both empirical and intangible results that are tricky to quantify.
This may sound daunting – but creating a strong strategy for long-term growth and sticking to it will give you the best chance of an increase to your ROMI.
Your strategy and process can make or break your efforts. If executed well, you can get a good return on investment (ROI) for each and every marketing campaign you run.
- Creating measures for your ROMI can be qualitative or quantitative, both having their own benefits
- Utilizing content media to drive up your ROMI can yield qualitative and quantitative results
- Developing diverse strategies can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t
Here are five key strategies that can help you turn efforts into results and ensure a positive return on your marketing investments:
1. Define your ROI Measures
Following the formulas to calculate your ROMI is the first step to understanding what works and what doesn’t. To improve lead generation you must know where your marketing efforts are bringing in money and where they aren’t.
While important, measuring your return on investment isn’t just about the formulas and the tangible return – it’s also about the intangible benefits too. Like presenting yourself as a thought leader or improving long-term online growth.
Defining the ROI measures of your content marketing will grant you insight on the intangibles like public perception and long-term online growth.
2. Publish Keyword-Driven Content
Keyword research is one of the best ways to increase your overall site traffic — not just in volume, but in quality. Having informed SEO practices will get more customers’ eyes on your site.
If you publish content optimized for high volume, low-difficulty phrases, you’re more likely to rank on page one of the SERPs, which of course means more visitors finding their way to your site.
You can go a step further by making sure this content (whether a blog post, a whitepaper, or a landing page) targets prospects that are closer to making a purchase, i.e. further “down the funnel.”
By doing this, you’re marketing to the prospects that are the easiest to access and the most likely to convert into customers!
3. Practice Social Marketing
If you aren’t leveraging social media as one of your primary marketing channels, you’re missing out on a lot of influence and opportunity, not to mention valuable insights about brand sentiment, advocacy, and the quality of client relationships.
HubSpot defines social marketing as “the process of creating content for social media platforms to promote your products and/or services, build community with your target audience, and drive traffic to your business.”
Many businesses now use social media as a direct source of leads. Those leads are qualified by their interests, firmographic info, and communication history, so they have a high chance of converting – even more than traditional outbound marketing (telemarketing, print, batch list emails, tv/radio)!
Need a refresher on social media’s place in your digital marketing plan? No problem – we’ve got you! For more info, check out 10 Digital Marketing Tips and Tricks from Top Brands.
4. Use A/B Testing
Regardless of what medium you’re working in, some tactics work better than others. A/B testing (sometimes referred to as “split testing”) is the process of comparing alternate versions of a similar asset and deciding which yields better results, without guesswork.
Marketers can run A/B tests on everything from web layouts to titles, subject lines, blog posts, and emails. While simple, incremental gains on positive yields add up big for your return on marketing investment.
Image Source: BrillMark.com
5. Blow Away the Competition
Know thy enemy! Although this tactic is admittedly more reactive than others, it will help you siphon traffic back onto your site and into your lead revenue generation programs.
Do research on your competitors (these are the companies clients choose instead of yours, which often means they have the same target audience). How are they managing their image on social media? What types of paid advertising are they pursuing? How is their website UI?
Find out what your competitors are doing with their marketing strategies and do it better. You get the idea.
6. Invest in the Right Technology
There are thousands of software solutions for marketers, like email marketing, social analytics, web tracking, and content management. If you’re looking to bring all of these functions together into one system, you’re probably looking for marketing automation software.
The best marketing automation software for B2B companies is usually built around the lead generation process, designed to help you run programs across multiple channels, create custom rules and triggers, and ship more qualified leads to your sales department.
A marketing automation platform can also provide insights about campaign effectiveness through diagnostic tools and reporting (closed-loop reporting, visitor tracking, surveys, and content engagement metrics). Having this constant awareness of where your programs are succeeding and failing lets you make incremental corrections and reassess your overall strategy efficiently.
Use the right tools for ROMI
A good handyman knows which tool to use for the right job – and a good marketing specialist knows which medium to use to maximize their return on marketing investment.
This chart from PPC shows what surveyed companies view as their ROMI money makers. SEO ranked highest, with 28% of those asked saying that SEO gave them the best ROMI.
It’s not a shock that 80% of marketers have trouble proving the business value of their spending, campaigns, and activities. After all, solving the challenge of marketing ROI has been difficult since it was first popularized!
Even if you haven’t locked down a formula for ROMI, your investment decisions should still hinge on their ability to yield positive results. To be clear, we’re talking about investments either in traditional marketing programs (paid media, email nurturing, inbound) or in newer marketing technology, such as a marketing automation platform.
Ask yourself what value an investment could add to your brand, and whether that value would be direct profit (leads, conversions) or qualitative profit.
If you follow the logic, you’ll likely encounter these two fundamental questions:
- What kind of marketing investments are more likely to pay off?
- If my marketing investments are already failing, what adjustments can turn them around?
Give it Some Elbow Grease
It isn’t always enough to just dump more money or time into your current projects, especially if they aren’t performing well. That’s like flooring the accelerator when your car is stuck in the mud!
It also falsely simplifies prospect behavior: people don’t just want to be engaged for the sake of it; they want to be engaged in relevant, timely, personalized ways. They don’t want to follow the account that just republishes information every day, they want to follow the one that sounds like a person and interacts directly with them.
Having a more hands-on approach with your content media can provide your clients with more personal interactions, building rapport and brand loyalty. Who doesn’t love getting noticed by their favorite brand?
If you’re lucky, a prospect will convert after several, meaningful encounters with your brand across multiple channels (email, social, SERP, mobile). But marketers are eager to “hack” the process to gain a quick edge – time is money, after all. They want to know the shortcuts for turning prospects into leads, and leads into contracts, and that’s not necessarily a bad instinct.
Really, it’s about capitalizing on investments.
Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers for your business using the most important digital marketing trend: consistent and quality content? Check out our weekly blog content service or schedule a free consultation. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.
Carter Grimm is a contributing writer for Marketing Investment Group pursuing an M.A. in Media & Communication Studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Connect with him on LinkedIn to get in touch!