Digital marketing campaigns can really boost the growth of your business, but what if you’re not seeing the return-on-investment (ROI) you were hoping for?
Businesses are always looking to generate revenue, but as the digital marketing industry is becoming more competitive, it can make the process of meeting customer expectations and increasing conversions more challenging.
It is essential for organisations to measure ROI in order to assess the impact of their digital marketing efforts, as this tells them how much profit they are making in relation to the amount that they are spending on digital marketing campaigns.
If, when calculating your ROI, you realise that you are overspending on your campaign efforts as they are not leading to a significant ROI, there are some things for you to consider in order to improve your ROI in digital marketing.
Determine your ROI goals
The first thing you should do is establish your business goals and it is a good idea to keep the SMART goals in mind. SMART goals are:
Applying this strategy will help you to plan your approach in order to reach the goals that you have set out to achieve and is a great way to measure your progress along the way.
As you set these goals, you will also need to consider what a realistic and positive ROI would be from your campaigns.
When setting your ROI goal, you will need to take into account factors such as market demands and cost structure. In addition to this, it is important to remember that your ROI will be different depending on the type of campaign you are running.
For example, your ROI for a PPC campaign will not be the same as an SEO content campaign. We should also mention that it can sometimes be difficult to set SEO budgets, which is why our Head of SEO, Tom Crewe, has put together guidance on how to estimate your ROI from your SEO spend. The main thing to remember when establishing your ROI is that it is important not to set unrealistic goals as this can impact your wider strategy.
Avoid vanity metrics
Vanity metrics such as the number of followers your social media channel has can distract from your business goals and while they may look impressive, they do not always correlate to profit. A better alternative is to focus on and track conversion metrics, these include:
- Contact form completions / leads
If you want to look at engagement metrics, some more relevant ones might be:
- Article and blog post comments
- Repeat pageviews
- Content shares
In short, you need to focus your efforts on tracking the activities that will lead to sales, gaining more customers and revenue.
Focus budgets on areas with high ROI
Identify the areas of your business that have high ROI and focus your budgets on what is already working best. For example, it could be worth investing in a service which is designed to retain customer loyalty, or cheap-to-make products which can earn high profits! Taking the time to assign the right budgets to the right places will help your ROI in the long run.
UX (user experience) can have an impact on your conversion rates and as your website gives the first impression of your business to many users, you will want to provide the best UX possible! Here’s how you can improve your UX:
- Use attractive calls to action that allow users to easily navigate your site
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive
- Clearly layout key information and services
- Use relevant images (which don’t have larger than life file sizes that will slow down your site’s load-time)
- Include headlines with keywords
- Remember that consistency is key and looks more professional (you don’t want users to feel like they’ve been transported to a different site every time they check out a page!)
- Find any 404 pages to eliminate the risk of user frustration. You can always include a redirect link on these pages so that the user can find the page they’re looking for. Screaming Frog’s SEO spider tool can check for broken links on your website for free (and paid).
A/B testing is a great tool for those working in digital marketing as you can test the effectiveness of two variations of a marketing strategy to identify which worked best.
For example, if you’re measuring the effectiveness of two different email campaigns and email A received a higher CTR (click-through rate) than email B, you would know that email A was a more effective campaign. You can then look at what email A did differently - for example, did this campaign include different content or have a more appealing layout?
Overall, testing your campaigns enables you to establish which strategies and designs are more likely to increase your ROI.
If you’re looking to improve your website’s performance, take a look at our conversion rate optimisation services
Identifying and taking action on opportunities is an important factor in elevating your branding and improving your ROI. A great example is the US outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, who have demonstrated their sustainable and climate-conscious brand through their marketing strategies. During climate strikes, they closed their stores so that their staff could attend the strikes and voice their concerns as well as other campaigns designed to prove their commitment to the environment and customers. Seizing the opportunity to get their brand involved with climate change certainly paid off as since 2008, Patagonia has reportedly quadrupled their revenue.
With the example of Patagonia in mind, make sure you are looking out for potential opportunities and tailoring your digital marketing strategies to fit in with current trends and topical interests. But be genuine when you do, and don't get involved purely because it's the 'fashionable thing' to do.
Use marketing automation tools
Using marketing automation tools such as Marketo or Force24 to increase the effectiveness of your marketing strategies can be extremely useful. You can use these tools to boost your ROI as they will manage aspects of your marketing campaign in one place. Here’s just a few things that they can help a business do:
- Prioritise leads
- Improve marketing ROI
- Discover behaviour of potential customers
- Predict future investments
- Customise follow-ups
All in all, marketing automation tools can give marketers more time to focus on the wider strategy and deepen a business’s knowledge of their customers to improve their marketing campaigns.
Create valuable content
Creating informative, quality content is well worth your time and effort. If you want to stand out from your competitors, you need content that will both benefit users and include SEO techniques to optimise its online visibility.
The first thing you need to consider before you begin writing your content is to ask yourself who your target audience is. You really need to understand their wants and needs so that you can tailor your content to meet their expectations. As mentioned, digital marketing is an increasingly competitive industry so if your content is not satisfactory, the right answer is just a click away...on your competitors site!
Here are a few things you can keep in mind when creating content:
Ensure your content is user-friendly
It is important that your content is user-friendly and clearly formatted. You should aim to:
- Break up your content into easy-to-digest paragraphs
- List key points
- Introduce new sections and ideas under subheadings
Not only will this make your content easier for the reader to navigate, it will also look more appealing and help to reduce the bounce rate of users who are put off by your army of unorganised words.
Ensure content is valuable
When creating content you always need to keep your customers in mind. If you spent time reading through an entire article and it didn’t even answer your query or benefit you in some way, you would not be happy...and neither will your customers be if you deliver irrelevant, watered-down content.
Ensure content is user-centric
Personalised content for your target audience can help make a customer feel connected to your business. For example, sharing information about services or products that might appeal to them via emails is a great way to keep customers engaged.
Find out what content users want to see
Determining what content will be relevant can be done in a variety of ways. You could ask customers directly (for example, asking them to complete surveys or answer polls) or you could find out what queries online users are searching using a marketing tool such as SEMrush. This will allow you to see exactly what people are looking for online and you can then tailor your content to respond to these queries.
Use predictive modelling
Predictive modelling is a very useful tool when it comes to measuring and improving ROI as it allows for the projection of conversions or sales before campaign launches. With predictive modelling, you can use data from internal, website and social data to interpret contextual information about prospective consumers. In short, predictive modelling uses a range of data to help you to develop marketing activities which are appropriate for your target audience.
Keep monitoring your actions
It is important for you to keep monitoring your digital marketing ROI efforts so that you can observe the impacts of your strategy and continue to improve them.
A final note on improving ROI
Experimenting with marketing strategies will help you to increase your ROI in the long term. As mentioned, one of the most important things you need to do is ensure that you are setting realistic SMART goals for your marketing campaigns so that they are more achievable. Focusing too much on vanity metrics will distract you from progressing in your campaign and increasing conversions, so make sure that your attention is focused on building valuable content and seizing opportunities that come your way.
Wondering what is good ROI from a digital marketing budget? Our CEO, Andy Headington, sheds light on digital marketing ROI and how to better understand your budget.