Simple Shifts to Maximize Your Marketing ROI
Before we dive into maximizing the “return on investment” of your marketing efforts, let's make sure we’re clear on what goes into calculating your ROI. We find this diagram useful for seeing the equation laid out and simplified.
As you can see, your ROI is more nuanced than just the ratio of a marketing budget to a sales increase. It’s important to note that profits are determined by pricing, sourcing, number of sales, the effectiveness of workers, and countless other factors. Maximizing your ROI across the board would involve optimizing every aspect of your business practice that affects your profits...that’s a bit much for this post, so we’re going to focus exclusively on optimizing the investment you make into your marketing efforts.
Whatever size your business is, deciding how much to invest in marketing tactics (and setting realistic expectations for your returns) can be confusing, especially if you haven’t done it before. Fortunately, the process gets simpler the more you know.
Knowledge is Power
It all starts with metrics! Look at your current performance to set realistic goals for improvement. A few important things to measure would be your costs per lead, social media engagement, site traffic, click-through rates, and conversion of customers.
Start by making a list of all the marketing tactics you are currently employing and brainstorm ways to align analytics to measure their effectiveness. There are plenty of free and paid options here, but Google Analytics is always a great place to start. (Here’s an excellent resource on the 10 most-tracked Google Analytics Metrics along with definitions and recommendations on how to gain insight from each.) Be careful not to be led astray by vanity metrics at this stage, i.e. It matters less how many followers you have on Twitter than it does how many people engaged with your tweets.
Your goal in accumulating this data is to understand your consumer’s decision journey on their path to choosing your product or service. You should be able to identify what platforms, copy format, visual elements, etc. were the most compelling to your target audience and ultimately yielded the largest return of conversions. Focus your investment on optimizing these tactics for the greatest improvement on your returns and stop putting money and time into tactics that aren’t doing anything for you or your bottom line.
As this fresh perspective on your marketing tactics takes shape, here are a few simple paradigm shifts to consider during content creation that will go a long way to increase your productivity, efficiency, and ultimately your ROI.
Shift from aimless to intentional. In every piece of content you create and every ad you run, think through your ultimate goal - revenue. How will the blog post you’re writing drive traffic to your site? How can your email campaign and landing pages be optimized to improve the conversion of visitors into customers? How will the targeting on the ads you’re running encourage repeat purchases? Don’t create mindless content just to check the boxes.
Shift from quantity to quality. Pick one or two platforms and design your content to be specifically optimized for how users interact in that space. Don’t create a piece of content and try to promote it on every platform available to you. The shotgun approach to marketing ultimately wastes your time, kills your ROI, and turns your quality content into white noise.
Shift from short-lived to evergreen content. Especially if your marketing budget is less than robust, creating content that will remain relevant indefinitely is going to pay off consistently for a longer amount of time. For example, if you paid for ads to be created for a one-time event, the money you spent marketing for that isolated weekend would have a lower ROI than creating the same number of ads that could run all year highlighting your consistent Happy Hour Specials.
Shift from static to living content. You’re likely going to be creating both evergreen and non-evergreen content. By updating your content you keep it relevant, stretch its lifespan, and ultimately increasing its ROI. You can re-run an ad with updated targeting, re-target the same audience with an updated visual element, or update the copy to include a special this week. You can add an updated list of tips and tools to your blog post and re-share it. Your content isn’t dead once it’s been posted and it likely hasn’t reached its full potential with just a week or two of promotion.
Shift from harder to smarter. Slimming down your content production is key here, but you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Identify which tactics and platforms have the most traction with your target audience and allow that data to focus your efforts. By streamlining your creation process or working with a specialist to create excellent content with minimal expenditure, reducing your manual efforts will directly impact your ROI.
The bottom line for your ROI is getting the right work done well as efficiently as possible. Don’t feel like you’re left with an all-or-nothing decision between doing your marketing in-house or through an agency. Could you benefit from having an expert identify missed opportunities in your business strategy? Do you feel plenty confident running your metrics but need help creating awesome content? If you’d like a hand with any step of the process, send us an email, we’re always happy to help.