11 Strategies to Maximize the ROI of Your Digital Marketing

set realistic expectations

Every business owner wants to maximize the ROI (return on investment) of their business but many struggle to know how to do that. Today, we offer 11 strategies that will help you reach your goals, get the highest ROI possible, and grow your business. Lofty goals, to be sure, but read on to learn how you can maximize the ROI of your business with proven strategies.

maximize the roi
Image courtesy of Digital Examiner

Maximize the ROI of your business

As you can see in this graphic from Digital Examiner, few businesses are satisfied with the ROI they achieve and nearly half don’t even know if they achieve their ROI goals because they don’t measure it or don’t measure it accurately. That’s insane. How can you expect to survive in the increasingly competitive markets most businesses face if you can’t spend money wisely to achieve your performance goals?

Below, I discuss 11 strategies to help you maximize your ROI. All take work and most take some time to bear fruit, but these are proven strategies that WORK for any business regardless of industry or market. Some work alone while others must work in tandem to deliver strong results. Some take longer to work but offer higher returns while others you can accomplish quickly but deliver smaller returns. I’ve posted these strategies in a logical order based on the potential long-term ROI offered by each strategy. If you want to maximize the ROI of your digital marketing efforts, start with the ones near the top of the list and work your way down as your resources allow. If you work to incorporate as many as possible, you’re sure to see positive results.

1. Set clear goals and objectives

Define specific, measurable, and realistic (SMART) goals for your digital marketing campaigns. Remember to include intermediate goals like awareness, engagement, and positive attitudes, as well as terminal goals such as conversion, subscriptions, and signups. Think about how consumers move through stages along the journey to conversion and set goals for the KPIs (key performance metrics) related to progressing along the journey. I recommend using Avinash’s measurement model (shown below) to achieve global world domination as a guide in developing goals and identifying the metrics you should assess to evaluate your progress toward achieving those goals. The targets shown here reflect the anticipated returns related to each action. You can modify this beyond website goals by adding to the measurement model based on other marketing activities you use such as social media, email marketing, and mobile marketing.

think see do care
Image courtesy of Occam’s Razor

Remember to update these goals periodically to ensure they remain realistic and challenging rather than assuming success when you achieve a goal.

2. Understand your target market

Create detailed buyer personas to understand the demographics, interests, pain points, and online behavior of your market groups. Buffer offers a great introduction to creating market personas if you’ve never done this before.

Once you’ve identified your personas, which should include where they get information online, you can make more informed decisions regarding where to focus your marketing efforts and how to tailor those efforts to reach each persona by modifying your messaging and where you post content to appeal to individual personas rather than trying to create generic messaging for all potential customers.

3. Create high-quality content:

Creating high-quality, high-value content on a consistent basis is the single most important key to success behind the first and second strategies on the list. Content marketing supports your SEO (search engine optimization, which we’ll discuss below), which is great. But content marketing also works to motivate your community to complete actions that benefit your brand such as buying products, posting reviews, joining your email list, and creating an account.

There’s a wide range of options when it comes to creating content so you shouldn’t struggle to develop a constant stream of great content. The key to creating great content is to ensure that 80% to 90% of the content creates value for users and only 10% to 20% is promotional for your brand. Also, your content should look professional but don’t worry that content doesn’t look like a Hollywood movie or flashy magazine article. Be authentic and ensure you support your branding with a consistent voice and graphic elements. Here are some options to consider:

  • Behind-the-scenes views
  • Highlights praising the managers, owners, and employees to help consumers identify with your brand as people
  • Praise for customers and prospective customers
  • Stories about product development
  • Product uses and how to get the most from your purchases
  • Engaging your community for ideas on new products, new menus, new logos, etc
  • Sales and promotions (although you should use these sparingly)
  • Share your efforts to support the values shared by your target market, as 75% of consumers vote with their dollars (67% globally) for companies that share their values, especially among younger consumers

    corporate social responsibility
    Image courtesy of Customer Insight Group
  •  Customer reviews and recommendations
  • Polls

4. Implement SEO best practices:

SEO uses an algorithm created and maintained by search engines to categorize and rank your content appearing on the results page when a user enters a query. These algorithms are complex, consisting of ranking factors and weights, and unpublished. Showing up near the top for a query means more traffic (organic traffic) visits your site, as you can see below. Since organic traffic represents more than 50% of all traffic visiting your website (75% for B2B websites), so good SEO is critical for success.

organic traffic
Image courtesy of Backlinko

SEO best practices change over time, so what I share here today won’t always have the same impact. You must keep up with periodic changes to the algorithm Google and other search engines use to rank your content to ensure you rank high for search terms related to your brand. However, all search engines endeavor to present the best content first in search results so if your strategy involves creating the best content possible, you’ll always do well.

Here are some specific factors Google (Google accounts for 93% of all organic traffic) currently uses to rank your content:

  • quality signals such as time on site, low bounce rate, social media engagement, and backlinks from high-authority websites
  • site speed
  • good user experience as shown by repeat site visits and the number of pages viewed during a visit
  • good technical factors such as clean code and schema markup
  • security, such as HTTPS protocols
  • usability such as Alt tags for visually-impaired
  • mobile-friendliness
  • outbound links to high-authority websites because they show you did your research

Overlaying all these factors is the impact of using keywords in crafting content that matches the words used in a user’s query and user intent. Use appropriate keywords in the title, headings, alt tags, and about once every 200 words in your copy. Use longtail keywords so each piece of content uses a unique keyword to avoid competing with your own content, thus lowering your rank.

5. Use paid advertising wisely:

Online advertising is inexpensive when compared with traditional advertising (as you can see below) and highly targeted, which means the ROI of paid advertising is much higher. These factors make online advertising appealing, especially for small businesses.

return on social advertising
Another advantage of online advertising is that you can more fully assess performance by tracking clicks all the way through the website to accurately calculate the ROI of these campaigns. This allows you to maximize the ROI of the campaign by tweaking it to achieve higher returns. For instance, Google Ads, which is a pay-per-click platform (meaning you only pay for results), allows advertisers to create a bunch of headings, keywords, and descriptions. The software uses AI to quickly calculate the combination with the highest click rate to reduce wasted spending.

A key element to success in online advertising is to create landing pages that match the ads you create. This often means having a large number of landing pages to optimize the match with your ads.

6. Email marketing:

Email marketing is actually a two-pronged marketing strategy. First, you must build your email list since current privacy laws in the US and much of the developed world disallow buying or sharing email lists. Hence, you need campaigns to build your list, which often involves advertising, creating specific landing pages for subscriptions, and motivating users to sign up. For instance, offering an incentive such as a coupon or a lead magnet is a great tool to increase subscriptions. On my site, I offer a helpful ebook for creating your own self-hosted website full of images and step-by-step directions that anyone can follow.

Next, you must send periodic messages to subscribers. The key to a high-performing email is getting the subject line right and optimizing timing. By matching content to different market personas and personalizing content, you can achieve up to a 3600% ROI, the highest of any marketing tactic.

7. Measure and analyze:

Measuring and analyzing your data to derive meaningful insights helps maximize the ROI of every marketing effort. By monitoring KPIs (those that translate into revenue) and comparing revenue with the investment needed to generate the revenue, you can drop campaigns that don’t work and learn to improve campaigns that do work to optimize your returns.

Advanced statistical analysis, such as predictive and prescriptive stats provides a sustainable competitive advantage when decisions are based on the insights derived from data using the right analysis techniques and skills, as you can see below.

predictive analytics in digital marketing
Image courtesy of Tibco

8. Marketing automation:

Use marketing automation tools to streamline repetitive tasks and send personalized messages to your audience at the right time. For instance, remember that consistency in posting content is important to maximize the ROI of your marketing efforts. But, posting content at the right time every day can really cut into your productivity. Instead of breaking off work on a project to post content, you can use automation tools to schedule posts ahead of time. You can schedule an entire week’s or month’s worth of content in just a few hours. A content calendar is also a great tool to help craft the massive amount of content needed to keep your pipeline full.

9. Conversion optimization:

You need to make the most of your marketing efforts by leading visits and community members toward conversion. Remember, conversion often requires a sustained effort as visitors don’t convert during their first visit. So, don’t lose track of your visitors. Here are some tactics to consider:

  • Remarketing campaigns send ads directly to prior visitors to your website. Since they already showed an interest in your brand, these ads build a relationship and keep your brand top-of-mind.
  • Lead generation programs work with visitors who provide contact information through a subscription or by creating an account. Lead gen programs send periodic messages targeting these visitors with personalized appeals to convert. For instance, someone who visited a product page on your website might receive an email about a discount on that product or alternatives while someone who left without completing a transaction might get an email reminding them they left products in their shopping carts.
  • Ensure the conversion process is seamless. First, visitors may have multiple visits and these don’t necessarily all occur on the same device or from the same source. Regardless of how the user reached your landing page, they should have a seamless experience that picks up where they left off.
  • Reduce the number of clicks needed to complete a transaction and automatically save a shopping cart once a visitor adds products to it.

10. Customer retention:

Don’t forget about existing customers. Data suggests it’s 5X more expensive to replace an existing customer with a new one. Increasing customer retention by a small amount can generate a huge increase in profits, up to 95% according to this source. That means you must ensure customer satisfaction and expend the resources necessary to meet customer needs every time.  Below, you can see how the level of satisfaction impacts your efforts to maximize the ROI of your business.

wow your customers
Image courtesy of Karrot

This means employing excellent customer service tactics such as using an audit to identify and fix problem points, using highly trained chatbots to ensure customers have 24/7 access to answers, and monitoring for problems as well as fixing them fast.

11. Competitor analysis:

Keep an eye on your competitors’ strategies and adapt your approach accordingly. Identify gaps and opportunities in the market so you can fill them. Don’t wait to see your sales plummet based on a new product or better service offered by a competitor. Monitor their actions by following them on social media to see what they’re planning.

Maximize the ROI of your actions

So, now you have 11 tools you can use to help you maximize the ROI of your company. Good luck and read on about each of these tactics on other pages of this website to learn more about how to implement them effectively.

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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.