How to Boost Your Digital Marketing ROI

tacks of coins sprouting leaves at their tops.

Another brilliant post from contributor Mary Aspen Richardson

A good Return On Investment (ROI) is what we all hope for, in marketing or otherwise, but it doesn’t come easy. Whether you’re a new or seasoned marketer, challenges abound. As digital marketing becomes more competitive, expansive, and experimental, there are no entirely safe investments with guaranteed positive outcomes. Still, there are many ways to boost your digital marketing ROI – as we’ll see today.

What’s an excellent digital marketing ROI?

First, if you’re looking to boost your ROI, you likely already know the basics. The term refers to your final returns and is more easily calculated by dividing returns by the investment cost. You can use this number as-is, multiply it by 100 to get a percentage value, or divide returns by costs to obtain an x:y ratio. So, for example, a return of 100 on a cost of 25 would be a 4:1 ratio.

What you may not know is what constitutes a good ROI, however. Marketing ROI statistics find that a 5:1 ratio is decent, and anything beyond that is good. That also refers to total ROI, the sum of all your channels’ ROI values.

Indeed, different channels have notably different typical ROIs. For some examples:

  • Email marketing boasts a staggering ROI of 36:1
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) has a modest ROI of 2:1
  • Paid social media have a riskier ROI of 19:20

That does not mean some channels are best ignored, however. Where a standalone channel’s ROI may be unimpressive, omnichannel marketing requires that you combine channels. In doing so, one can enhance the other and produce a much more effective customer journey.

A black calculator next to a sheet on investment costs and returns.

How to Boost Your Digital Marketing ROI

If this sounds complex, it doesn’t need to be. In some order, consider the following steps to consolidate your channels, optimize your campaigns, and ultimately see better ROI across the board.

#1 Leverage marketing automation

First, omnichannel marketing can indeed be quite hectic. To keep your efforts seamless, you can begin by employing marketing automation. Whether your size or market position, satisfying your current customers and growing your customer base with marketing automation are feasible goals.

For one, marketing automation is a great way to secure clients; such tools as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions can allow you to drill down into customer analytics. In contrast, marketing automation solutions can free up your time for more creatively demanding tasks. Depending on your automation solutions, you may also be able to collect customer feedback more consistently, automate outreach, and more. Finally, if applicable to your business, automation can expand your operations beyond working hours, increasing your final revenue.

#2 Hybridize and expand your channels

As you do, remember not to fall into the reverse trap of avoiding new channels because expanding sounds daunting. While your business may benefit more from focusing on just a few channels that best resonate with your audiences, diversification is generally an asset worth the effort.

Toward this end, you may dig into historical data, audience and customer insights, and other relevant data points to create a hybrid strategy. For such strategies, you may combine the following:

  • Organic and paid channels
  • Digital and physical channels
  • Inbound and outbound marketing tactics

Depending on your analytics and audiences, this may be just what you need to boost your digital marketing ROI by offering a holistic, satisfying customer journey. Consider what channels may best augment the journey and proceed accordingly.

A visualization of a customer journey on a sheet of paper on a table.

#3 Keep your metrics in mind

As you do, however, you must keep an eye on relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). That is a highly subjective matter that strongly depends on your business needs and goals. Pinpointing valuable KPIs and avoiding vanity ones is an excellent starting point.

Covering the basics, defines good KPIs as ones that:

  • Provide objective evidence of progress toward achieving the desired result
  • Measure what is intended to be measured to help inform better decision making
  • Offer a comparison that gauges the degree of performance change over time
  • Can track efficiency, effectiveness, quality, timeliness, governance, compliance, behaviors, economics, project performance, personnel performance, or resource utilization
  • Are balanced between leading and lagging indicators

Marketing-wise, this would mean pinpointing campaign-relevant and goal-relevant KPIs. Total impressions only say so much about a conversion-minded campaign, for instance, while they’d be a key KPI for brand awareness campaigns.

#4 Identify areas for improvement

As you dig into your analytics and re-align your campaigns with your goals, you will soon have the opportunity to examine your overall marketing strategies. With a customer journey map, you may explore different touchpoints and strategies to identify shortcomings.

Granted, doing so may take effort and requires you to correctly decipher your KPIs. Still, it’s one of the best ways to boost your digital marketing ROI as you optimize the entirety of the journey.

A pen on a notebook next to a white tablet on a table.

Potential areas for improvement depend on your existing strategies but may include:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies; on-page, off-page, and technical optimizations
  • PPC campaigns; copy, Calls to Action (CTAs), targeting, duration, and more
  • Email marketing; audience segmentation and targeting, behavioral email triggers, outreach timing, and so on

While exact optimization routes are highly subjective, the previous steps should help approach this one strategically. Go beyond how an individual channel or strategy looks or performs and focus more on how it improves or inhibits the overall customer journey.

#5 A/B test diligently and keep monitoring your efforts

Finally, as outlined manifold, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. What works for one business or one customer segment may not work for the next, and what works today may not work tomorrow. As such, you A/B must test your optimizations and keep a consistent close eye on your campaigns.

The need for the latter should be self-evident; not monitoring your campaigns to address sudden performance changes can spell disaster. The former may not need much elaboration, as A/B testing is the safer route. Indeed, statistics find that A/B testing is relatively prominent and embraced:

  • Some 77% of companies are running A/B testing on their website. About 60% of companies perform A/B tests on their landing pages, and approximately 59% perform email A/B tests.
  • Only 7% of companies believe it’s challenging to perform A/B tests.
  • One out of eight A/B tests drives significant change.

Therefore, following these established practices should offer an excellent safeguard against performance fluctuations and commitment to hasty, ineffective changes.

A focus photograph of a graph on a laptop screen.

Work smarter, not harder, to boost your digital marketing ROI

In summary, to boost your digital marketing ROI, you require a strategic approach. They must begin with a firm grasp of your historical performance data and audience insights to best inform change. They require careful consideration of existing channels and strategies, embracing diversification and expansions with some relevant marketing automation. Finally, they need an attentive eye on relevant KPIs and the performance of ongoing campaigns while ideally having thorough A/B testing to inform data-driven decisions.

While brief, we hope this article helped you get started. ROI improvements are not easy and come with no guarantees, but they’re very much worth the effort.

Meta: If you’re looking for ways to boost your digital marketing ROI but don’t know where to get started, we’re here to help.

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