Find Out from the Experts How to Choose Which Marketing Tactics Yield the Highest ROI
Allocating your marketing spend is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business, and a lot of thought and strategic decision making will undoubtedly go into your final plan. The opportunities available to reach your customers through digital marketing is rapidly expanding and evolving. This guide will give you a preliminary look into the various digital marketing avenues and explain how each of them connect you with your customers, which verticals they work best for, and how they bring value to your business.
Once you are finished with this guide, make sure to schedule a discovery session with a digital marketing expert at Organically to design a custom digital marketing strategy tailored to your business.
Here is a summary of the sections covered in this guide:
- Assessing the Effectiveness of Your Past Initiatives
- Understanding All Your Options
- Determining which Services are the Best Fit for Your Business
- Consulting with the Experts to Develop a Comprehensive Digital Marketing Strategy
- Evolving and Experimenting: When to Update Your Digital Strategy
- Defining a Budget for Your Marketing Campaigns
- Measuring the Impact of Your Marketing Initiatives
Assessing the Effectiveness of Your Past Initiatives
The best place to start when determining how you want to allocate your marketing spend and which services are best for you is to take a hard look at what you are doing now. Even if you think what you’re doing now is not effective or could be improved, this will give you a good place to start.
Developing a good website is usually key to any online success, as the website will act as the brand hub and the portal by which you can divert all of your customers to so that they can learn more about your products and services.
If you are satisfied with your current website, then which other marketing initiatives are you currently using? What was your anticipated ROI? Have you achieved that ROI or would you like to improve it further? Once you have a good baseline established from evaluating where you currently stand with your digital presence and online marketing initiatives, you can begin to look at how other services can be folded into your current plan or how you can maximize the results from the initiatives that you are already using.
Understanding All Your Options
The next section of this guide will provide you with an overview of each digital service provided by Organically. A few digital services will not be covered in this guide, such as affiliate marketing, but are still available should you wish to pursue them.
Search Engine Optimization
To determine whether you should invest in SEO, the question you need to ask yourself is whether or not your customers use the search engines to search for businesses like yours. If the answer is yes, then it is very likely your business could benefit from Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What is SEO? SEO involves optimizing your website for the search engines, and even more simply, what we do is attempt to make your website the best resource on the web for the products and services you sell. When we do that, the search engines naturally want to rank your website higher since it fulfills the purpose of providing the best information available for those specific products and services.
There are a number of specific initiatives that can help you improve your search engine rankings. Broadly, we group SEO ranking signals into 2 main categories: relevance and popularity. Google and the other major search engines want to ensure that your website is relevant to the search terms that users looking for your products and services are using to find you, and they also want to see proof of the credibility of your business, which they currently evaluate based on links back to your website and social proof in the form of social media posts and links posted to your website from social media profiles.
So if you were interested in initiating an SEO campaign, what are the benefits for your business? It is estimated that 80% of search engine users click through the organic results rather than the paid results. Building solid rankings will net you a steady stream of traffic that you don’t have to pay for per click. Depending on the size of your potential customer base and the frequency that they use the search engines to find businesses like yours, high organic search rankings can be a very lucrative marketing channel for businesses of all sizes.
Social Media Marketing
Will it benefit your business to invest in social media marketing? It depends. There are a number of factors that go into this decision. What are the goals for your marketing campaigns? Do you want to create more brand exposure and loyalty? Do you want to create another platform for your customers to talk with you and recommend your service? Does your ideal customer typically align with the demographics that use social media? These are all great questions you can answer to determine whether there’s opportunity for you with professional social media marketing.
Most businesses today actively promote their business through some form of social media. It can be incredibly time consuming for staff to operate a social media presence, which is one reason that companies often consider allocating marketing spend towards professional social media management. In addition, it can help you clearly delineate your goals and determine whether your current efforts are helping you achieve those goals. If your goals include increased brand awareness, better communication with your customers, reaching users that are very active on social media, or other objectives that you can pursue through a targeted social media campaign, then allocating resources towards building a solid social presence may be the best option for your business.
Retail businesses, travel/tourism businesses, sports or news organizations, as well as many others can benefit from a professional social media presence. If you are curious as to whether social media should be part of your overall digital marketing plan, schedule a consultation with experts at Organically today.
Pay Per Click Digital Advertising
If your customers are using the search engines to search for businesses like yours, waiting for organic search results to materialize from an SEO campaign that engages in only Google approved best practices can take several months even up to a year or more to see best results. If you need an instant injection of leads to your website, pay per click is a great way to capture buyers that are at various stages of the buying process. By targeting highly effective keywords, we can optimize campaigns for conversions to ensure that the ROI on every marketing dollar spent on Google advertising is as high as possible.
Use the following questions to determine the effectiveness of digital advertising for your business (please note that a professional can help you answer these if you are unsure of any of the answers):
- How effectively does your website convert leads?
- What is the average cost per click of industry keywords related to your business? This will give you a good estimate of how much each lead will cost. You can then divide that number by your total ad spend to get an estimated number of clicks that you may receive during an advertising campaign.
- What is the average conversion rate on Google Adwords (or whichever digital advertising method you are evaluating) for your industry? You can then multiply the average number of clicks by the average conversion rate to determine how many conversions you can expect to receive for that spend.
- What is the estimated goal value or transaction value of an average conversion on your website?
- How effectively will you be able to track conversions? Is ecommerce tracking possible? (This is an important question as it will help you continue to justify your advertising spend on this method and evaluate the overall value of the ads that you place vs. the cost.)
- Would a cost per impression (banner advertising, social media advertising, etc.) campaign be beneficial in promoting brand or product awareness? What would success look like for that type of campaign in terms of conversions?
*Keep in mind that cost per conversion typically decreases as advertising spend increases, and it takes time to establish a high performing advertising campaign. The numbers you see may take time to achieve.
As with most marketing initiatives, the value of a pay per click campaign can’t be quantified without an in-depth and detailed analysis of your web presence, your current marketing/advertising efforts, and a number of other factors.
How many times have we heard that content is king? Well, it still is. Quality content is the foundation of any solid digital marketing campaign. The way we communicate about our business speaks volumes (literally), and a highly tailored content marketing campaign is usually a component of any well rounded digital marketing campaign. It is almost impossible to develop a marketing campaign without a content marketing component as every service will involve some form of messaging and positioning.
With that said, how can you determine which content marketing initiatives are most suitable for your business? Let’s first look at a list of options in terms of types of content you can produce digitally to hook your customers and encourage them to learn more about what you have to offer.
- SEO articles
- Social media posts
- Ad copy
- Email Newsletters
- Virtual Downloads (PDF or other)
- Website copy
- Sales copy
- PR pieces
As you can see there are a wide range of options, some of which are included with other services that you can purchase for your business. Creating value for your customers through the written word is essential to digital marketing, and there are many options to explore that will allow you to grow your virtual presence and build more authority in your industry.
Email newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your existing customer base and to promote offers that are exclusive to them, keep them up to date with the goings on at your business, share blog posts or social media content with them, and get valuable feedback in the form of surveys or other features that you can add to your newsletter.
Cultivating a solid email list can take some time, but if you have a large base of existing customers, you may have already saved a considerable number of these leads. If you already have a list of emails, an email marketing campaign will typically include at least one monthly newsletter possibly more depending on your business and the offers that you have to promote. If you do not have an existing email list, you can still set up an email campaign to begin collecting email addresses and then begin sending emails once you have established a base of subscribers.
Determining which Services are the Best Fit for Your Business
Now that you’ve taken a look at your past successes (and failures) and you know what some of the best options are for marketing your business virtually, you can begin to assemble the plan for your business’s digital marketing. Often, the best idea is to select the marketing activities that are the best fit for your business, and then allocate your budget accordingly amongst those activities. If you have internal resources that you can devote to specific services, you can often hire an agency to perform the specialized services that you may be lacking the expertise to complete with your internal team alone. Finding a good balance between utilizing internal resources and outside contractors or companies is essential when creating the ideal marketing strategy for your business.
If there are services that you are unsure about but you are open to experimenting, it may be best to allocate a small budget to an experimental campaign so that you can see the value that it may provide. Launching a small experimental campaign may not be as difficult as it seems and will give you valuable insight on whether to allocate a larger amount of your budget towards that marketing channel in the future.
Consulting with the Experts to Develop a Comprehensive Digital Marketing Strategy
At this point in the process, you may want to consider contacting professionals like the experts at Organically to help you determine the best use of your budget based on your findings and observations. Professionals can take the information that you’ve gathered during this process and help you drill down on how best to allocate those resources for maximum effectiveness and ROI. Through the use of marketing tools, analytics, and industry expertise, professionals can help you bring all of the information together in a cohesive way so that you can create a final draft of your marketing plan that they can then begin to help you execute should you need assistance.
Evolving and Experimenting: When to Update Your Digital Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy is not a static element, but a constantly evolving and fluid plan that should be updated on a consistent basis to take advantage of new opportunities. Whether these opportunities take shape in current marketing initiatives you are pursuing or new initiatives pique your interest, you should re-evaluate your marketing strategy and the allocation of your resources at least once per year.
While it may seem overwhelming to try a multitude of different digital marketing strategies, keeping an open mind often leads to the best results. Sometimes it is easy to stick with tried and true digital marketing practices, but pioneering new technologies can actually be a great way to reach new customers and expand your influence and your market share.
Defining a Budget for Your Marketing Campaigns
We discussed allocating your marketing spend briefly above, but if you are unsure of how to determine how much you should be spending on marketing, we have some tips to share.
Businesses spend on average about 10% of their budget on marketing, some more and some less. The average small business spends an average of 7-8% of their budget on marketing, while larger and more established businesses may spend much more. If you are looking to enter a growth stage in your business, allocating considerable resources towards marketing and reaching new customers is a great idea. If you are satisfied with your current growth trajectory, then allocating 8% towards your marketing may be a successful strategy.
The great thing about allocating your budget towards marketing is that you are actively investing in your business’s continued success. While results are not guaranteed with marketing, spreading your budget across multiple channels helps to ensure that your marketing spend yields a positive return.
Measuring the Impact of Your Marketing Initiatives
After you have put together your marketing plan, allocated your budget, and launched the campaign, you need to ensure that you have a comprehensive strategy for tracking results and measuring the effectiveness of your efforts. With digital marketing, measuring success is easier than with any other form of advertising, as there are advanced tracking methods that will allow you to track almost every interaction that your customers have with your brand online. From Google Analytics to social analytics to advanced reporting tools, you will have an incredible amount of data to sift through if you set up your tracking properly.
While it is great to have a large amount of data, you will also need to have a plan for making sense of that data. A valuable report will not only show you the numbers and the data behind the interactions your customers have with your virtual presence, but it will also explain that data in detail while also providing actionable insights that will help your marketing initiatives progress to the next level.
As we close out this guide, we hope the information that we provided was helpful to you in drafting your own marketing plan. If you need additional help or you have any questions, please schedule a time to discuss your business and its marketing strategy with the experts at Organically. We look forward to working with you!