Nearly every business needs to set aside a substantial portion of their budget toward marketing. After all, without a proper marketing strategy in place, businesses both new and well-established will struggle to locate qualified leads and close on sales. As such, entrepreneurs across industries from heavy equipment manufacturers, to record-store owners need to know how to get the most bang for their marketing buck. Indeed, the difference between the most successful businesses and their competitors often comes down to their ability to get the most out of every dollar they spend. But what’s their secret? How do you ensure that you’re squeezing every ounce possible out of your current marketing campaign? To that end, here are a few ways the savviest business owners optimize their marketing ROI:
Marketing ROI 101: Getting the Figures Right
As incredulous as it may seem, plenty of businesses don’t ever bother tabulating their marketing spend and revenue. Rather, they’re seemingly content with bringing in untracked returns and have no interest in improving the way they do business. So, the first step toward improving your marketing ROI is determining how to calculate it. The good news is, you’ve got plenty of metrics that can help you arrive at accurate figures –– and isolate you’re most (and least) successful marketing efforts and online advertisements. Call analytics software in particular will enable you to view how effectively your content and ads managed to generate phone calls to your sales staff.
Don’t Fight Uphill Battles
After you’ve correctly calculated your marketing ROI, you should then be able to select the areas where you’re seeing the most success. Resist the temptation to ignore the ads, blogs, and social media posts that are performing well for you. Instead, it’s probably a wiser play to try and boost content that’s already managed to gain some traction. Tracking how your leads respond to your ads is also an intelligent way to conduct your own unique user research. As for the marketing material that isn’t seeing the results you’d like, chances are you’re better served altering them drastically or scrapping them completely. In brief, find areas where you can make a difference and give them the lion’s share of attention. (In this case, the squeaky wheel probably shouldn’t get the grease.)
Managing PPC Advertising
Lots of businesses have begun implementing Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns over recent years, and for good reason. That’s because expertly crafted PPC ads offer businesses the opportunity to make significant inroads with large numbers of their potential customer base. However, PPC campaigns can also prove costly. If you rely heavily on PPC advertising to form your marketing strategy then you’ll need to concentrate on creating ads that are going to send good leads to your website. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying for clicks that don’t want to do business with you. One way to make sure that you don’t get accidental (and undesirable) traffic on your PPC landing pages is to implement negative keywords in your ads. Negative keywords are words and phrases that you don’t want associated with your ads through search engine queries. For example: if you’ve created PPC ads for a private lender that doesn’t offer loans to bars and restaurants, you may want to select the phrase “restaurant loans” as a negative keyword. That way, you can better funnel interested parties onto your website.
Get Something for Nothing
One awesome way to improve your marketing ROI is to occasionally find ways to get something for nothing. In this regard, you want to identify marketing opportunities that won’t cost you anything to explore. Blogging about industry-specific terms and concepts is one way to give yourself a chance to find cost-efficient leads. In fact, you can even use use old blog posts to help draw in new customers. Linking and backlinking between your blogs and web pages, reforming blogs into pillar pages, and including links to landing pages within your blog posts will allow your website to “do the hard work for you.”
Balance Patience and Pragmatism
Online marketing efforts –– especially those related to search-engine optimization –– require time, and a bit of savvy risk-management to flourish. Unless your budget far exceeds that of all your competitors, don’t expect to see massive returns after implementing a brand new strategy. Conversely, you can’t be afraid to jump ship on a campaign if you don’t feel it’s going to improve. It’s a tough balance to strike, but the best entrepreneurs know when to stick with a plan and when to opt for new ideas.