Even at the best of times, companies are massively incentivized to get the most out of their marketing spend. But, as another year of economic uncertainty looms, business owners like you are doubly motivated to make every dollar count. Today we are going to discuss some digital marketing strategies for 2021 to increase your ROI.
This is a super-appropriate time for you and your marketing team to do an audit of your various marketing channels’ returns. The knowledge you’ll gain from this audit will form the basis for some difficult decisions you may need to make regarding your marketing budget.
Knowing which channels are performing well (and which are not) will allow you to:
- Double down on strategies that are working for your company.
- Plug the leaks in underperforming channels.
- Scrap certain strategies entirely.
- Implement new strategies that weren’t thought of as viable options in the past.
Naturally, the approach you’d want to take with a new marketing strategy will depend on various factors that are unique to your business and industry.
There’s a lot to consider here, and it’s unlikely you’ll find an article telling you exactly what the right strategic decisions are. There are simply too many variables to take into consideration.
What we can help you with is some information on marketing strategies from which you can expect some excellent returns. We can also help with some tips on maximizing these returns and avoiding pitfalls associated with those strategies, so read on.
1. Know Who You’re Selling To
Developing a deep and granular understanding of exactly who your marketing channels are trying to reach is a critical part of improving your returns.
Building buyer personas is the most effective way for you to create this knowledge. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding some extremely useful guides to help you with this if you’ve never attempted it before.
Once you’ve generated this broad, highly detailed view of all your customer categories, you’ll be in a very powerful position. You’ll be able to assess all of your marketing channels’ customer touchpoints, gauging how effectively it speaks to these personas.
There isn’t a single point of customer engagement that you can afford to overlook here. Critically analyze the tone and content of every page on your website, the landing pages used for your PPC advertising campaigns, your email newsletters, your Facebook ad copy, your Instagram posts, even the language used by the salespeople interacting with your leads in person.
Wherever you communicate with leads and existing customers, ensure that the visual and written language you use speaks to one or more of your buyer personas.
Establishing your buyer personas will also allow you to understand whether it’s worth maintaining an existing marketing channel or whether you’d be better off pursuing a new one.
2. Get The Most Out Of Your Chatbot
Chatbots have, understandably, become an extremely effective part of customer support. People who use your service or buy your products want help instantly, and chatbots have become intelligent enough to give them the answers they need when they need it.
If you go the extra mile and associate a real human face with these interactions – the way Mannequin Mall does with their chat interface – you’re giving your customers an added sense of comfort that they’re not just a number in your automated sales funnel. This breeds brand loyalty and increases the lifetime value you can expect from your existing customer base.
As some of you may know, retaining a customer is five times cheaper than acquiring a new one. On top of this, you’re more than double as likely to make a sale to an existing customer than a new one.
One way to interpret these stats is to start viewing certain aspects of support as marketing. If you do an amazing job of keeping your existing customers happy, you’re marketing your brand to them. Real-time assistance from a friendly, knowledgeable human is a super effective way to create an overlap between support and marketing.
3. Use Video To Shorten Your Sales Cycle
Some online businesses are in the unenviable position of selling products or services with long sales cycles. This typically happens in the B2B space, where purchases have to go through reviews and multiple approvals.
It can also happen in the B2C world where the product is new, expensive, or addresses a pain point that customers didn’t know they had. In these cases, customers need more persuasion that the purchase they’re considering is a feasible one.
This persuasion can take many forms, but, in my view, few are as effective as explainer videos. Sure, the initial expense may be much, much higher than hiring a professional copywriter to populate your site with some amazing sales material, but videos have a proven record of being exceptionally engaging and effective at conversions.
For an example of how to do video right, have a look at how GetSafe positions their medical alert service with visitors to their home page. The video is short, has excellent production value, and contains all the information a potential customer needs to establish interest in a product they may never have considered before.
Having seen some success in using video to nurture leads, GetSafe went the extra mile and created an entire YouTube channel populated with videos explaining the benefits of their products.
4. Satisfy Your Leads With The Right Kind of Content
This marketing strategy depends highly on properly establishing and documenting your brand’s target audience. Essentially, it involves ensuring that your content marketing and SEO strategies take your buyer personas into consideration.
Many brands develop a content strategy that gives a disproportionate amount of importance to keywords and other SEO mechanisms. If your first and only concern with your blog posts is to have them rank on Google, you may be putting more emphasis on what Google wants than what your leads want.
Topic and keyword selection is extremely important, yes, but is it more important than giving your readers information that’s relevant to them?
It’s essential to establish a content strategy that speaks to your readers’ needs. Take a look at what JOI has done with its blog.
Clearly, the online nutrition retailer has found that the content their target market relates to most is recipes. JOI understands that one of the best ways to position their product in a content format is in a very actionable context.
Instead of simply jamming their blog with industry keywords, JOI gives their leads useful information that has a very practical overlap with their product.
5. Streamline Your Website’s Messaging
Never forget that your website, itself, is a marketing channel. Money paid to your designers and copywriters is a marketing investment. It’s crucial that you consistently measure your website’s effectiveness at retaining visitors and driving them towards conversion.
Having established your buyer personas, you’ll have a very clear idea of the tone that your website’s copy has to strike. You’ll also have a great idea of how much informational content is necessary on your various landing pages.
Aura is an example I often use when discussing a homepage that nails the right amount, tone, and clarity of messaging.
The site’s design is incredibly straightforward, but it’s the copy that makes it special. Every single line of text is simple to read, easy to understand, and perfectly placed in the site’s overall communication objective.
Here’s a company that understands its target audience’s communication needs. It illustrates a relatively inexpensive way to see a solid return on marketing investment.
Your copywriter is often a one-off, fixed cost. Get the most out of this expense by supplying them with buyer personas and insisting all the website’s copy takes these people’s needs into consideration.
It’s a great way to get the most out of this unavoidable investment.
Some Final Thoughts
In closing, I want to expand on a point I made earlier. Rethinking your marketing strategy is going to take a whole lot of work aside from reading articles like this one.
You’re going to have to make decisions based on data, not feelings or hunches. Knowing what is and isn’t working for your business has to come from metrics.
So, if you haven’t already, ensure the mechanisms are in place to measure your current marketing efforts’ effectiveness.
Deciding where to redirect your marketing budget isn’t something you should do hastily or in isolation. Take your time. Talk to your business partners. Reach out to experts in the marketing community or get input from others who have tried a similar strategy.
You’re not in this alone, and you may be surprised how helpful your colleagues and peers can be.