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If you’re a small to medium-sized business looking to grow, marketing is definitely something you should invest in to support your business plan.

If, however, like many business owners, you are working with tight margins and limited resources, you will want the biggest possible return on investment (ROI) from your marketing spend.

Easier said than done, right?

Do some marketing planning before you start doing your marketing communication.

Here at FTG Marketing, we have put together our 6 top tips to help you increase marketing ROI and help to grow your business profitably.

1) Set your SMART targets

Your marketing strategy should align with your business plan. If done right, your targets should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

What is it you want your marketing to achieve? Knowing your goals will allow you to focus on your marketing and make it more impactful.

If you want to collect more prospect data, you can create a lead magnet (something like a free downloadable guide), which prospects can access in exchange for their details. Outline how many downloads you want, offset this number with the cost of the lead magnet creation to ensure you are still strategising profitably, and then give yourself deadlines, which you can monitor. Five downloads in week 1 or 20 downloads in month 1 etc.

Keep your call to action specific – if you want someone to sign up to your newsletter then push solely that. Don’t spread yourself too thin trying to increase databases, sales, web hits, and so on. Establish what is most important and focus on that first.

2) Choose your channels strategically

A marketing “channel” is a method of communicating with your audience through a particular tool or platform, such as social media, direct mail, advertising, email marketing, public relations, and more.

Learning the best channels takes time and a bit of trial and error, but once you find your sweet spot – the place your customers respond best to – you can then focus your marketing efforts to increase your ROI.

For example, many clients want to increase engagement and followers on social media. This has obvious benefits but can take time and a lot of resources. If your customers are in fact responding to your emails and clicking through to purchase products – make emails your priority.

That’s not to say you should ignore social media – just don’t focus all of your efforts there and never write a channel off completely. What works for you now may not in the future and vice versa. Circle back to the ones you choose to cut out initially as your business grows and your ROI increases and your market changes – you will have more money to trial different marketing methods on different marketing channels as you grow.

3) Integrate your marketing

Now you have chosen your most effective marketing channels, you can make the biggest marketing impact by ensuring your messaging is consistent and cohesive across each channel in order to create a marketing campaign, rather than simply ‘doing some marketing’.

If you have chosen to focus your efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn and sales emails – all messaging should have the same call to action. The wording should reinforce one another too so that no matter where your prospect is seeing your marketing efforts, they are seeing the reading or hearing the same messaging. Sometimes it takes prospects a few ‘nudges’ to respond to your call to action, which is why integrating your campaign can be so effective.

You can also strategically ensure your channels ‘marry up’ on your databases. By this we mean, have you connected with you full email lists on LinkedIn? Do you follow your LinkedIn connections on Facebook? Think smarter, use your channels to their full potential and you will see an increase in your marketing ROI.

4) Content is king

Content marketing is one of our favourite marketing tactics. It’s such a win-win situation. Done right, it generates more traffic to your website, more prospects and more leads…at the same time as building your authority and credibility and providing copy to use on social media channels too.

Content marketing can have long-term benefits. Not only is it one of Google’s most important ranking factors, which will enhance your visibility in search rankings, it also, if done right, will nurture your prospects into becoming loyal customers.

Potential customers need to move through a continuum before they will do business with you. First, they need to know you, then like you, then trust you. Once they trust you, they are far more likely to buy from you. This is why content marketing is so powerful – it enables your customers to know, like, and trust you . . in a way that is useful and helpful to them.

It doesn’t have to be about fancy videos and infographics (although these are great if they are in your skillset). The most important thing is to focus on well-written content, such as blogs, guides, even FAQs done well on your website can be incredibly useful for SEO purposes.

5) Automate your marketing

Time is money and marketing can be time-consuming.

If you have limited resources to put into your marketing, then automating certain marketing activities can prove to be hugely beneficial and will mean you never miss a trick.

Email marketing is a perfect example of where you should be using automation. If someone signs up to a webinar, purchases a product, or downloads a guide they should be entered into what we call a ‘marketing funnel’. These funnels should all have a specific series of emails that are automatically sent to prospects who have provided you with their contact details. Be sure to include consistent calls to action and push them to what you need them to do most – book a consultation, repurchase a product, etc.

Other examples of automation include WordPress, through which you can schedule blog posts to be published on a specific date, and social media, where you can schedule your posts on multiple channels, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Once set up, automation means you can focus on the day-to-day running of your business, confidently knowing that marketing is taking place at the same time.

6) Never stand still

Don’t get complacent. What works for you now, may not forever. Even if you have come up with the most fantastic campaign, there is always room for improvement, and nothing stands still.

Always measure and analyse your marketing efforts to ensure that your marketing activities are effective. Data will become your best friend when trying to improve your marketing ROI.

Monitor your performance of each channel and also measure the performance of individual campaigns that are being used.

If for example, you create your emails in Mailchimp, what subject lines get opened more? Which emails receive the most clicks? What did people click? Do more of all of these.  Who clicked?

For social media, what competition did best? What type of post receives the most engagement? If you run an ad campaign – what imagery works best? Do you need to adjust your target audience or spend accordingly?

By constantly monitoring, analysing, and adjusting your marketing actives accordingly, you can ensure that you are always optimising your ROI.

If you need help with creating a marketing campaign that gives you the best possible ROI, contact FTG Marketing today, we’d be happy to help.