Part 2: Sustaining Your Digital Marketing Investment
After properly investing in digital marketing and building a strong foundation, you can use the power of digital marketing to sustainably and profitably grow your business. NetElixir’s Sr. Business Development Manager, Anthony Turco, partnered with the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce in an installment of their Small Business Friday segment to provide actionable insights into starting and sustaining a profitable business. Anthony uses insights from his diverse background to help businesses find their footing. He aims to teach start-ups how to properly leverage the power of digital media investment for predictable and profitable growth.
Digital marketing is a crucial element of your e-commerce strategy. Learn how you can set the right goals for your business and understand how your digital investment pays off.
Setting the Right Goals for Your Business
To set the right goals for your business, your first need to compile your internal and external resources. Have an honest look at your cost of goods sold and desired profit margin by keeping bidding structure and logistics costs in mind. Understand how you fit into the market and your current client base. Don’t be afraid to use any and all free tools at your disposal, such as:
- Google Trends analyzes the popularity of search queries in Google across different regions, languages, and timeframes and compares search volume of different queries. Use this as a general guideline of rising and falling trends.
- Google Analytics tracks and reports your website traffic, so you can have a sense of who visits your website, what pages get heavy traffic, which pages have a high bounce rate, and more.
- Google Ads to display brief advertisements, services, products, etc. to web users to attract new and retarget returning customers.
Use the profit and loss equation template below to accurately set your campaign expectations:
What is in green in the chart to the left is what you can control and levers you can play around with to test different scenarios. Note that in the above chart, your ad budget is at the end of the equation; do not start with a predetermined ad spend until you finalize your target outcome. Start with an idea of your market share of how many customers, clicks, and conversions you can attract and add how many you want to attract and then calculate your ad spend to help you hit those numbers. Digital marketing helps you achieve your end results, but should not determine your overall goals.
Agencies will help you figure out a budget, as they have a deeper understanding of if customers are converting and clicking and can monitor progress more closely. Anthony stresses that decision-makers should be on as many marketing conversations as possible to ensure marketing goals and strategies align with the overall company goals. Your whole team should be on the same page, as different departments can bring different insights into cost variables, customer expectations, and more.
Understanding Your Business’s Assets
In allocating your assets, you have to understand the role of various digital marketing assets from SEO, social, advertisements, and more. Paid and organic content work together to drive your business’s growth:
What the symbols mean:
- Question mark: these business units require resources to grow market share
- Star: positive returns and market growth
- Dog: unexpected returns
- Cash cow: opportunities for reinvestment
Paid search is an investment that can accrue great rewards and offers faster returns. Once those ads stop running, your business stops pulling in revenue and clicks so you want to have a complementary long-term growth plan running alongside any paid marketing efforts.
Organic search, on the other hand, grows slowly, but once it takes off, it can immensely help your business. SEO is structured, so over time, the systems already in place will help your website rank higher. SEO, however, requires time and a larger upfront investment but will pay dividends in the long run. Use SEO to build brand visibility and promote your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Structure your content to educate your audience by answering questions and tagging images.
Organic marketing builds loyalty and authority; it should be nurtured alongside the more immediate gains of paid marketing.
How Important is User Experience?
User experience is everything in the digital marketing world. Your website needs to be user-friendly in order for your hard work in both the paid and organic landscapes to matter. “We haven’t even said ‘alright, let’s start marketing’, right, because all this setup is so important to make sure you have everything squared away. UX is everything,” Anthony says.
Perfecting your user experience early on will protect your time, money, and business. Consider the following stats from Google:
- 85% of searchers don’t return what the user is looking for. Solution: Research and invest in the highest-rate plugin for search navigation on your website.
- 35% of consumers will abandon their cart if there is no guest checkout. Solution: Have an option for guest checkout to reduce checkout friction.
- If your homepage has a carousel of images, almost 90% of clicks go solely to the first image, while images in positions 2 onwards, receive only about 5% of the CTR. Solution: Consolidate above-the-fold CTAs and images to showcase your most pertinent offer.
In analyzing your user experience, Anthony reminds us, “Think about every bad experience you’ve ever had on a site that you’re shopping on or you’re going to look for something or a service – remember that. Write it down and make sure your site’s not doing the same thing.”
If you aren’t sure what your customers like, survey them! Your website is not about how good you think it is, but how good your customers think it is. Plus, customers like to know they have input on a brand that matters to them.
How Do I Best Sustain My Digital Investment?
Tracking is critically important to sustaining your investment in digital marketing because you know the exact results of your efforts and what to tweak for the next campaign.
Google Analytics helps with understanding the basic demographics of your visitors, their conversion rates, how they found your site, percentage of mobile vs desktop traffic, etc. There are five things that you should be tracking for your business that are not standard in Google Analytics:
- Revenue, orders, and conversions
- Events and goals
- Customer behavioral funnels
- UTM codes for emails, phone tracking, etc.
- Custom segments
You want to understand where your customers are dropping off so you can easily fix problem areas and maintain customers. Custom segments can include specific timeframes, such as a strict Cyber 5 analysis when the holidays roll around again or a YoY analysis of specific holidays relevant to your business.
Your end audience goal should be a build of your high-value customer. On average, high-value customers have a 3X higher growth potential. NetElixir’s proprietary customer analytics tool, LXRInsights, offers a holistic approach to guide and power your digital marketing investments and business decisions by delivering game-changing insights about your high-value customers.
You want clear, concise, and consistent reporting to maximize your investment in digital marketing. Reports should easily and simply display information so you can make easier business decisions.
Further Resources to Empower Your Digital Marketing Investment
This is a continued recap of a presentation with the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce as part of their Small Business Friday segment. You can watch the full presentation yourself for more insights into specific aspects of your business, like LinkedIn marketing, analytics, web hosting, and more.
Request a demo for LXRInsights, NetElixir’s proprietary customer analytics tool, to target, engage, and win high-value customers. Begin growing your e-commerce business with the latest real-time analytics into what makes your customers click.
Have any further questions regarding how to properly invest in digital marketing? Contact an expert at NetElixir!