8 Tips to Increase Every Digital Marketing Tool’s ROI Potential

Digital marketing is constantly evolving. New technologies aimed at improving customer knowledge and satisfaction have changed consumer behavior. New customer demands have pushed businesses to innovate and invent even newer products. This cycle of innovation and evolving expectations continues to shape the future of digital marketing.

Let’s explore how online marketing has transformed in the past decade to meet shifting consumer demands. We’ll also run through tips to enhance your marketing strategy this year.

8 Tips to Increase Every Digital Marketing Tool's ROI Potential:

A Brief Lookback at the Evolution of Digital Marketing

Automation software, first introduced in the 1990s, was a game-changer for client segmentation, relationship management, and email distribution. Over time, it gradually expanded to include tasks like scheduling and distribution. 

The emergence of Facebook and other social media platforms in the early 2000s revolutionized customer-brand relations. Marketers, who relied on email to reach prospects and clients could now use integrated social channels in their strategy for direct and real-time communication.

Advertising also moved to the digital space. Companies bought ads on search and eCommerce platforms and their customers' favorite social networks. They also worked with influencers whom their target audiences follow. The adoption of consumer analytics and social listening tools to aid in ad placement timing and creator discovery became widespread in the race for high ROI.

Today, content marketing has become more personalized. Marketing teams now ensure the mobile-friendliness of websites and incorporate video, VR, and AR content into their campaigns for immersive experiences. Businesses are also optimizing their digital assets for voice search and making content more accessible to avoid discriminating against users with disabilities.

Also, digital marketers and the firms behind search engines have become more conscious of data privacy. As the end of third-party cookies looms, more companies are likely to advertise in retailers to reach in-market audiences, even as they deploy their first-party data strategies.

As the industry continues to expand, there are so many opportunities in store for marketers who are ready to mine the depths of innovations. Below, we discuss how you can maximize your profit in the 8 areas of modern digital marketing:

Strategies for ROI in Digital Marketing

1. Data Analytics

CRM systems and advanced analytics tools provide marketers access to vast amounts of data related to customer demographics, interests, and past behaviors. Software processes this data into insights, which can help deliver more personalized experiences leading to higher customer engagement, conversion rates, and loyalty.  

  • Leverage predictive analytics for targeted marketing  

Predictive analytics uses machine learning (ML) and AI to search for patterns and trends in historical data for forecasting behaviors or outcomes. Marketers can apply this analytics type in various ways:

Brand health monitoring: using natural language processing to analyze the public's sentiment about your brand or product on social media and other platforms.

Lead scoring: assigning scores to leads in determining those with the highest probability of buying your product or signing up for your service and prioritizing marketing efforts on these most promising leads.

Campaign optimization: referring to past purchasing patterns, particularly content and product preferences for personalization or identifying the most effective messages, channels, and timing of your campaigns. 

Dynamic pricing: adjusting prices in real-time based on current market demand, competitor activity, and external events, such as market price fluctuations due to supply chain issues.

Customer retention: spotting churn indicators (declining usage frequency, reduced engagement, negative feedback) and proactively engaging with these customers. 

Examples: Marriott Hotels uses Microsoft's dynamic pricing tool to set room rates according to special events, booking trends, occupancy levels, weather, and other factors. For instance, the company tracks concerts at Madison Square Garden to adjust prices at its hotels nearby. This strategy has raised revenues by an average of 5% annually.

Coursera uses the Amplitude platform for predictive analytics. It has boosted traffic growth by 30%. Analytics about the learners' interests and learning paths enable them to improve content delivery, customize course recommendations, provide a better user experience, and improve student retention.

  • Apply advanced segmentation techniques for personalized campaigns

Segmentation is dividing your customer base into distinct groups based on common characteristics to craft messages and offers that match each group's unique needs and interests. Machine learning can help you segment customers by: 

Demographics: age, birthday, gender, marital status, educational level, occupation, job seniority level, income, industry, nationality, race, or religion

Geographics: country, state, city/town, neighborhood/borough, weather

Psychographics (behavior): sales funnel stage, purchase frequency, time between purchases, purchase history, types of purchases, amount of money spent, most recent purchase, VIP status, membership expiration, abandoned cart status, website visit frequency/behavior, social media engagement level, personal interests, customer satisfaction, most/least reviewed, purchase behavior/engagement changes, desktop or mobile usage, event/webinar attendance

Examples: Starbucks uses its reward program to collect customer data on their buying habits. They then segment customers according to buying history, preferences, and location. This info allows the global coffee chain to personalize promotions and recommendations that align with local weather and seasons for its 33 million members in the U.S. alone.

Nike also runs a membership program to deliver personalized experiences. Member data on preferences and fitness goals allow the sportswear brand to personalize suggested products, training plans, and exclusive discounts. 79% of Nike customers cite special incentives as their reason for brand loyalty.

Remember that predictive marketing isn't a goal. To apply predictive analytics successfully, you must first identify your goals for using it. Determine what you want to measure (such as conversion rate growth or ad cost reduction) and how you will measure it. Various platforms are available to analyze raw data. They also feature easy-to-read dashboards to display results. Next, you must clarify how you will use the insights from analytics to reach your goals on an organizational level. Finally, plan how you will roll out changes based on data. For instance, this may mean integrating a collaborative filter to customize a software product or asking copywriters to produce content based on analytics results of ad testing.

2. AI for Data-Driven Insights and Decision-Making

AI and ML tools help marketers derive insights into customer preferences using raw data, allowing them to tailor messaging to their audience's needs and interests. Measuring website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, and market trends also helps marketing teams determine what is working in their campaigns and what needs improvement. As a result, brands and their internal teams or partner agencies can make informed decisions about creative development, budget allocation, and paid advertising.

Examples: In-home senior care provider Comfort Keepers uses Invoca's Signal AI call tracking solution to determine which calls come from a search ad extension or their website. The tool has helped the company find more customers and qualified caregivers for its over 650 franchise locations. At the same time, the solution helped Comfort Keepers optimize its Google Ads bid strategies to increase call volume by 59% and cut the cost per call by 50%.

Signal AI Discovery

Source: invoca.com

Meanwhile, SEO consulting agency Chilli Fruit used Surfer AI to boost visitor traffic to NBA Blast, a website that provides news on the NBA and its players. Using keyword research tools, the agency collected niche-specific phrases and queries from NBA and basketball fans and fed them to Surfer AI. This helped them balance keyword optimization, relevance, and readability in creating content, causing over 100 of their keywords to climb to the top 3 of SERPS. 

The growth was a big leap compared to pre-AI when its keywords were rarely seen within the top 20 SERPs. Along with building 60 high-authority backlinks, website traffic surged 3000% in 60 days.

3. AI for Conversational Marketing, Content Creation, and Programmatic Ads

AI can automate various tasks for marketers and their target audience through platforms and chatbot integration into websites. By analyzing user intent, search patterns, and content relevance, AI can suggest optimization strategies to ensure your content marketing resonates better with readers. Its content curation capabilities save you time and energy in searching for the most authoritative sources on the most relevant and valuable topics. These tools can also generate headlines, content, and outlines for blogs, social media, and product descriptions. 

You can integrate chatbots into your customer service channels to handle frequently asked questions and even guide callers through the buying process. These tools can improve customer experience because of their 24/7 accessibility and speed. Also, they can transfer website visitors to a human agent for more complex issues.

Moreover, marketers can now tap into AI-powered platforms to bid on programmatic ads on desktop, mobile apps, Connected TV, and more.

4. SEO for Growth Hacking

Despite the availability of AI, optimizing content for search engines will continue to require real people. Although AI content generators can suggest trending topics and compose whole articles and ad copy, they can only serve as first drafts at best. Human writers have to fact-check, edit, add backlinks, and enhance language to truly reflect the brand’s tone. On the upside, generative AI can increase the speed of content production through advanced keyword research and content performance measurement (traffic, engagement, and conversions). 

Here are other ways you can use SEO as a growth-hacking strategy:

  • Latent semantic indexing (LSI) 

LSI looks for relationships between documents and the terms often used together. Including LSI keywords or other terms related to your core or primary keyword can enhance your search engine visibility. For instance, some of the LSI terms for "Empire State Building" are "New York City," "Guinness Book of World Records," and "sightseeing."

  • Advanced link-building

Acquiring high-quality links leading to your website through guest posting or local business directories is no longer enough. Advanced techniques are necessary to rank higher in search results. Here are some strategies that you can apply: 

Broken link-building: use a link-building tool to scan websites for broken links. Then contact site owners or webmasters to notify them of the broken link and recommend your content as a replacement. Provide the specific URL and ensure that the page is relevant and high-quality.

Skyscraper approach: use content research tools to identify popular content in your niche. Look for content that ranks high for your topic or target keyword and has plenty of backlinks and engagement. Then, improve the existing content with updated data, more in-depth information, better images, or your unique perspective. After you've created a version that surpasses the original piece in quality and value, reach out to websites that have linked to the original content and ask them to link to your content instead.

Anchor text diversification: use more varied anchor texts instead of just focusing on your brand name. Feature branded (your company or product), generic ("click here," "this website"), exact/partial match anchors ("best pizza" vs. "best pizza in town"), long-tail keywords, and other keyword-rich anchor text.

Link reclamation: identify websites that mention your business but have no backlinks or existing links in the content have been changed or removed. You can type "link:yoursite.com" to find all the pages that link to your site. Contact the site owner and request to add a link to your website.

Resource page link-building: find websites with a page dedicated to resources or tools in your industry and request that they include a link to your website. You can find these by doing a Google search using keywords related to your industry, followed by "tools" or "resources."

Competitor backlink tracking: check the backlinks of other players in your industry to gain insights or discover new strategies. You could find a new reputable website in your field or industry directory, which you can link to.

  • SERP features and structured data to dominate search results

Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) has revolutionized search marketing as the AI’s responses to queries now appear on top of paid and organic results. The advantage is that SGE can feature your company among its suggested sites if you:

  • Produce quality content (simple information with high-quality backlinks and high readability)
  • Apply structured data markup
  • Provide decent website speed
  • Offer seamless user experience on all devices

Rank tracking tools can help you keep tabs on your business’s status and conduct SEO research to improve your SERP position.

5. Content Marketing 

Static blog posts and social media updates no longer cut it in this age of reduced attention spans. The following techniques can boost your online presence and make meaningful connections with your target audience: 

  • Interactive and immersive content for engagement

AR, VR, and other interactive content motivate consumers to check out your brand's digital assets. Whether promoting a virtual tour of a location or displaying your product in 3D, this immersive experience makes your content more memorable and attractive for bottom-funnel leads.

  • Hyper-targeted content strategies for niche audiences 

Hyper-targeting is delivering content at the right moment using optimal channels and the preferred format of niche audiences. This approach is informed by thorough data analysis.

Sydney-based Applejack Hospitality has used this approach in operating its group of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Each member establishment bears a unique brand and logo. The company’s marketing team first creates comprehensive diner personas based on the local clientele, noting age, gender, population, and other local developments. It uses the SevenRooms reservation platform, email marketing, and surveys for data collection and analysis.

Applejack then combines these personas with local community research in planning menus and events. It uses geo-tagging on social media and engages customers using the venue's Facebook and Instagram accounts for a more personalized experience. Its team also invests in paid ad sets catering to specific groups (corporate vs. casual) and locations. Read more case studies about hyper-targeting in our hyperlocal social media marketing guide.

  • Advanced techniques for measuring content marketing ROI 

You can use Google Analytics (GA) to generate your ROI and cost analysis reports. Some customer service platforms also have built-in features to help brands track conversions and ROI.

Examples: National heritage non-profit Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (FAI) worked with SaaS firm Tag Manager Italia in using GA4 to optimize Google and Meta ads. It also used the most updated version of GA to separately track conversions from purchase cards and renewal cards. Using these tools, they were able to measure how FAI's membership grew by 128% in H1 of 2023. Moreover, 57% of Google Ads placed as part of a Christmas campaign generated a 55% growth in new members.

Meanwhile, UK-based cosmetics brand Lush achieved a 369% ROI in less than a year using Zendesk. Real-time customer data allowed managers to develop and optimize customer experiences and assign team members to resolve identified issues. Zendesk also provided a centralized knowledge base and ticket management system for its agents, streamlining customer support across all touchpoints.

6. Social Media Marketing

Social media's velocity and amplification potential have shifted power to consumers and communities. Marketers have to deal with attention scarcity and differentiation needs while adopting a culture-first mindset. The following tactics will come in handy for creative engagement:

  • Leveraging ephemeral content for brand authenticity

Snapchat pioneered ephemeral content with images and videos that disappeared automatically after being viewed. The popularity of the raw, unfiltered, and fleeting nature of this format prompted Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to create their own Stories feature, which can be viewed for only 24 hours. 

Because 64% of consumers expect brands to connect with them, you can use this short-form, "in-the-moment" content type to reinforce authenticity and impact. You can share live events, like product launches and limited-time offers, or behind-the-scenes glimpses of your team’s daily routine. You can even incorporate user-generated content featuring use cases of your product or customer success stories. You can also add polls, questions, and specific calls to action in your posts.

  • Retargeting strategies across social platforms

Retargeting strategies across social platforms

Source: facebook.com

As we recommended in our guide to effective Facebook advertising, you can use tracking pixels and set custom audiences to retarget your followers. Other social channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat also have pixels. These 1 x 1 images are placed into the code of a social ad. They follow customers across devices, allowing you to determine their behavior and activity (such as search, add to cart, subscribe, payment, or app events). 

Consider hiring digital marketers who specialize in retargeting ads. You can also create "custom audiences" composed of your best customers and a lookalike audience based on your most loyal or highest-paying clientele.

  • Social listening for reputation management and opportunity spotting 

Social listening tools, such as Brandwatch, allow you to track mentions of your brand, competitors, and other relevant keywords as well as analyze this data for actionable insights. You can use social listening reports to better understand the public’s perception of your brand. These also help you spot trends, analyze competitors, and identify potential crises so you can prevent and manage them promptly. Trend reports can lead you to new business opportunities, industry influencers you can collaborate with, or conversations you can hop into for customer service and engagement.

7. Email Marketing

Enhance your emails by incorporating visual storytelling using videos, GIFs, and clickable features. Also, consider incorporating the following practices to deliver a better experience for your readers:

  • Behavioral email targeting and advanced automation

Use your email marketing platform's behavior-based triggers to automate the sendout of customized messages based on how subscribers responded to emails or interacted with your website and other channels. You can segment recipients based on their actions, allowing you to craft personalized messages. Some segments include:

Registrations: welcome, onboarding, FAQs after signing up. You can also segment based on how they ended up on your site, like through a Google/social ad or a landing page where an influencer sends their audience.

Conversions: newsletter subscription, purchases (based on frequency), event attendance

Site or social activity: abandoned carts, added items to a wishlist, viewed products, posted comments, watched videos, shared posts. Inactive subscribers are a critical segment to watch out for as some tools may designate them as having "predicted churn risk."

  • AI integration for personalized email journeys

AI email marketing solutions can tailor email elements, from subject lines to body content and CTAs. AI can also make personalized product offers through segmentation, purchase history, and sentiment analysis. Furthermore, these tools can assign leads to your sellers and automate email sequences/schedules based on predefined triggers.

  • Advanced testing and optimization techniques for email campaigns

AI email tools can also conduct A/B testing of email elements to determine what resonates best with your readers. Test results then help improve email subject lines, content, and layout to boost open rates.

8. Affiliate and Influencer Marketing

More industries, including finance and pharmaceuticals, will broaden their influencer partnerships as audiences seek trustworthiness and relatability. The rise of chief influence officers is anticipated as organizations integrate creator content into media planning and purchasing outside social channels. Meanwhile, more brand-to-brand partnerships may emerge in affiliate marketing, wherein businesses work with non-competing brands with similar target markets. 

These other factors will continue to shape the creator landscape:

  • Niche influencer engagement for maximum impact 

Niche marketing targets small segments of the market that compose a consumer category with specific interests. The influencers in this category have a tight-knit group of followers. Although its members may be few, you can expect high conversion rates from this segment due to the high trust and engagement from the influencer. Influencer marketing platforms can help you find creators with a loyal following who will enable you to stand out in an oversaturated market.

  • Leveraging micro influencers and brand advocates

Most niche influencers are micro influencers, who can support your brand awareness initiatives through authentic endorsements. Their small (10,000 to 100,000) but dedicated viewers typically rely on them for advice.

  • Advanced tracking and analytics for affiliate marketing 

As brands focus on measurable outcomes, businesses will go after affiliates who demonstrate a clear impact on sales. They will often use software, such as Levanta, to track campaign results. Merchants and eCommerce business owners can manage budgets and track affiliates better using various platforms available in the market.

Use Digital Marketing Wisely to Sustain Business Growth and Competitive Advantage  

Leveraging your digital marketing competitive advantage involves choosing the right digital marketing channels. These tools can create a consistent and compelling brand identity when anchored on a customer-first and value-driven content strategy. Remember these three principles by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter when striving to maintain your competitive edge:

  • Cost leadership or offering reasonable value at a low price results in cost savings for your target audience.
  • Enhance your brand differentiation or make products or services more unique and valued than others in your niche through research and innovation.
  • Gain deep knowledge of your consumers so you can choose where to focus more of your efforts (either on lowering cost or offering differentiated services or products). 

Our tips on optimizing each digital marketing tool can help you achieve the operational effectiveness needed to implement these principles.

About the Author
Geri Mileva, an experienced IP network engineer and distinguished writer at Influencer Marketing Hub, specializes in the realms of the Creator Economy, AI, blockchain, and the Metaverse. Her articles, featured in The Huffington Post, Ravishly, and various other respected newspapers and magazines, offer in-depth analysis and insights into these cutting-edge technology domains. Geri's technological background enriches her writing, providing a unique perspective that bridges complex technical concepts with accessible, engaging content for diverse audiences.