While the global Coronavirus pandemic has shown signs of letting up with the distribution of vaccines and a deeper understanding of the virus, the economic effects of COVID-19 are far from over. Enterprises throughout the world are continuing to try to catch up with competitors that were already well-positioned enough to brave the “New Normal,” many of them still scrambling to adopt new strategies and technologies to support a remote workforce and provide alternative offerings to consumers.
This extra pressure weighs especially heavily on businesses’ marketing departments, as 2020 proved that consumer behavior is only as predictable as the world around us is. Along with this came an upheaval of classic marketing tactics, causing business leaders everywhere to reevaluate their spending in that area. With that said, marketing – especially online marketing – isn’t dead; it has simply shifted in focus.
“…Marketing – especially online marketing – isn’t dead; it has simply shifted in focus.”
This new marketing perspective, revealed by the onset COVID-19, has taught marketers that they need to put their money where their mouth is, which can be achieved by engaging in performance marketing. Performance marketing can promise a better return on marketing investment (ROMI), making it an attractive option for business that want real results in terms of traffic, conversions, and sales. Intrigued? Keep reading as we elaborate on the definition of performance marketing, examine some common tactics for improving your ROMI, and discuss the best way to implement your new strategy.
According to research from BigCommerce, performance marketing is a mix of “paid advertising and brand marketing put together, but only paid once the completed desired action takes place.” These desired actions can look like a sale, a download, a booking, or even a completed lead. Additionally, because businesses only pay when an action is taken, this is a very cost-effective approach to generating conversions. This results-driven method is intended to create sustainable predictable revenue – something that organizations today desperately need. To keep up with this major shift in digital marketing, you’re going to need to familiarize yourself with the essentials, so let’s take a look at two of the most effective performance marketing tools in the biz.
Measurable Tactics for Improved Performance
Outlined below are two performance marketing tactics aimed at reaching more potential customers and keeping them engaged. The value in these methods comes from their measurability, as concrete numbers help to prove the effectiveness of your strategy and justify the need for a robust marketing budget.
Search Engine Optimization
Unlike paid search marketing, utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) means that you’re relying on search engines’ algorithms to rank your website at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). With that said, claiming that first spot isn’t necessarily easy. You need to develop a strategy that involves creating compelling content, utilizing relevant links, ensuring standards-compliant HTML, using well-labeled images, and even employing good grammar on your website.
Now that you have a basic overview of what SEO is, let’s talk about measuring its effectiveness. There are two main factors you can use to determine if your SEO efforts are working or not: engagement metrics and search traffic. Engagement metrics include conversion rates, bounce rate, pages per visit, time spent on page, and so on. Search traffic data, on the other hand, is more focused on showing you how much traffic your site is gaining from search. This can be tracked via online tools like Google Analytics, where you can isolate organic traffic from other channels, view patterns in traffic over time, and see how many visits a certain page receives.
According to Harvard Business Review, A/B testing is “a way to compare two versions of something to figure out which performs better.” In digital marketing, this type of testing is used to evaluate everything from product descriptions to headlines to web design and so on. The goal with A/B testing is to use data (such as user behavior reports, scrollmaps, etc.) to form a hypothesis about user activity, and ultimately make an educated guess about changes that could be made to improve engagement on your site. Once you implement the change, you should compare the results (number of clicks, conversions, sales, etc.) with the data from before the change was made. Did you make more sales? Are more people subscribing to your newsletter? A/B testing is all about figuring out what makes your visitors tick. It’s also important to note that this testing is an ongoing process and should be aimed at continual improvement.
Thinking Like a Modern-Day Marketer
According to experts of Vistage, almost half of 2021 marketing spend will be on digital assets. This means that to keep up with your competitors, you must be prepared to embrace the shift to data-driven performance marketing – something that is certainly easier said than done. It can be especially difficult for modern-day small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) that have limited resources and little marketing experience to develop and implement brand-new marketing strategies all on their own. Yet, somehow, there are plenty of SMBs that have robust, effective strategies and a relatively tame marketing budget.
So, what’s their secret?
A lot of today’s SMBs are looking to offload to third-party digital marketing firms to position themselves for success. Why? Well – it’s cost-effective, ensures industry expertise, and takes the weight of implementing your own marketing strategies off your shoulders. It’s important that you look for a provider that uses digital marketing methods that drive measurable results; more specifically, you want to partner with a trusted collaborative agency that offers SEO services, A/B testing, and web performance solutions. If you’re going to spend money on marketing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when marketing budgets are already tight, you might as well spend it on results that matter. So, does your investment measure up?