According to an Adobe survey of 1,000 US marketers, 68% of marketing professionals today feel more pressured to show a return on their investment in marketing spend. That’s a huge number—and explains why so many of my marketing friends and colleagues are always talking about ROI. With marketing owning more and more of the pre-sales process, our ability to deliver and measure tangible business results has increased—and so has the pressure to do so.
Part of the challenge of demonstrating marketing ROI is there are so many ways to measure it—some more straightforward than others. At the end of the day, we’re looking to get “more” from our campaigns (more leads, more content, more personalized nurture streams, etc). In this article, I’ll walk through three strategies to increase ROI on your marketing efforts that will leave you with actionable ideas for expanding and extending your campaigns.
Method 1: Improve Lead Capture
The most basic ingredient for campaign ROI is to deliver qualified leads into the sales process. If your campaign lead turns into a customer, boom! Chalk that up in the ROI column.
A quick way to improve ROI is to increase “R”—get more leads into the funnel with the potential to convert to sales.
Marketers can improve lead capture by distributing more targeted content that speak right to their prospects’ interests and pain points. To put it simply, by adding value.
Prospects “pay” for content with their contact information, so they can be reluctant to share their email addresses or phone numbers for underwhelming content. Indeed, DemandGen Report found that among B2B buyers in 2015, only 11% would give up personal information for a whitepaper (and that number is down almost 33% from 2014). Buyers are more willing to give info for third party or analyst content—but the best way to collect key information is by developing a relationship and asking questions along the way (before a prospect ever sees a lead form).
What does that look like? It could be direct responses on social media, engaging in blog comments, investing in building up LinkedIn groups and forums—or offering interactive experiences.
The ease of starting a conversation with prospects is one reason interactive content is emerging as such a powerful approach to content marketing: marketers offer value to prospects far in advance of the lead form, building up a trusting relationship before asking for anything in return.
And that value exchange also increases the power of the CTA to view results on the other side of the form—prospects trust that they’ll receive relevant, personalized outcomes, so they happily offer their information.
It’s no wonder, then, that DemandMetric found interactive content converts 2x better than static content.
Converting more net new leads is one way to boost campaign ROI, but that brings me to my second tip: help sales close more marketing leads with better data.
Method 2: Collect More and Better Data
Many marketers identify prospects as “sales ready” with lead scoring, based on some combination of demographic and behavioral factors. Many of us track interaction with content offers—downloads, email opens, blog subscribes, etc.—as key indicators of readiness.
And while collecting that kind of behavioral data is valuable, it gets really interesting when marketers start using content to have the actual conversation with buyers, gathering more in-depth information to build a more nuanced prospect profile.
Marketers can find out: What does my buyer care about? How far is this prospect down their buyer’s journey? How do they like to buy? Marketers can infer the answers to some of these questions based on what that prospect has downloaded or what her job title is, but the best way to find out is actually just to ask.
The answers can then be appended to a lead record and directly inform the sales process, so the salesperson has a more personalized, relevant conversation with the buyer—and speeds up the sales process.
For example, Blackbaud created a series of calculators around some of the success stories they’d heard from customers—”this service saved me 2 hours of work,” “I increased annual giving by 20%,” etc. The sales team pulled up those calculators during sales calls and immediately created context for their prospects to see how they could succeed with the solution, too. That kind of personalized touch resulted in the sales team—for the first time ever—reaching 133% of their quota and generating $600k in incremental revenue.
Method 3: Increase Email Touchpoints
Another way to increase campaign ROI is by reaching out to your database more frequently, upping the chance that your prospect will convert into a sales lead.
A report by Circle Research found that 42% of B2B marketers believe email marketing to be their most effective lead generation tactic, making a strong case for marketers to make better use of their email database.
The challenge for many marketers is to find a reason to reach out. Sending the same campaign asset over and over won’t automatically convert more leads—it might just send them running to the unsubscribe page.
A better way to reach out more frequently is to change up the assets you’re offering. But who has time to create five unique whitepapers? Instead, I suggest breaking up your core campaign asset or theme into smaller, bite-sized chunks that explore the topic from different angles and points of view. This is called the content pillar approach.
You can do this with multiple blog posts, SlideShare presentations, video snippets, webinars and more. If you’re thinking about using interactive content, you can repurpose pillar content into multiple distinct interactive experiences, each of which offers a new opportunity to reach out to your database – boosting the likelihood your leads will meet the MQL scoring threshold and pop over to sales.
Enriching your campaigns with different types of assets also ensures you’re engaging the widest range of prospects in your audience. No time to read our whitepaper? Try this interactive assessment! Hate blog posts? Give your opinion on Facebook with our interactive poll!
Diversifying content ensures you’re not playing a broken record to your email database, and continues to provide value to your audience.
Delivering results and ROI in marketing will never get easier – but as marketers, we can get savvier about taking what we already have and squeezing out more value. By generating more top-of-funnel leads, collecting more nuanced data to inform the sales process, and reaching out to our nurture database with more targeted, personalized content, we can show the value of our marketing programs and get more out of what we’re already doing.
Ready to learn more about interactive content? Try our guide, “Interactive Content and the Buyer’s Journey.”
SnapApp is an interactive content creation platform that enables marketers to boost results by 2-3x across all their existing marketing programs.