When most people think about improving their online marketing campaigns, they think about how to attract more people, or attract those people more strongly. For example, they might think about bringing in a new channel, increasing their budgets, or trying to target their demographics with more precision.
These are all valuable strategies, and they’ll serve a great purpose in earning you better online marketing results. However, they only focus on one side of the equation. Your return on investment (ROI) in marketing is based not only on your results – but also on how much you invest into your efforts. To see the best return, therefore, you have to increase your marketing efficiency, and too many marketers neglect this.
Efficiency Strategies in Online Marketing
If you want to maximize your marketing efficiency, consider adopting these important efficiency strategies:
- Use time tracking software. Time tracking software like Clockspot serves a number of positive functions for your brand. On a surface level, it helps you collect data on employee performance, which allows you to make critical performance evaluations and gradually improve your team. On another level, your time tracking can (from a broad perspective) help you figure out exactly where you’re spending the most time. You can then compare this time expenditure to the return you’re getting, and weed out the ineffective strategies in your arsenal.
- Work with specialists rather than generalists. This is a general rule that may not apply to all brands or all industries, but for the most part, it’s more efficient to have a team of specialists than it is to have a team of generalists. For example, it’s better to have a content expert, a paid advertising expert, and an in-person sales expert working together in tandem than it is to have three people who have general skillsets that would make them adept, or passable, in all three of these areas. Specialists know what they’re doing, and they can do it faster and better than a comparable generalist. The hitch is to keep your team collaborating in a way that complements their skillsets.
- Automate whenever possible. If you’re the hands-on type, you might have an innate desire to have you and your team directly involved in the marketing process at all times. Don’t shy away from automation—it has incredible potential to increase your team’s efficiency. There are dozens of software programs out there, from team communication and collaboration platforms to social media syndication platforms—not all of them will work for your business, but the ones that do can save you dozens of hours (or thousands of dollars) in exchange for a few dollars a month.
- Only invest in the strategies that work. It’s tempting to opt for as many strategies as you can; after all, there’s an advantage in spreading your presence and reaching the widest possible audience. Experimentation is also good; otherwise, you’ll never learn what works and what doesn’t. However, after that initial “learning curve” experience, you should have a good idea about what strategies work and what strategies do not. Don’t continue investing in strategies that aren’t paying off, when you could be investing more in your effective strategies.
- Update your SOPs. Every business has a unique way of doing things, such as different approaches, different priorities, and of course, different budgetary allocations. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll stumble upon the “perfect” standard operating procedure (SOP) or budget right away. Instead, as you learn more about your business, your customers, and even your employees, you’ll need to update these procedures. Collectively, you’ll grow more efficient at your individual jobs, and your campaign-level strategic focus will become sharper. Be sure to at least review these documents quarterly.
Step By Step
You don’t need to change your marketing approach all at once. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. If you reform an entirely new marketing approach based purely on your instincts and assumptions, you’ll probably adopt at least a few tactics that set you back more than they help you. Your goal here is a long-term increase in your return, which means you can’t opt for a short-term strategy and hope to be successful. Start incorporating new strategies gradually, testing them out, and only keep the changes that appear to have a positive impact on your bottom line.