Author: Bonnie Harris

ROI is an acronym business loves to talk about. It’s one of the most important figures you have to take into account. Marketers often focus on superficial and short-term aspects of investments instead of something as crucial as ROI. People often talk about ROI in the context of fortune 500 companies, but that’s starting to change. With the knowledge of investment opportunities spreading, every business must know how to calculate and use their marketing ROI for successful ventures.

1.    What is marketing ROI?

ROI, or Return On Investment, is exactly what it sounds like. It's the amount of money you receive from a certain investment or venture. Different ventures have different ways of calculating ROI. Real estate has a pretty simple way to calculate how much ROI you get. Take the amount of money you spent on a property, add the amount of money you invested into it to increase its value. Once you sell the home, take out these two values from the profit of selling it and you have the return on investment for the whole process. Basically, you add up the total amount of initial investment and subtract it from the total profit. "Online marketing works much the same way. The knowledge commerce business generates a certain amount of money, but it also costs a specific amount to actually market a product. It's simple math when you get down to it. When it comes to your bottom line, disregard everything else, because this is the only thing that matters.  If there is no return on your investment or the investment profit isn’t high enough to justify making any move, you might not opt for the investment at all."

2.    Getting to know marketing ROI in depth

Have you ever found yourself thinking something along the lines of “Marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50”Adobe’s Digital Distress Survey  76% of surveyed marketers agreed to this exact phrase back in 2013. Skip to 2019 and digital marketing trends seem to be accelerating rather than slowing.    Everything from business operations to the web itself is in a dynamic state of progress. Artificial intelligence has opened the doors to personalized campaigns and marketing automation, which have become standard practices. Consumer needs, wants and desires are naturally shifting. The ability to integrate CRM systems and other backend systems with tools like Zapier are creating inexpensive, powerful marketing stacks for smaller businesses. lAs a result, digital marketing trends continue to disrupt the marketing industry.  In today’s competitive marketing landscape you can’t afford to ignore the latest digital marketing trends, no matter how small your business is. 

5 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2019

Evolved influencer marketing

As the focus of social media marketing shifts to engagement rates, more authenticity, and transparency, it’s time for brands to rethink their influencer strategy. Influencer marketing in 2019 is not about numbers and big names – it’s all about finding the right person that is considered an expert within their niche, whom your audience can trust and relate to. Micro-influencers are not only gaining ground because it has been proven that those with smaller follower counts have higher engagement rates.  Consumers have grown weary and untrusting of big celebrity endorsements. Smaller influencers' services are still much more affordable than those of mega influencers, which has opened the doors of opportunity to smaller brands and even local businesses. If you haven’t yet done so, now is the time to jump in on the opportunity and explore how you can borrow someone’s influence to build your online presence, strengthen your brand image and earn your audience’s trust.

Ephemeral content

Improve your conversion rates with these simple tips.

With how much time people spend on the internet, it has become a must for brands to establish their online presence. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small corporation on the rise, or a small online shop owner, building your brand through your website helps expose your business to a broader audience. However, even having said that, there is more to running a website than just driving traffic to it. But the trick is to convert them - and you can do a lot to improve your conversion rates.  I mean, sure, getting tons of traffic can do wonders for your business. But if you think about, having truckloads of web visitors won’t do you much if none of them will take out their wallets and start clicking your “Buy Now” buttons. Here are some tips that can help improve your conversion rates.

This past year, virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality technologies had a reasonably slow start, with the cancellation of major projects like Intel’s Project Alloy and the HTC Daydream headset. However, despite drawbacks like these, users and business owners alike still believe that VR has a bright future with a lot of potential. Some brands like Sony even saw their sales exceed expectations when it came to the release of their PlayStation VR headset, with over 3 million sold to date. Plus, by 2020, VR technology is projected to generate more than $20 billion in revenue, and reach a global market size of over $209 billion by 2022. Virtual reality, augmented reality and even mixed reality (MR) experiences are expected to dominate the digital space in the coming years. Why? Because 2D just doesn’t cut it anymore! We all remember the fire that Pokemon Go ignited — and it wasn’t just a frenzy, it was an international sensation. Users were enthralled that they could enter the Pokemon universe and interact with Pokemon in the streets, in their offices, and throughout their cities. And although the fire cooled to a slow ember for that game specifically, users still have a fascination and intrigue for VR, AR and MR technology. VR is the future of digital design and user experience. Are you ready? Brands Using Virtual Reality Business owners are looking into virtual reality not only for entertainment, but also to enhance their brand. Dozens of companies are currently working to integrate VR to their user experience, and some companies have already done so. A great example of a notable brand that’s welcoming web design services and VR into their UX is Lowe’s. Visualizing and conceptualizing home projects can be difficult, even when they’re illustrated. With the launch of their Lowe’s Holoroom, users can get an intuitive experience to constructing and viewing the room of their dreams thanks to VR and AR technology. IKEA is also a great example of a major brand embracing VR. However, instead of helping users visualize a room, they’re giving their customers the opportunity to go virtual reality shopping! Another company that’s offering VR experiences in a different way is YouVisit. YouVisit, an immersive tech company that’s powered by Aria, gives users the ability to dive into an immersive and interactive experience in 360°. You can participate in a virtual tour on a college campus, or view a hotel room all from VR goggles. Among their clients are colleges like Harvard University and Ohio State.

Let’s face it: The success of your marketing campaign relies heavily on how effectively you can get people to do something. Whether it’s to download a guide, join a webinar, or buy a product. Making irresistible CTAs not only encourages user engagement, but it also generates leads, cultivates customer relationships, and increases your website’s conversion rate. And with how internet-savvy the netizens have become, simply creating a site or a landing page that “looks good” just won’t cut it anymore. If you want to influence them to take action on your offers, you need to have a compelling CTA. In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at how you can create CTAs for your website that visitors can’t ignore. Ready? Let’s get to it.

For B2B companies, particularly those in the services industry, deciding whether to send a gift during the holidays can be a difficult decision.  Once the precedent has been set, it’s probably necessary to make it a tradition. Deciding what to give can be a pretty challenging endeavor as well. The following are five tips for giving holiday business gifts:
  1. Decide the goal for giving a gift. Is it simply to say “thanks for your business?” Do you see it as an opportunity to reinforce or remind clients (or potential customers) about your company?  Sometimes it’s simply because all your competitors provide gifts. Whatever the reason, make sure you know what you want to achieve. Simple thank you items don’t have to be expensive or even that memorable. Something that needs to reinforce the brand should be a bit more carefully designed. [pullquote]Lotus Biscoff is a great option for delicious, edible and customizable gifts for clients.Use the code WAXMKT to get 15% off any gift purchase at ShopBiscoff.com.[/pullquote]
  2. Determine the recipients of the gift. Are you providing something for the entire office, or is this a memorable gift for an important buyer? Do you need to order 100 or 1000? Understanding the quantities that you need to deliver can help make that decision, as logistics can be tricky with heavier or fragile items, or those that need to be refrigerated. Companies that provide customized treats can often be much more convenient, especially if they handle orders for multiple recipients.

When marketing is done, it’s not a matter of randomly coming up with campaigns out of the blue. It requires a strategy that works best when driven by supporting data. The same is true if you intend to do Facebook marketing. Facebook has proven that it has evolved from a mere social networking platform, but to an effective marketing platform as well. This is not only because of the large user base that Facebook has, but also because of the multiple tools that are geared to help make marketing in it more systematic, and more capable of achieving your goals. With that, data-driven Facebook marketing can help you achieve your desired results more efficiently.

What is data-driven marketing?

Data-driven marketing is making use of relevant data to craft winning marketing strategies. Doing data-driven marketing involves the collection of data from your marketing campaigns, analyzing them, and using them to aid the creation of better campaigns in the future. The data you’ll collect not only involves the demographics of your target market but also how they reacted to your previous campaigns so that you will know how you will design your new marketing campaigns. When done correctly, data-driven marketing can allow you to improve your lead generation, and ultimately, your conversions.

At first glance, ephemeral content appears to be yet another buzzworthy trend making rounds throughout the marketing industry. But after making a disparaging remark at PRSA ICON recently, I was schooled by a few marketers who helped me explain why this type of content is so engaging. I'm not alone. ntroduced by Snapchat in 2011 these kinds of stories were met with overwhelming skepticism, as marketers struggled to make sense of this new type of temporarily available content. Traditionally, marketers have always focused on long-lasting, reusable content. Investing valuable resources into a medium that is available only for 24 hours seemed very counter-intuitive to me. However, the growing popularity of social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram meant that traditional strategies also had to evolve in order to remain effective, and more importantly, relevant. Ephemeral content has become a crucial part of any well-thought-out marketing strategy.

What is ephemeral content?