If you’re serious about your business’s success, you know you need to invest time and effort in marketing. After launching marketing campaigns, it’s important to track that they’re working—and working well. There are many ways to reach your target market and ensure you’re making the impact you want.
What does marketing optimization mean?
Marketing optimization is all about doing a better job of reaching your business’s goals. It’s the process of making adjustments to your marketing efforts based on the data you gather. You can make these tune-ups using the marketing tools and tactics spelled out in your marketing strategy. That way, you can make sure that their results align with your ambitions.
How can you optimize your marketing efforts?
Optimizing marketing is all about encouraging new customers to complete sales.
Research your target audience
Your target audience is the foundation of your marketing. Optimizing your marketing begins with your audience.
You probably already have a grasp on the nature of your target audience—you know who you want to sell to, after all. But it’s important to make sure your research on them is up to date. Data you might want to explore includes:
- What your target demographics tend to buy
- How your target market makes purchases—online, in person, using credit cards, cash, or online payment portals
- Related products your target customers like to buy
- How your competition is reaching your target market
- What kinds of entertainment, celebrities, and news outlets your target audience enjoys
- How much time your target market spends on social media and which platforms they use the most
- The times of the year your target market tends to make the most purchases
These kinds of details can help you better understand the buying habits and preferences of your market. Using this information, you can figure out when, where, and how to best reach them with your marketing.
Use data and analytics
Marketing data reflects the performance of your marketing tools and techniques. Analytics is pattern-finding within your data so that you can fine-tune your efforts to meet your objectives.
For example, an online jewelry retailer may collect data on which items customers purchase. They can then use analytics to identify trends in those purchases. Maybe customers on the West Coast tend to buy a certain style more often than those on the East Coast. The company could use this information to boost sales by marketing specific jewelry designs to users based on their location.
Take advantage of automation
Even though marketing requires a human touch, automated processes can free you to focus on higher-level strategies and decisions. With automation you can:
- Collect data on the success of your marketing efforts
- Schedule the launch of marketing campaigns
- Control which emails get sent to who and when
- Manage the timing of social media marketing efforts
- Identify and eliminate underperforming ads
- Produce analytics that reveals what makes successful campaigns work
These are just a few examples. With automation, processes that depend on digital information and programming can be performed automatically. It’s just a matter of setting up rules or with the push of a button or click of a mouse.
Use social media
A traditional ad campaign, such as a billboard, casts a wide net. Everyone who drives by it will see it. You have no way to narrow the audience down to people interested in your product or service.
With social media marketing, you can reach your target audience and they can share your posts. This applies to both paid advertisements and original content. In this way, social media marketing can fuel itself, maximizing your impact.
The benefits of social media marketing extend far beyond the shareability of content. Social media campaigns make it easy to track and analyze the success of your marketing. This gains you an understanding of how and why it’s performing well or falling short of your benchmarks. This information can give you a starting point for your marketing optimization efforts.
Boost your SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your performance with search engines. The higher your site ranks, the more likely you are to generate traffic. More traffic means more engagement, typically resulting in more sales. To boost your SEO, make sure your site has:
- The right keywords within its articles, in their meta descriptions, and in your alt text
- Images and videos that pertain to what you’re selling
- Content optimized for readability: short sentences and paragraphs, frequent headings and subheadings, and bulleted and numbered lists where appropriate
- Links to other sites with reliable content
- Backlinks, links from other sites to yours
Search engines look for content that’s relevant to what people are searching for. Once the search engine sees that your content addresses the user’s query, it checks your content's readability, reliability, and trustworthiness.
What if your business is brick-and-mortar?
If your business is conducted in person—say, a beauty shop, fitness facility, construction, or a restaurant—you might think online marketing isn’t necessary.
But even if you already have a well-known brand with loyal customers, more and more people are looking online first to find the services they need. To optimize your marketing and draw in new customers, you should establish an online presence with one or more of the following:
- A website: It can be as simple as one or 2 pages with your logo, your contact information, and your hours.
- Social media marketing: Many of your customers, existing and potential, are on social media. It’s an easy way to reach them.
- Paid online advertising: It can be surprisingly affordable to get your name and brand out there to potential customers—and your return on investment should make up the money you spend on the ads.
- Email marketing: An occasional informative newsletter about your industry and your business’s place in it or weekly emails offering discounts are great ways to keep your customers engaged.
What data should you collect and how?
In order to be effective and replicable, your marketing campaign optimization needs to be based on data. Data you can collect includes:
- Who accesses your website and from what type of device
- How visitors arrived at your website—for example, through a search or from a link on social media
- How long do visitors stay on specific pages of your website
- When and how often people make purchases
- How many people click on your ads
- Where people are when they interact with your content
- Who reads your emails
You can collect this data with a number of different tools.
A cookie is a tiny piece of code that’s used to keep track of what a user does online. Cookies can let you know where and when people click on your ads. They’re also used to keep track of who visits your website, when, and from where. Most website marketing optimization tools come with plenty of options for using cookies to gather insights about your target customers.
A quick online survey provides you with two categories of valuable information. There’s the information itself, the responses that the customer submits. There’s also the information about the kind of customer invested enough in your brand, product, or service to take a survey.
These are equally important data points. The fact that they were willing to invest valuable time in completing your survey reveals the strength of your marketing or brand.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Knowing where people are when they interact with your content is surprisingly useful. Even though the internet connects people on a global level, buyers still often think locally. Because of this, GPS data can support the optimization of campaigns:
- Meant to target people in a specific state or city
- Designed to get your foot in the door in new regions
- Launching products that meet the needs of people in specific geographic areas
How can you measure marketing performance?
You can measure performance using different sets of data—some of which you may have to gather on your own and some that come from your marketing service provider.
Return on investment
Before the advent of e-commerce, judging your return on investment (ROI) from a marketing campaign was less than an exact science. But now we have tools that let us see exactly what marketing tactic compelled someone to make a purchase.
Tools like Google Analytics make seeing the results of your e-commerce marketing campaigns easy. All your data is in one single, easy-to-read dashboard.
These tools help you optimize your marketing. They can help you replicate the success of high-performing campaigns. They help you know when to stop campaigns falling below your expectations. They also help adjust campaigns approaching your benchmarks of success.
You can judge your return on investment using:
- The number of new users acquired over a period of time
- The number of web sessions initiated as a result of a campaign
- The bounce rate, which is the rate at which people visit and then quickly leave—or “bounce” from—your site
- The number of pages people view when they visit your site
- The average amount of time people spend on specific webpages
- How often visitors are converted into leads who provide contact information or download gated content
Return on ad spend (ROAS)
Return on ad spend (ROAS) is a form of ROI, but it uses a simple formula:
ROAS = revenue earned because of ads/cost of ads
Calculating the formula involves breaking down each variable into several parts. For example, the revenue earned because of ads might include:
- Revenue from direct e-commerce purchases
- Revenue generated after someone downloaded gated content and then returned to buy later
- Revenue earned as a result of an extended email marketing campaign. One that may realize until many months in the future
- Revenue as a result of phone calls made after someone interacted with online content
Similarly, the cost of your ads may break down into categories such as:
- Cost of ad campaigns using different platforms, such as social media, Google Ads, and email
- The salaries of people hired to launch and manage these campaigns
- The subscription fees associated with e-commerce marketing services
What automations are available to help?
Automating your e-commerce marketing may be easier than you think. There are plenty of user-friendly tools available to help you spend less time managing your marketing and more time optimizing it.
To automate your marketing, you can use tools that:
- Send an email automatically. Send a single email or an extended drip campaign based on timing or on the online behavior of your customers.
- Schedule campaigns. You can define when you want campaigns to launch. Emails and ads will go out at the date and time you specified.
- Automate the customer journey. You can build journeys for your customers, providing them with specific marketing content depending on their actions at various steps in their customer life cycles.
- Recommend optimizations. You can automatically get data-based recommendations for how to optimize your marketing, eliminating the guesswork.
- Retarget. With retargeting, customers get reminders about what they’ve viewed on your site along with a clear path back to complete a purchase.
Optimize your marketing with Mailchimp
Marketing optimization is now easier than ever. Mailchimp offers all the tools and resources you need to get your marketing efforts working for you. You can spend less time tinkering with your marketing and more time providing great solutions for your customers. To learn more, connect with Mailchimp today.