34 Marketing Pros Reveal the Areas with the Most Underrated and Overrated Marketing ROI (and What You Should Do About It)

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Today’s marketing pros have a plethora of options when it comes to marketing channels, strategies, and tactics. That’s not always a good thing, though, as dabbling in a little bit of everything can lead to a “jack of all trades, master of none” situation. To get the best results from marketing initiatives, some companies opt to excel in a few core areas by leveraging the channels and tactics that resonate most with their unique audience.

Of course, it’s all about the return on investment, but what tactics and strategies are overrated or underrated in terms of ROI? To help you get the biggest bang for your marketing bucks, we reached out to a panel of leading marketing professionals and asked them to answer this question:

“What areas provide the most underrated and the most overrated marketing ROI (and how should companies address or take advantage)?”

Meet Our Panel of Marketing Pros:

Read on to find out what our experts had to say about the areas with the most underrated and overrated marketing ROI (and what you should do about it).


Joe Goldstein

Joe Goldstein

@JoeAdamG

Joe Goldstein is the Director of SEO & Operations at Contractor Calls.

“Facebook ads still offer phenomenal ROI when compared to Google AdWords and platforms like them…”

If you focus on growing your audience and engagements over short-term sales by promoting fun or useful content aimed at a small niche audience, it’s amazing just how quickly you can build a
brand.


Cristian RennellaCristian Rennella

@crisrennella

Cristian Rennella is the VP of Marketing & CoFounder of oMelhorTrato.com.

“After working on the internet for the last 9 years and having tried more than 54 content marketing strategies online…”

I can assure you that there is ONLY ONE marketing idea that generated the best ROI results: Answer the questions of your users AS AN EXPERT!

We receive more than 50 queries per week on different aspects of our service, but the vast majority are general questions. The answers to these general questions will not only help that user, but hundreds or thousands of people who have the same question.

That is why we respond in a special way to each client’s question, dedicating time and effort to provide the perfect answer. This response is not only sent to this user, but we also publish it on our site as if it were a post on our blog.

Then Google or any other search engine indexes this content, and new potential customers can search Google to find our answer. As the answer was valuable with very useful information, these new customers take our brand as a reference and begin to see (and eventually buy) our products.

This mechanism of transforming the traditional question-and-answer (FAQ) section in a blog where we publish all our answers helped us to grow 34.7% in content marketing, which today represents revenue of $3.4M ROI per year.


Paige Armof-FennPaige Armof-Fenn

Paige Armof-Fenn is the Founder and CEO of global branding and marketing firm Mavens & Moguls based in Cambridge, MA. Clients include Microsoft, Virgin, Colgate, The New York Times Company, and venture-backed startups, as well as non-profit organizations. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School.

“I started a global branding and marketing firm 17 years ago, and…”

I think you get the most bang for your marketing buck with Public Relations. PR is the single most cost-efficient tool you can use to increase your profile and build your visibility in my experience.


Nate MastersonNate Masterson

@MapleHolistics

Nate Masterson is the CMO for Maple Holistics.

“The most overrated ROI has got to be billboards…”

Don’t get me wrong – billboards are a good investment. They only work if you already have a good amount of brand recognition; otherwise, it’s hit or miss. The reason is that passers-by, meaning the people driving, can’t take the information down without putting their own life at risk. That is to say, a Pepsi billboard will do just fine because everyone knows what Pepsi is. However, if you’re an obscure lawyer and you’re hoping to get brand recognition from a billboard, you’ll be disappointed.

The most underrated ROI is customer service at a loss. Many companies take serious precautions with regard to their customers taking advantage of their generosity. The thing these companies are failing to realize is that by taking a loss on one transaction, you’re ensuring a repeat customer. When you take a loss and the customer knows it, they’ll remember that you did it, and they’ll feel like the most important thing to you is that they are satisfied. This will create a positive feeling towards your company, and they’ll want to return to your business.


Whitney MeersWhitney Meers

@whitneymeers

Whitney Meers is a strategy expert with a background in marketing and journalism. Since 2011, she’s developed and executed on strategic marketing and publicity plans for a number of startups and agency partners. Her efforts have improved clients’ lead generation efforts by up to 300% and have directly lead to revenue-boosting opportunities. In addition to her work in the field, Whitney is a Top Writer in the Startup and Satire categories on Medium.

“The most underrated marketing strategy is digital video…”

While people spend over a billion hours a day on YouTube, only 9% of businesses use this type of video as part of their content strategy. It’s easier than ever to film and edit video — I recently worked on a small advertising piece with a friend of mine who is a TV show producer that we shot on our phones and edited with iMovie. Good video can give you an SEO boost, instills higher levels of trust than content alone, and speaks to the video aspects of human psychology.

As far as overrated, it depends on the industry, but most companies won’t win with AdWords and related ad strategies unless they can afford a significant up-front investment. Often the space is just too cluttered and with keywords that cost so much, a smaller company can’t compete. I encourage these companies to go for only minimal ad spend (like their own brand name) and to go for organic SEO with backlinks paired with lead generation strategies (forms, email marketing) to get higher-quality leads for a much lower cost after the up-front content creation investment.


Liz HolmquistLiz Holmquist

@QNYCREATIVE

Liz Holmquist is the Director of Social Media + Strategic Partnerships at QNY Creative.

“A really under rated way to get marketing ROI is…”

Strategically taking advantage of micro influencers. For a lot of companies who are just starting to implement influencer marketing, their eyes are fixed on macro influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. This can be extremely costly with no real promise of any kind of conversion. Micro influencers, however, are a largely untapped resource in the marketing realm, with real followers, and a high visibility. They are also way more cost effective, so both the brand and the influencer’s followers are guaranteed brad recognition. Personally, I would love to see a lot more full-scale micro influencer campaigns, as I think they are extremely effective as well as cost effective.


Adam WatsonAdam Watson

@lightupmirror

Adam Watson is the marketing director at www.hollywoodmirrors.co.uk.

“The number one digital marketing activity that is inexpensive…”

And also provides the best return on investment from any marketing activity is Facebook retargeting ads.

You can set up campaigns for all visitors that come on to your website but do not purchase and target them with dynamic ads. When they later browse on Facebook, they will see the product they viewed earlier on your site.

You can retarget different visitors with different messages from those that add items to a basket, abandoned checkout, or view specific products many times.

I have found that for every $1 I spend on this, I get up to $20 in return in sales.

The scale of this form of advertising is only limited to how many people you get to visit your website. If you don’t have many visitors, it will still work though.

The most overrated marketing ROI is social media advertising, having a Facebook page, and getting followers and likers. Just having a company page and posting daily will not cut it anymore. Due to Facebook changing its algorithm, less than 5% of your followers will see the post. It is a lot of work creating content for little or no return. Just because everyone has a Facebook page, it does not mean you have to – that is a herd mentality.


Mike KhorevMike Khorev

@MikeKhorev

Mike Khorev is a Growth Lead at Nine Peaks Media, a digital marketing company that helps tech and SaaS businesses generate more leads and grow revenue online. They offer expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO, digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing, and many other online practices.

“First, the most underrated marketing ROI…” 

In my opinion, the most underrated channels are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and inbound marketing. Many businesses and marketers failed to understand that the most qualified leads/traffic are inbound. Your prospects are actively searching for information or solutions, and they are generally already in the decision/consideration phase and ready to buy a product. The most efficient way to search for information right now is to do a Google search. So, as long as you are on top on Google SERP, or at least on the first page, you can drive the most qualified traffic and leads.

On the other hand, I think the most overrated marketing right now is social media. Social media is extremely saturated nowadays, and so it’s really hard to get your voice heard. Not many businesses, in general, can get good ROI in social media. There are only two ways you can be successful in social media: either you are really creative with a really interesting campaign/promotion, or you will need to spend a lot of money on advertising (Facebook ads, etc.). Nevertheless, in general social media marketing brought the lowest ROI, especially in a B2B environment.


Kristen WilsonKristen Wilson

@PasswordPing

Kristen Wilson is the VP of Product & Marketing at PasswordPing.

“For B2B marketing, Account Based Marketing is completely under-rated…”

A proper ABM program can drive most of your pipeline and revenue if done correctly and if it is highly targeted. It requires focus and dedicated staff; ABM is not something that works effectively as someone’s side job.

The most overrated is tradeshow booths. Decision-makers at many organizations are often too busy to roam the floor at tradeshows and will send their staff often as a treat to get out of the office. A lot of people stop by to get giveaways for their kids, and the ROI on these types of events just keeps going down year-over-year. It can be just as effective to simply attend and meet with people onsite in pre-planned meetings instead of absorbing the cost of an expensive booth. There are also a lot of smaller conferences that have sponsorships that are more focused on interaction (less focus on big vendor booths) that can be a better investment as well.


Hamna AmjadHamna Amjad

@ridester

Hamna Amjad is a Community Manager at Ridester.com, which gets 350,000 visitors per month.

“Outbound marketing is one of the most overrated marketing techniques in my opinion…”

Outbound marketing involves more traditional ways such as paid advertising, direct mail, telemarketing, seminars, and events. It generally targets a wider audience, even if they aren’t in your demographics. Not only is it more expensive, but it’s also not as effective as inbound marketing.

One of the most underrated marketing tactics is understanding and reaping benefits from consumer behavior. Collect and analyze data from your customers using different tools and schemes to gain insights into their interests and behaviors. This information will help you to retain your customers, improve your conversions, and increase your ROI.


Rafe GomezRafe Gomez

@vcincmarketing

Rafe Gomez is the co-owner of VC Inc. Marketing, an award-winning provider of sales support content creation services to organizations around the world. Rafe’s work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including CNBC, Entrepreneur, Fox Business News, CMO, and PR Daily.

“Most corporate PR campaigns deliver underwhelming and underrated ROI because…”

They’re not implemented strategically: too often, they focus on what a company wants to say about itself, rather than sharing news that its customers/clients need to learn in order for their purchasing interest to be stimulated.

To reverse this scenario and to create PR campaigns that bring about improved and enduring ROI, craft your news to address the unique needs, goals, and challenges of your target buying audience. This approach will not only inspire incoming traffic of prospective buyers, but it will also provide you with a valuable long-tail tool that your sales team can consistently utilize in its pitches and presentations.


Max RobinsonMax Robinson

Max Robinson is the owner of FishTankBank, a global e-commerce fish tank company. He started the business 5 years ago from his bedroom.

“Many business owners seem scared by the idea of viral marketing…”

Partly because they probably don’t fully understand what it is all about, but also because they likely assume it is a time-consuming and expensive activity. But what many people don’t realize about viral marketing is that it can work on a smaller scale and can still have a significant business impact, plus it can all be done for free.

Just take a look at the front page of Reddit – every day, brands appear on the ‘front page of the internet,’ generating masses of brand awareness, traffic, and likely a huge amount of sales, too. And most of the time, these brands appear on Reddit completely organically without any paid promotion (the platform doesn’t allow for much paid promotion anyway). If you can figure out how to submit your own brand content to Reddit in a way that seems natural and which resonates with the community, then you’ve got the potential to reap the rewards of viral marketing without spending a penny.


Ela IliesiEla Iliesi

@elailiesi

Ela Iliesi is a Digital Marketing Trainer at London Marketing Academy.

“The most surprising underrated marketing ROI I saw over time was…”

Social media marketing channels – other than Facebook (which actually could fit in the overrated marketing ROI category).

There are several social media platforms marketers are just not using enough or not even taking into consideration, even though the ROI can be amazing: Pocket, Feedly, Quora, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Slideshare (not your usual social media advertising platforms). While Facebook and Instagram can be a black hole for the advertising budget, unless targeting is really well done, using custom audiences, similar audiences, or another type of detailed targeting. I see great ROI results from these lesser-known social media platforms in the analytics accounts of my students (sometimes the investment being zero in terms of payments), but I also found an image to show you, from Avinash Kaushik, probably the most known Google Analytics authority figure.


Stan TanStan Tan

@stanleyreporb

Stan Tan is the digital marketing manager at Selby’s.

“Two years ago, we had no proper website, and it wasn’t contributing to sales…” 

Today, we have a website that attracts new opportunities valued in the seven figures via SEO. That includes opportunities coming from government departments, Fortune 500 brands, and world-class event organizers.

The two biggest change here were:

  1. A website that was built with lead generation in mind first.
  2. A SEO strategy that a drove massive amount of visitors to our website. All this without having an advertising or marketing budget.

Because we didn’t spend any money on advertising or marketing, our ROI is very, very high.


Ellen PerelmanEllen Perelman

@goodhiretweets

Ellen Perelman, Interim VP of Marketing at GoodHire, is a data-driven marketing leader with 25+ years of experience at both large, public companies and venture-backed startups, including Zetta, Credit.com, Hearst, and Yahoo!.

“The most underrated and overrated marketing strategies are…”

Underrated:

Many companies overlook the importance of marketing to your installed customer base – customer engagement, opportunities for user education, and cross-selling are key to retention and recurring revenue.

Overrated:

On the flip side, many companies are over-invested in top-of-the-funnel acquisition efforts. Marketing spends money on these activities, but often don’t invest the time or put the systems in place to proactively monitor these campaigns and programs. It’s important to continuously test and optimize so you don’t end up over-invested in some areas and under-invested in others.


Eagan HeathEagan Heath

@GetFoundMadison

Eagan Heath is the Owner of Get Found Madison.

“I’ve been really impressed with…”

The low cost-per-click for Google Display Ads targeting custom intent audiences. While everyone is talking about Facebook, Google rolled out the ability to display ads around the web to targeted people based on their recent searches and browsing history.


Manish SharmaManish Sharma

@contactousapp

Manish believes that data is the key asset of an organization, which applications just visit, and that a company already has sufficient data that is hidden and not exposed to applications. He founded Contactous with the mission of uncovering it within organizations and extracting actionable intelligence from it.

“The most overrated and underrated marketing strategies are…”

Most Overrated – Trade-show participation, especially those in which the audience is attracted by participating in lucky draws or free coffee stamps. Not only are those names usually worthless, but they contaminate the leads database, taking massive energy and making the ROI calculation from that event incorrect.

Most Underrated – Acting and follow-up on the handshakes that take place between the company and prospects. After a meeting, the business card does not make it to the CRM 90% of the time. Energy was spent in qualifying the prospect, preparing, and traveling, but then there is a move to the next appointment, with less regard to the last one. There are companies who smartly follow up on those business cards and reap great results. But still, it remains a very underrated marketing activity.


Stacy CaprioStacy Caprio

@stacy4startups

Stacy Caprio is the Founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing.

“My #1 marketing strategy that has underrated ROI is…”

Using Reddit and other social media forums as a promotion strategy. I’ve personally used Reddit as a marketing tool to share genuine stories and promote my products and knowledge. A few weeks ago,I shared my investing story on Reddit, and it gained more than 500 upvotes in a few days. From this alone, my site was visited hundreds of times, and I received over 30 emails and messages asking for investing advice, help, and requesting to be on my investing waitlist.

I’ve found telling your story through a genuine lens and posting in online forums such as Reddit to be a great source that drives new fans, customers, and attention, great for any business to grow, and best of all, it doesn’t cost a dime.


Tyler RiddellTyler Riddell

@tgr_360

Tyler Riddell is the Vice President of Marketing for eSUB Construction Software. They’re a Microsoft partner, and they’ve published thought leadership in IECI, Startups-List, Construction Exec, the INTEX Commercial Construction Expo, and more.

“Even though social media is one of the most accessible places to reach viewers…”

And ad campaigns are fairly competitive price-wise versus other online avenues, it’s still underrated. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that it’s hard to measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media. With that being said, the ability to attract a large audience with whom you can share your brand can improve both your brand’s reputation and brand awareness. This also leads to more sales.


Evan RobertsEvan Roberts

@mdHomebuyers

Evan Roberts is a real estate agent with Dependable Homebuyers in Baltimore, MD.

“The most overrated marketing activity at this time is every-door direct mail…”

While it allows you to blanket a geographical area at a low cost, it doesn’t allow you to target homes based on potential motivation. For real estate, it is inefficient to mail every home in a neighborhood if half of the residents have owned their homes for less than two years.

The most underrated marketing is re-targeting. Everyone wants quick leads, but the great ROI comes from marketing to the same motivated audience over and over again. Most customers require 7 or more touches before they finally convert, and re-targeting is a way to ensure that no customer is left behind. It’s a cost-effective way to increase leads from your other marketing efforts, resulting in a higher ROI.


Jeff MillerJeff Miller

@AEHomeGroup

Jeff Miller is co-founder of the AE Home Group real estate team in Maryland.

“The most underrated and overrated marketing areas are…”

Most Under-rated:

Digital press releases are a cheap way to receive a boost in online traffic while earning instant credibility. These press releases rank quickly for local keywords and drive local traffic. To capitalize on these press releases, you can follow up with a social media campaign that promotes you being featured in credible publications. This influences your perceived authority on these platforms and increases engagement and conversions from your audience, creating a high ROI on your marketing efforts.

Most Over-rated: Instagram marketing is flashy but often leads to a poor ROI. We found that the mindset of individuals on Instagram is to promote one’s current activity, not to make purchasing decisions or solve a problem. This means that advertisements on Instagram have a low conversion rate compared to other platforms and a poor ROI on marketing funds.


Chrys DoucetteChrys Doucette

@ChrysDoucette

Chrys Doucette is a former daily newspaper reporter and owner of the trendy soap company DigitalSoaps. Doucette now works as a web design, marketing, and SEO consultant in Bellingham, WA. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in communication from Marist College.

“For the temporary boost in website traffic that it offers in return…”

Paid advertising takes a lot of planning and a constant monetary investment in order to work. To me, the ROI is overrated. I’ve found a better ROI by earning organic traffic with strong backlinks from reputable websites. A backlink from one high-traffic website can keep your company’s product at the top of Google for several years. This strategy takes time, but the benefits are long lasting.

My advice is to get mentioned on prominent websites where your audience is found. Send press releases with print-ready photos, give your expertise to one of the site’s reporters, or offer to write a guest blog. This strategy rewards your company with links from other websites that point visitors to your site. More importantly, Google sees the link as an endorsement of your company, boosting your reputation and pushing you higher in search rankings.


LaVonne IdletteLaVonne Idlette

@idlette

LaVonne Idlette is the Co-Founder of B3 Face Forward Inc.

“The most underrated and overrated areas of marketing include…”

Overrated – Social media ads. It takes significant skill and understanding, and they purposefully have been changing algorithms and improperly matching profiles (to drive ad spends I’d assume). But I have seen egregiously incorrect grouping.

Underrated – Personal touch. In person communication, on the phone, hand written letters. In a digital world, this seems counter-intuitive. However, I see much higher response and conversion rates using these methods.


Sam CarrSam Carr

@PPCprotect

Sam Carr is the marketing manager at PPC Protect, a tech startup that helps advertisers fight back against fraudulent clicks on their PPC ads. Having worked in digital marketing for several years, Sam loves sharing and thinking up new digital marketing strategies to boost sales and leads.

“As the marketing manager of a startup…”

I personally think content marketing and SEO are the most underrated marketing areas.

If you produce a quality piece of content that ranks well on Google, then you can stay in the number 1 position for YEARS. By investing in a writer or even outsourcing the content, you can generate countless leads from one well-written piece. Now imagine doing this for various keywords at the same time, and suddenly you can have a nice stream of leads for a relatively low cost. Compared to say PPC ads, where you have to pay for every single click you receive, content marketing and SEO is a super efficient and cost-effective way to get leads incredibly cheap.

In terms of the most overrated marketing area, I’d have to say email marketing. Ever since the growth of social media, a lot of users don’t use their emails anymore. Something that used to be very popular back in the early 2000s is now dying out. Not to mention that receiving several emails from a company every single week can be very annoying, and there’s a good chance your emails will just be marked as spam. Email marketing lists do have their place, but in terms of the time and money people spend on them I think there are much more effective marketing methods out there.


Nabeel KhalidNabeel Khalid

@nubeals

Nabeel Khalid is the Head of Digital Strategy at Maven Global in London, with more than 10 years of digital marketing expertise under his belt.

“As a marketer, I am always mindful of low-hanging fruit, identifying it early and acting on it, sometimes even on impulse when I don’t have enough data…”

For example, one thing I learned about software sales is that almost every SaaS company stops advertising during the Christmas break because they can’t justify the ROI. To beat this trend for one of my clients, I tested a campaign putting even more money into their advertising campaigns instead of pausing them through the holidays.

Initially, I thought this tactic would help make the dollar (or pound) go further because it was cheaper to advertise for those keywords in that period. But as it turned out, the ROI was much higher because people DID search for software during the holidays! In addition, they were more attentive, signed up for trials more often, the heatmaps showed more clicks around the landing pages, and users converted at a much higher rate.


Gregory GolinskiGregory Golinski

@ypsuk

Gregory Golinski is a Digital Marketing Executive for YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

“In my opinion, the most underrated area for good marketing ROI is SEO link building…” 

Reaching out to other websites to get new backlinks takes time and effort, but in my opinion, it’s the one SEO activity that can really make a difference for your business. Acquiring good backlinks can not only quickly increase referral traffic to your website, but also increase your organic traffic in the long term. Of course, the more people visit your website, the better it is for your sales.

The most overrated area for marketing ROI is paying for a Facebook page like campaign. Most of the time, buying Facebook Likes for your page is a waste of time, as a huge amount of these purchased Likes will be from fake user profiles. These followers won’t be interacting with your page or buying your product. You should try to acquire real Likes from real people.


Joy GendusaJoy Gendusa

@postcardmania

Joy Gendusa is the Founder/CEO of PostcardMania.

“The internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for advertisers…”

But traditional methods are as effective as ever when it comes to lead generation. Marketers who utilize both channels generate exponentially higher returns on investment (ROI) with their campaigns than those who rely on just one.

Direct mail is read or at least scanned by 79% of households and is considered the most trusted form of marketing by 56% of consumers (both stats according to the Data & Marketing Association). But the costs of achieving the repetition necessary for a successful marketing campaign can add up quickly (mostly in postage).

Tacking Google and Facebook ads onto a direct mail campaign allows marketers to create that sense of being everywhere and keep themselves top of mind with their prospects – and not go broke doing it! We’re seeing ROIs of 2,000% and more – even as high as 14,000% – among our clients who use this strategy.


Roger WuRoger Wu

@rogerwu99

Roger Wu is the co-founder of micro-influencer marketplace Cooperatize. Cooperatize provides close to 40K bloggers, workflow tools for content creation, and a traffic guarantee on content.

“The areas of marketing that with the most underrated and overrated ROI are…”

Underrated: Micro-influencer marketing. Micro-influencers speak the same language as the target customer; they are able to understand the needs and desires of the customer and provide an argument as to why a good or service is needed. Companies should find micro-influencer marketplaces that allow them to work on a one-to-many basis. The goal is not to work with one or two big influencers, but rather to work with hundreds/thousands in a scalable manner. There is less risk and a higher ROI since the risk is spread out among many influencers instead of a handful.

Overrated: Video. Video is expensive to produce, most of it goes unwatched, and calls to action are hard to measure.


Harrison DoanHarrison Doan

@SaatvaMattress

Harrison is the Director of SEO and Analytics at Saatva, an online mattress startup. He’s got over 7 years of online marketing and analytics experience, and he’s traveled around sharing his knowledge with marketers and analysts.

“Content marketing and SEO provide the biggest ROI in marketing…”

I’ve found countless times that investing energy into content marketing and well-optimized pieces means that I can build upon existing marketing strategies for long-term success. It costs less than other forms of marketing, as well. The best way to take advantage of content marketing’s ROI potential is to enlist a real content marketer or a team that specializes in it to plan out your campaign. Often, we hire for one-stop-shop marketers, but there’s something to be said for bringing on an employee who can take a content marketing strategy and get real results.


Jenny HaleJenny Hale

@JenMilMarketing

Jenny Hale is a U.S. military marketing strategist, specializing in helping military spouse and veteran entrepreneurs use organic marketing strategies online to grow their business.

“The most underrated marketing ROI for small businesses is on LinkedIn…”

LinkedIn is an untapped market for personal branding and relationships for small business owners. It’s not just a job search website, and entrepreneurs can use it to generate PR opportunities, leads, and referrals. Companies should encourage their employees to actively use LinkedIn for business networking, and business owners should use the platform to develop personal branding and content strategies.


Filip SilobodFilip Silobod

@aroebusiness

Filip Silobod is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Aró Digital Strategy who has a good amount of experience in SEO. Filip has worked for a lot of luxury hotels on their SEO and digital marketing.

“When it comes to digital marketing, finding a way to accurately measure ROI is almost impossible because…”

There are many factors that result in purchases/leads, and purchases can happen by phone calls or email – so we can’t contribute a revenue figure to each call or email. The most overrated ROI is the PPC ROI, especially brand PPC ROI (when you bid on your own brand) because you would get some of those clicks anyway without bidding on your brand. There is also assisted conversion – so when you run a PPC campaign, it’s most likely that people are not going to buy your product after they clicked and came to your site. They will research, check other sites, and if you’re lucky come back to your site by some other source – organically, by social media, or directly – and buy. The ROI in that case will be 0 because they won’t be tracked as they came by your PPC campaign. If they clicked on the PPC ad and bought, only then will the ROI be positive, but we all know that things aren’t as simple as that today.

I think if you really want to measure some ROI, you should look at the revenue/leads coming from a variety of four channels – organic, PPC, direct, and social / the new investment.

The most underrated ROI or better KPI in digital marketing to me is the returning users – the number of people who came back to your site. Often, a better performing website has a better amount of returning users (available in the Google Analytics tool).


Sid SoilSid Soil

@DOCUdavit

Sid Soil is the owner of Docudavit.com, a Toronto-based document scanning and storage solution that services doctors, lawyers, and corporations throughout Canada.

“Even with all of the recent buzz around content marketing…”

It’s still one of the most underrated tools to have in your toolbox. Investing time into quality content that offers value to potential customers and followers is sure to break through the social media noise and get your brand in front of people who are most likely to buy. The best way to take advantage of content marketing’s ROI is to make it a deliberate priority within your company. Only publish content that is thoroughly researched, reviewed, and promoted. Often, this will require hiring an experienced content marketer or an agency to help develop your campaign.


Sarunas BudrikasSarunas Budrikas

@sarunasbudrikas

Sarunas is an owner of the U.S.-based B2B marketing agency Angle180. He’s committed to creating value-added solutions tailored to the customer’s business needs. Sarunas is a web design and marketing expert with over 300 projects under his belt. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences and exceeding client expectations.

“The marketing strategies with the most underrated and overrated ROI are…”

#Overrated

I’ll just spill the beans – Facebook isn’t as efficient as many might think. Yes, you can reach a highly targeted audience. Yes, this can be effective. But for the most part, you can’t really control the outcome. The organic reach for the posts that include a link to your website is very low. Just think about it: Facebook isn’t really excited about people leaving their site. The only way they compromise and actually show the post with your web page link is if you pay for the clicks. And another thing, most companies are on Facebook and it’s a competitive world out there. If you aren’t ready to spend money on ads or don’t really have a strategy, don’t go there. There are better methods for small business owners to advertise and get a higher ROI.

#Underrated

Writing your niche blog. I want to put a big exclamation mark here – not just any blog, but sharing the insights from your professional experience. Yes, I agree, the internet is full of information. But how much of it is actually valuable? Most of those articles are talking about abstract ideas without providing any specific examples. Especially as a niche or a smaller business owner, you have an advantage of sharing information that can add a ton of value to your prospects. It’s not just an ad; you have the opportunity to show your expertise by actually helping people to fix their problems. Now, not everyone likes writing. But you really don’t have to! Just get a reliable content writer who will ask you the right questions that people are actually interested in, take care of your keyword research, and make sure that the page is user-friendly, and you are all set.


Tabitha Jean NaylorTabitha Jean Naylor

@tabithanaylor

Tabitha Jean Naylor is a small business owner who does marketing consulting for other small businesses both here in the US and abroad at TabithaNaylor.com. She has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience working with start-up companies through NASDAQ listed organizations.

“I think, on average, pay-per-click (PPC) is overrated when it comes to marketing ROI…”

Why? because I think marketers almost become obsessed with paying for quality leads, so they overspend, and when they step back, they often realize that could have saved a chunk of that money by building organic leads instead. PPC is a fine art, and one mistake can cripple your campaign and really waste the time, money, and effort you’ve put into it. So I would just caution marketers to focus more on building organic leads.

I think we’re starting to see that video marketing has been grossly underrated, although that’s starting to correct itself in a big way. We’ve spent so much time beating the drum of content as it applies to blogs, podcasts, and webinars, but video is probably going to eclipse those content types in terms of ROI in the next couple of years. That’s because you have so many creative options to attract the attention of your audience, from super-short video snippets that solve a problem or answer a viewer’s question, to live, virtual summits through live video streaming where you can interact directly with your audience, take questions, launch products, and interview influencers.

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