Why you should look at two types of ROI

Many businesses focus on ROI: return on investment. However, when they don’t get the immediate monetary results they desire, they begin to pull away from marketing. There is another side, though. That’s ROI 2.0: return on influence.

Both ROIs have a place in your marketing strategy — you just need to keep in mind that the value of each one will be unique for your business.

Return on investment

If you’re spending money to promote a service, it’s essential to be fully aware of your return on that investment. There are a few things to consider first:

1. Know how to budget correctly.
Many people think that spending thousands of dollars on advertising will result in a huge win for their business.

Yes, more money can result in a greater ROI. If you don’t have thousands to spend, though, be smart and strategic with what you do have. Determine who your audience is and target your ads to your ideal clients.

2. Know your KPIs and marketing goals.
Speaking of being strategic, you must know your KPIs (key performance indicators). These are specific S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) that you can keep track of as your campaign progresses.

Without these, you’re basing business decisions on feelings instead of figures. If you aren’t careful, you could be spending money on marketing efforts that end up with little to no results.

3. Know how to track your ROI using analytics.
Track your website traffic and visitors. Discover where visitors came from, and what pages on your website had a greater increase in visitors than others.

Return on influence

While your return on investment is easily measurable, this is not always the case with return on influence. The return on influence, while it may not be able to be transparently measured in dollars, does have an effect on your business. More influence means more awareness about what you do and why, which can lead to more clients.

1. Know your measurements, and what they mean.
When you are measuring your level of influence, there is not a fancy equation that will help you deliver the ideal metric. Each business has its own needs and its own unique focus.

For example, is it important for you to have a high number of people connected to your social media profiles? Then the size of your audience will be something you want to measure and keep track of. Want to use social media links as calls to action to visit your website? Then you need to track the amount of traffic that you are generating via each site.

2. Tell your story. Your full story. In real-time.
One of the largest returns you can get on ROI in the influence category is being able to tell your story while you gauge and measure engagement. With social media, for example, you’re also able to comment in real time on anything that is happening in the universe that you can tie your brand or story to. This shows that you are available, have a finger on the pulse and are trustworthy. Who do people do business with? Those who they trust.

3. Position yourself as an expert.
Each one of your marketing channels acts as a branding and expertise hub where you can illustrate to your audience the value you bring to the table and why they should be interested. Having these authentic communications, especially in real time on social media, offers positioning like none other!

Now, it’s time to make the best out of both metrics.

While return on investment focuses on measurable goals, return on influence is about the results you gain from having a marketing presence and what your business does with this.

As you continue your marketing journey, look further into how both ROIs can be factored into your strategy, and how you can reap the benefits of these. Measuring your results from a monetary standpoint and an influential standpoint can only help your business grow.

Christopher Tompkins is the founder, head strategist and CEO of The Go! Agency, which helps companies harness the power of online marketing. His latest book, The Go Method: 22 Simple Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy That Works!, is now available. For more details, visit gosalesandmarketing.com

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