Top Ten Strategies for Increasing Marketing ROI

Top Ten Strategies for Increasing Marketing ROI

So many leads, so little time

Your marketing strategy is generating so many qualified prospects and you can’t keep pace. It is an enviable position.

Doesn’t sound like you? Well, perhaps you’re the eternal skeptic, thinking marketing professional services and generating leads online only happens through Herculean efforts. The truth is that improving your marketing ROI and generating more online leads is within reach—and it doesn’t take a super firm to pull it off.

In our Online Marketing for Professional Services book, Hinge took an in-depth look at what professional services firms, including those marketing technology services, are doing to ensure a steady flow of leads. From our research, we uncovered 10 key strategies that really work and can be implemented—no matter the size of your firm.

1 – Make your website a collaboration between IT and marketing

With today’s easy-to-use content management software (CMS), your firm doesn’t need to rely on a developer to update your website. Give the car keys to the marketing team and let them use the website as a living, breathing communication tool.

In our research, we found that 75% of high-growth firms are updating their websites at least weekly. In contrast, only 55% of technology services firms are updating with the same frequency. This presents a big opportunity for technology firms. Put marketing in charge of day-to-day website changes and rely on your IT department for more substantial redesigns and overhauls.

2 – Zero in on high impact activities

Most marketing teams cannot cover every aspect of marketing their services. Instead, they focus on the marketing techniques that will have the highest impact. This is where analytics come into play. The marketing tools and techniques that will be most effective for your firm will depend on a number of factors, like your audiences and available resources. Carefully tracking your marketing ROI and the results of specific campaigns will help identify what’s working, what’s not, and what could be improved.

If you find that developing your firm’s professionals into Visible Experts℠ is generating leads and new business, continue to build their marketplace visibility. If writing blog posts on relevant topics and issues are having an impact on your business, continue to invest in your blog. If you’re getting a lot of traction from your discussions in LinkedIn groups, continue to set aside time to post meaningful comments. You don’t have to go for it all — and certainly not all at once.

3 – Identify your website offers

Your website should have a variety of calls to action (CTAs) to encourage visitors to further engage with your firm. These CTAs should be closely tracked and monitored. For example, you might consider having offers geared toward attracting prospects, such as content downloads or registration for an upcoming webinar, and offers for late-stage prospects, like a “Contact Us” or “Request a Proposal” form.

Tracking the performance of your offers is an important step to improving your marketing ROI—and it is the only way you will know where you should invest more time and money.

4 – Eliminate Friction

Many professional services websites have a major problem: They don’t provide a positive user experience. Remember that more than 87% of technology services buyers are checking out your website before making a purchasing decision.

When these prospects get to your website, can they find the information they’re looking for? Are you clearly communicating your firm’s services and expertise?

Navigation should be straightforward and intuitive. Visitors should easily be able to contact your firm. There should be simplified web forms and clear calls-to-action. Your website can be your firm’s greatest business development asset.

5 – Meet your new best friend: The CRM

Firms greatly benefit from using some sort of customer relationship management (CRM) tool. This type of software allows you to easily create new web forms and offers, track leads by source, and segment your list of prospects for more effective lead nurturing and business development.
There are a number of CRM software options out there. Do your research upfront and have a clear idea of exactly what functionality your firm needs. In short, a good CRM software can dramatically increase the efficiency of marketing technology services.

6 – Pick low hanging fruit

When it comes to building visibility in search engines and ranking highly, finding the right keywords is essential. What issues are your audiences facing and trying to solve? What keywords might they use to find technology services like those that your firm offers?

Consider finding keyword opportunities (through tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Difficulty tool) that haven’t yet been saturated. Rather than target high-volume, highly competitive phrases, target many more-attainable keyword phrases. The traffic you’ll generate from these highly targeted “long-tail” keywords will add up and contribute to your overall marketing ROI.

7 – Declare yourself the authority, then back it up

In the world of marketing professional services, trust is everything. Don’t stop at declaring yourself a thought leader. Take the next step and support the claim by publishing educational content for your buyers. Show that you understand their challenges and that your firm has the expertise to help overcome them. This long-term strategy leads to a brand that prospects can trust.

8 – Blog on topics that generate leads

When producing educational content, it’s useful to have a specific target audience in mind and to write about topics that are important to that audience. Where can you find inspiration for topic ideas?

  • Through industry news
  • Through what’s trending on social media
  • Through your business development or sales team
  • Through conducting primary research

Frame your blog posts around the issues that matter to your audience and topics that are of interest to them. And remember to keep your posts educational, not self-promotional. Speak the language of your target readers and you’ll build visibility and attract your audience.

9 – Give and thou shalt receive

Get into the practice of sharing interesting stories (your firm’s own content and other firms’ content) on your social media networks. This activity positions your firm as a trusted industry resource and creates goodwill.

10 – Stick. It. Out.  

You can’t climb this mountain overnight. It’s tough in the beginning, especially when you don’t have many subscribers and you start to think…Is this worth it? But if you stick it out, you’ll reap the rewards of perseverance. At Hinge, we’ve lived it ourselves, and we have seen it work time and time again for firms across the technology services space. If you take away only one point from this story, it should be this: increasing your technology services marketing ROI online is completely do-able. And remember, you don’t need an army to prosper—just a smart marketing team with a good strategy.

Elizabeth Harr
Brand Strategy
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Elizabeth Harr is an accomplished entrepreneur and experienced executive specializing in brand management for successful business growth. As a partner at Hinge, she leads Hing ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, July 17-21 2017 

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Is Alternative Beta the New Fixed Income?

The fee debate raging across mutual funds has long since seeped into hedge funds. Certainly the direction of travel on hedge fund fees was already downward, as strong industry competition and underwhelming performance have taken their toll. — Yazann Romahi

2. The 5 Big Questions for the Second Half of 2017

Equity markets continued their strong run in the second quarter of 2017, thanks to the global economy hitting its stride and registering the fastest level of growth in six years. For the first time since 2011, the U.S. is no longer the only shining star as economic momentum picked up across the globe. — Sonu Varghese

3. Smart Beta ETFs: The "Dream Diet" for Your Portfolio

What’s powerful about Smart Beta is that it allows investors to target very specific factors to create an ideal portfolio based on a given asset allocation.  — Salvatore Bruno

4. D‐O‐L = Confusion, Frustration, and Finally Reluctant Acceptance and Hope

At almost every financial and insurance conference we’ve attended in the past year, sessions to discuss the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule have been among the most popular. — Merriah Harkins

5. How To Hold A Stress-Free Money Conversation

In researching high growth professional services firms we made an eye-opening discovery. Those firms that did systematic business research on their target client group grew faster and were more profitable. — Michael Kay

6. 12 Financial Truths (Including Some You Won't Like)

We live in a noisy world where wisdom is hard to discern.  Here are a dozen financial truths honed from more than three decades of observation. — James E. Wilson

7. Are You Responsible for How Others Take Your Actions?

If you keep getting the same actions or responses from your interactions, it is most likely you that is the problem.  Stop blaming others for your issues. — Matthew Halloran​​​​​​​

8. 4 Surefire Ways to Enhance Your Influence

Being influential through your verbal and non-verbal communication Monday to Monday® requires deliberate practice. You can’t read how-to’s in a book or rely on your title and comfort level to be influential. — Stacey Hanke​​​​​​​

9. How Business Owners Allow Coffee Shops to Waste Time and Money

We all search for the least chaotic place to work and think. However, your location could hurt your productivity. Here’s why…. — Jennifer Goldman​​​​​​​

10. Four Simple Tricks to Find Your Passion That Work Every Time

You’re supposed to have a single burning passion, right? To feel this incredible drive to do this thing that you love. — Alli Polin

11. The Greatest Disrupter to Your Future Practice Will Be Your Clients

Real innovation, and real disruption, will be concepts and methods which “do new things that make the old things obsolete”. — Tony Vidler

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio