What is considered good ROI in digital marketing?

While it’s true that you’ve got to spend money to make money in business, that spending cannot be indiscriminate. Business success is built on wise investments: in capital, in the development of your offerings, and perhaps most importantly, in your marketing strategy.

Just a few decades ago, marketing was almost a vibes-based investment. You paid to advertise in traditional media, whether print, broadcast or outdoor, but never knew the precise audience you reached, nor the precise sales that your efforts generated.

Digital marketing has changed all that. Businesses are now swimming in data that can not only paint a clear picture of the return on a marketing investment but also exactly how and where that return was generated.

Now that we have access to all the necessary information, the question is no longer ‘Are we generating a return?’, but ‘What is a good ROI for our digital marketing?’

‘Good’ ROI depends on the marketing channel

A commonly cited number for the average ROI for digital marketing is a ratio of 5:1 – for every $1 you spend on marketing efforts, you generate $5 in revenue.

But this is an enormous oversimplification. To gain a far better and more useful understanding of what a good ROI for digital marketing might be, we first need to understand what we mean by ‘digital marketing’, and how ROI can vary across digital marketing channels.

Digital marketing encompasses a wealth of very different strategies: content marketing, SEO, email marketing, Google Ads, display advertising, video advertising, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing and more.

Digital marketing ROI benchmarks, and the accuracy of ROI calculations, can vary significantly across each of these channels. The return on investment for various digital marketing strategies will depend on the realities of each channel, and a higher ROI number may not necessarily mean a better option.

Take email marketing, which is often cited as delivering an average of $36-$40 for every dollar spent, making it the channel with the best ROI in digital marketing.

An impressive figure, sure, but it is helped by the fact that email is exceptionally cheap, and you’re exclusively targeting people who have previously shown an interest in what you offer, and who have happily handed over their email address.

Compare that to influencer marketing, which has an average ROI of 1-3x your spend. This ROI figure tends to be far less precise than most other marketing options, as it usually relies on customers using an influencer-specific code at checkout. Brand awareness and exposure can be far more valuable but are far more difficult to gauge.

An influencer marketing investment is also far more speculative than most, so while you may well lose money on a given campaign, if you happen to capture lightning in a bottle the ROI for influencer marketing can be absolutely incredible.

What about ROI in SEO? The average SEO ROI is around 2.75x, though this figure can be quite difficult to calculate. The average performance marketing ROI for PPC ads is 2x. And on and on it goes.

It’s also true that certain channels simply won’t make sense for certain businesses. An influencer campaign won’t make much sense for a medical device manufacturer, just as a LinkedIn campaign won’t make much sense for a fast fashion brand.

The role of your website and content in generating digital marketing ROI

The most important digital marketing investment that you can make is in your website. It’s your primary marketing tool, generating brand awareness through organic search engine rankings, and as the hub of your online presence, it’s the destination that every piece of marketing and advertising will point back to.

It’s one thing to gain the audience’s attention, it’s quite another to transform that attention into revenue. This is the role of your website: to drive up your digital marketing ROI by converting visitors into customers.

While the structure and performance of your website are also important factors, content is perhaps the key element. Once you’ve done the hard work of getting your customers to your site, your content needs to hold them there, and then drive them down the sales funnel. But how?

How to enhance your digital marketing ROI

At Growth Partners we’ve noticed that most website content is focused on the final ‘transaction’ phase of the buyer journey and ignores the ‘awareness’ and ‘consideration’ phases where the overwhelming majority of your potential customers currently reside.

To some degree it makes sense: it’s far easier to convert someone at the end of their buyer journey than someone at the very beginning. But by ignoring those in the awareness and consideration phases, you also ignore the money that these potential customers could spend with you.

That’s why enhancing your website content is critical to enhancing your digital marketing ROI. By crafting content that speaks to those who either don’t know about your brand or offerings (awareness) or are wondering whether you are the right choice (consideration), you can drive a far greater number down the funnel towards a sale.

To effectively enhance your website content for all stages of the buyer journey, you need to understand the keywords people use to describe what you offer, you need to understand the questions that people are asking at each stage, and you need to create website content that includes the keywords and answers the questions.

At Growth Partners, we help growth-focused businesses to do just that.

Purpose-built websites that deliver continuous, sustainable growth

Enhancing your digital marketing ROI is about strategically choosing the right mix of marketing channels, and then turning website visitors into customers.

Building a better website is easy to say, but hard to do. But construction is far easier upon a solid foundation of knowledge—which is exactly what our DigitalArchitect System® is designed to deliver.

DigitalArchitect removes the confusion surrounding digital marketing and web design, replacing it with data, clarity, purpose and an actionable growth plan.

DigitalArchitect generates in-depth audience insights and customer behaviour analysis to build a digital transformation road map, including more intentional and compelling website content designed to capture prospective customers at all stages of the buyer journey and drive continuous, sustainable growth.

Kickstart your growth journey with an obligation-free chat on how we can help your business discover its online market potential.


Mal Jack

Mal Jack, Director and General Manager of Growth Partners, is passionate about helping businesses realise their growth objectives while helping the people within an organisation to achieve their own goals, dreams and aspirations too. A seasoned marketeer, Mal enjoys sharing his deep digital knowledge and experience with clients. As a hands-on leader, he places a premium on building personal and professional relationships (and the line often blurs between the two). Outside of work, Mal likes to spend his time enjoying good food with his family, and indulging his passion for adventure-focused travel.

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