Five ways to get the biggest returns from your digital investment

We've put together five of our most effective recommendations for getting the best possible return on investing in digital

078 Yoyo April 2023 WEB

With the economy still in a tricky place, businesses everywhere know they need to invest in digital - but want to know how to get the best possible return on investment. With social media thought leaders churning out a sea of contradictory and definitive answers that fit nicely on to image posts - we thought we’d put pen to paper and gather five of our most effective recommendations.

1. Practice user-centred thinking, don’t follow the crowd.

With stakeholders, managers and investors impressing the importance of targets and values on us every day, it can be hard to quiet the noise when it comes to decision making. Luckily, there is one voice we can tune into to get the best possible return on investment from digital investment. While we may start with a business need, like an increase in sales, we can only achieve that by thinking about the ways we can attract, help and retain your users. 

User experience designers’ main job is to interrogate what your business and users need and find a way to delight everyone. When collaborating, start with asking what user behaviour you are looking to encourage - and what might encourage people to behave in this way. Often, businesses approach us by saying they need a shiny new expensive feature, and we challenge them by asking, why? Is it because someone senior likes the idea on a competitor's website? Is it because others seem to be doing it? None of that will matter if your user’s don’t really want it. You may not have the same audience as your competitors, and even better - you may well be able to find a much cheaper and simpler way to reach the same goals. If you’re unsure of how to get started, feel free to cheat - and have a look at the UX principles that guide us here at Yoyo.

2. Define your goals: Pleasing everyone, usually delights no one.

Speaking of stakeholders, decide who they are. Every team has its own goals and success metrics - as is totally expected and healthy. However, projects can stretch over budget if stakeholder expectations aren’t managed. Every project should start with a gathering of requirements from the stakeholders involved, but what many don’t spend enough time on, is prioritising these. Maybe telling an authentic brand story is an essential focus, but conversion is what you need to focus on to keep the lights on - and newsletter sign ups are critical to your marketing team. That might mean that all three are factored in as key project goals - but with everyone understanding that when it comes to decisions making - the options that benefit conversion need to come first.

3. Good digital experiences are almost never one-and-done.

The reason that the most powerful companies in the world invest in full-time digital teams - and don’t kick them to the curb after their website goes live - is because iteration is absolutely essential. If you’re not a digital conglomerate, or are not keen to scale internally, that can look like working with your agency to regularly assess and improve your website at quarterly, monthly or even bi-annual intervals. Every new digital product or space is a starting point, and can only reach its full potential by adapting over time and listing to real users.

4. Use real data, but don’t let it get the best of you.

Nowadays everyone loves data, and rightfully so. It’s the way to listen to the needs and wants of thousands of people all at once and avoid a lot of trial and error. To get the best out of your digital investment, include setting up useful analytics and event tracking. This will make iteration a breeze, and decision making much easier for a long time to come. 

Don't, however, fall into the pitfall that is looking for quantitative promises that your exact plan and solution will definitely produce perfect results, down to the pixel. Data is a guide, not an oracle. Be wary of anyone who promises otherwise. 

5. Ensure you’re investing in high-quality traffic.

As many distraught teenagers come to understand, you can plan the most beautiful party - but if the wrong people turn up, it can go far from as planned. Optimise content for ranking for the key-words and searches that are being made by the users you really want to attract. Invest carefully in PPC with a strategy in mind to target the right users for your business. High traffic, but low quality traffic will simply mean high bounce rates - and a waste of investment in other areas as they remain unseen by the people that matter. We know this is a complex topic in its own right, but if you’d like some more information - here’s a recent article our team put together on balancing SEO and PPC spend.

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