Bear Fox Marketing Official Blog

Which Digital Marketing Tactics Have the Highest ROI?

Digital Marketing Tactics with Highest ROI

74% of marketers struggle to track the impact of their efforts.  Are you one of them?

Invest in multiple marketing channels, maximize your ROI and your campaign is destined for success. Simple, right?  The truth is, tracking ROI can be a nightmare and it’s tricky to know which tactics are worthy of your limited time and budget.  If you’re struggling to know which marketing channels will prove best for your bottom line, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Read on for our breakdown of the 4 digital marketing tactics with the highest ROI.  Let’s jump right in.

4 Digital Marketing Tactics with the Highest ROI

One reason marketing ROI is so hard to measure, is that it varies wildly across industries. Still, research shows that globally, the 4 digital marketing tactics perceived to have the highest ROI are:

#1 SEO & Content Marketing

#2 Email Marketing

#3 Paid Search (PPC)

#4 Social Media (SMM

Let’s consider why each of these tactics can show spectacular returns

1. SEO & Content Marketing

SEO & Content Marketing is our top pick for improving your marketing ROI. Why?

Firstly, both SEO and Content Marketing are easy to measure and offer a great deal of analytical, performance information. Google Analytics is perhaps the easiest way to monitor your spend. Overall traffic, bounce rate, and hundreds of other metrics can all be seen with the click of a button.

SEO and Content Marketing tactics are also simple to scale. Both channels can start small, but over time grow exponentially. Plus, each piece of content you produce provides lasting value.

Your brand can benefit from the content, for years to come, due to increases in:

  • organic traffic
  • referred traffic
  • domain authority

Another considerable upside of SEO and Content Marketing is that they require little investment to get started. If you’re a small business without a substantial marketing budget, SEO and Content Marketing are perfect playgrounds for growth.

Of course, it’s not all positive.  SEO and Content Marketing can provide a powerful ROI… over time. But unlike PPC marketing, you’re unlikely to see instant results. In fact, it could take upwards of a year for the benefits to truly show.

If you’re after a quick marketing boost, avoid SEO and Content Marketing. But for long-term ROI, there’s nothing better.

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing is an old classic and is as effective as ever. In fact, email marketing yields an average ROI of 4300%.

Very impressive. Especially when you consider the low cost of creating and sending emails. As your mailing list grows, you can gradually scale up your investment, removing the need for any significant spend, upfront.

ROI can also be measured easily, via Google Analytics and email automation software. Email opens, click-throughs and unsubscribe rates can all be used to dictate your spend and monitor ROI on a regular basis.

If you opt to drive your digital marketing via email, here are 6 tips for making the most from your campaigns:

  • offer true value
  • use high-quality images and video
  • deliver a concise message
  • include a clear subject line and call-to-action
  • use a mobile-friendly design
  • send with appropriate frequency (weekly-monthly in most cases)

3. Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC campaigns are our third choice tactic for ensuring a high ROI. Compared to SEO, Content Marketing and Email Marketing, PPC campaigns differ in some fundamental ways.

While different, there are many benefits to running PPC campaigns. Firstly, they deliver instant results and can boost conversions in the shortest time frame.

Using Google Adwords, you can even control underperforming Ads to limit your spend. You can also conduct conversion tests for active campaigns to make sure they’re proving cost-effective.

Plus, for evaluative metrics, PPC is unrivaled. It’s easy to research the most effective keywords and then determine in advance your upper spend for each click.

We also suggest that you link your Google Adwords and Analytics accounts. Doing so can offer insight into a visitor’s actions after they click your ad.

Of course, PPC has its downsides too:

  • increasingly expensive due to competition
  • PPC cost varies by industry
  • requires continuous financial investment
  • no lasting effect, when the ads stop so do the results

4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Businesses continue to invest heavily in SMM, another marketing tactic that can drive high returns.  It’s easy to see why.

Along with their large user bases, social media platforms provide extensive targeting options. This targeting can help capture your ‘ideal consumer’ in a similar way to PPC ads, but for a lower cost. With this, your marketing ‘waste’ is much lower than with traditional methods.

Plus, certain platforms (such as Instagram) use a cost-per-click model. This means you only spend on ads that are clicked on – an instant ROI!

Still, with SMM it can be difficult to measure ROI. Engagement and traffic metrics are useful but don’t always translate to financial return. While you’re likely to at least see a social ROI, through increased brand credibility and awareness, a specific return on these factors is difficult to quantify.

If you choose to invest in SMM, diversify! Don’t rely on a single platform and conduct testing campaigns to see which tend to work best for your industry.

Difficulties in Measuring ROI

Determining return on investment is no easy feat. While the digital marketing tactics above are fairly safe bets, keep the following in mind:

The Cost of Time

It’s not just business dollars. Marketing tactics must also be evaluated in terms of their time investments. For example, content marketing campaigns are much more time intensive than PPC campaigns.

There’s also the question of short-term vs. long-term ROI. To determine true return, we suggest you measure your channels over a range of time-frames.


A marketing strategy is only as good as its execution. Make sure you (or your marketing team) know the ins and outs of the channels you opt for, or can pay somebody who does.

Ultimately, the quality of a campaign is much more important than the channel used.


Don’t limit your focus to crunching statistics or obsessing over detailed metrics. Many businesses succeed in using novel, creative techniques that are untested in the market.

Boost your Digital Marketing ROI

With the 4 digital marketing tactics above, you can effectively measure your marketing impact and significantly improve your ROI, over time.

Bear Fox marketing specialize in getting you a better return on your digital investments. To take your content marketing, SEO, SMM or PPC campaigns to the next level, get in touch today.

How can we help?