A well-planned marketing campaign is crucial for any business, especially when it comes to digital marketing. It’s a highly competitive industry because of the overwhelming number of businesses that operate online, and it can be difficult to not lose sight of your marketing goals when trying to stand out. It’s important to ensure that your goals are focused and achievable to avoid wasting your time when trying to improve your digital marketing strategy. Setting niche, growth-orientated goals can improve your business development by providing a benchmark for your achievements.
What are SMART goals?
The SMART acronym means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
Setting SMART goals for your team is vital to keep your digital marketing strategy focused. Having a consistent rubric that focuses on striving for achievable goals will keep your team on track, as well as increase productivity. It can be damaging to your strategy to set unattainable goals, but by using the SMART goal framework, you can keep large, long-term campaigns sustainable and successful.
When should I set SMART goals for my business?
Before you start to integrate the SMART goal framework into your digital marketing strategy, first you need to have a clear picture of your organisation’s long-term strategy, and your overall end goal. Are you trying to increase annual revenue? Or expand your audience to increase your amount of customers? You need to know why you are setting SMART goals, and why setting these goals will directly improve your business. It may be helpful to consider the results of your company’s previous marketing campaigns; were there areas that needed improvement? What could you do better? What have your previous digital marketing strategies been lacking?
Once you have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve, understand your target buyer personas inside and out, and know how you are going to communicate with them, setting SMART goals will help you to track your progress and ultimately determine what does and doesn’t work in your digital marketing strategy.
How to Set SMART goals for my business?
The first step of setting SMART goals is understanding exactly what you need to achieve. This needs to be as specific as possible, because unrealistic, generic goals leave room for error and confusion. You need to define your goal and what steps you will take to achieve it.
Once you have determined the long-term and short-term goals for your digital marketing strategy, you need to calculate how you are going to measure your success. What are your specific KPIs, and what metrics and tools are you going to use to assess your results? How will you know when you have achieved your goals? Decide the criteria that you will use to gauge your success.
Whilst it’s valuable to be ambitious, make sure that your goals are challenging but realistic. Ask yourself: are these worthwhile, feasible goals? Do you have the resources that you need to achieve them?
It’s better to set attainable, realistic goals than to aim too high and end up disappointed. Goals that feel unachievable will negatively affect the morale of your team, but goals that are too accessible may dampen motivation and hinder your overall success. Set goals that are attainable to keep your team motivated and successful.
Once you’ve thought about your goals, when, and how you will achieve them, you should consider whether this is what you need to be focusing on. Do your goals match your organization’s strategies and broader goals? Why will these specific SMART goals improve your business? How do these goals fit into your business model? Make sure that you know how and why these goals are relevant to your master plan.
The final step when setting SMART goals is to decide the timeline for achievement. Are your goals critical, or are they goals to be achieved over time? How much time will you need for market research or data analysis? It’s important to factor in all facets of your marketing strategy when determining a timeline.
Deciding on your deadline in advance creates urgency and will prevent you from rushing or falling behind. Deadlines give you a benchmark to refer to when you reflect on your achievements so far and will help to manage your progress expectations in your further campaigns.
Examples of SMART digital marketing goals
Your SMART content goals should revolve around your business’ content production, and how you connect with your wider audience and reach potential customers.
An example of a SMART Content goal would be:
– To produce three high quality blog posts a week to drive 10% more traffic to your website each month.
This is a SMART goal because you are specifying what you are going to do, what it will achieve, and the results you are aiming for.
Your SEO SMART goals should revolve around generating traffic, improving your conversion rate, and scoring a higher ranking for your keywords.
An example of a SEO SMART goal is:
– Increase organic traffic to your site by 10% by targeting niche, long-tail keywords and implementing these in frequent, SEO-optimised blog posts. We’ll measure this by aiming to move a fairly well-performing blog from its current page 2 position, to page 1.
Focusing on your social media digital strategy is extremely important as it enables you to expand your reach and create a larger audience for your company. Setting social SMART goals will provide you with a clear strategy to increase your following and engagement, but it’s important to keep in mind that your social strategy should vary depending on the platform.
An example of a social SMART goal is:
– Identify high-performing hashtags relevant to your brand and services, and post at least four times a week to Instagram with these tags, with the aim of reaching 1000 followers in the next three months.
Email marketing is vital to your digital marketing campaign because it allows you to nurture leads and stay connected to your audience in between transactions.
An example of an email SMART goal is:
– To grow clickthrough rate by 5% by the end of the year by planting a well-placed, attractive call-to-action button in a convenient place.
The results of your SMART goals
Using a SMART goal framework for your digital marketing strategy should be a continual process; setting frequent, incremental SMART goals will ensure that your business evolves over time, and that you continue to make progress in your future campaigns. Analysing the results of your SMART goals should teach you what does and doesn’t work for your business, and you will be able to adapt further goals to suit you, your team, and your objectives. The more specific your goals, the easier it will be to track your efforts, and the more likely you will be to succeed.