Things can get a bit hectic in the world of digital marketing, especially when you’re trying to accomplish impressive over-arching milestones that seem to be larger than life. Sometimes you need to concisely organize your digital marketing goals into attainable, yet impactful chunks.
That’s where SMART goals come into play. That’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound goals that you’ll be able to thoughtfully accomplish and check off your task manager.
Here’s a whole guide on how you can endlessly set SMART goals for you and your marketing team.
Let’s go ahead and move down the whole acronym and describe how each bulletpoint affects your efficiency, starting with “Specific & Measurable”.
Your goals need to be concise enough for them to be easy to track and reviewable after a pre-determined period of time. It’s common sense, if the KPI you’re trying to increase is too convoluted you’ll have a lot of trouble finding relevant data-driven takeaways after all your work is said and done.
Here are a few things to ask yourself when your setting goals to make sure they are specific & measurable…
- What specific metric or metrics are we focusing on?
- Is there an accurate way to cross reference this metric to the performance of the company?
- Does the dashboard we’re tracking the metric in have an easy way to export data, even from months, if not years ago?
Asking these questions early on in the process will save a lot of heartache later on by avoiding a situation where you’ve spent months improving a KPI that you can’t even properly review. Reliable data is everything.
Next, let’s dissect achievable goals. This whole process is worth nothing if you can’t actually attain any of the objectives you had in mind. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, but never assume your preferred levels of success will be met. Make sure there’s value in gradually improving your KPIs over time. So falling short is still a win.
- Are we relying on an unreliable “catalyst” or “viral” moment to hit our target?
- When setting goals, are we comparing ourselves to businesses of equal scope or the largest, most popular players in the industry?
- Are we continuing our old content posting processes, and not actually changing anything impactful about how we’re approaching social media?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above, it’s likely that your goals are currently unobtainable without a major change in your content or target audience. Instead of aiming for your largest aspirations, set an attainable goal by looking back at historic data and using your existing performance to realistically build a path forward. Exponential growth doesn’t happen to everyone overnight, it’s more reliable to start with minor optimizations and steady progress.
We’ve tackled how you can set goals that are specific, measurable, and attainable. Now let’s talk Relevant and Time Bound. This is where collaboration and comprehensive knowledge of what makes your business profitable is vital. You need to be able to explain why your KPIs are relevant to the success of your company long before anyone ever asks. If you’re constantly collaborating with other departments, or running the whole show yourself, this should be remarkably easy. The benefits of your KPIs will be even easier to communicate if they are time-bound and built to match the pace of the rest of your company.
Just like before, here are a few questions to ask yourself in the planning phases to ensure your goals are both relevant and time-bound.
- When setting these goals, are we taking into account the current goals and roadmap of the company as a whole?
- Does the KPI in question have a direct correlation to profit? If not, does the KPI provide a beneficial utility that can be easily communicated to leadership?
- Is this KPI something others in our industry seem to focused on or improving as they are finding notable success?
In conclusion, if your goals are concise, quantifiable, attainable, and relevant to the success of your company, then they have intrinsic value and a high chance of getting accomplished. Which is much better than lofty aspirations that may or may not happen. I highly recommend asking yourself the questions discussed in this video whenever you’re laying out plans for your digital marketing. It’s not about guaranteeing success, as much as it’s about following the best practices that avoid tragic pitfalls that could otherwise be avoided with a little bit of planning…
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