How to Set SMART Digital Marketing Goals

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. 

Ask yourself… 

  • 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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Key Points:


  • Companies should understand the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to ensure their websites are accessible.
  • Brands that concentrate on accessibility on social media demonstrate care for their customers and build a positive brand reputation.
  • Brands should always consider inclusive design, such as plain, straightforward language, in their social media posts.



Accessibility may not be a term you usually associate with the internet and social media. You might picture wheelchair ramps, directional signs in braille, or sign language interpreters at live performances. The landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 dictates the legal necessity of these and similar accommodations in public spaces. As we’ve come to rely on the internet for everything from entertainment to buying groceries, it’s become clear that the internet is now also a public space. It must be accessible to everyone. And like other applications of ADA, businesses that do not comply are liable for damages caused by inaccessibility.


The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are an international set of standards to provide instruction on meeting accessibility needs. It’s important for companies to understand how this applies to their websites, especially if they engage in e-commerce. In terms of social media, the requirements are less concrete. But prioritizing accessibility on your company’s social media is essential to your reputation, even if the legal requirements are uncertain. We’ll look at why it’s important to your customers, how it affects the perception of your brand, and how to make these changes efficiently.

Social Media for All

The cornerstone of accessibility is inclusive design: products or experiences that are accessible for everyone regardless of disability. The most important place where this shows up is on company websites where most users expect to also find links to the brand’s social media profiles. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of websites are not accessible, despite the fact that the application of ADA to the internet is over 20 years old. Making websites accessible is a complex process without the use of specialized software like Accessibe or EqualWeb.

Unlike websites, making sure your social media is accessible is a straightforward, ongoing process. Every social platform has been quick to release optional accessibility features. These features are important to many users even if they don’t rely on them to use social media.

Making your social presence accessible tells users that your brand cares about people, not just profits. It’s the same idea as the push for the representation of different body sizes in fashion or more expansive skin tone ranges in beauty products. Brands that meet the needs of underrepresented groups endear themselves to others as well. And while optimizing your brand website for accessibility might be a larger project you aren’t ready to tackle yet, starting with your social media pages is a great way to show customers that you’re listening to their concerns. 


Making Content Accessible

Shifting to accessible content means incorporating inclusive design into your creative process. The practice varies by type of media. For platforms that have graphics or videos with captions, it means not only adjusting each component but also being mindful of how they interact with each other.

For example, YouTube’s automatically generated closed captions and subtitles are often inaccurate. It's one of many examples where the caption generation software has issues picking up strong accents and mumbled words. This could be remedied with handcrafted video transcription services. If that’s not in the budget, the video creator could add their script or transcription to the video description.

None of the technology for accessibility is perfect yet. Teaching computers to digest complex information for human understanding is difficult, and the variations in disabilities further complicate it. The majority of adjustments creators need to make revolve around helping assistive technology better understand their content. Let’s look at how to make different kinds of content accessible. 


  • Use plain language that’s easy to understand 
  • Avoid text in all caps
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag, like #SocialMediaMarketing, a practice called camel-case


  • Provide descriptive captions. Instead of just displaying the words people on-screen say, explain background noises and other sounds that are relevant to the scene.
  • Add your own subtitles or enable auto-subtitles on the video platform of your choice
  • Use captioning for live videos when possible


Distribute Accessible Content

Many users find their new favorite brand through social media. When disabled people (who make up 26% of the population according to the CDC) can’t access your brand’s social posts, you miss the opportunity to connect with a demographic that’s eager to engage in online communities. On a hyper-local level, that kind of connection goes even further.

That’s why ThumbStopper exists to help brands distribute their social content to their retailer network. Retailers can connect with their local audience - with your accessible, branded content - in a more personal way. And since content goes to their page automatically once they sign up, retailers can effortlessly promote your brand online while focusing on running their business. 

Ready to see how ThumbStopper can help your brand improve its reach? Check out our brand reach calculator or book a demo.



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