Setting Tangible Goals Is A Must To Measure Content Marketing Success
Whether you love or hate goal-setting, there’s no question that it serves a necessary function. Goal-setting is like a map. It lays out waypoints that must be met in order to reach your end goal. In other words, goals show you how to get from here to there and let you know when you’ve arrived.
Why, then, is goal-setting so overlooked when it comes to content marketing? Part of the problem lies in the fact that digital marketing hasn’t always been recognized as a legitimate part of a business’ marketing plan. Instead, it has been viewed as just an extension of your web presence and not really considered a viable marketing technique. As a result, content is often just thrown up on business sites – just to have something up there, regardless of whether the content is effective or not.
This kind of slapdash approach to content marketing is not going to result in the success levels most businesses hope for. It’s time to get SMART about your content marketing.
SMART Content Marketing
SMART is a mnemonic used to help create marketing goals. When creating a goal, make sure it is:
- Specific. Specific goals get everyone on the same page, working toward the same objectives, increasing the chances of success. Specific goals clarify actions that need to be taken and decisions that must be made.
- Measurable. Metrics, ROI, whatever word you use, the premise is the same – what kind of results are you getting for your efforts? To answer this question, goals must be measurable. But what can you measure? Try measuring: total hits, newsletter sign ups, unique visits, bounce rates, traffic sources, etc.
- Attainable. Yes, goals should push your team and stretch your capabilities, but they should still be attainable. Identify that sweet spot in between achieving more of the same and achieving a new aspiration. Keep in mind the resources you have available to put towards the goal. There’s no sense in shooting for the moon if you’re barely funding a trip to the corner store.
- Relevant. Goals should be relevant to (and support) your overall business objectives. Gaining X number of millennials as followers on social media is great but unless millennials are your customers/target audience, it serves no business objective. Make sure your content marketing goals align with and support your organizational objectives.
- Time-bound. Effective goals have a due date. Without a deadline, goals can become vague, sprawling, and never-ending. Giving yourself a specific timeframe within to achieve your goals to helps:
- a) Ensure you actually work on them and…
- b) Gives you a chance to stop and take stock at the end of the timeframe to see how well the strategy worked. From there, you can stick with the same approach or make adjustments as needed.
Goals Help You Achieve Success
SMART goals set you up for success by forcing you to ask the hard questions and make strategic decisions upfront. How does this goal support our business objectives? How will we accomplish the goal? What resources can we devote to it? How long can we give ourselves to achieve the goal? What does success look like?
While it is admittedly hard work upfront, it pays off in the end. When you reach the end of your timeframe, you can easily look back at your metrics, your budget numbers, you conversion rates, etc. and see which content marketing strategies worked and which ones didn’t work. From there, you can use the information to further refine your digital marketing strategy, develop new and improved goals, or justify your budget to business leaders.
One final thought: It can be easy to fall into the trap of confusing content marketing campaign goals with the overall goals of the organization. Don’t do that. Both sets of goals should be related to one another, but the campaign goals support overall business goals; they do not act in place of them. Usually, business goals are simply too big and complex for one single marketing strategy to successfully achieve.
Goals Must Support Business Growth
If you are “doing” content marketing, pushing content out regularly without ever getting anything out of it, or even knowing if you are getting anything out of it, you’re wasting time and money. There is no point to publishing content if you have no idea how and if it supports business growth and objectives.
Content should be a means to an end. It’s up to you to figure out what that end is and how to get there. Goals can help you do that. Need some help setting goals and carving out the path to success? Orlando Content Marketing does exactly that. Contact us today at 407-461-4368.