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SMART Goals for Digital Marketing: 5 Ways to Kickstart Your Marketing

Have you considered using SMART goals for digital marketing? Define clear, measurable marketing goals you'll get more bang for your buck.

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SMART Marketing Goals are like rocket fuel, blasting your goals into the atmosphere.
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People talk about SMART goals all the time. But regarding your business, have you ever considered SMART goals for digital marketing?

By defining clear goals for each marketing campaign, you will get more bang for your buck. Keep reading to learn the five ways you can kickstart your marketing, starting today.

Entrepreneurship represents a road to freedom for many. It lets you work at your own pace and be your boss. You can make decisions based on your business acumen and pursue your passion along the way.

But one thing quickly becomes apparent when you take off the rose-colored glasses. Some aspects of owning and maintaining a small business prove downright monotonous, confusing, and a general pain in the neck.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by marketing or underwhelmed by the results, you’re far from alone. But there is a better way: SMART marketing goals.

Here’s what you need to know about this approach to digital marketing and how it can help you slay the competition while bringing in a steady stream of new customers or clients.

Every SMART Marketing Goal Enables You To Make Better Choices

As a small business owner, the last thing you want to do is waste money, especially if you’re working on a tight budget. And who isn’t since the pandemic began?

Nevertheless, you must find effective ways to bring in steady streams of new customers or clients. After all, if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. When it comes to digital marketing, you may feel unsure how to evaluate successful campaigns.

Where should you start when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of your business’s current marketing efforts?

You need to start by setting definable, measurable goals. In other words, you should accurately describe the end toward which you direct your actions.

Why You Need SMART Business Goals

Without clearly defined goals, how will you know when you will reach this goal?

While this might sound overly obvious, you’d be surprised how many business owners struggle to state what they want from a campaign.

Instead of developing concrete objectives that can be evaluated, they fall into the trap of drafting obscure, hard-to-achieve measures such as “growing my business” or “making more money.”

Consider these wishes rather than realizable goals.

Why? Because these “wishes” have no defined end or plan for attaining them.

You need to do better to build an agile business that thrives on effective measures. That’s where creating a SMART online marketing strategy comes into play.

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Using SMART Digital Marketing Strategy To Fuel Your Efforts

Now, you have a better concept of the importance of establishing measurable and definable goals.

But how do you do this?

By following the principles of SMART goals. SMART marketing objectives permit you to determine how and if meaningful marketing channels are progressing toward the end goal.

While you may see variations on this theme, let’s go with the following model of what the SMART acronym stands for:

  • S specific
  • M measurable
  • A attainable
  • R relevant
  • T time-bound

As you see, the SMART goals system relies on several different variables to achieve results. It places a heavy emphasis on creating a timeframe and adding a number to your objective. In other words, you tie a figure to your goal instead of just wishing to make more money or grow your business.

For example, you might grow your business by 50 percent or up your revenue by 50 percent. These objectives have in common that they can be worked towards and measured. As a result, you can also make adjustments when results aren’t where you’d like them.

Let’s walk through this SMART system together so that you can see what we mean when defining and implementing a goal.

Set Specific Digital Marketing Objectives

Before you reach the finish line, you must understand where the race begins. This principle proves just as true when it comes to setting business goals. You must understand where your company is starting before you can work toward the end game.

Next, you’ll want to decide on a figure you want to work towards. While we mentioned a percentage above, you don’t have to go with percentages.

You could also go with a number goal. The bottom line remains this: keep it specific.

Measure Your Efforts: Set SMART Goals for Marketing

Besides adding a numerical figure to your objective, you must ensure your set goal can be measured. How do you do this? Selecting a metric that matters to your company.

Examples: How to Measure the Success of Your Digital Marketing

You want to be careful here. What's important to a digital marketer differs from what's important to a business owner. For example, a social media marketing manager may discuss the importance of likes, comments, and impressions. These measurements show their work is getting you more eyeballs (e.g., raising brand awareness). 

As a business owner, it's critical your SMART goals help:

  • Revenue
  • Margin
  • Profit
  • Number of clients
  • Lead generation
  • Increasing sales
  • Average order value

By founding your objective on one of the measurable factors above, you can evaluate and assess your enterprise’s performance over the short and long haul.

What if you’re not sure how to proceed? Go with an objective such as revenue.

Why? Because revenue is highly measurable and a number your company is already keeping tabs on.

SMART Goals Don’t Measure Success with Vanity Marketing Metrics

There’s nothing wrong with measuring progress with marketing metrics such as:

  • Social media followers
  • Search engine rankings (SEO)
  • Website traffic, or
  • Click-through rate

However, all marketing activities (KPIs) must also be anchored to key performance indicators like X% increase revenue to avoid going after vanity metrics.

That's why the SMART frameworks we use with clients include SMART business and marketing goals. 

Goal examples:

  • Business goal: Increase service revenue for [insert specific service name] by 10% by the end of Q3.  
  • Marketing goal: Increase the number of content marketing pieces by 10% focusing on the keyword [keyword related to service] by the end of Q2. 
  • Marketing goal: Speak to 4 women's groups per month with a service-related list-building offer starting in Q1. 
  • Measurement: Tracking services revenue targets, ask people how they learned about you for tracking.

Brand awareness could be tied to more social media followers, but even that is a bit off-target since you don’t own your followers. Meaning that more followers don’t correlate with business growth.

Create a system to report success on your key business objectives. It all starts with attainable outcomes.

Focus on Achievable Goals

As you work to create a goal for your company, you must ensure that it’s both achievable and realistic. There’s no better way to foster a positive attitude among you and your workers. And you can profit most efficiently from the momentum built by goal creation.

However, setting an outcome too high will lead to perpetual disappointment and a sense of failure, which is the last thing you want to infuse into your marketing and sales team.

Yes, your objective can still be ambitious, even wildly ambitious. Just steer clear of making it impossible.

What are some examples of digital marketing goals? Instead of agreeing to grow revenue by 50 percent for your company, go for a more reasonable objective.

A more attainable percentage might be 25 percent, particularly in our current economic climate.

Always Go Relevant

What else do you need to know about making a success-inspiring goal? You need to keep it meaningful.

Why? Because if an objective isn’t relevant to you, you’ll have trouble focusing on it.

Or you may end up putting it at the bottom of your priority list. Just as you wouldn’t create an outcome founded on a factor you can’t control, don’t make one that feels irrelevant or meaningless to your company.

What might this look like in terms of a real-world outcome?

Instead of determining to grow your company’s revenue by 20 percent this fiscal year, you might stipulate that you’re focusing on 20 percent growth in revenue from inbound sales.

Make It Time-Bound

Finally, you need to frame your objective in a discrete timeframe. In other words, you need to give your goal a deadline.

Why? Because when you put a realistic end date on a given objective, it provides a sense of urgency. It will push you over the hump of procrastination that paralyzes so many small business owners.

What’s more, time-based goals will help you prioritize what matters most to your company. It’ll clarify the next steps to achieve your goals. And when you place achievements within a timeframe, it also provides a context for how far your company will progress.

It will also elucidate where improvements can be made when you set your next company goal. What does this look like on paper? Instead of merely saying your enterprise aims to increase inbound sales by 20 percent, add the endgame of completing it by May 20th.

Of course, you’ll choose a meaningful and relevant date for your company.

SMART Goals for Digital Marketing Energizes Your Digital Strategy

You'll craft definable, measurable objectives by following the steps above to generate SMART goals for your business’s digital marketing. These will be specific and meaningful, so you’ll no longer operate in obscure wishes.

Moreover, you’ll create a time-based context for your company’s goals. This approach will provide the sense of urgency you and your employees need to overcome hurdles such as procrastination. Framing objectives within a set time allows you to assess how far your company will evolve.

What happens next?

The Power of Focusing Your Marketing Team on SMART Goals

Once you set SMART goals, you and your marketing team must develop a strategic plan to help you realize your marketing objectives. Fortunately, you’ll measure and assess success throughout the process. As a result, you can adapt and change course as needed.

Among the advantages of the best digital marketing strategies are agility and flexibility.

So, if you find your company falling short of its digital marketing strategic plan, you can switch things up so that your marketing strategy better aligns with your goals.

Are you ready to dive into other aspects of enhanced marketing success? Check out our post on the importance of SWOT analysis in your marketing plan.

Unpacking SMART Goals for Digital Marketing Challenges

When overcoming the hurdles and pitfalls of digital marketing campaigns, SMART goals act as your trusty GPS. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives serve to steer your strategies with laser focus. These goals work like magic in prioritizing tasks, optimizing resource allocation, and keeping the ship sailing smoothly.

Why? Well, SMART goals, my friend, offer you a quantifiable way to judge the potency of your marketing endeavors. They lean on the hard numbers—revenue, profit, lead gen, you name it—allowing you to 'feel the pulse' and 'read the vital signs' of your campaigns. Plus, they cut through ambiguity, setting up realistic milestones that inspire action instead of inhibiting it. In short, think of SMART goals as your roadmap to a less bumpy, more rewarding marketing journey.

Are SMART Goals a One-Size-Fits-All Solution?

The SMART goals framework doesn't discriminate based on your business's size or domain. From agile startups to mammoth corporations, SMART goals offer invaluable guidance. They funnel your marketing efforts through a performance-driven sieve, whether you're aiming for customer acquisition or scaling new heights of brand awareness. The versatility of SMART goals means they can be adapted to resonate with any business's particular goals and nuances. This makes them a versatile toolkit for everyone from enterprises to solopreneur size, serious about strategizing with precision.

That said, SMART goals vary from organization to organization. Make them reasonable and achievable.

The SMART Goal Pitfalls: What Not to Do

Setting SMART goals seems straightforward, but it's riddled with pitfalls that can drag down your digital marketing success. A glaring blunder? Vagueness. Don't just say you want to increase traffic. How much? By when?

Another common misstep is biting off more than you can chew. Being ambitious is good, but overreaching is setting yourself up for disappointment. Stick to what's realistically achievable for your company's current standing.

Also, let's talk metrics—the right kind. Vanity metrics can make you feel warm and fuzzy, but they won't necessarily bring you closer to your goals. Focus on KPIs that matter, those that correlate with your business objectives.

And don't underestimate the power of a ticking clock. Deadlines aren't just lines in the sand; they're the finishing lines that give your team the adrenaline rush to sprint. Steering clear of these mistakes sets the stage for a high-impact, low-regret digital marketing campaign.

Can SMART Goals Boost Team Synergy?

You bet they can. SMART goals serve as a common language, fostering an environment where every team member is on the same page. Clear-cut objectives unify individual efforts, streamlining them into a collective endeavor.

Moreover, the measurable nature of SMART goals amplifies transparency within the team. Conversations become more objective, revolving around visible benchmarks, looming challenges, and actionable solutions.

By virtue of being time-bound, SMART goals inject a sense of immediacy into the workflow. This urgency is a hidden catalyst; it fuels focus, keeps distractions at bay, and makes effective communication a matter of course, not choice.

Your Toolkit for Tracking SMART Goals in Digital Marketing

Yes, there's a tech stack for that. Platforms like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and the like offer a detailed X-ray of web traffic and conversion rates. Don't overlook specialized social media tools such as Social Bee or Buffer, which have carved a niche in tracking engagement and campaign outcomes.

These tools are your eyes and ears in the digital space, delivering the raw data you need for a nuanced understanding of your marketing trajectory. They empower you to tweak, tune, and temper your strategies based on hard facts, not just hunches.

Remember, SMART goals aren't just smart; they're necessary for any digital strategy. With these FAQs in mind, you're better equipped to set, chase, and achieve goals that align with your vision, strategy, and most importantly, your business objectives.

Learn More About SMART Goals for Marketing

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