Every business has them, but not every business has a good method for following up on them. Whether your business goals are strictly corporate or whether you set personal goals within the context of your business, they key to becoming successful with “increase revenue” or “gain more customers” is to nail down the process first. Once you do, you’ll find a more streamlined path to achieving and succeeding your goals. In this blog, we’ll teach you to set SMART Goals to help launch your digital marketing strategy.
The first step is to set practical objectives and expectations that allow you to focus on specific intentions. This is commonly referred to as the principle of setting “SMART Goals” which can be applicable to any industry and can help set the foundation for your online marketing strategy.
SMART Goals are:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Attainable
- R: Relevant
- T: Timely
Start by setting aside planning time. Goals should be as detailed as possible and should be written or typed, then saved in a secure location. Consider the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of your goal. An example of a specific goal would be: Increase my company’s sales by maximizing engagement on our blog’s readership by 10% per month to attract more qualified leads.
Goals should be measurable, otherwise, how will you know when you’ve achieved your objective? Add numbers or another metric to determine your starting point as well as your progress along the way. “Increase Leads” or even “Grow my Business” is too vague. Instead, include a measurable statistic: “Increase leads by 10% for the 3rd quarter of 2017″ or “Grow my business by 10% through digital services that were not previously available to my customer.” These are measurable goals that make sense. Whether you attain a specific goal or not is a learning experience and opens up the door for high level conversation with company leaders about what is working and what is not working in terms of achieving your goal(s).
Time for a reality check. Do you have the resources to accomplish your goal? It helps to break your goal down into feasible steps. Consider the goal “achieve a 10% increase over last year in company sales.” How will you accomplish this increase? Do you need more salespeople or administrative personnel? Do you need to have someone dedicated to your social media accounts and website traffic? Do you plan to release a new product?
How does this goal fit into your overall business model? Sure, having 10,000 followers on Instagram would be great, but make sure you’re choosing the right metrics and the right platform for your business.
Consider whether Instagram is where your target audience spends their time. Does your social media following have a strong impact on your sales? Do you know what people are saying online about your industry? Do you like what people are saying about your business? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then it’s time to do some research and reevaluate your goals before moving forward.
Your goals should have a deadline. Otherwise how long will it be before you meet those goals? Set goals for the year, quarter, or whatever period of time works best for your business. Give yourself enough time, but not too much. Too much time can cause a productivity lag. Well-designed, timely goals put you on the hook to get things done and work efficiently.
It takes practice to set clear SMART goals, but don’t let the details intimidate you. Start setting more conscious goals now, and alter the details, like time and numbers, as you develop a better understanding of what your team can do.
Need a template to get started? Download our FREE Digital Marketing Campaign Checklist to access the SMART Goals template (an excel spreadsheet) as well as other helpful worksheets that will help you move toward your online marketing goals.