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How to Set SMART Goals for Your Content Marketing Strategy

2018-01-19

Your marketing goals should be the foundation of every decision that you make.  Using SMART goals for your content marketing will ensusre your success.

However, goal-setting can be a challenging task. If you’re not properly thinking through what you’d like to accomplish, you may find that you’re struggling to move forward. Without the right goals to help push you through, your marketing initiative may become stagnant.

SMART marketing goals can help you stay focused on the progress you’re making. When you set SMART marketing goals before you begin developing or implementing your strategy, you can get more done and see stronger results.

Let’s take a look at what SMART marketing goals are and how you can set them for a better content strategy.

What are SMART Marketing Goals?

SMART marketing goals are defined as specific, measurable, aspirational, realistic, and time-bound. When each of your goals fits the SMART qualifications, you have an easier time tracking your progress and developing specific milestones that you’d like to reach.

Specific – For a goal to be considered “specific,” it must focus on only one metric.

Measurable – To meet the “measurable” qualification, you should have a numeric expectation that you’re hoping to reach.

Aspirational – “Aspirational” goals should challenge you.

Realistic – “Realistic” goals should be something you’re actually able to accomplish.

Timebound – “Time-bound” goals should have a specific timeframe for when you’d like the goal to be achieved.

Establishing SMART goals can help you clearly define what you’d like to accomplish with your marketing strategy. Through writing down your goals before you begin creating content, you’ll know what direction you’ll want to move the company in, and you can make smarter decisions about how you’ll reach those goals.

How to Set Your SMART Marketing Goals

While you may now understand what your goals need to include, it usually doesn’t make it much easier to know what you’d like to accomplish. For many companies, the thought of goal-setting can be overwhelming. When you want to grow your business, it can be a struggle to know exactly how you’re going to accomplish that.

Here is a step-by-step guide you can use to create your very own SMART marketing goals for your content strategy:

Step 1: Know Where You’re Starting

Before you can begin setting your goals, you need to assess your starting point; to understand the direction you need to move, you must have a grasp on what you’ve already accomplished.

Take a moment to audit your content. Record what you currently have posted and what kind of attention it’s getting. Check how many audience members are coming to your website, interacting with your content, and eventually converting into leads.

Once you have a good idea of what’s successful and what hasn’t, you have a better understanding how you need to improve. If you’re bringing a lot of attention to your site, but they’re not converting, you know you need to create content that is better at selling your brand and product. Additionally, if your readers aren’t engaging with your content, your goals may need to focus on creating better pieces.

Step 2: Multiply Your Current Numbers

After you’ve taken a look at your current metrics and analytics, you’re ready to give yourself a goal. While many companies struggle to determine what their goals should be, you can begin by merely multiplying your current metrics by ten.

The 10x growth framework is a common practice for companies looking to grow. Whether you’re looking for more leads, more visitors, or more shares, multiplying your current numbers by ten can provide you with a target to reach.

If you believe 10x growth is too much for your business, try 7x growth or 5x growth. You want your goals to be aspirational, but you also need to keep them realistic. If you reach for too much before you’re ready, you’ll find that you’re struggling to gain momentum and motivation.

Step 3: Set Your Due Date

After you’ve determined what you’d like to achieve with your content marketing, you need to set your due date. However, when setting the timeline for your SMART goals, you need to consider how much time it will take you to get something done. While you may want to see results quickly, you need to remain realistic.

Consider where you’re starting and how far you’d like to grow. If you’re anticipating 10x growth, you likely can’t achieve that in only a few months. Instead, you want to look at long-term and short-term due dates that can continue to move you in the right direction.

Be realistic, yet challenge yourself with the due date you set. Understand it will take time to see results from your strategy, but you want to feel pressured enough actually to want to implement certain changes.

Conclusion

Setting SMART marketing goals can help you understand the purpose of your content strategy. When you know what you’d like to achieve, how you’d like to get there, and when you want to have it done by, you can continuously move your company in the right direction.

Next time you’re creating goals for your marketing strategy, ensure they are SMART. Applying the SMART goal system to your content marketing can help you see better results and help you stay on track to growing your business.

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Joanne is an accomplished marketing and sales leader with over seventeen years of experience defining corporate marketing and sales strategies, managing sales and marketing teams, and closing new business with Fortune 1000 customers across a wide range of vertical markets.