Goal setting is a crucial element in any content marketing strategy. No matter what you hope to accomplish – generating leads, building relationships, guiding leads deeper into the sales funnel or boosting engagement – setting clear goals is the best way to keep tabs on your progress.
To ensure you’re setting realistic, useful goals for your content marketing scheme – get SMART.
Goals should be specific and as detailed as possible. Use facts and figures rather than ambiguous terms, such as grow, boost or increase. Consider what your best outcome would look like and use real numbers – add 50 new followers this month, generate ten new site visitors this week, get five social shares on your latest blog post and so on.
Accurate measuring of a content marketing strategy can be difficult, but having goals you can back up with good, solid data are infinitely more valuable than vague or unfocused objectives. Determine the right metrics and analytics to use to help things stay on track.
Setting lofty goals may feel good at the beginning of a content marketing plan. But when you realise you don’t have the time, resources, skills or budget to achieve them, you’ll find yourself quickly discouraged. Make sure your goals are achievable. If they are not, figure out what you need to put them in reach. This may mean consulting an expert, acquiring additional staff, seeking more funding or perhaps scaling back the project to a more reasonable scope.
Evaluating the current status of a brand and existing content marketing strategy is the best way to inform realistic goals. There is a significant difference between ambition and reality – making a misstep here could doom a content scheme before it starts. Setting realistic goals becomes much easier when you have analysed current data, giving you a clear sense of any constraints or limits that could impact the strategy.
Set deadlines. Having a schedule to follow gives a content strategy a framework that allows smart marketers a chance to break down goals into smaller benchmarks for better evaluation and a greater chance for overall success. A schedule also helps keep the process moving and improves accountability for everyone on the team.
You should measure every goal you set against these five elements. If there are gaps or criteria left unmet, it’s likely time to reconsider your content marketing aims. Using the SMART list to influence goal setting ensures that content marketing campaigns are more effective and successful.