How to boost your content marketing strategy by setting SMART goals
Setting clear SMART goals is essential for a successful content marketing strategy.
By setting goals – and following them – you can:
- drive your business’s progress.
- track what marketing strategies are most effective.
- utilise time efficiently.
- manage business expenses.
- target the right audiences.
- determine the success of your business.
This may sound obvious, but despite the overwhelming evidence that goal setting is integral to a business’ success, more than 4 out of 5 businesses do not track their company goals according to a Forbes survey.
In this blog we talk about how you can use the SMART method of goal setting to boost your content marketing strategy.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a targeted form of marketing which is focused on creating and sharing content with a specific audience online. It is the most effective form of marketing. It is used by businesses to:
- engage audiences.
- establish authority.
- improve credibility.
- boost site traffic.
- enhance brand recognition.
- expand customer base.
- generate leads.
- create enduring brand loyalty.
- and ultimately to increase sales.
The central focus of content marketing is to hook new and existing customers by sharing information online.
Since content marketing works by establishing trust and confidence, all the information you share should be ‘high-quality and contain valuable and relevant information’ (Data Pipe Soft). It is also important to ensure that all your content marketing material is written accurately, professionally and in your identifiable brand voice.
To create successful content marketing material, it is important to set clearly defined SMART goals.
What are SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym that was originally developed for business managers to keep objectives and development at the forefront of all business strategy.
SMART stands for:
There are certain questions business owners should ask themselves when creating SMART goals:
Specific (simple, sensible, significant): Is this goal clear to me? For example, ‘to generate 100 new leads in February’ is specific, but ‘to generate more leads’ is not.
Measurable (meaningful, motivating): How will I know when the goal has been accomplished? How am I going to measure success?
Achievable (agreed, attainable): Can I accomplish this goal? How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints (such as finances and resources)? How can I make this goal achievable?
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based): Is this goal worthwhile? What value will it add to my business? Is this the right time to pursue this goal? Does this goal match our other efforts? Is it the right goal to meet our needs? Am I the right person to work towards this goal? Is this goal applicable in the current socio-economic circumstances?
Time-bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive): When does this need to be achieved by? What steps do I need to take by certain dates to achieve it? What can I complete today? What should I have completed six weeks from now? What should I have completed six months from now?
How will SMART goals improve your content marketing?
Setting goals is an important foundation for successful content marketing, as they help you to:
- clarify your ideas so it is easier to take action.
- focus your time, money and efforts.
- complete tasks as they don’t look insurmountable.
- reflect on results, so you can make your content marketing strategy more effective.
Without the right goals to drive it, content marketing efforts can become stagnant and ineffectual.
Often, business owners set content marketing goals that are too vague and general. For example, while all businesses want to increase their business income, this is not a useful goal because it is not quantifiable.
The SMART approach can boost your content marketing strategy because it helps you to understand what exactly you want to achieve and break it into manageable steps.
What do SMART goals for content marketing look like?
An example of an effective SMART goal for content marketing might be:
Specific – To increase blog subscriptions 10% by 2022 by publishing one SEO-optimised blog post per week.
Measurable – Analyse subscription data and track Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Attainable – Employ a content marketing company to create regular material every week. Use a task management system to ensure that each blog post is prepared well in advance of the scheduled release date.
Relevant – This goal helps us to achieve our main goal which is to increase sales of our furniture by X amount this year.
Time-Bound – Blog subscriptions to have increased 10% by 31st January 2022.