Creating and achieving SMART marketing goals in five steps. [Updated in 2019]
Before you start creating any content marketing material – you might want to think how to plan it. The very first thing you should consider is writing down your business and content marketing goals. Whether or not you find it difficult, it’s a must do task/phase enabling you to achieve your goals going forward.
Why we all need content marketing?
If you’re here reading this post it means that you’re either curious about the topic or looking for new ways to create effective content marketing for your business. Nevertheless, content creation is the soul of your business, brand, and without it you would not survive.
Of course you couldn’t. Here below, I describe the major reasons to why we need it.
Top reasons why World marketers include Content marketing in their strategy:
» Increasing brand awareness
» Nurture and boost lead generation
» Converting warm leads into customers
» Building brand/industry thought leadership image
» Better customer engagement
» Increase customer retention
» Frequent organic website traffic
» Improve or Increase sales
There’s more to it of course, but its not the purpose of this post.
I’ll do my best to explain the how and why setting SMART goals can really help any business achieve better results for their marketing campaigns.
Also, I’ll include my own recommendations along with suggested tools along the way too.
So, keep reading.
What are S.M.A.R.T Goals?
SMART goals Is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. It was initially created by UK government to simplify and facilitate project coordination. It’s a helpful little formula allowing you to set goals that you can easily communicate with others.
Lets assume, you’re writing a blog or creating a landing page, or whatever the project you’re about to embark on, for sure you can benefit from S.M.A.R.T. We know that more and more small, medium, and big size businesses are using S.M.A.R.T goals methodology for all sort of projects and they’re even used for personal life projects.
This framework will explain how to go about setting S.M.A.R.T and compelling goals for marketing material.
Make sure your are:
Goals can either be very specific or basic. We call basic goals the ones that are normally written as a simple phrase covering the main aim of your idea, nonetheless these will not include steps, resources or required process. A specific goal, though, will describe a process, resources, tools and who will be doing what. A particular goal does not have to be very long. I often mention that a goal which in turn describes a simple process is better than having none, because at least we know where we’re going.
Two examples below – a generic one and a much specific goal:
Basic goal: I want to write a blog about social interaction.
Anthony Robbins once said that:
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
I agree with that.
Now, test whether your goal is compelling by asking yourself the following questions:
1. What do you really want to achieve?
2. What would you do with it?
3. Why do you want or need this goal?
4. When to attain it? or Which date to reach it?
5. What skills do you need to achieve it? or Whom do you need to hire?
and How will you do it/control it.
You can carry on later in the process by asking yourself more questions, but these are the five you’ll need to answer.
Think and plan your goals from start to finish.
Walk through every single step, write and describe as much in detail as you possibly can. Then tell exactly what you want to accomplish and reduce it to three or four sentences.
Tag your main headings to help you focus and prioritise you content.
Create an editorial calendar, log titles, persona groups, urls, steps involved to write your daily, weekly or monthly goals. Always keep an eye on difficult tasks and communicate progress as you go along.
When writing specific, or compelling goals you’ll increase and stimulate your awareness, helping you see the next steps and how much you want it.
Tools you could use: Use Free Mind open source mapping tool written in java if you’re one man band. If you often share projects with others then invest on creately, it takes you to another new level with its unlimited projects and real-time collaboration. Cost: 2£ ($5) per month.
Irrespective of the project’s size you should be able to keep track and measure goals and activities as you progress. Evaluating progress is essential for your project’s success. Needless to say, you can either set simple metrics or more complex ones, the idea is to determine and control check-points as you move along.
Tools to use: PERT planning – or Download SMART action plan spreadsheet – Helps break-up the project/campaign into workable “chunks.
Never force anyone to do a task if they’re not going into it with heart, passion and/or conviction. Make sure you and your team have understood the importance of achieving the specified goals in time.
Do not lose hope if issues come your way, remember step by step, working into manageable chunks might just help you get there. Don’t allow others get in your way unless they have a very good reason. And remember, celebrate small achievements along the way!
Priority goals: Are so important whatever you do in life. Compromising will take you away from your initial goals, so take time to see if it is possible whilst making everybody happy. Again, if you are a project content manager sometimes this cannot be possible as it requires you to go back to the boardroom and present to your employers.
Working around achievable goals requires intrinsic motivation, but also requires you to keep others super motivated. Always remember this, whatever you do you’re doing for yourself, your company, or your family.
Tools you could use: Project Mission statement document.
When you write your goals, make sure they are realistic. Do not expect a miracle if you ‘re not considering all types of scenario. However, when setting your goals really challenge yourself, as mentioned earlier, you must consider all situations including issues, making it clear in terms of what if this happens what should we do.
Ideally you should see straight away what is challenging and/or impossible to achieve. Goals should be challenging, not impossible!
Tools you could use: Post it, notepad etc – Your choice as its really all about individuals and priorities.
Set a date that suites everyone, including yourself. If you’re working for a company take into account your boss’s goals, timing and specifications. If its a small personal project then just set a convenient time to achieve your goal and stick with it.
Just set a realistic time-frame.
Example: For small project, schedule three days to write your topic. For bigger projects such as writing content for part one, two and three article you should consult your colleges or people involved as it normally requires additional research.
Assuming you accomplish your goals earlier than scheduled, then you might want to tell everyone that you are ahead of schedule and congratulate your team mates.
To sum up:
I suggest to visit your analytics as often as possible, export data and study it. Then be Specific, Measure it, make it Attainable, Realistic as possible with Timely dates.
This is what we call a S.M.A.R.T methodology to improve your content.
We all have some difficulty in generating content for our blogs, due lack of time or simply finding the right topic to write about. You probably noticed and/or experienced that creating impressive content material takes time and savoir-faire. Yes, it is difficult.
So, I recommend the following method.
Use whatever brainstorming method works best for you. One of the quick and common methods include browsing the Internet, bringing you the most relevant topics that are structured and getting more readers.
Do not hesitate to ask others on social media; draw visual mappings; and always read, ask yourself relevant questions.
First, go for a “mapping plan” as this is definitely a great visual method to generate ideas whilst showing the relationships between the ideas.
I also recommend you to create a map using free software that is specifically designed for concept mapping or simply drawing your map by hand. Use the method that works best for you.
And finally, the easiest part, share your newly made content with your community fans, friends and the world.
Let’s us know how you’re getting along in your work place.
If you need further help or practical advice, get in touch via our contact page or call us here + 44 1252 679885.
Last updated: 25/04/19