Setting and achieving SMART marketing goals in five steps.
Before you start creating any content marketing material – the first thing you should consider is writing down your content marketing goals. Whether or not you find it difficult, it’s a must do phase enabling you to achieve your goals.
Why do I 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. Nevertheless, content creation is the soul of your business, brand, without it you would not survive.
Of course you couldn’t.
I’ll do my best to explain the how and why setting SMART goals can really help you achieve better results for your marketing campaign or any project.
I’ll include my own recommendations along with suggested tools along the way too.
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, you can benefit from SMART. We know that small, medium, and big size businesses use SMART goals methodology for all sort of projects and they’re even used for personal life projects.
This framework guide will explain how to go about setting SMART and compelling goals for content marketing material.
Make sure your are:
Goals can either be very specific or basic. Basic goals are normally written as a simple phrase covering the main aim of your idea, nonetheless 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.
Here is two examples, a general and 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?
You can carry on later in the process by asking yourself more questions, but these are the first 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 passion and 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 let others get in your way unless they have a very good reason. And remember, celebrate small achievements when possible!
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. Goals should be challenging, not impossible!
Tools you could use: Your own choice – 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.
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 you to visit your analytics, export data and revise it. Then be Specific, Measure it, make it Attainable, Realistic as possible with Timely dates. This is a proper SMART 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. As you noticed and probably experienced creating impressive content marketing 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.
Get in touch via our contact page or call us here + 44 1252 679885 if you need help or any practical tools.
Blog last updated: 08/03/16