What are SMART Content Marketing Goals?
Content Marketing isn’t about aiming for that one viral hit. It requires a process and SMART goals create alignment with marketing objectives.
Before we dive deep into this topic, I want you to do a simple exercise. Please take a few seconds to answer this question — When you first hear or read the term ‘content marketing goal’, what is the first thing which comes to mind?
I am certain that the first term (or perhaps second or third) that may cross your mind would be “make it viral”. After all, content marketing is about going viral.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you create a piece of content, distribute it across platforms by re-purposing the content and it goes viral? Millions of views in a matter of days and thousands of people and businesses talking about it. Maybe you get media coverage too.
Right? Umm, not really.
While there is no harm in imagining scenarios and having a set of expectations, content strategy is a little more complex. Content marketing is a more established discipline, with its unique assessment parameters. These performance indicators can be tied to a digital marketing strategy or a specific user acquisition/retention strategy.
Now, the next question you may ask is…
What are SMART Goals?
Goal setting is an important part of marketing and more so, for a business organisation. However, companies often set goals that are unreasonable and vague. As there are no defined indicators of success, these goals lead to failure.
SMART goals change the picture in its entirety. SMART is a framework that allows you to set goals which are realistic and can be evaluated. It gives you a method to develop goals that make loads of sense.
The acronym in SMART stands for:
S — Specific, M — Measurable, A — Attainable, R — Relevant, T — Time-based.
Why are SMART Goals Important to Content Marketing?
- They help you prioritise all related activities.
- They guide you in making adjustments needed to achieve the desired outcomes.
- They allow you to make decisive short-term and long-term decisions.
So, how to set SMART goals in Content Marketing? Let’s consider it one by one, taking one acronym at a time.
Make sure that the goal describes exactly what you want to achieve. This could be something like “grow our newsletter email list” or “increase our conversion rate”.
“Grow our email list by X”, “Increase our website blog traffic by Y.”
How far have you come? How far do you need to go? To have answers to these questions, a measurable goal is a must.
“Grow our email list by 30%”, “Increase our website blog traffic by 1,000 visits per month”.
Make sure that the goal is actionable yet doable. Ask yourself if you have the resources at your disposal to reach this goal. Can you put in the required efforts?
If not, you need to rework the previous two sections and come up with a more reasonable figure. Use a content calendar and task management system to make sure you have time on your calendar blocked for each post.
It is quite reasonable to say that a company can increase their monthly traffic by 20% in 6 months.
Make sure the goal is relevant for your business. It should align with the overall business/department objective. Fill up content gaps, if any.
Will spending time increasing blog traffic be relevant? If the answer is yes, go ahead.
Give your goal a time-frame by which it can be achieved. It could be days, weeks, months, quarters, years or a specific date.
“Grow our email list by 30% by the end of December” and “Reach 3,000 downloads of our e-book by year-end”.
If we put all of these together in one statement, a SMART goal for an email signup would look like “Increase our email signups from an average of 400/month to 500/month in the next month”.
By setting SMART content marketing goals that align with your KPIs and long-term marketing objectives, you will save time planning your content strategy and ensure the business moves in the right direction.
Oh, in case you’re wondering, it’s time to get started!
If you have anything to add, drop by in the comments. I will be happy to read more examples and perspectives.