SMART Goals for Digital Marketing: 5 Ways to Kickstart Your Marketing

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People talk about SMART goals all the time. But when it comes to your business, have you ever considered SMART goals for digital marketing?

By defining clear, measurable goals for your marketing you will get more bang for your buck. Keep reading to learn the 5 ways you can kickstart your marketing, starting today.

Entrepreneurship represents a road to freedom for many. It lets you work at your own pace and be your own boss. You can make decisions based on your own business acumen and pursue your passion along the way.

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But when you take off the rose-colored glasses, one thing quickly becomes apparent. Some aspects of owning and maintaining a small business prove downright monotonous, confusing, and a general pain in the neck. 

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by marketing or underwhelmed by the results, you’re far from alone. But there is a better way, SMART marketing goals. 

Here’s what you need to know about this approach to digital marketing and how it can help you slay the competition while bringing in a steady stream of new customers or clients. 

smart goals for digital marketing
Are your marketing goals SMART? Jumpstart your goal setting with specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based goals.

SMART Marketing Objectives Enable You To Make Wise Marketing Investments

As a small business owner, the last thing you want to do is waste money, especially if you’re working on a tight budget. And who isn’t since the pandemic began?

Nevertheless, you must find effective ways to bring in steady streams of new customers or clients. After all, if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. When it comes to digital marketing, you may feel unsure of how to evaluate successful campaigns. 

Where should you start when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of your business’s current marketing efforts?

You need to start by setting definable, measurable goals. In other words, you should accurately describe the end toward which you direct your actions. 

smart marketing goals
Your marketing strategy needs to include SMART goals. A business goal that doesn’t measure progress is a recipe for disaster.

Why You Need SMART Business Goals

Without clearly defined and measurable goals, how will you know when you reach this goal?

While this might sound overly obvious, you’d be surprised by how many business owners struggle with stating what they want to come out of a campaign.

Instead of developing concrete objectives that can be evaluated, they fall into the trap of drafting obscure, hard-to-achieve measures such as “growing my business” or “making more money.”

Consider these wishes rather than realizable goals

Why? Because these “wishes” have no defined end and no plan for attaining them. 

If you want to build an agile business that thrives on effective measures, you need to do better. That’s where creating a SMART online marketing strategy comes into play. 

business goals achievement
Marketing goals like increased website traffic or search engine optimization need to be time-bound and tracked in a meaningful way.

Using SMART Digital Marketing Strategy To Fuel Your Efforts

Now you have a better concept of the importance of establishing goals that are measurable and definable.

But how do you do this?

By following the principles of SMART goals. SMART marketing objectives permit you to determine how and if meaningful marketing channels are progressing toward the end goal.

While you may see variations on this theme, let’s go with the following model of what SMART stands for:

  • S – specific
  • M – measurable
  • A – attainable
  • R – relevant
  • T – time-bound

As you see, the SMART goals system relies on several different variables to achieve results. It places a heavy emphasis on creating a timeframe and adding a number to your objective. In other words, instead of just wishing to make more money or grow your business, you tie a figure to your goal.

For example, you might decide to grow your business by 50 percent or up your revenue by 50 percent. What these objectives have in common is that they can be worked towards and measured. As a result, you can also make adjustments when results aren’t where you’d like them to be. 

Let’s walk through this SMART system together so that you can see what we mean when it comes to defining and implementing a goal. 

ideas business goals launch 1
A SMART marketing goal can help your ideas take off.

1. Set Specific Digital Marketing Objectives

Before you reach the finish line, you must understand where the race begins. This principle proves just as true when it comes to setting business goals. You must understand where your company is starting before you can work towards the end game. 

Next, you’ll want to decide on a figure that you want to work towards. While we mentioned a percentage above, you don’t have to go with percentages.

You could also go with a number goal. The bottom line remains this: keep is specific. 

marketing tools like google analytics
Use marketing tools like Google Analytics to easily track progress toward a marketing goal.

2. Measure Your Marketing Efforts

Besides adding a numerical figure to your objective, you need to make sure your set goal can be measured. How do you do this? By selecting a metric that matters to your company. 

Examples: How to Measure Success of Your Digital Marketing Efforts

  • Revenue
  • Margin
  • Profit
  • Number of clients
  • Lead generation
  • Increasing sales
  • Average order value

By founding your objective in one of the measurable factors above, you can evaluate and assess your enterprise’s performance over both the short and long haul.

What if you’re not sure how to proceed? Go with an objective such as revenue.

Why? Because revenue is highly measurable and a number your company is already keeping tabs on.

SMART Goals Don’t Measure Success with Vanity Marketing Metrics

There’s nothing wrong with measuring progress with marketing metrics such as:

  • Social media followers
  • Search engine rankings
  • Website traffic, or
  • Click-through rate

However, all marketing activities must also be anchored to key performance indicators like X% increase revenue to avoid going after vanity metrics.

Brand awareness could be tied to more social media followers, but even that is a bit off-target since you don’t own your followers. Meaning, more followers doesn’t correlate to business growth.

Create a system to report success on your key business objectives. It all starts with attainable outcomes.

smart digital marketing campaign
When your digital marketing campaign is tied to a SMART goal, it gives your marketing department clarity around how to approach a campaign.

3. Focus on Achievable Goals

As you work to create a goal for your company, you must ensure that it’s both achievable and realistic. There’s no better way to foster a positive attitude among you and your workers. And you can profit most efficiently from the momentum built by goal creation.

However, if you set an outcome too high, it will lead to perpetual disappointment and a sense of failure, which is the last thing you want to infuse into your marketing and sales team.

Yes, your objective can still be ambitious, even wildly ambitious. Just steer clear of making it impossible. 

What are some digital marketing goals examples? Instead of agreeing to grow revenue by 50 percent for your company, go for a more reasonable objective.

A more attainable percentage might be 25 percent, particularly in our current economic climate. 

set relevant marketing goals
Why is this goal important? For each SMART goal, it’s important to reflect on your marketing strategy and broader goals to make sure it’s relevant to your organization.

4. Always Go Relevant

What else do you need to know about making a success-inspiring goal? You need to keep it meaningful.

Why? Because if an objective isn’t relevant to you, you’re going to have trouble focusing on it. 

Or you may end up putting it at the bottom of your priority list. Just as you wouldn’t create an outcome founded on a factor you can’t control, don’t make one that feels irrelevant or meaningless to your company. 

What might this look like in terms of a real-world outcome?

Instead of determining to grow your company’s revenue by 20 percent this fiscal year, you might stipulate that you’re focusing on 20 percent growth in revenue from inbound sales. 

5. Make It Time-Bound

Finally, you need to frame your objective in terms of a measurable amount of time. In other words, you need to give your goal a deadline. 

Why? Because when you put a realistic end date on a given objective, it provides a sense of urgency. It will push you over the hump of procrastination that paralyzes so many small business owners.

What’s more, time-based goals will help you prioritize what matters most to your company. It’ll clarify the next steps to achieve your goals. And when you place achievements within a timeframe, it also provides a context for how far your company will progress. 

It will also elucidate where improvements can be made when you set your next company goal. What does this look like on paper? Instead of merely saying your enterprise has a goal of increasing inbound sales by 20 percent, add the endgame of completing it by May 20th. 

Of course, you’ll choose a date that’s meaningful and relevant to your company. 

smart goals
Setting SMART goals can give your organization a clear understanding of how your marketing strategy will yield your most critical business results, such as increasing revenue, more customers, more sales, brand awareness, or more social media followers.

SMART Goals for Digital Marketing

When you follow the steps above to generate SMART goals for your business’s digital marketing, you’ll craft definable, measurable objectives. These will be specific and meaningful, which means you’ll no longer operate in the realm of obscure wishes. 

What’s more, you’ll create a time-based context for your company’s goals. This approach will provide the sense of urgency you and your employees need to overcome hurdles such as procrastination. Framing objectives within a set time also allows you to assess how far your company will evolve.

What happens next? 

The Power of Focusing Your Marketing Team on SMART Goals

Once you get the hang of setting SMART goals, you and your marketing team need to develop a strategic plan to help you realize your marketing objectives. Fortunately, you’ll measure and assess success throughout the process. As a result, you can adapt and change course as needed. 

Among the advantages of the best digital marketing strategies are agility and flexibility.

So, if you find your company falling short of its digital marketing strategic plan, you can switch things up so that your marketing strategy better aligns with your goals. 

Are you ready to dive into other aspects of enhanced marketing success? Check out our post on the importance of SWOT analysis in your marketing plan. 

Learn More About SMART Marketing Goals

And, if you are a business leader looking for guidance on how to make marketing decisions, subscribe to our newsletter to get actionable small business tips and updates about our online business courses.

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