When creating your inbound marketing strategy, it’s important that you set goals as part of your planning process. Without goals, you won’t be able to judge the performance of your inbound marketing tactics, which means you’ll have no idea whether your money is being put to good use. When you have goals in place, you can make adjustments to underperforming tactics. However, one of the mistakes many brands make is to set goals that are vague or too broad, such as “increasing brand awareness” or “building brand authority.” While general goals like these are fine, you should also have SMART goals.
What Are Smart Goals?
SMART goals are goals that are (S)pecific, (M)easureable, (A)ttainable, (R)elevant, and (T)ime-bound. They are clearly defined goals that are realistic, quantifiable, and focused. By implementing goals such as these, you’ll know exactly what kind of results you’re aiming for and how to accomplish them. The following is a more detailed breakdown of SMART goals:
- Specific goals – Specific goals are metrics that you want to improve, such as leads or visitors.
- Measurable goals – To track the progress you’re making, you need to quantify your goals; for example, increasing the number of visitors to your site by 20 percent.
- Attainable goals – It’s important that your goal is something that’s actually possible. For example, doubling the number of visitors to your site in one month is probably unrealistic. Increasing your visitors by 10 percent may not be, especially if you managed to increase your visitors by 5 percent the previous month.
- Relevant goals – Make sure that reaching the goals you’ve set will actually have an impact. For example, hitting your goal to increase your website traffic by 10 percent may not mean much if you have a high bounce rate or if none of these visitors are converting.
- Time-bound goals – Set a deadline to meet your goals so that there’s some pressure to actually accomplish them.
SMART Goal Examples
The following are a few SMART goal examples to give you an idea of how you can implement SMART goals in your marketing strategy:
- Bring in more web traffic – Increasing web traffic is a very general goal. The SMART goal version of this might be to increase web traffic by 10 percent within one month through the use of SEO, content marketing, and social engagement in order to increase lead generation.
- Increase email subscribers – Email marketing is an excellent way to nurture leads. A SMART goal version could be to increase your email subscribers by 20 percent within one month using your Facebook ad budget on blog posts that have previously captured the most email subscribers.
- Gather a webinar audience – If you are planning a webinar, then you can use a SMART goal to help measure its success. Let’s say you’ve already collected 100 signups within two weeks. The seminar is scheduled in one month. Your SMART goal might be to double your signups for your webinar by the webinar date through social, email, and blog promotion in order to close more sales.
These are a few SMART goal examples. As you can see, these SMART goal examples take some very basic marketing goals and make them more actionable and easier to measure. The use of SMART goals can really help you get the most out of your marketing dollars since you can use the results (whether you end up meeting your goals or not) to set future goals that may be more realistic and impactful.