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July 21, 2016

Improving Digital Marketing Strategies by Setting the Right Goals

Digital marketing is key to most marketing plans, no matter what your business. A lot of people use strategy and goals interchangeably, however, they’re not the same. A goal is a measurable result you hope to achieve. A strategy is the plan of action you implement to achieve that goal.

Setting goals is the key to success, and will help you improve any digital marketing strategy. It’s hard to know how to get to where you want to be if you don’t know exactly where that is.

Luckily, goal setting and revising your digital marketing strategy is not a difficult process. Many businesses before you have wrestled with ensuring their strategy is working and have found easy ways to deal with the goal setting process.

There are a lot of different ways you can tackle digital marketing, but we’re going to look at the ‘SMART’ strategy. It’s simple, and it works. It will really help ensure the goals you’re creating are useful and maximizing your strategy.

‘SMART’ stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Let’s take a look at how each one will help.

Be Specific

The worst thing a goal can be is vague and subjective. A specific goal is one that everyone understands and can unequivocally say exactly when the goal is achieved. Psychologically, being specific make the goal more attainable.

Your boss may come to you want to set the goal of achieving more Facebook likes or attracting more website visitors. Now it’s up to you to make it specific. How many Facebook likes? How many visitors? What type of visitor?

Being specific will help you set your strategy. Just saying “get more website visitors” versus “get 3,000 more female website visitors from Chicago,” will be very different when it comes to strategy. The first way is vague and can theoretically be achieved in a day. The second is much harder.

The more specific way actually helps give you a roadmap for your strategy as well. You now know you need to target females, the city of Chicago, and that you need to get 3,000 of them. Whatever marketing channel you use has to have enough capacity to attract that number. If not, you know you need more channels.

It Needs to Be Measurable

Now that you have your goal, you need to have a way to measure it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

For example, if you set a goal that says you need to want to hit a demographic of 25- to 35-year-old females in Chicago, you need to measure the results. If you can’t tell how old they are, or the sex of the individual using your analytics, you’ll never know if you’re achieving the goal.

There are a lot of great tools out there to measure your digital marketing, just pick the one that’s right for your application.

Make the Goal Attainable

This is a little bit harder. You may not have a realistic answer, so research might be needed. Is attracting 3,000 females in Chicago realistic? It may not be attainable if you run a tire shop in North Dakota.

Ask yourself what the purpose of the goal is. Don’t be afraid to set a smaller goal with a smaller budget at the start to learn a little bit about what is possible. Check out your competitors and see what they’re doing. There may be a clue there about how much you can achieve.

Don’t be afraid to dream big on your goals, just do your best to make it attainable.

Is the Goal Relevant?

This is where you would ask the question: if you’re a tire shop in North Dakota, is it relevant to the business to attract 3,000 females from Chicago to visit your website?

Relevant goals are key to goal setting. It won’t help your business to spend money trying to attract people that aren’t likely to use your product or service. Just because you’d like to have these people, doesn’t mean that they’re actually relevant to the business. To achieve goals, you need to make sure everything you do is relevant.

The Goal Should Have a Time Limit

Setting a goal without a time limit is a great way to waste a whole lot of money. If you are attracting those 3,000 females from Chicago at a rate of one every week, it will take you almost 60 years to hit that goal. Without a time limit, it’s easy to make it appear like you’re working toward the goal, but in reality, that’s not the case.

It’s important to set a time limit in order to manage that success. If a reasonable timeframe for those 3,000 visitors is six months, you’ll have a good idea in month one or two if you’re on pace to hit it. You don’t need to wait the full six months. However, without a time limit, it’s nearly impossible to measure.

If you’re looking to set goals that will improve your digital marketing strategy, just remember ‘SMART.’ Check every one of your goals against ‘SMART’ to make sure you can measure your success.


Diana Beyer is experienced and self-driven specialist who is passionate about writing. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth.