Goal setting is a vital thing if growth in a business is to be expected. It’s the bridge between desiring an outcome and then seeing that idea become a reality.
Inbound marketing lends itself to goal-setting particularly well, as it provides comprehensive data on the success of each of its aspects.
Of course, having all the components that you need to create something in one place doesn’t necessarily make the end product a guaranteed success. It’s the application of goal-setting techniques to the data that inbound marketing provides that will give a result-generating strategy.
Here’s 5 things that will help with your online marketing project goals:
1. Design Your Goals To Be Evaluation-Friendly
SMART is a mnemonic favoured by marketers and outgoing people alike. It’s a pretty helpful framework for setting goals, and encourages the user to break down the goal into separate tasks, ensuring that the goal in question is:
Specific (qualified details of the goal)
Measurable (quantified details of the goal)
Attainable (achieving the goal is feasibly possible)
Relevant (achieving the goal will be positive)
Timely (providing a timeline for the goal to be achieved over)
This kind of framework encourages goal-setting that from the get-go, can be understood and planned to be evaluation-friendly. It’s important that from the beginning evaluation is built into the goals that you set - both short and long-term - as it’s evaluation that enables your business to continually improve.
2. Ensure That All Aspects Of Your Goals Are Communicated
Communication is frequently underrated, but nevertheless pretty important, particularly if your team is more than a one-man-band. This fits back into the ‘Specific’ nature of the SMART setup - ensuring that everyone on your team understands in full what your goal is, and what they need to be doing to help achieve that goal. Everything will become much more achievable once everyone understands what their responsibilities are. This connects back to the other teams in your business also - inbound marketing links itself closely with sales, and once the two are working in tandem, you’ll be able to close many more customers.
3. Align Your Marketing Goals With Your Company’s Goals
This one is up there on the list of ‘things that make perfect sense but sometimes get missed out on’. Your business probably sets goals at the beginning of the year for growth, but might not give metrics on how those goals are going to be achieved. It then becomes your job, as part of the marketing team, to see those company goals to completion by setting smaller, more tangible goals that will push your business growth in the same direction as that original goal. You don’t have time or money to waste, so make sure that the smaller goals you set are relevant to the larger goals laid down by your business.
4. Set Timelines For Your Goals To Ensure Task Completion
Timelines are what give teeth to general goals, and are often the main driving factor behind goals actually being achieved. When you set deadlines for the tasks that make up your goals, make sure that the time allotted is enough to complete the task in, but not so much that you’re not being pushed to improve. Set timeframes that correctly respond to the kind of task you’ve been set; whether it’s a long-term goal that requires many milestones, or a short-term goal with three tasks.
5. Be Prepared To Change
We mentioned at the beginning that inbound marketing naturally lends itself to the setting of achievable goals due to the data that it’s able to supply. Of course, it’s easier to understand a path to the solution when you understand more about the problem. But don’t take that to mean there’s only one way to achieve your goals. You may get halfway through the time allotted for a long-term goal only to realise that you’re not on track with the lead conversion you’re after. It’s at times like these that the collected data that inbound marketing supplies can really help you out. For this example, it would help to go back over the website content and evaluate the click-through rates on your calls to action. Are you producing a variety of content that would appeal to your ideal customers? Check which content is getting the attention you need, and keep producing content that fits with that theme.
You want to be results-driven in your approach, so seek to improve and multiply what content is giving you results. You want to think strengths, not weaknesses, so don’t be afraid to change the content that you’re producing if the data you’re gathering indicates that this will be a good thing. Everything has to be subject to change - there will always be gaps in our understanding and plan of attack, so learn to roll with it. Continually be seeking to improve your content and calls to action, and remember that your buyer personas - your ideal customers - will be subject to change too. The products or services that you sell will be different ten years from now, as will the people you’re selling to. This change happens when we look for it, and adapt to it as it comes. See to it that your goals have room to reflect the changing nature of your business’ market.