These days you need to do more than post a random series of articles whenever the mood strikes.
When your business has no audience and no inquiries, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Understanding why and how to set SMART content marketing goals produces proven results. Develop a content marketing strategy to attract new visitors. Engage a loyal audience, and convert prospects into your delighted clients.
Why Set SMART Content Marketing Goals?
Because 72% of content marketers who increased their level of success over the past year credit their strategy as a major contributor. Follow their example! Document your own content marketing strategy. Review it often, and update it as needed.
The SMART framework is especially useful for planning content marketing goals. Deliver materials to give potential customers the solutions to their problems. You’ll keep them coming back for more.
Produce content that will stimulate your ideal clients. Expect to do a little more than blogging, though. Attract and hold interested readers with useful information in a variety of formats.
A Quick Review of SMART Goals
SMART goals are specific, measurable, actionable, results-based, and time-bound. Breaking that down produces a foolproof content marketing strategy.
SPECIFIC: Set goals for each piece of content relating to your business objectives. Also consider the stage of development you’re in. A startup would likely have very different priorities than an established business.
Common reasons to produce content include increasing website traffic. You might want to attract more email subscribers or move up in Google’s search rankings.
To attract website visitors, one tactic is to create great headlines. Although 8 out of 10 people read headlines, only 2 out of 10 read the rest. Craft golden headlines followed up with useful, interesting information. Producing clickbait risks losing the authority and goodwill you’re hoping to build.
Everyone has divulged an email contact in exchange for a compelling lead magnet. That’s a common strategy for collecting information to expand a marketing list. Develop useful content that your audience finds valuable. It’s worth the effort if encouraging subscribers is a priority.
Rising to the top in search rankings is a long game. Hacks to make it happen overnight are unreliable at best. That makes it especially important to publish exceptional content. It’s the best way to attract searchers in your target market.
MEASURABLE: Analyze the results of your efforts to make well-informed decisions. Determine what content best serves your readers, and thus your SPECIFIC objectives. Tie those objectives to key performance indicators, or KPIs. This shows the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
Google Analytics tracks and reports website traffic and marketing analytics. Use this information when planning your content. Produce more of the format types and topics that engage your visitors the most.
Your email marketing platform of choice provides statistics. These can help you generate meaningful offerings. Follow the results of your campaigns to develop suitable content.
Google Search Console checks your site’s indexing status. Integrating it with Google Analytics helps you generate appropriate content. Keep track of how it performs. Focus on developing material that drives impressive search engine results.
ACTIONABLE: Taking SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE actions leads to achieving your goals. This is where a comprehensive editorial calendar comes in. It’s a vital tool to help guide your way. Nothing fancy, a simple spreadsheet documenting your strategy will do.
Attracting targeted traffic to your website requires a variety of techniques. Chief among those is the tactical use of diverse content. Plot out what you will publish and when. This is the first step to developing your editorial calendar.
Optimize the landing pages for your lead magnets to increase email subscribers. Inventory assets on hand and upcoming content. Then make it easy for readers to sign up for the amazing information you provide!
Search engine optimization is key to climbing to the top of the results pages. Research relevant keywords and develop content featuring them. Knowing your audience helps drive search results.
RESULTS-BASED: Of course, you have an aim for each of the SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE ACTIONS you’ll be taking. Decide in advance how to determine success. Keep in mind that it’s important to set reasonable growth objectives.
No matter the goal, planning to go from zero to one hundred overnight will only gain you undue pressure. Be realistic when setting expectations.
Develop a mix of content formats to spark interest from a wider audience. Analyze your metrics to assess how much growth you can actually foresee in a given period. Which brings us to the final piece of the SMART goal framework.
TIME-BOUND: Have a predetermined ending point to your goals, whether long- or short-term. Be adaptable within yearly, quarterly, monthly, and even weekly sprints. But always have your ultimate goal in mind.
When preparing to take action, be sure you can sustain it for the most effective time frame. Don’t skip from action to action! Have specific, measurable, relevant initiatives at every stage.
Always Be Flexible
Direct all your efforts toward achieving your fundamental goals. Just don’t try to get there all at once. Break your strategies into smaller segments. That way you can make course corrections on the fly.
And don’t try to increase every single metric at the same time. Focus on what makes the most sense for your business at the current stage you’re in. Take the actions that will be most effective for your level of business development.
Create content that answers the questions your customers are asking. That’s a powerful foundation for building trust and rapport with your audience.
Before jumping in, think through and write down your plan of action. Clarify the SMART content marketing goals that best serve your business priorities. Establish a realistic time frame. And build in frequent checkpoints to review your progress.
Decide which metrics support your desired outcome and analyze them often. Update your content marketing strategy to incorporate things you learn from each challenge. Your rewards will be greater satisfaction and return on your investment.
Consistently provide useful information that matches the needs of your audience. The tribe you grow will learn to know, like and trust you. That overcomes the first hurdle toward converting them into satisfied customers.
Has SMART goal setting improved your content marketing strategy? Let us know in the COMMENTS!