How to set digital marketing goals

Social listening

The beauty of digital marketing is that it’ll enable you to achieve excellent results at a fairly low cost compared to traditional marketing. However, before you invest anything in marketing your business online, you need to establish your ideal outcomes.

Setting goals for your digital marketing can be really challenging. The plethora of available metrics can become overwhelming. Should you care about likes? Is engagement important? Or how will vanity metrics contribute to more leads and sales for your business?

Whatever your goals, you’ll want to ensure that the results outweigh the time, effort and money you’ve invested.

Start with your business goals
It’s important that you know your business goals before you craft your digital strategy. Consider what you want your business to achieve in the short and long term.

For example, if you run an online confectionery store, you will want to achieve a specific number of sales in order to make a profit. You’ll probably also want to ensure that you have generated enough interest in your store and that you’ve secured enough bulk pre-orders which will allow you to save in other areas of your business.

Use S.M.A.R.T principles to create your goals
Acronyms may seem cheesy, but this particular one works. Here’s what it means.
Specific: Your goal needs to be clearly defined.
Measurable: The right marketing goals should be trackable, allowing you to make corrections depending on how your campaign is performing.
Achievable: Your goals should be attainable. Consult your past data in order to ensure that your goals are not too lofty.
Realistic: Consider whether your goals are realistic. Do you have the resources in place to manage your new clients or to ensure that you can deliver all of your new orders?
Time-bound: Setting a deadline for your achievement will help you set milestones that will help you check your progress.

For example, a S.M.A.R.T goal would look like this; Amazing Confectioneries will increase sales of chocolate treats by 20% by 31 March 2018.

Determine your Key performance indicators
Another benefit marketing in the online space is that you can identify the tactics which are working and those which aren’t quite quickly. This empowers you to eliminate performance obstacles and invest more effort and budget into the tactics which are performing well. That’s where KPI’s come in. These key metrics will help you identify what is working and what isn’t.

Establish how digital marketing can support your business goals
Now that you’ve outlined what you want to achieve, you need to set clear, S.M.A.R.T goals for marketing. It’s important to understand the difference between a goal and a tactic. Getting more likes on Instagram may at face value look like success and be easy to measure, but it is not a goal. A better example may be creating engagement and interest in your products, using a variety of tactics such as increasing Instagram engagement.

Here are a few more examples:

  • Increasing Facebook likes
  • Increasing Youtube video views
  • Creating Facebook and Instagram stories
  • Goals
  • Increasing awareness of my brand or products.
  • Increasing interest in my products.
  • Driving sales of my products.
  • Now that you’ve defined your goals, you can move on to the fun part; selecting your channels, resources and tactics.

    Be mindful that achieving your goals will require patience and perseverance. Don’t lose sight of your goals if you don’t immediately see results and remember to analyse and make course corrections if necessary.

    Not every brand will go viral. Commitment is essential to a winning digital strategy.

    What are your digital marketing goals for 2018? Share them with me in the comments section.

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