How to Set Realistic Content Marketing Goals

It’s often said that the key to success with any marketing strategy lies in strategic goal-setting. The theory is that unless you establish concrete objectives, you can’t realistically expect to meet them. A classic case of embarking upon a journey with no specific destination.
But how can you ensure that your content marketing goals are realistic?

One effective approach is to adopt the SMART method. A common framework that focuses on five key characteristics – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Limited. Brought together, these five characteristics can help large and small businesses alike establish more realistic content marketing goals.

The first step in the process is to consider exactly what you expect to get out of your content marketing strategy. Are you looking to boost conversion rates?  Increase website traffic? Generate awareness of your brand? Rather than casting your net too widely, it pays to focus on more specific objectives from the onset.

In terms of measurability, it’s of a case of setting goals that can be accurately monitored and measured. In a working example, simply looking to boost conversion rates doesn’t represent a measurable goal. By contrast, working towards a 0.5% increase this month followed by a further 1% increase next month is far easier to track and measure.

Content marketing goals are only worth setting if they are achievable. For most businesses, the ultimate objective is to make a fortune and dominate the competition. It’s also a goal that is largely impossible, therefore cannot be considered achievable. You need to think very carefully about the resources you have available, your capacity and your general capabilities. If you only have one person handling your Facebook account, you can’t expect them to quadruple inbound social traffic within a week. Working towards an impossible goal can be highly demotivating at the best of times.

Another important characteristic to consider is relevance. If considering any specific content marketing technique, how will it benefit your company and your customers? You’re thinking of a penning a regular newsletter, but does it contribute anything to your wider goals? Is there any point focusing additional time and effort on Twitter if the vast majority of your audience is over on Snapchat? Think about how your goals and activities are relevant to your business specifically and its performance.

Last but not least, every objective you establish should be in some way time-limited. There’s nothing to gain by setting a goal to boost inbound leads, if you give yourself the rest of your life to make it happen. By contrast, give yourself the next six months to improve inbound traffic by 5% and you’re looking at a far more realistic and achievable goal. If any of the deadlines you establish along the way prove impossible to meet, important lessons will nonetheless be learned for the future.