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Set SMART Goals for Your Content Marketing Strategy

Oct 8, 2020
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Set SMART Goals for Your Content Marketing Strategy

There are so many moving parts within a diverse digital marketing strategy; it’s easy to confuse what is impacting your marketing efforts and what wastes time and money. By tracking your marketing tasks individually and evaluating how everything works together, you will gain a clear picture of how to adjust your content marketing strategy to connect with your ideal buyer.

Ideally, as you set SMART goals and measure the impact of your efforts, you will narrow your tasks to omit everything that doesn’t connect your company to your buyers. Projects that remain will enhance the effect of each opportunity to connect with current and potential customers.

The best way to measure which parts of your digital marketing campaign are the most impactful is by evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs). According to KPI.org, “KPIs provide a focus for strategic and operational improvement, create an analytical basis for decision making and help focus attention on what matters most.” 

Tracking your progress on any project is essential for accountability and confirmation of success. With digital marketing, you need to measure several KPIs to gain a full picture of your marketing impact. As you measure aspects of your marketing efforts such as visibility, user sessions, and click-through-rate, you will gain insights into the type of content that catches the eye of your ideal buyers. You will see what content they visit most frequently, and which content ranks the highest.

What’s the difference between a KPI and a vanity metric? Learn more here.

 

Why You Need SMART Goals for Your Content Marketing Strategy

Vague goals are obvious. Every business wants to serve its customers well and maintain or increase their business income; however, these aren’t quantifiable goals. How do you know if you have retained enough customers to expand your business? Without setting SMART Goals, you may find yourself juggling too much work without anywhere to delegate.

The data gathered from your KPIs will give you a clear picture of the impact your content marketing strategy has on your overarching goals of expanding your digital reach and increasing your conversion rate. They will also give you measurable information so you can make data-backed decisions about your business, such as whether it’s time to hire full or part-time workers.

What are SMART Goals for Content Marketing?

SMART Goals include details related to an overarching project. They allow you to focus on important information about daily and long-term decisions. SMART Goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, relevant, and time-bound.

Before we go further, let’s define content marketing. While it’s tempting to limit content marketing to blog articles, it encompasses all the images and words you create to promote your services and products. 

Setting Goals for Your Content Marketing

Setting SMART Goals for your content marketing strategy should start by reviewing your KPIs and analytics for a specified time. It’s best to check your analytics monthly and quarterly at minimum to stay on top of any issues that pop up. These reviews will allow you to make small adjustments to your website or adjust your content marketing strategy if something isn’t working like you anticipate it should.

Now that you have a better idea of your website visibility and connection with your ideal buyer, you can evaluate your progress and compare your status to your short-term and long-term goals. Measure your KPIs to confirm if you are progressing on track or should adjust your strategy to improve momentum.

Example 1 Content Marketing SMART Goal

Specific – Write and publish one SEO blog post per week. Use an SEO template checklist for blog posts to ensure you don’t overlook any aspects of optimizing your post.

Measurable – Track KPIs: Users, Sessions, Clicks

Attainable – Use a content calendar and task management system to make sure you have time on your calendar blocked for each post.

Realistic/Relevant – Take time to review your top performing content. You will also want to compare your site to your competitors and see if you have content gaps to fill that will better serve your audience. Check out our free Data Studio Template. It helps you review all your data for your KPIs in one quick view.

Time-Bound – Schedule posts every week on the same day.

Example 2 Content Marketing SMART Goal

Specific – Repurpose one blog post into an infographic, video, or white paper every quarter.

Measurable – Track KPIs: Users, Sessions, Clicks

Attainable – Use a content calendar and task management system to make sure you have time on your calendar blocked for each post.

Realistic/Relevant – Take time to review your top performing content. You will also want to check out what your competitors are ranking for and see if you have some content gaps to fill that will better serve your audience.

Time-Bound – Select the due date and then map out tasks leading up to the finished project if necessary, and include them on your calendar as well.

By setting SMART Goals for your content marketing that align with your KPIs and long-term marketing goals, you will save time planning your content strategy and ensure you are moving your business in a positive direction. Ready to set SMART Goals for your content strategy? Check out our content calendar template. It’s designed to help you think short-term and long-term for your content goals. 

content calendar template free download

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Beth Walker

By Beth Walker

Beth Walker is a Content Strategist who is passionate about storytelling. She leads our In-House writing team and works closely with clients and Inbound Strategists to ensure all the content SMA creates meets SEO best practices and tells each client's unique story.

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