Steps to Setting SMART Goals for Content Marketing

To be successful with content marketing, you must have a proven strategy. In four steps, we describe how to set SMART goals for content marketing.

The Straightforward Strategy to Achieve Content Marketing Objectives

Setting SMART goals is important for any content marketing strategy. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic (and relevant), and time-bound. They help you to stay focused on what is important for your business and provide an achievable benchmark for measuring success. 

In short, SMART goals help you understand:

  • What you should do

  • How you should do it

  • How to know when it has been successfully done

To be effective, what objectives should you set? And how do you set your SMART goals?

In this article, we discuss a few common content strategy objectives examples and present a step-by-step guide to creating a successful SMART goal strategy.

Common content marketing objectives to focus on

Content marketing is one of the most important marketing tactics that can be used to establish and grow a business. It is a mixture of many things such as SEO, social media marketing, and content creation

You’ll want to build and maintain a relationship with your target audience. But what exact objectives should be the heart of your focus?

Here are some content marketing objectives that you should focus on to develop a successful campaign:

  • To earn links: links to your website increase its authority and help to improve SERPS results

  • To rank on the SERPs: the higher your pages rank, the more traffic you are likely to receive

  • To drive more traffic to your website: the more traffic that your website attracts, the more leads it should generate

  • To generate more leads: the more leads you generate, the more revenue you should accrue

  • To drive social engagement: social engagement helps to drive brand awareness, which helps drive business success

All these objectives are valid, but there is a common problem with all of them. They are too general. They don’t conform to the concept of SMART goals ─ and creating SMART goals is the foundation of success in content marketing.

Four steps to set SMART goals for content marketing

A step-by-step, methodical approach to setting SMART goals will help you be successful. The following four steps will ensure you set meaningful goals and that you stay on track with them.

Step #1: Determine the purpose of content marketing for your company

To be effective, you must decide what the exact purpose of your content marketing needs to be. Specifically, you’ll need to consider:

  • Why you have a content marketing strategy in place

  • What the overall goals of content marketing are for your business 

  • How your content marketing efforts align with your high-level business objectives

Step #2: Choose the appropriate performance metrics

In this step, you should decide what performance metrics you wish to focus on and how often you want to measure them. The important thing here is that these metrics should be meaningful and relevant to your business. If it’s not, then it’s better not to measure them at all.

Common metrics to measure content marketing success include:

  • Website sessions

  • Bounce rate

  • Links

  • Ranking keywords

  • Marketing qualified leads (MQLs)

  • Conversion rate

  • Content marketing ROI

Step #3: Set your SMART content marketing goals

Now it’s time to get down to the business of setting your SMART goals, with the following five parameters:

S = Specific

This is where you define what success looks like in your content marketing strategy. This can be done through a variety of methods, but it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve to make sure that your efforts are focused on the right goals. Once you know what success looks like, it’s time to start thinking about how you will measure your progress.

M = Measurable

You’ll need to figure out what metrics you will use to measure progress toward your goals, and what milestone achievements will help to keep you on track and motivated. Metrics that you might use include:

  • Traffic numbers

  • Organic traffic

  • Pageviews

  • Time on-page

  • Click rates

  • Conversions

  • Etc.

A = Attainable

This is about ensuring that you have the resources available to achieve your goals, such as:

  • Expertise (your team)

  • Time

  • Budget

  • Technology

  • Etc.

R = Realistic and Relevant

Now, go back and check that your content marketing goals are both realistic and relevant to your business strategy and goals:

  • Will achieving them make a significant difference to your business?

  • How will you compare them against your competitors?

  • Are they attainable, but simultaneously stretching?

T = Time-bound

The final piece of this step is to make your content marketing goals time-bound, by setting the start and finish dates. This will help to keep you focused and provide a sense of urgency that would be missing on undated goals.

Step #4: Track your progress toward your goals

As you move forward with your SMART content strategy, you’ll need to track your progress:

  • Consider how far you have come

  • If you are falling short of your milestone goals, review the reasons for the shortfall

  • Is there any remedial action you need to take to get you back on track?

  • If you are over-achieving, should you reset your goals to be more stretching?

Are you ready to take your business to the next level, employing intelligent digital marketing to reach a broader and deeper target audience?

To learn how we help our clients to accelerate and excel in content marketing, click here to book a live demo of BlabberJax in action.

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