Digital marketing is key to most marketing plans, no matter what your business. A lot of people use strategy and goals interchangeably, however, they’re not the same. A goal is a measurable result you hope to achieve. A strategy is the plan of action you implement to achieve that goal.
Setting goals is the key to success, and will help you improve any digital marketing strategy. It’s hard to know how to get to where you want to be if you don’t know exactly where that is.
Luckily, goal setting and revising your digital marketing strategy is not a difficult process. Many businesses before you have wrestled with ensuring their strategy is working and have found easy ways to deal with the goal setting process.
There are a lot of different ways you can tackle digital marketing, but we’re going to look at the ‘SMART’ strategy. It’s simple, and it works. It will really help ensure the goals you’re creating are useful and maximizing your strategy.
‘SMART’ stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Let’s take a look at how each one will help.
The worst thing a goal can be is vague and subjective. A specific goal is one that everyone understands and can unequivocally say exactly when the goal is achieved. Psychologically, being specific make the goal more attainable.
Your boss may come to you want to set the goal of achieving more Facebook likes or attracting more website visitors. Now it’s up to you to make it specific. How many Facebook likes? How many visitors? What type of visitor?
Being specific will help you set your strategy. Just saying “get more website visitors” versus “get 3,000 more female website visitors from Chicago,” will be very different when it comes to strategy. The first way is vague and can theoretically be achieved in a day. The second is much harder.
The more specific way actually helps give you a roadmap for your strategy as well. You now know you need to target females, the city of Chicago, and that you need to get 3,000 of them. Whatever marketing channel you use has to have enough capacity to attract that number. If not, you know you need more channels.
It Needs to Be Measurable
Now that you have your goal, you need to have a way to measure it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
For example, if you set a goal that says you need to want to hit a demographic of 25- to 35-year-old females in Chicago, you need to measure the results. If you can’t tell how old they are, or the sex of the individual using your analytics, you’ll never know if you’re achieving the goal.
There are a lot of great tools out there to measure your digital marketing, just pick the one that’s right for your application.
Make the Goal Attainable
This is a little bit harder. You may not have a realistic answer, so research might be needed. Is attracting 3,000 females in Chicago realistic? It may not be attainable if you run a tire shop in North Dakota.
Ask yourself what the purpose of the goal is. Don’t be afraid to set a smaller goal with a smaller budget at the start to learn a little bit about what is possible. Check out your competitors and see what they’re doing. There may be a clue there about how much you can achieve.
Don’t be afraid to dream big on your goals, just do your best to make it attainable.
Is the Goal Relevant?This is where you would ask the question: if you’re a tire shop in North Dakota, is it relevant to the business to attract 3,000 females from Chicago to visit your website?
Relevant goals are key to goal setting. It won’t help your business to spend money trying to attract people that aren’t likely to use your product or service. Just because you’d like to have these people, doesn’t mean that they’re actually relevant to the business. To achieve goals, you need to make sure everything you do is relevant.
The Goal Should Have a Time Limit
Setting a goal without a time limit is a great way to waste a whole lot of money. If you are attracting those 3,000 females from Chicago at a rate of one every week, it will take you almost 60 years to hit that goal. Without a time limit, it’s easy to make it appear like you’re working toward the goal, but in reality, that’s not the case.
It’s important to set a time limit in order to manage that success. If a reasonable timeframe for those 3,000 visitors is six months, you’ll have a good idea in month one or two if you’re on pace to hit it. You don’t need to wait the full six months. However, without a time limit, it’s nearly impossible to measure.
If you’re looking to set goals that will improve your digital marketing strategy, just remember ‘SMART.’ Check every one of your goals against ‘SMART’ to make sure you can measure your success.
E-mail marketing, social media marketing, PPC advertising, the list goes on and on. Ultimately, the objective of all digital marketing tactics is to drive users to a brand’s website and convert them into loyal customers. Companies that implement digital marketing strategies correctly understand how providing a valuable experience to the audience will directly influence how impactful or effective those strategies are.
Recently, the growth of thought leadership as part of a 360-degree marketing approach has grown. More and more leaders at organizations across various industries understand the importance of shaping their experience into valuable insights that translate well with users. When done correctly, thought leadership can play a heavy hand in improving website traffic.
Like all other digital marketing channels, however, thought leadership is only successful when the needs of your audience and your overarching business objectives are kept in mind. Consider the following three tactics to better grasp how your company can use thought leadership as a way to drive traffic to your site.
1. Blog Content
Think about what your audience is likely to search for in Google. Perhaps its ‘how-to’ videos related to your industry, or maybe it’s a consumer question that one of your products could be the solution for. Whatever those subjects may be, the leaders at your organization should be contributing blog posts to your blog regularly as a way to connect with readers and help showcase your brand as one with leading experts in your industry.
When crafting blog content, use tools like Google’s keyword planner to search for terms and grasp how much search volume these phrases attract on a monthly basis. By better understanding the market and how users are phrasing their queries, you can shape your titles and content around their needs. That being said, blog content shouldn’t strictly appeal to search engines—it should address the needs of both search engines and users alike.
The experts at your organization are likely to be your strongest selling point. Showcase the talent and skills that your company has at its disposal as a way to make it easier for users to find your brand organically and capture their interest.
2. PR Initiatives
To have a strong SEO approach, and subsequently secure good search engine rankings that can lead to improved traffic, you need to amass links back to your website. Securing links is all about building relationships with relevant outlets, so by using traditional PR tactics partnered with a digital PR approach, you can begin establishing some credibility.
Whatever your industry may be, the thought leaders at your company can speak to different topics related to it. Whether it’s a current event that your team can interject their opinions into and be quoted by editorial teams working on an article for, or supplying tips related to your product line to a journalist working on a relevant story, the best way to build links is through relevant media placements. HARO, the free tool that connects journalists with sources, is an excellent starting point.
Keep an eye out for any subjects that you or your team members can speak to, and if the reporter finds your insights valuable and decides to include them in their article, they will be very likely to include a link back to your site when they attribute the quote to your experts.
3. Guest Contributions
The same way in which you would share your expertise on your own blog, creating unique content for blogs relevant to your industry can be beneficial in reaching users and encouraging them to visit your website. Identify outlets within your niche that have readers similar to your target demographic, and work with their community managers or editorial team to be considered for opportunities to provide content.
It’s important that content created for these sites never be overly self-promotional and instead focus on the sole purpose of providing value to the respective readers. No outlets want guest posts that are simply promoting a product or service. That being said, these posts can still help to instill brand awareness and recognition. If a visitor receives value from the post, they’re likely to find out who authored it, their expertise, and find out more about the company the author works for—all information that most contributor posts contain in a bio.
Referral traffic may not be incredibly high when you first begin contributing content to other outlets, however, this type of content marketing can play a significant role in brand recognition and driving long-term conversions with highly-qualified leads.
Improving Traffic by Offering Value
At the end of the day, to improve website traffic there needs to be a clear value for the users that you’re marketing to. Thought leadership that shares high-quality insights about a certain subject can be incredibly valuable to users. On the other hand, if you fail to appeal to the needs of your target demographic, your efforts are likely to fall short.
Roland G. Cardoza