Give Your Inbound Marketing Meaning: Start With A Goal
Set Your Inbound Marketing Up For Success With A Goal
Setting a goal for your inbound marketing strategy is essential to measuring your success. How else would you know if your inbound marketing is performing well if you have nothing to compare its results to? But the right goal isn’t something randomly determined, impractical or vague such as, “our goal is to increase brand awareness.” Your goal should be realistic and achievable while specifying what exactly it is you want to do and how.
The best way to create a goal that works for your inbound marketing strategy is to make sure it’s SMART–specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Be mindful of this acronym when creating all of your goals.
Still not sure how to get your goal started? Don’t worry, I’ll explain everything.
1. Evaluate your current inbound efforts
The future of your inbound marketing success should be influenced by your past and current inbound marketing performance. Take a look at the inbound strategies you use and determine if they’re giving you the results you want. If they aren’t, it might be time to switch up your strategy. Look at things such as:
- Your website’s current traffic and where it comes from
- The number of inbound leads you’re attracting each month
- How many conversions you’ve had
- How many sales you’ve closed
The answers you find should help you figure out your next goal. This is where SMART comes into play.
2. Make your goal specific
The more specific you make your goal, the better. Specifying what exactly it is you want to accomplish will help your performance stay on track while keeping you motivated to reach it. Be specific in what results you want, as well as who and what will be involved. When making your goal specific, think about:
- Who is going to work towards achieving the goal?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- How long will it take you to achieve the goal?
- What resources will you use?
- What will you gain from achieving the goal?
An example of a specific goal:
We will increase our weekly shares on LinkedIn at least 15% by posting a minimum of four times a week, with each post sharing highlights and links to our professional blog or other industry news.
3. Make your goal measurable
Setting specific metrics you want to meet will make it easier to track your strategy’s performance over time. Think about the number of conversions you’re trying to reach with each content offer, or the percent of new website traffic you’re trying to reach. Make sure you’re measuring the correct metrics for your goal.
Monitor your strategy’s performance consistently, and if it isn’t meeting your goals, consider making adjustments to your strategy.
An example of a measurable goal:
Our LinkedIn advertising goal for the month is to increase clicks by 20% based on the number of clicks from the previous month.
4. Make your goal attainable
Setting goals that are attainable is a huge factor in whether or not your goals can be achieved. If your goal is unrealistic, your performance may fall short. But don’t be discouraged by this–use it as a chance for strategy evaluation. Set expectations high enough that it’ll push your business to the next level, but make sure it’s also reasonable.
Take a look at your past and current performance and build a goal that can be realistically achieved from it.
An example of an attainable goal:
Last month’s content offer had 25 conversions. This month, we will increase the number of conversions for the content offer by 20%, with a goal of receiving 30 conversions by adjusting our advertising strategy.
5. Make your goal relevant
Your goal should align with your company’s mission and needs. It should reflect on the issues that matter to your company, and be carried out at the right time and place. When setting your goal, make sure it makes sense for your company and for what you’re trying to achieve.
An example of a relevant goal:
Because most of our target audience uses Instagram, we will post engaging content once per day to this social media platform in order to elevate our brand awareness and engagement.
6. Make your goal time-bound
Set a timeframe for when your marketing efforts will begin and end. This will give you the duration for which you’ll track your performance while pushing you to accomplish your goal. Review your past performance metrics to determine a timeframe for your goal. Be careful not to make the timeframe so short that you won’t be able to reach your goal in time, or so long that you lose focus of the goal.
An example of a time-bound goal:
We will fully optimize all of our landing pages within 15 days and will have 5 days to test each one. We will then have 30 additional days to record performance for each landing page after they are fully optimized.
Setting clearly defined SMART goals will help you get the most out of your inbound marketing strategy. Do your research to determine what you’re going to achieve, how, when and why, and start setting your goal. You’ll be on the way to success in no time.
If your inbound marketing goal is to generate new leads, download our free Social Media Handbook for tips on using popular social media channels to discover and connect with new leads for your business.