When setting goals for your digital marketing strategy they need to be SMART. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Your goal should be targeted to a specific area for improvement. When you have a specific target in mind, the team always has a set of objectives to work towards, and the chances of campaign success increase. Specific goal-setting increases the consistency of your team’s actions, and the clarity of decision-making. Don’t confuse the goals of your organisation (which are often more visionary) with the goals of your digital campaign. While they should be related to each other, campaign goals should be very specific to the activities of the campaign.
Can a quantitative or qualitative attribute be applied to create a metric? To measure your success, your goals need to be measurable to begin with. You should identify how you will measure success or at least determine an indicator of progression towards the goal. Metrics have been the buzzword of the last few years, and for good reason. If you want the higher-ups to throw resources toward your campaign, you have to prove the campaign’s worthiness, and that proof is in the metrics.
Good goals stretch your capability beyond what you normally do—that’s why they’re goals, not tasks. But goals should not be so out of reach that you set yourself up for failure. The goal must be attainable and not aspirational. Knowing what’s attainable means knowing your resources. What kind of money are you allocating for this campaign? Once you've reached your goal it will show that what you're doing is working and you should be doing more of it. Sure, your goals should be a challenge, but not completely out of reach.
It would be cool to have 300,000 Twitter followers. But is that relevant for your larger business objectives? The point here is not to rush to a social strategy without knowing how it’s going to be relevant for your particular organisation. Relevant encourages you to choose goals that are properly matched to your business.
To properly measure success and see if you're achieving your goals, your goals need a specific time frame. Set a very specific time stamp on your goal - say, 18 months - with benchmark goals along the way. This way, you will know how to measure a win. The benchmarks can serve as breathing points where you can do mini-evaluations and change course if you need to. If you don't set a deadline you'll never be able to track and measure changes, for example from month to month, if your goals have no time frame.
Once you have your SMART goals, don’t forget the strategy at hand. Measurement is key! Do this yearly, quarterly and monthly. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which provide metrics to evaluate success factors enabling you to track progress.