It is easy to think about life in terms of goals. We start with simple things like taking a first step and get into bigger ones, like a bachelor's degree, an engagement ring, or a dream job. Some of these goals are ingrained because we are human, but most of them we set for ourselves because we need to have something to strive towards. We cannot find success for ourselves unless we have these goals.
And though it may take a bit of a leap, the reality of digital marketing is not all that different. That is to say, a digital marketing strategy can never be successful without goals that are measuring its success.
It's easy to figure out, as a person, that you want to take a trip to Spain or finally learn to ski. It's not as easy, as a digital marketing manager or strategist, to figure out what your goals are. But it can be.
If you have no idea to where to begin in creating your marketing goals, start with your marketing funnel and brainstorm some goals that might be relevant for each stage. For instance, if you're generating awareness at the top of the funnel, you might want to set a goal to increase Facebook Likes by 20%. As you get closer to the bottom of your funnel, your goals can become more specifically focused on things like leads and revenue.
If you already have your digital goals in mind, or want to make sure you are on the right track, it can be helpful to look at them through the lens of the SMART acronym. First seen in 1981, well before the existence of digital marketing, SMART can still be applicable to your business goals. Broken down to its components, the SMART acronym insists your goals be:
Take a look at these categories and consider whether the goals you have set for your digital strategy meet any or all of these criteria.
Above all, you digital goals should be perfectly aligned with your business goals. If your overall business goal means qualifying new leads, even your Facebook Like goals should be traceable to improving that metric. Digital goals that exist in a vacuum and do not help your business towards its overall goals are all but useless. But if you take the time to brainstorm, evaluate, and choose the right goals for your marketing goals, you will be well on your way to using digital successfully.
Are you having trouble figuring out what your goals should be? Do you already have goals in mind, but are having problems when it comes to measurement or strategy? Be sure to check out ManoByte's latest eBook: Digital Marketing Measurement in 2014, now available as a free download.