A business operating without previously set goals is like a seasoned explorer traveling without a map. Somewhere along the way, becoming lost is an inevitability. As your company takes its operations further into the digital space, a digital marketing strategy is a must. With that being said, one question looms large; how well do your business goals align with your digital marketing aspirations?
The Importance of Aligning Your Goals
Your company's long-term goals can only be achieved when you create short-term milestones. Luckily, your digital marketing and metrics that come with it can help you assess during the plan's life cycle. This allows you to adjust when necessary and fine-tune your business goals.
It is essential that you and all your marketing professionals on staff understand the bigger picture and how everyone contributes toward that bigger picture.
This is like establishing a content strategy when you define the target audience and get to know them.
In this stage, however, you are getting to know your own business, and integrating digital marketing as an element of your entire business strategy.
Chris Labbate, digital marketing manager from WaveDirect says, that staying consistent through time is better than a blast of intensity. You can also implement the pareto principle or 80/20 rule. Which is focusing on tasks that might take up 20% of your time and effort but give you 80% of the results.
Steps to a Successful Plan
1. Clearly Define Your Goals
Most likely you have SMART business goals in place. These are your specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based figures.
During management meetings, you must know what your ideal goals are to make your company profitable. For example, your margins are too small for growth; therefore, you need to increase the number of sales staffers and possibly collaborate with another company. Ultimately, you are aiming for growth.
The more specific you are with your objective, the easier it will be to set smaller milestones to achieve it. Also, make sure there is a way to measure your goal and the success and always be realistic. While you might want to turn your $1 million per year company into a $5 million per year business, that may not be realistic to do in a single 12-month span.
2. Create Short-Term Milestones for Long-Term Goals
You have goals in place, but what about milestones?
Milestones are the actions and achievements necessary that will help you make progress toward your long-term goal, per Chron.
When you have a year-long goal, you need small wins along the way that help you measure success and stay on the right path. When milestones are achieved, those tasked with that milestone see progress. This keeps your entire marketing department motivated toward the end goal.
3. Use Analytics to Measure Progress
You must consistently stay on top of your goals. Tracking progress requires you to pull analytics and reassess how you are doing toward your long-term goals.
As part of your SMART method, your goal must be measurable. How will you know it is progressing or when you have achieved success?
If you are aiming to increase social media followers, that is an easy goal to analyze. You just need to stay on top of the followers each week, month, and year. Also, look at the number of page views versus how many people actually follow your social media profile. Lastly, you may need to consider how many people stop following.
4. Define the Campaigns Needed to Meet Goals
There is different digital campaign that is necessary to ensure your digital goals meet your business goals. Ross Simmonds at CrazyEgg suggests creating buyer personas. The example he uses is the:
- Urban Uptown Persona
- Elite Suburbs Persona
- Second City Society Persona
- Landed Gentry Persona
These are the different types of personas that must be attracted to the business.
Then, you must do a content audit to see which campaigns you will need to launch to attract those new personas. For example, you may need a campaign that focuses on engaging each persona. Perhaps you will need a campaign for converting each type of persona, or you need to encourage more of the Second City Society personas to sign up for your email newsletter.
Get Assistance with Your Goals
Sometimes aligning your digital marketing strategy with your business strategy is not as easy as it seems. Working alongside a marketing service may be your best opportunity to align goals, but also identify any weak points in your digital marketing strategy that could impact your overall business goals.