I’ve mentioned it in many blogs before. The biggest thing that SMEs struggle with their online marketing is their strategy. Specifically, their target audience and the objectives they have set for their business.
If you’re spending any money what so ever to market your company, you should know what your aims are. If not, it’s just a waste of money. I don’t care that Facebook have about hundred different “boost post” and “promote your service locally” pop-ups and you feel compelled to spend money, it’s just wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fell victim to this myself. Boosting posts, promoting your service locally, all these small-time things that Facebook offer, trust me I’ve spent money on them. And most of the time, they provided no purposes.
Not until I defined my target audience appropriately and structured my digital marketing process with a strategy. I wanted to share with you today why, and how you should be creating this strategy, what you’ll need and how it will help your business.
Why set goals?
Providing yourself with objectives within your digital marketing provides:
- Stated targets
- Accountability for return of investment
- Basis for measurement and analysis
Setting goals provide you something to work towards, and allows you to determine if you’re successful in your marketing campaigns. Without goals, you may as well stop marketing your business – I know this from experience, because before I started setting myself marketing goals and looking at the objectives of my efforts, I was lost in the both my own marketing and those of my clients. Over time, I’ve learned to determine the objectives of my clients before we start work in order to effectively set expectations.
Setting goals: the objectives
There are four specific types that these can be broken down into:
- Business objectives: lead generation, sales, cost reduction, profit
- Audience objectives: satisfaction, referral, feedback, repeat business
- Product objectives: product research, design, enhancements
- Brand objectives: communicating brand personality, reputation management
- Marketing objectives: branding, awareness, engagement, response and conversion
In terms of the separate channels you can advertise, you can also look at specific objectives for those, as each of them drive different results:
- SEO objectives: positioning, engagement, conversions, competitive advantage
- PPC marketing objectives: targeting, relevance, campaign management and customization
- Social media marketing objectives: engagement, interaction, advocacy, reach and branding
- Email marketing objectives: penetration, interaction, advocacy and conversion
- Digital display marketing objectives: reach, awareness, branding and influence
How to set objectives?
Determining objectives for your marketing should be determined by the needs of your business. Generally, most people want more clients – though some of my clients are fully booked, and just want to retain their current client-base and ensure they have consistent branding and information online. They also want to be seen as “keeping up with the times”, which is why they hire me to write their blogs and keep their website updated on a daily basis.
Setting objectives should be down to your business needs. Do you want more clients? Business development and converting your following should be your objective. If you’re looking for ways in which you can reach more people, you should look at branding objectives. Whatever you do, there are specific ways in which it would be best to market your business, so defining your goals help you determine how and where you should be advertising your business online. Generally, you will be working on several objectives at once, since a lot of them are intertwined (for example, branding should be top priority for those who want to convert more customers, which would more of a business objective).
Here’s an example from a recent client I wanted to share to explain how my work, or your digital marketing, can be used effectively to gain new clients.
While I was speaking to a client, he advised me that he was currently working at half of his capacity. He could literally do double the work every week, if he could get the clients to work for. We talked about his current situation online, here’s what he had within his online presence:
- Outdated website
- Social media pages – updated irregularly, not consistently branded
- No Google presence at all (AKA: BAD SEO)
We agreed that although it was a business objective he had (lead generation and sales), first off we had to look at other areas of his company. First off, we had to look at branding and audience goals.. Reaching more people with a relevant message, the right branding/image online and ensuring customer satisfaction. That way; if his customers were happy, they would recommend others to his service, bringing him more clients.
Eventually, we went with a new website, updated social media pages, and he is currently paying a monthly fee for content marketing and social media management. His primary long-term goal is to convert more people, so we’re working on building his authority with content marketing and his audience with social media – a long-term SEO strategy that will allow him to avoid continuing to pay expensive PPC advertisement costs to drive traffic to his website.
What I’m talking today is defining your objectives. Use them objectives to set goals, then you can set a plan in order to achieve the aims you set that will allow you to reach your ideal situation online (i.e. leads coming online every week, authority built, minimal cost to advertise, good rankings, high google results).
- Objective: Lead Generation
- Goal: Generate five customers per month
- Plan: Content Marketing & Social Media Strategies
- Aims: Get 100% more traffic to the website
- Measure: Website traffic, leads generated online
Can you see they are a continual process? You aim to increase your reach that will inturn allow you to get more leads. These can all be measured, and it starts to help you make you think about the strategy you can put in place to achieve these objectives, or a mix of them (see above – their all outlined there)… you will then have a strategy, aims and measurements in place for each segment of your marketing (SEO, PPC, Social Media, Display and Email).. You can then measure the results of various different pieces through various online analytics tools, and adjust your methods where they are appropriate…
What are your objectives, and how are they then translated into the online marketing strategy? If you need help defining your goals online, get in touch on 07904008731 or firstname.lastname@example.org.