7 expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business

Most marketing advice begins the same way, with “set your goals.”

And while it may feel repetitive, it’s absolutely true. Setting goals increases the success of your marketing strategy by about 429 percent.

Of course, in the simplest sense, goals help you understand where you are at, where you want to be and when you get there.

But how do you go about setting relevant and achievable marketing goals? The following are seven expert tips to do just that.

Align your marketing goals with your company-wide objectives

Your marketing efforts inherently should support your broader business objectives. What are the overall needs of your company?

Because marketing can achieve a wide variety of goals for a brand, the more you can sync up your marketing goals with your overall business plan, the better.

For instance, if your company prioritizes growing brand loyalty among current customers over getting new customers, your marketing should align with this. Or, perhaps your business has a specific revenue goal that you can support with a certain number of lead conversions. There are many possibilities.

Go big with your marketing goals

Of course, this isn’t to say that your goals should be so big that there’s no hope or accountability in achieving them. 

Instead, it’s important to set a high goal that has a path for success, where even if you fall short, you’re still making significant strides toward what you want to see.

The key here is that you establish of learning from the outcomes of your efforts (whether you hit that big goal or not) rather than classifying them as failures because they fell short of a big goal.

Your marketing goals should be measurable

Fortunately, in digital marketing, metrics can be tied to nearly everything. All you have to do is tie specific metrics to your goal.

But it’s often not enough to simply want “more conversions.”

For example, considering the price of your product or service and the cost-per-click on either your Facebook or Google ads, you can determine your conversion rate (how much you’re paying for each conversion). Then, you can see where you need to be to make a profit (or increase profit) and use that conversion rate as your goal.

Let historical data inspire your marketing goals

A great way to plan for the future is to look to the past. How was your business performing last year? What fueled that? Are there any trends to take note of? 

You also can look at past marketing data. What campaigns were the most successful? Why? How did they perform?

Building on what has been accomplished historically is often a great starting point.

Embrace experimentation

Not every marketing goal can be based on past performance and metrics. Your business could be launching something entirely new where there is no historical data. 

When that is the case, you don’t have to feel pressured to set an official goal right away. Instead, set a timeframe (such as three to six months) for you to experiment and get an understanding of baseline performance. Then, you can make an informed decision on what your goal should be.

Think macro and micro marketing goals

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and even your biggest marketing goal shouldn’t be the only goal your business has.

Having smaller, micro goals along the way will help you not only stay focused and on track but also experiencing small wins as you go. And who doesn’t appreciate the little victories?

For example, you might set a macro goal of total content posts on a particular social media platform. Let’s just say 50 per month. Within that, you can break that down to how many per week, how many are promotional, how many are educational, how many are of each content type (video, blog article link, etc.) and so on. 

Consider the macro goal the umbrella, and the micro goals all the stems within the umbrella that help it fully extend.

Consider your time, budget and resources

It’s easy for any goal to become a bit “pie in the sky” when key factors (including time, budget and resources) aren’t involved.

But in order to set achievable marketing goals, it’s important to assess the amount of time it should reasonably take to reach a particular goal, how much it might cost and any other investment of resources that it will take.

For example, if you’re launching multiple campaigns at the same time, you may need to be realistic about what can be accomplished with that sort of pressure on your resources.

On the flip side, you might notice the opportunity to hit a goal if you simply doubled your budget for it.

Either way, time, budget and other resources all play a role in the attainability of your goals.

In conclusion

Setting achievable and effective marketing goals is both an art and a science, for sure. But doing so is critical to your overall marketing success. Once you have your goals set, it’s time to make a plan and work toward that success. Just be sure to track your performance so that you know if you’re hitting your goals or not.

Check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners for an overview on everything you can embrace in your marketing strategy. Plus, we have a handy to-do checklist that you can use.

While you’re considering how to set achievable marketing goals, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Where to begin? 7 tips to start your first marketing campaign

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the leap and invest in the first marketing campaign for your company.

And while marketing itself is definitely nothing new, being a first-timer isn’t as unique as it sounds. With so many new companies starting, this is an incredibly common scenario.

In fact, there were about 266,000 new businesses began during the fourth quarter of 2019 alone

And if you’re a team of one, planning your first campaign can feel especially overwhelming.

So, where should you begin?

Keep in mind that a marketing campaign has a budget, a specific desired outcome and starts/ends on a specified date. For example, a Facebook ad is a type of social media marketing campaign, while simply have a published website is a marketing activity but not an official campaign.

The following are seven tips for you to think through before taking the official dive into your first marketing campaign.

Outline your goals

This is the first step no matter what type of marketing campaign you want to run. 

If you don’t know what you want to achieve or how it will be measured, how will you know if you’re successful?

Think S.M.A.R.T. goals! These are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. You can base your goals on sales, customer satisfaction or even profit.

For example, you might want to gain 10 new members a week, sell 10 more products per week than average, increase profit by 10 percent in the first quarter of the year.

The bonus of setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal is that it not only holds your campaign accountable, but it can also influence what type of campaign that should be run.

See our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Identify your target audience

A typical mistake of most first-time marketing campaigns is that the target audience is too broad.

Sure, we all want everyone to want to buy what we’re selling.

However, when our message and strategy is too broad, you risk engaging almost no one.

Think of it like casting a net. The more general the message, the larger the net, as well as the netting itself, and you really don’t capture any fish. The more specific and targeted the message, the smaller the net and the netting itself. This means that while the net is smaller, it will catch more fish.

It can be a tough concept to accept at first. Simply think of yourself as a marketing sniper. You want to be purposeful about who you’re talking to, how you’re talking to them and where you’re talking to them.

The key component of this part of the planning is deciding who you want to reach.

There are a few ways to go about this. 

If you’re a new startup, you likely have a target audience already decided in your business plan. It’s about reaching out to the ideal customer, based on market research you’ve already done. 

If you’re an existing business, you have an added benefit of auditing your own customer database. Who is your typical customer? Is it who you would expect? Are you looking to expand into a different demographic? These are key questions you should ask yourself.

Depending on the demographic you’re targeting, this can determine the methodology of your first marketing campaign (such as where you should be investing). For example, print advertising is better for reaching an older, more community-invested audience. Certain social media platforms, like Instagram, on the other hand, are better for a younger audience.

Think about the gender, age range, education level, salary, location and even the pain points that you can solve with your service or product.

Dive deeper with our seven tips to help you determine your target audience.

Conduct research

The term “research” is being left intentionally vague because it really includes both market research and a competitive analysis.

Market research is about understanding consumers’ needs and preferences. This can be discovered through a number of different methods, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.

A competitive analysis looks at your competition, what they offer, what they’re doing well and even what they’re not doing.

Learn more about what a competitive analysis is and how you can start your first one, as well as 16 tools that can make the research easier.

Set your budget

The earlier you can determine your budget, the better. This helps you make the best decisions for your campaign without spending more than you can afford.

Of course, your budget can be more complicated than simply an amount you can afford next month.

A thoughtful marketing budget factors in the lifetime value of each of your customers (on average). In other words, how much revenue would you typically generate from each customer over a set period of time?

Your budget should balance your company’s earning potential with the investment necessary to help it grow.

Startup companies in particular might be starting with a small budget, and that’s okay! You can easily start with something small, like a targeted Facebook ad and scale up over time.

Of course, as you scale up, you can start diversifying your budget, thinking about what portion should be dedicated to any or all of the following:

  • Your website
  • Social media management and ads
  • Email marketing
  • Online advertising
  • Event marketing
  • Print advertising
  • Direct mail campaigns
  • TV and/or radio advertising
  • Public relations

Again, your overall strategy and budget should always come back to your S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Check out our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

Determine your marketing channel(s)

Once you have your goals, your target audience and your prospective budget set, it’s time to use that information to decide on the method of your first marketing campaign.

Typically, if you’re just starting to dip your toe into the marketing world, it’s best to try only one method at first. 

But as you get more comfortable, you can expand out to more of a mix of options that all complement one another. 

For example, a simple email marketing campaign to your existing database could be later expanded into a Facebook ad targeting people who have not interacted with you in any meaningful way.

Building on that, you can launch a display-ad campaign to drive more users to your website, as well as a lead-generation pop-up ad on your site to capture your visitors’ contact information to include them into your email campaign, and so on.

The more pieces you incorporate, the more you should track each piece on a marketing plan calendar to keep the big picture (and strategy) in mind.

But again, start simply. This will keep you focused on the execution and goals at hand and make the measurement of the campaign’s success easier to understand.

See our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners to better understand all the options that are available.

Create your message, content

It’s important that no matter how simply you might start your first marketing campaign, you must include a message that engages your target audience packaged in a way that catches their attention.

This can be an offer, such as a discount or coupon, or an enticing reason to subscribe to your email newsletter. The sky is the limit.

Once you know your message, you can start creating your content. There are a number of tools (including Canva) that can help even the biggest non-designers among us create something professional-looking. Check out these 11 free graphic design tools for the non-designer.

Just remember to stay in line with your own brand and that the sizing of your content should be optimized for the platform you’re making it for. 

An email header image, for example, is a different shape and size than the ideal Instagram post or even Instagram Story slide.

Learn more about how to level up your content marketing.

Measure your success

What you’re measuring ultimately depends on your marketing campaign and the goals you’re trying to achieve.

There are a number of different KPIs (key performance indicators) you can analyze, depending on the type of marketing campaign, including but not limited to:

  • Website pageviews
  • Time spent on your website or page
  • Click-throughs and referrals from paid digital ads
  • Email opens, click-throughs and CTOR (click-to-open rate)
  • Event leads
  • Engagement actions on social media (reactions, shares and comments)
  • Reach on social media

The reason why you want to measure is so that you know whether the money you’re spending is successful or not. No one wants to spend money on efforts that are not working.

As part of your planning process, decide what metrics matter most and make sure you know how to measure them.

See our guides to better understand your analytics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In the end, take everything one step at a time when launching your first marketing campaign. The most important aspect is planning. Remember, a great marketing campaign is 80 percent planning and 20 percent execution.

As you begin to launch your first marketing campaign, consider optimizing your entire digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.