Why your digital marketing strategy needs to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. For better sales, lead generation and ramping up the sales prospecting process.
Whether you are a newbie start-up or a full-scale corporation, having very clear, strategic goals, and an understanding of your customer’s expectations and needs is the key to a successful digital marketing strategy. By structuring your marketing strategy with an objective-first framework, you will be better able to measure the effectiveness of the tactics you have implemented and ensure that your LinkedIn marketing and digital marketing efforts continually improve.
Use the following framework to ensure that your marketing strategy follows the digital marketing SMART criteria.
- Specific: pick objectives that determine specific customers, audiences, channels, and platforms (keep in mind that B2B audiences have very different priorities than B2C). Then establish clear, applicable outcomes and your very own performance measures which will help drive you. For example, increase LinkedIn page views by 25% this quarter, or gain 10% more email subscriptions from Twitter followers in a 6-week time frame.
- Measurable: choose objectives that have one or two key metrics so that you are able to effectively track progress - whether it be success or failure. It is better to ‘fail fast’ and regroup if necessary than to stick to a plan that is not working - flexibility and agility are key. For example: whilst you cannot measure “boosting brand awareness”, you can definitely measure an “increased number of monthly/quarterly views”.
- Attainable: choose objectives that you can start achieving in a 2-6 week timeframe. Be pragmatic with budget constraints. For example: you could spend $10,000 on LinkedIn ads on lead generation or driving traffic to your website but the cost of this process can makes this objective unrealistic and unattainable for small and medium size businesses.
- Relevant: choose objectives that support your overall business and marketing stra For example: if your only business priority is to increase revenue, then an objective of boosting Pinterest re-pins would be irrelevant. Instead, create touch points and stay on your network’s radar by posting useful updates from your LinkedIn profile to further instil your strong professional brand.
- Time-bound: Be sure to choose objectives that allow you to gather feedback and improve in short 2 or 4-week cycles. Gain an understanding of how much time you need to accomplish your objectives, and be realistic about this. There is no point in tailoring a plan to meet your marketing needs and then not sticking to it because you have failed to prioritise the time that it will take to implement and nurture. Bite tasks off in small, achievable chunks. For example: test different blog subject lines each week to measure and optimize open rates. The following week continue to do this, but consider adding in video content and measure and compare click rates.
Once you've outlined your digital marketing objectives, it’s time to survey the broad array of digital tactics on offer and decide on the best tactics suited to your goal.