3 ways to set your content marketing strategy objectives
By now you should have figured out your target audience. If this isn’t the case then go back to our previous article detailing how you define your contents target audience (with the help of Jane Beale from Eastenders). But assuming you’ve done that, now it’s about asking yourself ‘What do I actually want to achieve from the content I’m making for this audience?.
1. Rule of Thumb: Think beyond social media reach
Immediately I can tell you the most common answer we hear when it comes to setting objectives is “get as many people seeing this as possible” or “go viral” and let’s be clear, these are absolutely valuable goals to have in mind.
Thing is though, “going viral” or ‘reaching the masses’ can only be of worth if they’re helping you achieve something greater. Take our own ultimate objective for instance:
Convert readers into newsletter subscribers
Why? Because likes and followers on our social channels and traffic to our website are great, but if someone hands us their email they are literally saying “I want you to contact me...directly...and regularly about stuff you’re writing about”, that is as good a lead as any cold call, linkedin message, email or pigeon letter we use to connect with people (and in most instances, even better!)…
So this blog may end up reaching millions of people is great, but unless we can see that it’s driving traffic back to our site and a portion of those people are subscribing to our newsletter, the results are as impressive as the final episode of Lost.
2. Setting SMART goals
Now you get that it’s not all about reach, next thing to attempt is to create your very own SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound goals and are super useful to pad out your objectives:
Specific - What do you actually want to achieve? Be clear and concise here.
Measurable - how much? How many? What metrics and why? *
Actionable - you can actually do something to make the above happen? If so how?
Realistic - how much time and resources do you have for this? Doe that means your ambitions are achievable?
Time Bound- how long will you give and when do you want to achieve your objectives by?
So a simple example would be a shortened version of our SMART goals:
S - build a subscriber base to our newsletter
M - 2 blogs a week for 6 months. Headline tests for each blog. 8 keyword search topics written about. 10 collaborators worked with (and less important but 100 subscribers in 6 months. 1 lead generated.)
A - build a schedule and workflow, research competitors and audience for content ideas, create content plan, create distribution plan, ensure the articles are designed to encourage people to subscribe to newsletter.
R - I am specifically employed to help us (Mattr) with our inbound marketing. Josh will help me streamline workflow and be Editor in chief.
T - We need to spend time equivalent to one day a week on this for the first 8 weeks. It will then cut down to ½ a day a week from then on. The first 8 weeks are about testing every piece of content, the next 4 months are about refining.
*Tip: if you’re not starting out but changing up, then always start with what you’re already achieving and your minimal objective here should be to bet it. If you’re starting out, don’t compare yourself to your competitors and try to stay focused on your INPUT objectives as opposed to- so for us, we focused on how many blog articles a week we wanted to post, which days we wanted to post them on, how many keywords we wanted to cover etc. 100 subscribers were plugged in, but these were really secondary.
3. Analyse, test and tweak objectives
Once you’re SMART goals are set, you need to remember objectives change, so your initial ideas aren’t just there to be achieved, they’re there to be built upon!
That means, if your strategy is working, ask yourself questions like:
What am I doing right?
How can I replicate this moving forward?
Which channels are working the best?
What should I be aiming for next?
What’s working the best? Should I refine my objective to focus more on this?
And if the objectives aren’t being met - don’t stress, that’s ok! Ask yourself questions like:
How are we targeting keywords?
Does the layout of the website help or hinder us?
Are we posting often enough?
Are we testing headlines?
Is our imagery eye catching enough?
Are we using social correctly?
We do this every Monday morning and already we’ve tweaked things that have led to improvements.
We’re sure there are other exercise you can achieve but if you follow the above three, we think you’re on the right path to a really solid basis to build your strategy on.