As with personal goals, it’s never too late to start setting digital marketing goals. No need to wait until the New Year or fret if you don’t get them set by the end of January.
Yes, it’s never too late for setting digital marketing goals, though it can be too early. Let me explain; goal setting for digital marketing can benefit from some level of baseline knowledge. How would you know what to aim for if you have no idea what is realistic for your business?
Build a Baseline to Reference
If you’re new to measuring certain aspects of your digital marketing, consider taking 1-3 months to measure and record, developing a baseline from which to create your goals.
If you have been measuring for a period of time these numbers should be part of your goal setting decisions.
What Else to Consider
Well, that baseline number up there of course but also:
- The platform averages for your industry. For example, comparing Average Reach on Twitter for a Logistics company and a Clothing Retailer may be like comparing apples to alligators.
- Direct competitor performance.
- Age and level of awareness of the business
- Age of the business’ presence on a certain platform
Know what to measure
Each platform/channel/area of effort (whatever you want to call it) will have relative metrics to track but all of this should be feeding into a big picture marketing plan with big picture marketing goals. These are the details, these are the brush strokes that make up your masterpiece for the month/quarter/year/etc.
Let’s use two major social platforms as an example of what to measure:
- Engagement – How people are interacting with your content on Facebook
- Reach (but be aware that organic reach is tough to come by. Any significant Reach is likely to come from paid promotion, at least to get rolling and build awareness).
- Page Likes – Despite some reports, page Likes aren’t just a shallow metric to measure your popularity. Quality Page Likes help to amplify your Reach and increase the effectiveness of your Facebook Advertising.
- Negative Impact – Diving into the Page Likes section within your Facebook Insights shows you a Net Likes section. Here you can quickly see a count for Unlikes of your Page. Unlike aren’t uncommon, even for the most popular brands, but if you can correlate any large sections of Unlikes to recent posts, ads and/or frequencies listen to your audience and make adjustments. On the ads in particular, check out this article on reducing ads fatigue.
- Impressions – numbers of times users saw your tweet
- Engagement Rate – the number of engagements (clicks, retweets, favorites, follows, replies) divided by the total number of impressions. This data is more valuable month over month than say day-to-day.
Depending on your marketing and business development goals you’ll likely be looking to convert that social activity to leads and ultimately projects/sales. That’s where your website goals and data comes in.
Website Metrics to Track (Google Analytics):
- Sessions/Users – this is the number of visits to your site and the number of Users (or visitors) making up those visits.
- Referrals – where those Users are coming from and what they’re clicking on to get to your site. Tracking URLS for your social media sites can help better clarify those actions.
- Exit Pages – unlike Bounce rate which can vary based on page content and the desired outcome from your landing pages, Exit Pages allow you to take a closer look at when your visitors are leaving on their journey through your site. From here you can take educated actions that help carry the visitor closer to conversion.
- Conversion Rate – Just like it sounds, how your website is performing based on the number of visitors who reach the desired goal (conversion)
- Top 5 or 10 Pages – Look at these monthly to help connect the dots between new content and social media efforts with onsite traffic and behaviors.
Set “Stretch But Don’t Snap” Goals
In the end goals should be aggressive but obtainable – realistic but take some of your best effort to achieve. Seeing your team start to close in on goals can be great motivation. On the flip-side, seeing a gigantic gap between where you are and where you want to get, can lead to a serious case of throwing in the towel.
Photo credit: Jeff Turner