The first part of the year always comes with a lot of “goal talk.” Health and fitness goals, financial goals, career goals. But what about content marketing goals? Have you thought about goal-setting for content marketing or are you planning to wing it?
You probably won’t be surprised that we recommend the goal-setting route. After all, when you set up strategic content marketing goals, not only will you know exactly what you want out of your content, but you’ll have a clearer path to getting there.
And don’t let the idea of goal-setting deter you from taking it on. Today, we’re going to outline 11 simple steps to set up content marketing goals to make it as easy as possible.
But before we get to the specifics of HOW to set up your goals, let’s outline what some of these goals might be in the first place.
Choosing your content marketing goals
- Brand Awareness: Increasing consumer recognition of your brand
- Lead Conversion: Turning your leads into paying customers, subscribers, etc.
- Lead Nurturing: Engaging your target audience and supporting them throughout the sales funnel
- Customer Conversion: Using your content marketing to improve customer conversion rates
- Customer Service: The goal of your content marketing strategy could be customer service-based
- Loyalty: Using branded content marketing to increase customer loyalty
- Upsell: Generating more revenue by getting your customers to buy more or to purchase more expensive options and products
- Evangelists: Getting your existing customers to use word-of-mouth to promote and share your product or service with others
Now that you know the different content marketing goals you have to choose from, it’s time to do just that: CHOOSE!
Setting your content marketing goals
Identify Mission and Your Content Marketing Goals
It’s no surprise choosing your content marketing mission and your goals are the first step of the process. Keep in mind, you don’t have to stick to just one goal either.
Here are a few examples of content marketing goals you might have:
- To increase brand awareness and loyalty, while also upselling current customers.
- Creating a content strategy checklist that improves customer service
- Nurturing your leads and then converting these leads into paying customers with your content marketing
“Determining your goals” might sound easy, and it can be. But there’s a lot of thought that should go into setting these goals so they’re built with the best possible outcome in mind.
These next steps will help you define your goals much more clearly.
SET Your KPIs
Your KPIs (key performance indicators) give you the numbers and data you need to measure your baseline, and then continually monitor these metrics to see how your content marketing is performing.
Here are some of the common KPIs businesses use to set and measure their goals:
- Website traffic
- Email subscribers
- Improving your position in search engine results
- Social media shares/comments/likes
- More signups for your lead magnet
If you’re having trouble with step one (identify the mission and your goals), consider your KPIs instead, then work backward.
For example, if the KPI you want to improve is revenue, your primary content marketing goals could be lead conversion, customer conversion, and upselling.
Know Your Audience
A successful content marketing strategy also relies on knowing your audience…and knowing them well! That way, you can create content with your target audience in mind and ultimately improve how well your content performs.
Here are some of the things you’ll want to know about your audience:
You will also need to get very clear about their primary pain points. Is your audience following along for entertainment? Advice? Problem-solving? Tutorials? Based on what they need from your business, your business can curate content that satisfies that need.
Study Your Current Position
It’s time for a content audit! Where do you stand right now with your content marketing? Is it helping or hurting you when it comes to reaching your goals?
To find out, you’ll start by creating a comprehensive list of all of your content that’s already been curated. This includes a list of all blog posts, social media posts, and other content that’s gone out into the world.
Then, you can look at any gaps that need addressing. You’ll also be able to tell what content performs best, and where you might have been focusing that wasn’t giving you a worthwhile return.
While you’re auditing your own content, it’s also a good time to look at your competitor’s content.
What are they doing that you aren’t? What topics are they focusing on that you aren’t? It’s not to say you need to copy what they do. But looking at their own strategy helps you identify opportunities for your own.
Figure Out the Best Content Channels
Is your Facebook content performing way better than your Instagram posts? Are your blog posts getting a lot more reach than what you share on LinkedIn?
This kind of information helps you identify your content marketing goals moving forward. You can focus on the areas that are getting you the best results as well as determining how you can improve your results on other platforms.
Decide on Content Types
In the same way your content performs better on certain platforms, certain types of content will also perform better than others.
Here are some of the content types to consider when you’re setting your content marketing goals:
- Long-form content (blog posts)
- Social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Video content
…and many more! Depending on your goals, you can tweak the type of content you share to help you hit them.
Identify and Allocate Resources
By this step, you’ve already covered a LOT. You know what your overarching content marketing goal is, you know what kind of content performs best, where to share it, and where you stand.
But now it’s time to look to the future. How much content can you commit to creating? How much time do you have to dedicate to content creation?
For most businesses, this is the point where they realize the massive benefits of outsourcing their content marketing to the pros.
In fact, many businesses find the money spent on outsourcing their content marketing is paid back in spades by the time they get back and the boost in their business thanks to an expert content marketing strategy.
The other great thing about deciding to outsource your content marketing is that these next four steps are taken care of FOR YOU! Here’s what they involve.
Create a Content Calendar
Rather than publishing content whenever you have a moment to create it, consider setting up a strategic content calendar and sticking to it.
Included on this calendar can be not only the title of the piece, but any other content information, including where it’s shared, who creates it, and what time it goes live.
Create Quality Content
You’ll reach your content marketing goals MUCH faster if you focus on creating quality content. Luckily, once you’ve covered the other steps, you have a much better chance of doing this.
Now that you know and understand your audience, you have insight into what they want, and now you can create content to give it to them!
Distribute and Market
How are you going to get your content out into the world? Once you click “publish,” your work is far from over! Now it’s time to share across multiple platforms, including in ads and email campaigns.
Remember those KPIs we talked about? Now it’s time to return to them and see how they’ve changed.
Has your web traffic increased? Have you seen a boost in conversions or email subscribers?
This data tells you how far along you are in reaching your goal, and it’s also a good time to identify what still needs tweaking.
Want help reaching your content marketing goals?
Okay, we’ve just covered 11 simple steps to set your content marketing goals. Next, it’s time to talk about the faster way to reach them. For most businesses, that means relying on content marketing experts to get the job done right.
At Blue Water Marketing in Florida, we specialize in lead generation, inbound marketing and outbound marketing, sales nurturing, and account-based marketing to help you reach your content marketing goals.