A critical takeaway from the Covid-19 pandemic is that digital marketing works. As the world shut down in 2020 in fear of an apparent apocalypse, businesses that relied on traditional marketing techniques completely lost touch with their customers.
On the other hand, those with well-laid digital marketing strategies were in constant touch, although separated by hundreds of miles, with their customers. As a result, they continued driving sales, attracting new prospects, and growing social media following even if the future of humanity was uncertain. This is what we refer to as inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing forms the core of any digital marketing strategy and can generate millions of dollars in sales if laid down well. According to a report published by HubSpot (a popular digital marketing blog), 91% of marketers confess that inbound marketing increased their sales revenue.
It goes without saying that the success of an inbound marketing strategy solely depends on the goals set. Short-term and long-term goals are well-lit pathways in your digital marketing journey. They enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of any marketing plan.
This article covers all there is to know about goal setting in inbound marketing and its benefits to digital marketers.
How to set goals for your inbound marketing strategy
1. Evaluate your current marketing strategy
What are your primary marketing avenues? Are you stuck with the old school methods such as TV ads, radio, and billboards?
You might have switched to online marketing techniques such as Google Adwords or Facebook for business but aren’t yet getting the desired results or you may have implemented inbound marketing strategies without success.
It is high time you re-evaluated your marketing techniques and set greener goals. Here are vital questions to answer during your evaluation process.
- Are you reaching your target audience?
- Are you generating enough leads from your connections?
- Are you getting a positive return on investment?
Once you have these figured out, you can find out why it is or it isn’t working and how you can improve them by setting fresher goals.
2. Set your marketing standards
Goal setting is simply determining where you want to be after a specific period. Now that you know what’s not working for you and how you can improve on it, you should proceed and set personal targets.
Find out how many leads you wish to generate in a month? How much traffic do you want to drive in a month?
These targets enable you to estimate the effort, resources, and volume of content you will need for your inbound marketing strategy. It might also involve strategies such as shortening the sales cycles, increasing average order size, and pumping up conversion rates.
3. Your goals should be achievable
Before throwing in insane figures and setting your expectations in the clouds, you should remember that it takes time before inbound marketing can realize any positive returns. Therefore, you should start with reasonable goals and raise them with time.
Experts advocate setting both short-term and long-term goals. Your short-term goals should be sizeable and easily achievable within a short period, while the long-term goals should incorporate all short-term goals within a period.
Benefits of setting up goals in inbound marketing
1. Sets up a bullseye for your team
Working without goals is like shooting arrows in the dark, something you wish to avoid in such a costly venture as inbound marketing.
Let’s create vlogs! Set up social media pages! Let’s blog!
That’s the excitement that comes with inbound marketing, but to what end?
Setting goals gives your team a visual target. For example, creating vlogs is okay, but you should have a target number of viewers, subscribers, and expected leads from the marketing strategy. That’s what goal setting entails.
Once you get started, you’ll notice that inbound marketing has dozens of facets, and your business need not implement all of them. Having goals determines what techniques suit your goals and the best approach needed.
2. Provide a pathway to success
Digital marketing is a relatively new concept. To many businesses, it is a tread in uncharted territory.
Setting goals for your inbound marketing team provide the much-needed step-by-step guidance in achieving success. Additionally, goals prevent excessiveness in creativity which might be costly in the long run, and keep your team in line at all times.
3. Harmonises different departments in your business
Marketing, sales, and services are vital departments in any business, and a disconnect between any of them is devastating. These departments should work in harmony as they are closely interdependent.
Having clear goals harmonizes expectations in each of these departments.
For instance, marketing generates leads and passes them down to the sales department, where the deal is closed. The services team delivers the desired service to the customer, and everyone is happy. If marketing doesn’t generate leads, the sales department won’t make any sales. Likewise, if the services team delivers poor quality services, the brand will not attract new and repeat customers, hence, detrimental to the marketing team.
Inbound marketing goals enhance transparency and set more straightforward objectives for all departments. This enables the business to operate as one big team.
4. Measures your success
You will know that your business is doing well if you smash all goals. Goals enable you to benchmark the performance of each form of inbound marketing.
Did the generated revenue meet the expectations? Did you achieve the desired social media engagements? How can you build on the current business status?
You can use these questions to evaluate success and set future goals for your business. Additionally, you can do away with marketing techniques that are not generating profits or reducing the sales cycle based on the results of your evaluation.
It is advisable to re-evaluate your goals three to four times in a fiscal year and adjust goals that seem unrealistically low or high.
Inbound marketing is a tested and proven methodology that can become an integral part of your business success and culture as long as you set appropriate short and long-term goals. Working closely with your team and keeping an open communication channel also enhances the effectiveness of a goal-oriented inbound marketing technique.