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Emma-Jane Shaw   |   20 Aug 2020   |   Content Marketing

How to set content marketing goals that enable growth

High-value content has the ability to convert visitors into leads, engage customers and drive long-term value for your business. 

But content without any strategic direction can mean a lost opportunity for your business.

Think about hours spent creating content that doesn’t resonate with your audience or improve your search rankings or generate high-quality leads. 

So let’s talk about goals…

Goals provide you with an end in mind. A destination if you will. 

What’s your desired destination? 

For Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, it’s the top of the podium week-on-week. 

That goal helps guide the entire team every week; from the pit crew all the way to the engineering teams. 

Okay, that’s enough about racing for now 😉. 

We believe that effective goal setting is the first step to developing a robust content strategy in a way that supports your business and its overall goals and objectives.  

In this blog, we’re going to learn how to use the SMART methodology to help set content marketing goals that tie directly back to your business and it’s core objectives. 

Let’s get started:

How to effectively tie your content marketing strategy to your business goals? 

No good strategy can start without defining goals. In fact, according to the CoSchedule 2019, State of Marketing Strategy Report marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success. 

But, first, we need to understand what your business’s growth goals are? 

These are useful to help tie your content marketing efforts into business objectives. 

Here’s what I mean? 

If your business has a goal of reaching a certain revenue target over12 months, how can your content marketing efforts help you achieve that revenue target? 

You guessed it...it’s time to get SMART 👏.


How to set SMART content marketing goals 

If you’re not familiar with the SMART methodology, it’s broken up like this: 

Specific. Your goal needs to be well-defined and easy to understand.

Measurable. Your goal needs to contain specific measurement criteria to effectively measure your progress. 

Attainable. Your goal needs to be achievable, it needs to be within the realm of possibility for your business. 

Realistic. You need to make sure your goal can realistically be achieved through the right resources and time.  

Timely. Your goal needs to have a clearly defined start and end date to reach your target. 

We have a SMART goals sheet that you can download to help you set some great content marketing goals 💪. You can download the sheet 👉here

So, often companies are guilty of setting very vague content goals like “I want to increase my organic traffic”. It’s important to ask yourself by how much and by when? Otherwise, how will you determine your success? 

Step 1. Ask yourself what you want to achieve through a content marketing strategy

More often than not, it’s a combination of the following: 

  • Increase lead generation 
  • Increase organic ranking

That’s a great starting point. You’ve identified what you’d like to achieve through your content marketing efforts. 

It’s now time to turn each of these into a SMART goal. 

Our SMART goal sheet is a great tool to help you build out your goals. 

  1. Select your goal from the list. 
  2. Select your baseline figure. 
  3. Select your expected target. 
  4. Define a stretch goal. 
  5. Define a timeline to achieve this within. 
  6. Lastly, write down the biggest marketing challenge preventing you from achieving this goal. 

content marketing goals - SMART methdology

This process will give you a great foundation for building an effective content strategy, not only have you defined your SMART goals, but you’ve also spent time identifying what some of your biggest challenges are to achieving those goals. 

These should then go on to inform your content strategy. 

Step 2. Write it down, refine it, and share it. 

It should read something like this: 

Increase our organic traffic from 1500 sessions to 3000 sessions in six months, from September 2020 - February 2021

If you’re using our sheet to help define your SMART goal statement it should look something like this: 

content marketing goals - SMART goal statement

Talk about your goals frequently

According to a survey conducted by CoSchedule, approximately 74% of marketers have clearly defined goals. 

There is no point in having goals that are hidden in the depths of a strategy document. Goals need to be accessible to the individuals and teams across the business. 

Your goals need to be top of mind. They will form the basis of any marketing activity your teams engage in going forward. 


Key Takeaways

Content marketing goals set your efforts on a trajectory towards growth. You’ve defined what the destination will be. Now you get to decide how your content marketing team will achieve those goals. 

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat - Sun Tzu.

If you’re looking to generate leads and then download our content marketing strategy template to get started today. Simply click the button below 👇 to grab your copy. 

content marketing strategy template

Emma-Jane Shaw

"A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men" - Roald Dahl