Every small business wants to succeed with their inbound marketing efforts, but do you find that your marketing goals and objectives seem to have a little too much wiggle room? Do they change too often to really get any traction? Do you find that your inbound goals are unrealistic because your small team is too busy executing to strategize, plan and analyze? You’re not alone. When planning your inbound strategy, setting goals is crucial to measuring your success.
Many small marketing teams have vision, energy and creativity, but they just don’t have the bandwidth to make the progress they may have outlined for themselves.
All too often small marketing teams are happy just to get some goals defined and hit them if they can. But not you. You need more from your marketing initiatives because there’s so much riding on them. So, what to do to get those goals crisp and work them without fail? Here's how to set SMART inbound marketing goals for small teams.
Get SMART About Your Goals
We’ve all heard the phrase, “work smarter, not harder” and there’s a lot of truth in that. Your goals need to be SMART— Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. They need to be clear and appropriate. For example, just saying that you want to increase sales is way too unclear. Be as specific as possible. Identify the number of leads you need. What dollar volume increase do you want to see in a certain time period? This isn’t the time to be vague. Get real with your situation and be sure your goals are SMART.
- Specific. Identify real figures with actual deadlines.
- Measurable. Set trackable goals (just saying “brand awareness” is a cop out).
- Attainable. Challenge yourself but don’t over promise either.
- Relevant. Make sure your goal is relevant to your plan.
- Time-bound. It’s not a goal if there’s no deadline.
Set Goals Based on Your Business Size
No two businesses are alike, so SMART inbound marketing goals for small teams won't be applicable to the ones set for larger teams, in most cases. Plus, there are goals that are more appropriate for startups and growing businesses to execute on and attain than those that are already established. If you have a goal that states that you want to attract 200 new visitors to your website by the end of Q2, you could try initiatives like the following:
- Write engaging blogs on a regular basis that show how you can solve customer pain points.
- Always optimize your blogs and web pages to be easily found in searches.
- Use social media platforms to direct customers and prospects to your website.
- Consider becoming a guest blogger on related business sites to generate interest.
If you have an established web presence with good web traffic, it’s time to convert. SMART inbound marketing goals for small teams trying to convert leads into sales might want to focus on increasing landing page conversion by 0.5% by the end of the year. To achieve that goal, your small team could try to:
- Make premium content available when visitors provide their contact information on your site.
- Create an email campaign based on the appropriate stages of the customer’s journey with you.
- Stay vigilant on social media to find new prospects.
Play to Your Strengths
Even on enterprise-size marketing teams there are gaps that need to be filled by tools and outside resources to make the overall plan work effectively. Small teams can feel these gaps even more acutely so it's smart to recognize when you need help in certain areas.
For example, a HubSpot planning template could be just what a team of creatives needs to get focused. Your team may be able to turn out some incredible articles and emails but designing an ebook is a challenge.
You may want to consider outsourcing some pieces of the inbound marketing deliverables and focus on the tasks your team can knock out of the park. Aligning with a marketing agency can be a smart move for a small team that wants to grow quickly but doesn’t have the internal resources to do it all — strategize, plan, create, execute and measure. Sometimes it’s the smartest thing you could ever do.
We encourage you to download our ebook: “How to Run a Successful Campaign with a Small Marketing Team” and then connect with us for a conversation on setting SMART inbound marketing goals for small teams and other ways you can see big benefits using inbound marketing.