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Winning Strategies

Setting Meaningful Marketing Goals and Objectives for 2018

Marketing success depends on smart goals.

What gets measured, gets improved. If you want to up your game in 2018, you need to set meaningful goals, and align all marketing objectives to achieve them.

Smart goals, or goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, keep marketers and business owners accountable and focused on the right initiatives. We all have obstacles and challenges day by day, and setting extremely specific goals help us cut through the static. We take ownership over those challenges. Goals force us to confront obstacles, and set our focus on them.

People in general, thrive when they overcome challenges. By establishing smart goals, you not only motivate yourself, you motivate your team. You help them hold themselves accountable.

Setting Meaningful Marketing Goals and Objectives

You may have high hopes for your marketing in 2018, but if you fail to set those meaningful, specific, and measurable goals, you will most likely be disappointed at this time next year.

Goals that are too aggressive are asking for trouble. You won't reach them because they aren't realistic. Your team will get frustrated, and there’s a high probability they will vastly underperform as a result of feeling the defeat.

By creating unrealistic goals, you’re not motivating or pushing your team towards success. You’re setting your team up for failure.

Setting goals too low has the same effect, albeit in a different way. When you reach low goals, it's no surprise. No one is impressed.

Morale suffers when there is no challenge to overcome.

The secret to improving your marketing performance, as well as that feeling your marketing team is kicking butt, rests in the goals you set. In this article, we'll discuss how to fine tune your marketing goals, strategies, and objectives for 2018.

Marketing Objective: Increased Website Traffic

Without traffic, your website won't convert leads. Which means no new customers.

If you have low traffic, building up that traffic should be a primary goal in 2018. If you do great content marketing, you should be able to increase organic traffic, month over month, by a factor of 10-20%.

We do that quite regularly for our clients, and we know it works.

Here are some objectives to set in order to grow your organic traffic:

  • Clean up backlinks. Every major search engine algorithm has placed significant value on backlinks when determining web rankings. We all know backlinks are important to get, but did you know that not all backlinks are good? Monitoring your backlinks is like checking your credit. It’s important to make sure links have positive attributes and aren’t dragging your score down. Use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer to generate a quick roundup of your backlinks.
  • Earn your ranking. Don’t just create content. Make better content than everyone else. Earn your top spot through white hat practices, proper optimization, and interesting topics. It’s a longer play, but it’s also a far longer-lasting strategy.
  • Aim for the Google featured snippet. This is the small box of “featured content” at the top of search page results. It goes even above the #1 ranking spot, aka, “ranking zero”. Use SEMrush to find the keywords you’re already ranking for that might have a shot. Once you find opportunities, review your existing content. Make revisions and expect to see results in just a few weeks, especially if you’re already ranking in the top five.

We use 12 actionable tactics that work hand in hand to see a month-over-month growth in organic traffic from Google.

Guide to Increase Organic Website Traffic - Download

Marketing Objective: Convert More Website Leads

If your traffic is growing, but you're not getting enough leads from that traffic, you need to set some lead generation goals.

Considering straight organic traffic (traffic from organic search) you should be converting around 2% or more of total website visitors into leads.

If you have a following on social or use paid search to send targeted traffic to your website, the conversion rate from that traffic should be higher, 30-60%.

In order to hit these, revise your marketing goals to include:

  • Build the right offers for paid search. Create great offers and make compelling landing pages to support paid ad campaigns. Make great ads that drive engagement. Dig into your target's geography, what time of day they're the most engaged, and tie your strategies back to your smart goals.
  • Develop the right TOFU offers. Use the questions that your TOFU leads are asking to create better offers. Put eye-catching, actionable CTA's in your blog content.
  • Run through the UX of your site. Review each page on your website. Determine if there’s a logical next step. If there's not an obvious page the user needs to go to next, consider building a lead magnet offer that can fit as the next step, and offer it at the end of the page.

Marketing Objective: Pad Your Closing Percentage

If you have great website traffic, generating a nice amount of leads, you’re on the right track. However, a healthy percentage of your website leads should turn into customers.

This percentage differs, depending on buying cycles, as well as product, service, industry.etc. If you’re having trouble turning leads into customers, you may want to focus most on your buyer journey in 2018.

Here’s our best tips to improving the buyer experience and closing more of your website leads:

  • Get ahead of possible objections. If you don’t already, develop prime content that can overcome objections at each stage of the funnel. All of your content needs to move the contact forward.
  • Create additional decision-based content. Build content focused on questions that come up for Bottom-of-Funnel (BOFU) leads. Position your solution and talk through the risk of not buying.

Marketing Objective: Increase Lead Engagement

This goal goes hand in hand with closing more sales. If your lead nurturing isn't up to par, it’s time to revisit your email marketing strategy.

Email marketing has gone beyond simply adding custom fields to personalize. Customers get hit up via email up to 121 times a day, with 49.7 percent of that being spam.

It’s time to build actual relationships. A great place to start to improve lead engagement is through a thorough audit of your emails.

To get the most out of personalization, try out our favorite tactics:

  • Send it from a real person. When HubSpot ran a test comparing email senders, they found that emails that actually came from an individual got 292+ more clicks. Use a person to actually establish a relationship with the people on your email list.
  • Show, don’t sell. Make your emails all about bringing them back to the website... the email should sell the click and nothing more. Do your selling on the website. Make the emails simple and easy to read from their phone or tablet, as most people read their email from their mobile device.
  • Keep an eye on your bounce rate. A high bounce rate indicates that your email list is outdated. Understand the difference between soft bounces (full mailboxes, etc), and hard bounces, (an error in the email address, etc). Bounce rate can also be reduced by slightly increasing your communication with your lists.
  • Use best practices. Are you using email best practices for every email? A few of our go tos are to keep it brief, test and analyze your emails, and use actionable language. Give your email recipients a clear course of action.

Kick Off 2018 With Actionable, Specific Goals

The tl;dr of this article? If you didn’t perform up to your expectations this past year, or didn’t set any goals at all, it’s time to create a marketing goals and initiatives that could work. By creating goals that motivate your team without overwhelming them, and establishing strategies with specific, measurable results, you’ll have a challenging, yet productive year.

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." - Tony Robbins 

Need help setting meaningful goals? Use our goal setting guide to get a head start. Lean-Labs_Goal-Setting-Guide

Written by Melissa Elise Randall / December 28, 2017

As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa enjoys writing and curating real content for real people. When she's not producing inbound content, she's an avid traveler and blogger for her site, Driftyland. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her oversized panda/Ewok hybrid, Morrie.

Articles by Melissa Elise Randall