Setting Marketing Goals

Hand Drawn Bar Chart

The year just rolled over and I’m guessing you have tons of ideas of all the things you want to accomplish in 2019. You need a plan for better execution or your 2019 will deliver the same results as previous years.

What is your plan for bringing all the pieces together this year? Have you thought about how it all plays out? I am often reminded of this quote when I hear of everyone’s goals in the new year.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Goals and ambitions are important as they get you excited about your work and drive the passion. You need a plan to check-in with yourself to see if you are on target for the year, month, or much better; the week.

Set Weekly Goals Not Yearly

If I set a yearly goal of “Writing a Book” this year, when will I know if I’m on track or not? If I look back on February 12th, and I’ve written 8 pages, am I on track? It may not seem like it, but if there was a lot of upfront research I had to do for the book, I might be perfectly on track or even ahead.

When you look back at your biggest accomplishments this year, you will see a better picture of the actual effort. The large things you accomplished did not happen as a single event. It’s a string of things you did over a period of time.

Humans are very bad at selecting interval times to get things done in. Going back to my book example; if I finished writing my book in February 2020, was my goal for 2019 a failure? I clearly would have done most of the work in 2019. I just finished the last part of it at the start of the next year.

How to Break Down a Goal

We’re going to have an end of year goal of having 250,000 unique visitors to this site. If I broke this down into a weekly goal, we would have a target of 685 visitors a day or 4,795 a week, and then we would reach our yearly goal. Sounds great but that’s not realistic.

Since this is a new site, the first week is only going to have 12 readers. Myself, my Mom, and my 10 staff (if I can convince them all to read it). This audience will have to be built up over time and then grow at a rate to determine my weekly, monthly and yearly targets.

Let’s assume that I hit my target for this week and get my 12 readers. What should my target for next week be? If I start with 12 readers and grow my site by 21% per week, I will hit my target of 250,000 by years end.

Now 21% seems like a lot and it will get harder and harder as time goes on. But in the beginning, it’s actually really easy. Next week I only have to get 15 visitors to stay on track! Even when the traffic starts to inch up it still becomes a maintainable goal. If one week I get 5000 visitors, I only have to find 1050 visitors extra next week to hit the goal. As your content library grows and your audience expands, this should be easy to do.

Consistency is Better Than Sprints

The truth is your site is never going to grow at an exact growth rate. This is the part that everybody drops but you are going to beat. Consistency! Most marketers start off with big goals and they get disillusioned when they don’t hit their targets. Had they set smaller micro-goals instead, they would have seen their results.

My personal blog receives over 15,000 visitors each month or a nice steady 500~ a day. I’ve been writing for over 10 years on my blog and I only post a few times a year. 95% of my traffic goes to just 3 articles I’ve written. That blows the 80/20 rule out of the water.

I have written articles where I agonized over the details, thinking they were going to be huge hits, only to see them fizzle out with a few hundred visits. Two of the articles that get large traffic were put together for my own personal reference, and I didn’t think anyone would even read them.

Takeaways

  • Having yearly goals is great as long as there is a plan to see them through.
  • Make progress towards your goals each week and consider setting micro-goals
  • Compounding growth works in marketing just like in the financial world
  • Consistency will give you better results than sprinting

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