If you want to use content marketing in your communication mix, you first have to start by defining the marketing goals. It’s like planning an event: before you start thinking about the guest list, location, catering and entertainment programme, you should be clear about why you are hosting the event. For what reason or occasion do you want to host the party and what do you want to achieve with it? Thus, even at the beginning of an effective content marketing strategy there is always the definition of marketing goals. The measures to achieve these can only be determined once you know where you want to go.
Content marketing is, as the name suggests, a marketing discipline, so all goals should be clearly formulated and written down. When defining the marketing goals, it is necessary to proceed S.M.A.R.T:
Specific: The objectives must be defined as precisely as possible.
Measurable: It must be possible to verify the achievement of the objectives using measurement methods.
Attainable: The objectives must be accepted by the addressee.
Relevant: The achievement of the objectives must be possible.
Time-bound: The objectives must be achieved within a certain period of time.
Example: Suppose a confectioner sells “Mother’s Cookies” via internet. Now he wants to push online sales and starts by defining the marketing goals: “I want to make more sales!”. Of course, that is not valid at all! The target must be a little more precise. “I want to increase sales by 50% by the end of 2020 by selling ‘Mother’s Cookies’ via the online shop” sounds much better.
This definition is specific, measurable and terminable. But is an increase by this percentage realistic? In order to determine this, the confectioner has to consider whether he can keep up with the production in case of high demand without the quality of the biscuits suffering – because his customers would probably not find a reduction in quality acceptable.
So, when defining the marketing objectives, just think of the 5 Ws: Who? What? When? Where? Why? The answers to these 5 questions must be included in every goal formulation.
The definition of the marketing objectives determines the target group
The example of the confectioner has shown how important clear guidelines are. Only when these exist does it make sense to think about which customers you should address to achieve your goals and what means you should use to do so. The definition of the marketing objectives always determines the target group as well as the measures.
A content strategy can be successful if the goals meet the S.M.A.R.T. requirements. To produce and distribute content fresh and cheerful without a plan is a waste of resources.
In content marketing, content always serves a purpose. It must have a direct benefit for the consumer – it must inform, change the awareness and behaviour of the target group and ultimately, of course, pursue the marketing goals of the company. If these factors are met, the investment in content marketing has paid off and from then on you can talk about ROI.