How To Track Your Marketing Objectives To Focus On Success
You know it, and I know it. Having marketing objectives, goals, and targets is important.
But actually putting them into place? That’s a problem all by itself.
It’s always one of those, “I’ll get to it later” jobs that, well… you never get to later. Without them in place, though, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
It doesn’t matter how good your content is or how sharp your writing skills are, you’re eventually going to find yourself just going through the motions. And that’s dangerous in any industry.
But once your marketing objectives are in place, you can find yourself soaring to success in no time at all. And, with the power of Google Analytics, you can get there even faster.
In this post, you’re going to learn how to:
- Set powerful marketing objectives.
- Use Google Analytics and small data to achieve them faster.
- Grow your audience, traffic, and conversions in less time than ever.
- Make a bigger splash in your niche than you ever thought possible.
If you’re ready, grab yourself a notepad (because you’re gunna want to take a lot of notes here), and read on…
What Are Marketing Objectives?
Every official definition of a marketing objective you’ll find on the Internet is a jargon-filled mouthful that doesn’t really make sense. So I’ve taken the liberty of writing a definition you’ll be able to get your head around:
“A marketing objective is the goal you set for how many people you want your product, service, or piece of content to reach or convert.”
They can be set for both the long-, medium-, and short-term, and will be completely unique to your business.
- If you want each of your blog posts to reach more people—at least 1,000 unique people in three months—that’s a marketing objective.
- If you want to increase the conversions on your site by 50% in a year, that’s a marketing objective.
- If you want to build your email list by 2,000 people in the next six months, that’s a marketing objective.
What Can You Track?
Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what you want to track. Here are some ideas:
- Email signups
- Infographic downloads
- Traffic from social media sites
- E-book downloads
- Downloads of any kind
- Any other things that help you generate an income
They’re specific, measurable, and time-bound goals you want to achieve for your business or blog. Which, seamlessly, brings me to the next section…
How Do You Set Effective Marketing Objectives?
There was always one teacher at school or college that used to go on, and on (and on) about SMART goals. And your eyes would glaze over and go back to looking for stupid pictures in your textbooks. Did you ever tell your friends that someone in the photo looked like your teacher?
Okay, maybe that was just me.
I swear one of my teachers looked like Henry the VIII.
But still… it turns out, teachers are right, SMART is a brilliant way to structure your goals, especially for marketing.
If you’re not sure what it is, or you just need a refresher, here’s a simple breakdown:
- Specific: Make sure your goal is clearly defined and not vague. For example, “I want 2,000 more blog views this month,” and not “I want more traffic to my site.”
- Measurable: Make sure you can track your goal and, if possible, make it numeric. It’s much better to say, “To increase my blog traffic by 20%,” than to say, “To get more brand engagement on the blog.”
- Aspirational: Go beyond what seems attainable and push yourself to achieve a little more than you did before. Dream a little more.
- Realistic: Look at your resources and the obstacles you might face; can any of this actually happen? For example, increasing your blog traffic around a holiday probably isn’t realistic.
- Time-bound: Have a defined end point to work toward, not just “some point” in the future.
You might remember the A in SMART standing for Achievable. But, based on research by Locke and Latham, for a lot of people that has changed to Aspirational.
Now that might seem like a lot of goal setting and writing to hit every single point. But, in reality, you can sum it up in just a couple of sentences. Like if I wanted to set a SMART goal for this post, it could look like:
“I want to have 10,000 unique views in one week through Facebook and Twitter using only the CoSchedule channels.”
Specific? Check. Measurable? Check. Aspirational? Check. Realistic? Check. Time-bound? Check.
Where Does Google Analytics Come Into It?
Google Analytics can have a big impact on how effectively you measure your marketing objectives.
It monitors everything through a feature called Goal Tracking, which you’ll learn how to set up in a bit. First, take a minute to watch this short video from Google about what Goal Tracking is and why it’s effective:
Whether you watched the video or not, it’s important to understand the concept of macro and micro goals and how they relate to the SMART goals you set earlier.
Understanding SMARTs, Macros, And Micros
Your SMART marketing objective is your overall objective. It’s what you want to achieve from that specific page, content, product, service, or whatever it is you’ve chosen.
And, in a way, that’s the same as your macro goal in Google Analytics. For example, let’s say your SMART goal is to get 10,000 email signups in the next six months. Your goals might look like this:
Should be set for when people convert, into your email list, by completing the signup on your site.
Are actions you’d like your readers to take to convert into your email list.
Micro goals help Google understand the process you want people to follow in order to achieve a goal. It can tell you where people are losing interest or where they aren’t converting. Then you can fix the problem in your funnel.
Imagine this for a moment:
Your reader goes to a blog post you’ve written and spends 90 seconds on that page. But they don’t convert into being an email subscriber using the popup.
If that happens, you’ll need to see how effective your popup is. It’s probably not doing its job.
When you see people aren’t converting to your list, test, retest, and refine your process over and over again to increase your conversions so you’ll be able to reach your marketing objectives.
Okay, so now you know why the Google Analytics Goal Tracking feature is an essential piece of the puzzle to figure out your marketing objectives.
Let’s set it up.
How To Set Up Goal Tracking In Google Analytics
If you’re not already set up with Google Analytics. You can find the Quick Start Guide from Google right here. It’s free and awesome. You’ll love being able to see how the work you’re doing impacts your goals.
Here’s The Step-By-Step Way To Set Up Your Goals In Google Analytics
Click on Admin.
Then you will see this page. Click on Goals.
Add a new goal by clicking the red button.
Then you’ll see this goal description page.
Name the goal so you’ll remember what you are tracking.
For example, if you want to track email signups, name it: Email Signups.
Once you’re done with that, click the blue continue button.
Then you’ll see this goal details information pop up.
Type in the ending of the URL you want to track. (If you want to track your e-mail newsletter subscribers, type in the last part of the URL. Example: /blog/thank-you)
Make your goal track the link people are sent to after completing their email confirmation.
Click on the gray box to the left of the link box and choose ‘Begins With’.
Press save and start tracking.
If you’d like to see this step-by-step walkthrough in video format, here is a good one:
But It Says ZERO? Why?
If you just created your new goal, you’ll have to give it some time. Processing latency takes 24-48 hours, so it will start collecting data but it will take a bit of time. If it still hasn’t tracked your conversions, check the URL you’re tracking to make sure it’s correct.
That was awfully simple, wasn’t it?
From here, I’m going to show you what to look for, and how looking at the small data can create a whole tidal wave of results for your marketing objectives.
Remember That Whole Aspirational Goal Thing?
Yup, we’re going to explore that for a bit here so you can figure yours out.
It’s important to stay realistic. A way to stay realistic is to find your baseline before jumping into goals that are unrealistic and unachievable. And how can you know where to shoot if you haven’t set up a target? Like really?
Steps To Figuring Out The Baseline So You Can Track Your Growth:
To find your baseline, wait for the amount of time you want to test your growth. And then compare the two, after you’ve done your test.
For example, if you want to measure the growth of your email subscribers when you do something new (like add a new popup to your blog), first track what a normal two-week period looks like for new subscribers, then make your change. Review the data two weeks later and compare your new results to the baseline.
- Set up your Google Analytics Goal, following the step-by-step advice you just learned.
- Figure out a testing period so you can easily get your baseline. (Example: If you want to set monthly goals, let it sit for one month to get your baseline.)
- At the end of the month, see how many conversions your goal got. (Example: Maybe by the end of the month, I got 1,000 new email signups.)
- Figure out how many new conversions you’d like next month. Set your goal for 10X growth.
How Do You Figure Out Your 10X Growth Goal?
Start with the total conversions from your test period (Example: 1 month = 1,000 new email signups). What is 10% more than 1,000?
That would make your goal for next month = 1,100 new email signups.
Don’t Forget To Write Down Your Marketing Objective Goals
Marketing objectives have a habit of just floating around in your head.
You’ve agreed to them. You’ve committed to them. But you’ve never written them down. And that’s the mistake…
By writing your marketing objectives down, you’re at least 42% more likely to achieve them. If you’re part of a larger team, don’t just write them for yourself either; get everybody to write them down. Keep them somewhere where your team can see them.
It doesn’t matter if it’s for a specific post or for a year-long strategy—get everyone involved and write it down.
- Download your worksheet.
- Ask yourself these questions when writing your goals: Are they specific? Measurable? Aspirational? How about realistic and time-bound?
- Then put them in a place where you’ll see them often.
- Figure out your baseline number so you can set your numerical smart goal realistically.
What Sort Of Data Should You Be Looking For?
There is a ton of data for you to devour inside of Google Analytics.
It can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re not really a numerical person. I am definitely not. That’s why I went into a writing career. :)
“What data should you be looking for?” Because once you know what to look for, it suddenly gets a lot easier.
The answer, in short, is the small data. Those little facts and figures that usually get lost in the noise.
As Kissmetrics rightly says, tracking page views and traffic isn’t really that important in the big picture. You can get thousands of page views. But if you aren’t converting any of them, it doesn’t really mean anything.
It’s in the small data that the answers to reaching and surpassing your marketing objectives all are.
The Devil Is In The Small Data
When you delve into the smaller, more targeted data—like conversions from different social media channels—you start to see opportunities to reach your objectives or improve your experience more rapidly.
Take, for example, the image creation site Share As Image.
They originally considered themselves as a Chrome Extension with a useable browser app for other customers. However, when they looked at their Google Analytics URL Goals of getting people to use the extension, they noticed something interesting.
More people were using the browser app than the extension itself. In fact, it was a lot more.
So they changed their marketing objectives, and strategy, to fit more of an audience that doesn’t really use extensions. They’re currently working on a rebrand called Stencil, which is a relaunch of their product that will fit this audience more effectively.
If they were only looking at the big data, like pageviews and traffic stats, they’d have missed this altogether.
Another place to look for smaller, more refined data to boost your marketing objectives is through social media, too.
CoSchedule + Google Analytics = Epic Results
The CoSchedule Google Analytics Integration is a tool that allows you to see how much traffic you get through your social shares. You can measure your success with your own Google Analytics Dashboard.
It’s a way to understand who is on your social channels and what content is most popular. Now that you know how effective small data can be, it will help you achieve your marketing objectives.
Social media is a large part of any content marketing campaign. After all, 93% of marketers use just Facebook alone, while 63% of them want to learn more about how to use it more effectively.
By using the dashboard with your CoSchedule and Google Analytics integration, you can track:
- What content is most popular.
- What channel converts best for you.
- How to optimize best for your audience.
Refine your approach, by using the marketing dashboard. It will help you push forward with marketing objectives on and off of social media.
How To Refine Your Approach:
- Reshare top-performing content more often.
- Spend time more effectively by understanding which social platforms your audience is using more.
- Add more internal links to make people spend a longer amount of time on your site.
- Pay attention to the most popular posts on your site and create more like those.
Phew, The End…
You made it. Congrats for sticking it out!
Hopefully, by now you can see the importance of marketing objectives, how Google Analytics can take you there quicker (and keep you on track). I also hope you enjoyed learning about how the marketing dashboard will help you get even more from your social media.
Let’s recap what you just learned:
- You learned what marketing objectives are. The amount of people you reach, or convert, with any piece of content, product or service.
- You found out what kind of things you can track. Email signups, downloads of any kind, traffic from social media platforms, and any other thing you want to track that leads to a trackable link.
- You set SMART objectives and wrote them down. Keep them somewhere where you can see them.
- You now understand micro and macro goals. Micro goals are actions you’d like your readers to take like converting into your email list, and macro goals should be set for when people convert, into your email list, by completing the signup on your site.
- You know how to track marketing objectives inside of Google Analytics.
- You know your baseline and how to figure out your goal for 10X growth.
Now that you know how to set up Goals in Google Analytics that are specific, measurable, aspirational, reasonable, and time-bound, you’re on the road to success. Especially if you put into practice everything in this post.