Goal-setting is an essential element of your influencer marketing strategy. Goals give your campaign a sense of purpose. They guide each decision you make, from the type of campaign you run to the influencers you choose.
Learning how to set goals does not come naturally to many people. All too often, they choose a target so vague they don’t know where to begin or never know when they actually reach it. Even worse, they may select a goal that may or may not be possible for them to realistically achieve.
That’s where SMART goals come in. This goal-setting framework helps you create achievable and measurable goals and develop a plan to reach them. Learning how to write a SMART goal can be a game-changer for your influencer marketing strategy.
What Are SMART Goals?
The concept of SMART goals isn’t new. Management consultant Peter Drucker first used the SMART acronym in his book The Practice of Management to describe how to share corporate objectives with employees.
The initial idea evolved over time, and what we know as SMART goals today appeared in George T. Doran’s 1981 article There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
Some people have extended the acronym to S.M.A.R.T.E.R. by adding evaluated and reviewed. Others have modified the terms within the acronym, so you may see “reasonable” in place of relevant. They all serve the same purpose: to help you create clear, measurable goals you can actually meet.
How to Write SMART Goals
Writing SMART goals takes some thought, so be prepared to give yourself time and space to work. You may even need to revise your goals several times until you find the right language. It may help to start with a general goal like increase sales. As you revise the goal, you turn the “dumb” goal into a SMART goal.
The first step is to make your goal specific. Take a look at the previous goal. Increasing sales isn’t a strong goal. It raises more questions than it answers. What sales do you want to increase? How will you know they’ve increased? Each person who reads it may have very different ideas about what the goal means.
SMART goals are concise; they get right to the point of what you want to do. Build your goals around the key performance indicators you’re measuring. This may include visitors, leads, customers or sales. At this stage, you also need to identify the team members who will be part of the campaign.
SMART goals are measurable. Otherwise, you may not know when you’ve actually met them — or if you’ve even met them at all. The goal to increase sales doesn’t tell you how much you want to increase sales. You have to define the quantity so that everyone involved in the goal can identify when you’ve met it.
SMART goals are realistic — something you can actually achieve during the time frame you chose. Getting more than a million followers on Instagram in one week may be a stretch. This is especially true if you’re a new user or in a niche market that doesn’t have a large community of enthusiasts on the platform.
Consider the resources — namely time and money — available to you and their limitations. You only have so many hours in a day to work. You have a budget to work within. You and your team have limited skills and experience. Make sure your goals are possible to attain using the time and resources you have at your disposal.
SMART goals are relevant to what you’re doing and worth the time and money you’re going to invest to reach them. The goals should align with your overall goals for the brand and lead you in that direction. They also should be important to you and your personal aspirations.
Timing is another factor to consider. You don’t want goals that distract you or divert your team. Pursuing the best SMART goal is a waste of time if you don’t have the capacity to make it happen. For example, you may want to expand your brand’s social media presence to a new platform. If you don’t have the team and infrastructure in place to implement the plan, getting that in order will likely be your first priority.
SMART goals have a deadline. This target date keeps you accountable and helps you establish the timeline for completing each task. You also can establish milestones, which let you check your progress and adjust your strategy as needed before it’s too late. Celebrating small successes along the way can encourage the team.
Make sure your deadline is reasonable. For example, you may not be able to reach the number one ranking on a search engine results page in one week. It can take up to four weeks for Google to crawl your site before it changes your ranking. If there’s no way you can meet the deadline, your goal is no longer a SMART goal.
Incorporating SMART Goals in Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
Incorporating SMART goals in your influencer marketing strategy offers several benefits to your project management team and the influencers working on the campaign. The goals are clear to all stakeholders. You have a set deadline for the project. And everyone working on the project will be able to identify when they’ve met the objectives.
Here’s how to get started:
- Audit your brand’s website traffic and presence on social media. Identify areas of strength and areas for growth.
- Decide what you want to do. Use the five Ws to make your goals specific. Think about your answers to the following questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
- Include the entire team when you brainstorm tasks for your SMART goals.
- Create a timeline for each task. Arrange the tasks in the order you need to complete them in, working your way back from the goal.
- Set milestones. Use the milestones to monitor your progress toward the goal and to celebrate your team’s successes.
- Track your goals.
Tips for Creating and Working With SMART Goals
The SMART structure is an effective tool for defining objectives and writing goals. You should find that you and your team members have more clarity and direction about your roles on projects.
Keep the following in mind when writing your SMART goals:
- Avoid setting goals that you have no power over. “Create the next viral video on TikTok” depends on many factors, like the interests of the general public. Stick with targets within your control, such as reaching a certain number of views.
- Focus on one SMART goal at a time. Few people multitask well. Use your time wisely and devote your attention to the tasks that need it most.
- Refer to the SMART goals when you check your progress. Your SMART goals are the target you’re trying to reach.
With a little practice, you can transform your influencer marketing strategy with SMART goals. Your team and influencers will appreciate the direction. You’ll appreciate the productivity.