If you’re like many small business owners, you know you need to market your company—you’re just not sure how. You might try a marketing tactic that worked for a colleague, add an initiative that seems right, or toss in some extra elements you read about. But despite your best efforts, you just don’t see the results you want.
That’s because you’re operating without a strategy.
Every successful marketing effort needs to be tied to a single strategy that supports your goals. There are a handful of digital marketing objectives small businesses can focus on to achieve their desired results. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of identifying objectives and give you five examples of ones you can use in your business.
Why You Need Objectives
Marketing strategies are designed to help you reach your goals. Your marketing objectives are the focus of that strategy. They help you pick out what you need to grow your brand, your client base, and your business.
Your objectives will dictate what types of marketing efforts and campaigns you use. They also help you create benchmarks to measure progress. Those marks can show you where you’re excelling, where you’re meeting expectations, and where you might need to make adjustments.
All in all, digital marketing objectives guide your every marketing effort. For small and mid-sized businesses, there are 5 key objectives we recommend considering as part of your marketing strategy. Focusing on these areas will help you attract leads, manage costs, and protect profits as your business grows.
Brand awareness is how you reach your audience in the marketplace. It’s the effort to get people to notice you and become curious about your services. That’s why the main goal of brand awareness is to simply bring people to your business.
You can use a few different tactics for building brand awareness:
- Content marketing – leveraging different types of content to bring organic traffic to your website
- Paid advertising – online ads that are tailored to your target audience
- Social media – posting on social media to engage with potential clients and let people get to know your business
Measuring this objective can be challenging because awareness doesn’t always equal engagement. Instead of relying solely on click-throughs, focus on how many impressions your efforts have made. How many people read your blog? Saw your ad? Liked your social post?
If you want a more defined idea of how many people know about your brand, you can also use social listening. This is the process of tapping into different networks to see how many people talk about your business, use your hashtags, or value your posts.
Brand awareness is a great objective for new or small businesses to focus on. It helps you create a buzz around your business, which brings in more potential clients.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for your business, but it all hinges on having email addresses. To collect emails, you need to focus on lead generation.
Lead generation is any marketing tactic that gets people to give you their information. It could be just their name and email address, or you could ask for additional information like what company they work for, where they’re located, or their job title. There are a few common ways to generate leads, but our favorite is through gated content.
Using gated content as a lead generator is simple. You create something of value (like a PDF guide or video series) and offer it to your readers for free. All they have to do is give you their email to access the download.
Now you can enroll them in an email nurture series or note their interests for future sales emails. In short, they just became a lead!
The key is not to let your lead generators be a “set it and forget it” task. You should regularly review how many people are downloading your generators to measure:
- Interest in the topic.
- Value of your offer.
- Effectiveness of how you offer the material.
Lower download numbers could mean that your topic isn’t resonating with readers, they don’t see value in your offer, or you’re not promoting it where they can easily find the download (wrong web page, no pop-up ads, etc.)
Lead generation is an important objective for businesses of all sizes, especially small businesses who are trying to grow their client base.
Conversions are a popular marketing objective, but are often misinterpreted as another word for “sales.” A conversion is when someone takes a meaningful action on your website, such as downloading a lead generator, requesting more information, or scheduling a call with your sales team. Conversion shows an intent to purchase.
It’s important to focus on this objective for two reasons:
- Demonstrates if your message is resonating with potential customers
- Moves leads into your sales funnel
Measuring conversions relies heavily on tracking your lead generation sources. Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who take action out of everyone who viewed your source. For example, if 100 people view your lead generator’s landing page and 10 download it, your conversion rate would be 10%.
Every business, no matter your size or industry, should include conversions in its top objectives. This is how you measure how well your marketing efforts are working and what resonates most with your target audience.
Every business’s goal is to make sales, which is why it’s probably the most important digital marketing objective to include in your strategy. All of your other efforts should support this goal.
Remember, sales are different from conversions. A sale is when someone signs a contract and pays you for your services. It can take a lot of time and effort to secure a sale from a converted lead, so it’s important to have a proven process in place.
As a StoryBrand Certified Agency, we believe in using the StoryBrand Marketing Framework to encourage sales. By making your customers the hero of the story, you draw them into your brand narrative and show them why you’d be the best partner. Whatever your solution is, the StoryBrand Framework can help you sell it.
To measure your sales success, it’s important to keep track of your revenue. You can use a reporting tool or sales dashboard to show you what money you’ve brought in, what’s pending, and how close you are to your quarterly or annual goals.
(Hint: You always want to weigh your progress against your goals to ensure you’re gaining ground and growing your business.)
On the other side of sales is your client churn. This is the percentage of clients who choose not to continue their business with you. Keep in mind that this can happen for many reasons, including budget, a change in their needs, or a change in their scope of services.
This objective is critical in service-based business because your growth relies on long-term client relationships. It costs more to attract, convert, sign, and onboard new clients than it does to maintain existing partnerships. So once you’ve created an established client base, keeping churn low should be a top priority.
Measuring client churn presents unique challenges because each client’s contract might run for different lengths and end at different times. For this reason, it can be helpful to measure your churn on a quarterly basis. This provides enough time for contracts to wrap up and an opportunity to identify problems early and make adjustments.
Reducing your client churn hinges on creating trusting relationships with your existing clients. If you start to see your churn rates increasing, you can reach out to clients for feedback as a way to determine where the issues are originating and how to best address them in the future.
What Objectives Are Right for Your Business?
A successful marketing strategy is focused on objectives that support your business goals. Knowing which objectives to choose, however, can be difficult. Sometimes you need the eye of an expert to weigh the costs and benefits of different marketing tactics and help you choose what’s best for your business.
At Hughes Integrated, we’re invested in helping you grow. We can help you assess your business needs and choose digital marketing objectives that complement your goals. Schedule a free consultation today to see what we can do for your business.