American poet and writer Bill Copeland once said, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” He’s right. Without goals, we can’t expect to achieve meaningful accomplishments.
Anything worth doing is worth setting goals to accomplish. Whether that’s saving up to go to dental school, aiming to set up your first practice, or even starting a digital marketing campaign. And if what you want is worth setting a goal, it’s worth creating a plan to achieve that goal.
The process of goal setting is often overlooked when thinking about creating a digital marketing strategy. But without goals, how can you know for sure where you’re headed, let alone how to get there? Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to set goals for a digital marketing campaign.
1: Identify Your Purpose
Learning how to set goals for a marketing campaign all begins with determining your purpose. Your purpose should be unique to you and your practice. No two dental offices are the same, which means their purposes shouldn’t be the same, either.
Maybe you’re a new practice, and you need a digital marketing campaign to establish yourself in the community. Or perhaps you’ve just purchased an established practice with a not-so-great reputation and need to rebuild.
Whatever your situation may be, take the time to fully consider the purpose behind your digital marketing campaign. Your purpose is really the “why” of your marketing efforts, and your goal is the “what.” If you’re stuck, complete this sentence, “I need this marketing campaign because…”
2: Name Your Goal
Once you know the purpose of your campaign, you can define a primary goal to accomplish that purpose. So, what is it you want to do?
Let’s look at the examples we mentioned in the previous section. If you’re a new practice, the purpose of your campaign is to let the community know you exist. The goal for your campaign would probably be to gain new patients.
To use the other example of taking over an existing practice, the campaign’s purpose is to rebuild the newly acquired practice’s reputation and position in the community. The goal there could be to increase referrals from existing patients.
3: List Secondary Goals
Starting with one big goal you want to accomplish is excellent. But once you’ve determined that primary goal, pulling together all the little steps necessary to achieve it can be a challenge.
A great way to address secondary goals is to brainstorm on paper. Write your primary goal at the top of the page, then start writing down everything else that needs to fall in place to achieve your goal. There aren’t right or wrong answers here, just bring your thoughts to the page.
Let’s return to our examples. If the goal of your marketing campaign is gaining new patients for your dental practice, here are a few secondary goals to increase your local brand recognition:
- Sponsor a local sports team
- Participate in community events
- Create a new patient welcome bag
If the goal is to rebuild the reputation of your newly acquired location through referrals, your secondary goals might include:
- Incentivize Google reviews
- Create a referral program
- Rebuild your website
4: Make It Measurable
When creating your goals, it’s important to define what success will look like when you’ve achieved them. You didn’t come this far into the goal-setting process to not know when you achieve your goals!
Fortunately, most digital marketing metrics are easily measured. Metrics like click-through rates, Google reviews, referrals, and other indicators of success are simple to track and assess. The key to gaining useful insights from these metrics is to establish a baseline before you start your marketing initiatives. You can use this baseline for more than one goal or campaign, to compare the relative success of different strategies.
Before making any changes, evaluate any metrics available to you from previous campaigns. You may find that some of your current tactics are performing well and can be used as steps in your new campaign. But you shouldn’t make any changes to your current initiatives without seeing hard data on what has and has not been successful for you in the past.
5: Create a Strategy
This is the hard part. Setting goals and defining what success will look like is only part of the process. Figuring out the best way to accomplish those goals is another. Your dental practice’s digital marketing strategy is like a roadmap steering you through all the different marketing tactics needed to achieve the goals outlined in your campaign.
Maybe you’ve done this yourself in the past, or perhaps you’ve enlisted the help of a marketing company and had underwhelming results. Either way, it can be both time consuming and cumbersome to create and execute an effective digital marketing strategy alone.
If you have questions about how to build the right digital marketing campaign to achieve your dental practice’s goals, Dreamscape Marketing can help. Contact us today at 888.307.7304 to get started.