As a former communications student, I am no stranger to the SMART acronym. When I was first introduced to this framework, I thought most business acronyms were cheesy and lame. Then, one day for an entrepreneurship class, I was tasked with running a small on-campus business for a semester. You better believe I set up some SMART goals before diving into that one, and boy was I grateful for it.
Now, as a young professional, I still use this framework on projects ranging from devising a social media campaign to creating a video. So without further adieu, I'd love to share with you our process for setting SMART goals around video. Let's dive on in!
What do you hope to achieve with your video? If you want to use video to promote a webinar, for example, then the goals you set will look a lot different than if you were making a long-form, educational piece of content.
First, outline what it is you want to achieve, like gathering leads or driving more traffic to your site. Then, make this goal extremely specific. When it comes time to evaluate the performance of the video, you'll have a much easier time gauging success. One video isn't likely to tick off five unique goals, so be strategic about what it is you want to accomplish.
So, what does a successful video look like? Well, it depends on what you measure! When it comes to measuring video, it's important to consider both quantitative and qualitative metric. If you wanted to capture a certain amount of leads with your video, then setting quantitative benchmarks makes sense. Let's say you made a teaser video to promote an upcoming webinar. Your goal is to collect leads from that video, so you can add them into a drip campaign. How many leads would you like to get? 50, 100, 200 leads? That's your measure for success.
On the other hand, if your goal is to generate buzz or awareness around a new feature or get people excited about a product launch, then you'll likely want to include qualitative feedback into your reporting. By paying attention to what people are saying about your content, you can generate new ideas and better understand what it is your audience wants.
At the end of the day, most of us have to provide some measure of success to the rest of our team on resource-heavy projects. Think about that specific goal you established, and set some measures for what you'd like to see happen.
So, you've decided to make an awesome video. What might hold you back from doing so? Don't set yourself up for failure by neglecting to consider all of the moving pieces involved in the process. Do you actually have the time and resources you need? It's easy to put the cart before the horse, especially when you're excited about starting a new project, but try to be as realistic as possible.
First ask yourself—how committed am I to tackling this project? If creating a video from scratch seems impossible to you, then hold it right there! Maybe it's time to recycle and update an old video instead. Perhaps you need some additional help from a freelance animator. Whatever the case may be, it's always wise to step back and fully consider the scope of the project. If you do decide that it's reasonable and can be achieved, then continue on.
Wait a minute, why are you doing this again? Ask yourself if making this video actually aligns with other projects you're currently working on. If you have a small team that's focused on overhauling your marketing website right now, then you might want to factor that into your goal planning. That doesn't mean you shouldn't make the video. Instead, it might mean making a shorter, simpler version of what you first set out to create. For example, a one-shot, talking-head video (like the one below) works well in this instance, as it's light on post-production.
Okay, fine. We also added some background music. The whole production from start to finish only took about 15 minutes. These types of videos should not be overlooked when you're in a pinch.
On the flip side, if you know that incorporating video across your new website is a top priority for you and your team, then this is a great time to start dipping your toes into those video marketing waters! Relevant goals move your team forward, because they're naturally aligned with other projects you already have in the works.
Who doesn't love a good deadline? Sometimes you need to give yourself a due date in order to get things done. Make sure you set a concrete due date and hold yourself accountable by letting other members of your team know. On your average marketing team, people wear many hats, so it's rare that you'll spend an entire day working on just one thing. That being said, you don't want your video to fall by the wayside when other tasks sneak up on you.
Day-to-day tasks can often outweigh things that are "nice to have" and not super pressing. For some folks, video falls into this category. When you tie your goal to a specific timeframe, however, it's harder to let it slip. For example, if you know you want to include a video in a blog post that's going live on Thursday morning at 9 am, then you better have that video ready on time! Even without a hard deadline, it's important to create a sense of urgency around your video. Think about check-ins and timing for both the short and long term.
Goals for life
So there you have it! SMART goals for creating video in a nutshell. And what's better? You can apply this framework for both personal and professional goals. Keep this in your goal-planning arsenal and set yourself up for success time and time again.