How to Measure Healthcare Digital Marketing Success with SMART Goal Creation

1. Double the number of new patients visiting your practice in the next year.

2. Rank first on Google for local healthcare practices providing urgent, walk-in care.

3. Improve patient feedback and online reputation.

These are all examples of big, long-term goals that can be achieved through better healthcare digital marketing. They’re also pretty big milestones that at first glance can feel unattainable. On the other hand, setting easily achievable, insignificant goals (five more Twitter followers! One new blog post every month!) won’t motivate your team to go above and beyond, and your practice will miss out on potential growth opportunities. Your solution: SMART goals.

Setting SMART Goals

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Think of these goals as stepping-stones toward achieving a major milestone. They’re challenging, yet still realistic and achievable.

Here’s how to get started setting your SMART goals:iStock_000020517565_Large

1. Evaluate your current position. Take time to really understand your growth levels to date and where your practice wants to be in six months, one year, and five years. Do you have a core group of returning patients but lack consistent new patient growth? Has a new practice opened nearby that’s specializing in the same service you provide and you’re worried about losing patients? Tie your core goals to major practice objectives based on your current marketplace position.

2. Create a measurable plan. Once you’ve identified your current marketplace position, create a measureable plan that includes volume, quality, and value objectives. Volume objectives are measured through the size of your audience (e.g., unique website visitors) or number of content marketing pieces your produce each month; quality objectives are measured through engagement and conversions; and value objectives are the overall ROI for you digital marketing program.

3. Define KPIs. KPIs (key performance indicators) are how you’ll measure SMART goal success. KPIs are SMART goal specific. For example, if your SMART goal is to increase social media engagement, you’ll need to measure engagement and amplification KPIs. For social media, these KPIs include: replies, favorites, retweets, and modified tweets on Twitter; likes, comments, and shares on Facebook; and shares on Google+. Additional engagement KPIs include the number of people engaged, the engagement rate, and Facebook’s post-specific scorecard (e.g., detailed information on the number of likes, comments and shares each post receives).

When it comes to setting healthcare marketing goals, remember that there’s more to the goal than the finish line. The process of reaching the goal is equally important. Even after you’ve achieved a set goal, take time out to reflect on what worked (and didn’t work) in this process. Integrate this feedback into future goal setting for improved focus.