Marketers are relied upon to make important decisions on behalf of our company and team every day. Not only do we use our best judgment in making decisions but it is important to utilize data and metrics when we can. It is more than likely you are already tracking marketing metrics such as traffic, leads, and customers.
Even with all these reports, it is only as good as the data marketing reports can be read. This is where digital marketing reporting comes into play. It is important to run the needed marketing reports and be able to properly analyze your data and make truly informed decisions. Marketing reports will vary depending on what data you are reviewing and the purpose of each report.
Reports can assess where your traffic and leads are coming from, what content they interacted with, if and when they converted, and how long it took for them to become a customer, essentially each step of the marketing funnel.
How To Build a Marketing Report
depends on the campaign you are running and what are the important metrics to you and your company.
Most marketing reports will contain some of the same elements:
1. Title. Whether you are running a report on campaign performance, quarterly blog performance, or monthly leads, you will want to be sure to title your report so the intent is clear.
2. Reporting period. Your marketing report should reflect a certain time period, whether it is a day, a week, months or longer.
3. Summary. Your summary report should reflect the key points of your report, including your wins, losses, and goals for the next reporting period.
Valuable and insightful marketing data reports recognize two distinct components: purpose and audience.
Choosing a Purpose for Your Marketing Report
A marketing report should help you make a decision. Choosing the intent of your marketing report is simple. However, it’s how the report data is used in decision making or draw a conclusion that’s more difficult.
Prior to pulling the data for your report you should determine the goal. Once you make the decision, list all the data that might be relevant. From there, you will have a much better idea of what reports to run and how to use said data.
Choosing an Audience for Your Marketing Report
Digital marketing reports are extremely valuable because they can help by informed decisions — decisions made by several departments and people within the organization. You will want to tailor the reports for the audience that is going to be reading and utilizing it. If necessary you will want to create several reports, using the same data tailored to that department.
Best Practices for Marketing Reports
Depending on the times you will need to create the reports, setting up a recurring reminder on your calendar could be useful.
Some, however, find it easier to set up reports to run automatically. This will take the guesswork out of when to run your reports and when to send them to the relevant audiences.
When you send out the marketing reports, ask for feedback from your audience. Whether you ask an open-ended question like, “How did this report help you?” and gather feedback from those using your reports can help you improve them in the future. Know what they found useful or not will help you to tailor the report.
If you will be designed it the same way each and every time you send it out, you might want to consider turning it into a marketing report template. Not only will this save you time and energy building each template, but it will also provide a reliable, predictable report design for your audience to read.
Valuable Data First
Even if the report is long, you will want to make sure that it includes the most important data that is valuable and helpful. This data should be towards the top when it is the most impactful. Nobody wants to read an entire report to only utilize the final page.
Visualize The Data
Illustrated data (e.g. graphs and charts) are also more believable, according to this study by Cornell University. People also process visual data faster than written data, therefore, using graphs or charts will make long marketing reports easier to digest
Data Included In Every Monthly Marketing Report:
A Summary/ Highlights Page
The first page of your report should be a summary of your report. Highlighting the most important metrics and a project overview, which makes the report concise and readable.
This will provide a general understanding of where the marketing stands that month from the first page. Following the first page should be more detailed information for the areas you’ve discussed on the summary page.
Current Marketing Strategy
Even though you are well versed in your marketing strategy and target audience, some of your stakeholders may not be. That’s why it’s important to include a section in the marketing report that addresses your core marketing strategy.
This is where you will also discuss the target audience and elaborate on how their customers are being reached. If you are focusing on email marketing this month or improving conversion rates from their blog, you should be sharing within the report. You’ll want to include a brief overview of what has been accomplished this month in regards to their overall marketing strategy.
The section of the monthly market report will lay the groundwork for how well your client understands the rest of the report. If the client doesn’t understand what PPC campaigns are, then the rest of the numbers in the report that follows will be meaningless too. That is why this section is really the most important.
Of course, most clients are interested in the metrics that impact their bottom-line. The metric sections should be the bulk of your report and include numerous charts, graphs, and statistics showing the numbers that back up your goals and progress.
You will want to make sure that your reports are easily digestible, remember, half of the challenge of creating a great report is making it easier to understand. The last thing you want is information overload.
Run reports on metrics such as:
● Leads by Channel (offline sources, social media, referrals, paid search, email marketing, etc.)
● Revenue (especially if eCommerce website)
● Paid vs. Organic leads
● Cost Per Conversion for Paid Channels (Adwords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, etc)
In the month metric report, it should be comparing metrics from month to month so you can see where you excel and in which areas you need to improve. When reporting with Google Analytics, make it simple and compare each metric to the previous period, so you can easily spot strengths and weaknesses over time.
One of the most imperative metrics you should understand where your web traffic is coming from. Secondly would be how it performs so that you are not wasting time or money developing unsuccessful channels.
Previously, we focused on total conversions, but in this section, you will dive deeper into different traffic metrics. Important metrics to include broken down by channel & device include:
Utilize these metrics as a foundation in the following report sections where you will go deeper into each channel and make recommendations going forward. You will want to use these metrics to craft your marketing strategy going forward.
If you are providing SEO services you will want to make sure to a section when creating report on what SEO services you provide. You will want to detail what you are doing, whether it is optimizing on-site or do you primarily provide link building services.
You will want to share an overview of how rankings have increased as well as additional information about what you have done to achieve these results. Include a table, visualizing the data, showing new backlinks for the month, or an updated site audit to show progress on the website.
Blog Lead Generation
When you are managing a client’s blog post or content marketing strategy, you’ll want to include a section all its own in the monthly marketing report.
Blogs generate both traffic and leads, therefore, you should be documenting this data each month to make sure your blog continues to perform optimally. You will need to be looking at how people are locating the content published on your blog and then analyzing which channels are most successful and which need improvement. You should be looking to see if the traffic is from organic search or PPC and compare to where you should focus your attention.
This should help you optimize your content strategy as well.
If you manage the PPC campaigns for clients, then you should dedicate a report section to metrics that are specific to paid channels.
Compare these metrics to each channel. When a client has a limited budget, this is the opportunity to deliver a lot of value for a client by making a recommendation based on these metrics where they should be focusing their ad spend budget.
Social Media Marketing is another important part of your overall digital marketing strategy with specific KPIs you should be including in the marketing report.
You’ll want to include an overview of performance for each active social media channels: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. Specifically focusing on engagement metrics for a more meaningful understanding of how successful your clients are on each channel.
Goals and Ideas
You definitely want to include a section for goals in your plan each month. You can revisit the goals from month to month to see how you are progressing, and different teams will appreciate being kept in the loop in this area as well. It’s always a good idea to highlight future plans for the marketing campaigns.
Grow Better With Marketing Reporting
Marketing reporting is vital to your marketing efforts. By understanding how efficient and effective your marketing is, you can better allocate time, resources, and money and therefore be more profitable. You will be able to make well-informed decisions about campaigns and lead generation tactics. Start with these marketing reporting examples and expand your reporting as you begin to utilize more data.
You’ll want to discuss any future promotional expenses, this could be a holiday sale for an eCommerce business. You will want to share the anticipated spending, as well as their expected return on investment. This section should address the goals you listed in the previous section but go one-step further by including the projected costs of meeting those objectives.
If you are interested in automating your reporting process or want assistance in managing your monthly marketing report contact Blue Water Marketing. They have a team of analysts that can create the reports as well as assist with understanding the data.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.