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In the field of digital marketing, efficiency and time management are crucial. Yet, for many professionals, the monthly ritual of compiling marketing reports remains a time-consuming and challenging task. This is where the power of automation becomes invaluable. Our guide on Automated Marketing Reports offers a strategic approach to streamline your reporting process, saving time and enhancing your business’s scalability. This article delves into practical steps to transform your digital marketing reporting, offering a path towards increased efficiency and business growth.
Why You Need to Automate
Reporting week for digital marketers can often be the most daunting and tedious period of the month. Collating data from multiple sources, generating tables, charts, and insights as well as identifying trends and recommendations can drain a lot of time and energy even for the most veteran of digital marketing agencies. This paired with pressure applied from clients with high targets can result in high-stress levels that can easily make this profession a nightmare.
Unfortunately, because digital marketing can be incredibly time-consuming, there is often too little time available for a digital marketer to spend on effective client management, brand building, or even just relaxation time. Something everyone could do with a little more of!
With that being said, it is not all doom and gloom for digital marketers as there are plenty of creative and simple ways to automate digital marketing as well as digital marketing reporting. With marketing automation reporting, digital marketing agencies can efficiently aggregate data from various sources, streamlining their analysis and insights, and having themselves time and effort.
How Do You Automate?
Well, it’s simpler than you would think! Although effective digital marketing and digital marketing reporting automation does first require planning and preparation, the rewards that can be reaped once the hard work is put in will completely change the feeling you have towards your monthly reporting. Let’s use the example of a digital marketing agency that focuses on social media advertising in order to explain the steps needed to simplify and automate digital marketing.
In any given month, a social media marketing agency would need to meet with their client to discuss what their goals in social media advertising are, they would need to brainstorm posts that will be posted to the specific social media accounts, they need to actually create posts and post them, they will need to mark how each post performed and collate that data into a report, and last they will need to generate their own insights, recommendations, and predictions that can then be delivered to the client at the end of the reporting period.
And this doesn’t even include boosting of ads which would add an extra strep. Conducting this sort of workflow for multiple clients each month can get incredibly overwhelming, which is all the more reason to get organized and automate where possible.
Let’s take a look at some of the steps you could take to automate your digital marketing process:
1. Generate an Efficient Workflow
It is important to first collate a workflow to outline the activities that need to be performed in order to effectively achieve your functional objectives.
Creating a step-by-step process that isolates each activity that needs to be completed in order to reach your client goals, is the first step in identifying where time can be saved in your digital marketing process.
2. Identify Problem Areas
Once the step-by-step workflow has been completed, it is important to identify the steps that take up the most time and highlight them as problem areas. For a social media marketing agency, this may be creating social media posts, collating data from posts over a given time, and preparing insights into a comprehensive report for clients.
3. Brainstorm Automated Digital Marketing Solutions
Following our example of the social media marketing agency, solutions for their problem areas may include creating posts in one large batch at the beginning of the reporting period so that they can be automatically posted over a scheduled posting application such as Planoly over the course of the reporting period.
In this scenario, planning posts ahead of time allows the digital marketer to stay on top of the workload and stay organized. To sum it up, using an automated process in this example allows for a digital marketer to only focus on posting for a few days at the beginning of every month, and then never again until the reporting is done.
4. Implement Workflow Changes
Once the problem areas have been identified and efficient and sustainable solutions are selected, it is important to update the workflow created in step one so that it can become the official process of actioning functional activities. A business that incorporates planned and structured automation into its workflow will instantly notice benefits in terms of time-saving and increased efficiency.
Tying It All Together
Although different niches of digital marketing will experience different problem areas that are specific to their type of digital marketing activities, it is important to know how to identify problem areas affecting your specific niche. This is infinitely easier to do by first examining your current workflow and identifying where the main bottlenecks are.
However, even though different digital marketing niches experience different problem areas in their digital marketing activities, the most common problem area is in digital marketing reporting.
Finding a way to monitor and copy data across multiple platforms into a report in order to present results and insights to a client is the ultimate goal for digital marketers, and this is where automation is crucial.
Digital marketing reporting platforms like Oviond make it easy to periodically report on data from multiple data sources with the use of blended templates for both dashboards and reports. Automatically pulling the most important KPIs from various data sources into a single report is a luxury so crucial in this industry, that you’ll wonder how digital marketing was even possible without an automated reporting tool.
Taking this a step further are features such as automated sharing, or Report Automation as we call it on Oviond, that allows you to instantly pull the latest data for your data sources into a report and share it directly via email with your clients.
Planning Your Free Time Already?
Marketing report automation sounds like the perfect solution to take your business to the next level and set aside some much-needed recovery time from work right! Not only will automation help you run your digital marketing business like a well-oiled machine, but it also allows you to put more focus on business building which you really cannot have too much of.
Frequently Asked Questions About Automated Marketing Reports
What are automated marketing reports?
Automated marketing reports are digital reports generated through a workflow that compiles and presents marketing data automatically, without manual input.
How do automated marketing reports save time for agencies?
They reduce the need for manual data entry and analysis, streamlining the reporting process and freeing up time for more strategic tasks.
Can automated reports be customized?
Yes, some platforms offer customizable report builders allowing agencies to tailor reports to specific client needs.
What types of data can be included in an automated marketing report?
Reports can include data from various sources like SEO, PPC, social media, and more, aggregating diverse marketing data into one comprehensive report.
How do automated reporting tools handle data from multiple sources?
Marketing Reporting tools can integrate with numerous marketing platforms, consolidating data from these sources into one report.
Is it possible to add expert commentary to automated reports?
Yes, many automated reporting tools allow for the addition of custom insights and commentary alongside automated data.
What are the main benefits of marketing report automation?
The key benefits include time savings, enhanced accuracy, the ability to focus on higher-level insights, and stronger client relationships.
Can automated reporting improve client relationships?
Absolutely, by providing timely, accurate, and insightful reports, agencies can offer more value to clients, thereby strengthening relationships.
How does marketing reporting automation impact business growth?
It allows agencies to focus on strategic initiatives and client management, leading to improved services and potential for business expansion.
What steps are involved in setting up marketing reporting automation?
Key steps include selecting a reporting tool, connecting data sources, customizing report templates, and scheduling automated deliveries.
Can you automate the distribution of marketing reports?
Yes, some marketing reporting tools offer features for scheduling and automating the email dispatch of reports.
Are there any limitations to marketing reporting automation?
Some limitations include the potential need for manual intervention for in-depth analysis and the tool’s data source capabilities.
How does automation help in cross-campaign reporting?
Automation enables the aggregation of key metrics from multiple campaigns in one report, providing a holistic view of marketing efforts.
What role do visuals play in automated marketing reports?
Visuals like graphs, charts, and progress bars effectively communicate marketing successes and trends at a glance.
How does report automation align with data-driven decision making?
By providing real-time, accurate data, automated reports aid in making informed, data-driven marketing decisions, enhancing overall campaign effectiveness.