When it comes to the actual creation of your digital marketing report, there are a handful of mandatory categories that every single report should contain to help impress and guide your clients. Including a table of content will allow anyone without marketing experience to scan the report for what they do/don’t want to see.
Although you might be passionate about these reports, you have to keep in mind that the client’s impression is what really matters.
Here are the top 10 things that should be included in every digital marketing report:
1. The Summary Page
Before you hit someone with aggressive numbers, hold their hand and walk them through a nice summary or highlight page. This section should always be at the top of your report. In the summary, you want to highlight the most important metrics and a project overview that is succinct and to the point.
By the end of the summary, your client should have a general understanding of where they stand and what they should expect to see when reviewing the report. Everything that comes after this section should be details that support this opening summary statement.
Since not everyone is a marketing expert, try and use language and terms that are easy to understand so anyone can get the full picture.
2. Present A Marketing Strategy
Again, although you are probably well versed in this marketing strategy, many of the executives and stakeholders are not. That’s why you want a section that approaches the core marketing strategy. In this section, you will want it to answer the following questions:
- Who is my target market?
- Which channels are performing the best? Are they also the primary marketing channels?
- What growth opportunities are being harnessed?
- What is the present scope?
This is an easy place for you to articulate to the client why they hired you. Take time to ensure the scope of the project is clear and that you are delivering on everything you promised.
Let’s say you are offering SEO. This is where you will give an overview of what SEO is and how you are leveraging your skills to boost your client’s SEO. Spell it out in obvious terms, even if you think it’s redundant. Be sure to reaffirm how you are reaching the target customers every single day? Whether it’s more of a focus on blogs or on email – explain to the clients why you are choosing those channels.
Wrap it up by giving an overview of what has been accomplished in the last month as far as the marketing strategy is concerned. You still want to sell yourself so be sure to mention any changes to the marketing strategy and why you felt those changes were important. Close it by stating how the changes are going to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns in the coming months.
As you can probably see, this section is arguably one of the most important in the entire report.
3. Conversion Metrics
Now that you’ve looked over the marketing strategy and the summary of the report, it’s time to cut to the numbers every CEO wants to see: the conversion metrics. Conversion metrics should take up the meat of your report, with plenty of charts, graphs, and statistics that show how your campaigns are in-line with growth goals and projections.
You will want to bolster this section up while also keeping it easy to understand. Run reports on metrics such as:
- Channel breakdown – leads by channel, offline sources, social media, paid search, etc.
- Revenue breakdown – this is especially important to those with ecommerce sites
- Paid vs. organic leads breakdown
- Cost per conversion for paid channels – how are your AdWords and Facebook ads doing?
It helps to compare the current metrics month to month so you can showcase where you have excelled and improved.
4. Lead Acquisition
If you are working with a company that is hot on leads, be sure to list out the leads that you have generated that month through your digital marketing efforts. In this section, show which channels the leads were coming from or whether it was SEO or PPC that brought them to you. This will give your client a clear picture of where their marketing investment is generating the highest returns.
5. Breakdown by Channel and Device
At the end of the day, it is imperative to understand where your website traffic is coming from. You also want to know how long those leads are lingering before they either buy or leave. Are most of your web visitors coming from email? Referrals? Social media ads?
In this section, you will want the metrics included to be:
- Bounce rate
- % new session
- Top pages
- Email campaigns
- Top Referrers
This is where you can show the client that the bounce rate is much higher on mobile than the website, for example. With those numbers, the client knows that the mobile site needs to be altered or optimized for mobile viewing. You will also discover that some blog posts are doing much better than others – why? Was it the topic? Should you do more blogs related to that topic?
6. Search Engine Optimization
This will vary depending upon the SEO that your firm is offering. For example, do you optimize onsite, or do you just stick to providing link building services? Either way, be sure to share an overview of how rankings have increased – then back it up with information about what you have been doing to achieve these results. Be sure to include a table that highlights new backlinks for the month.
7. PPC Endeavors
If you are tasked with running PPC campaigns for your client, be sure to have a section that covers cost per conversion, click-through rate, impressions, ad spend, ROI, etc. Take the results and compare them to each channel. If the client is working with a limited budget, you can deliver valuable insights of where their money should be targeted based off of the information you have presented.
8. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is another component of this overall report, as well as strategy. There isn’t a single business out there that is unaware of how important social media marketing is today. In this report section, be sure to cover performance per channel, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Be sure to include information related to goals such as engaging existing customers and generating new leads via social channels.
Many companies will want to invest big money into social media marketing, which is why this section should be carefully detailed.
9. Ideas for the Future
Showing a client that you have future plans and goals is a great way to convince them to stick around with your services. If the past month’s analytics have been lackluster, here is where you can show them that you are going to continue pushing the boundaries. Revisit goals from prior months and highlight any progress that has been made.
10. Future Budget
Last but not least, here is where you can chat about future promotional expenses that you are anticipating as well as the expected return on investment. This area should take the goals that you just listed and provide some kind of cost-analysis associated with them so your client doesn’t need to do anything but agree!
And there you have it! Those are the key components of any effective digital marketing report, sure to wow clients sitting across the table from you. If you are interested to learn more about digital marketing reporting, check out our ebook: Digital Marketing Reporting Explained.