What Should a Digital Marketing Report Contain?
For those that work in digital marketing, showing your clients the value of your actions is fundamental. Digital marketing reports are one tool to do just that. Learn what a results report is and what points to include so that your document reflects the hard work you’ve done and the results you’ve achieved.
In digital marketing, a vitally important phase is the results analysis, which takes place during the campaign (to see its performance and act accordingly) or at the end (to analyze what can be improved or what we must do in future campaigns). Data visualization is necessary to truly evaluate the performance of our actions and the investment in analytics proves to be very beneficial for companies.
The next step of the analysis is creating a results report that honestly, clearly, and legibly conveys the conclusions we’ve reached, the campaign’s performance, and how close we are to reaching the designated goals. A good digital marketing report values the work of the marketing department and proves why it’s a good investment; we’re going to break down the requirements that we should keep in mind and the most important points that must be present in your digital marketing report.
The fundamental requirements for a digital marketing performance report
When creating a digital marketing results report, it’s not just the “what” that’s important, but also the “how.” In other words, the key is how we present, introduce, and structure the information so that the person who reads it can interpret and find it useful.
Therefore, before we go ahead and start extracting data from our campaign’s business dashboard, it’s crucial we create an effective template that will serve as the structure on which to base our work in the future. At this stage, it’s critical you consider the following tips:
Your objectives are everything
Every marketing campaign or action has a purpose and, along with it, a series of measurable goals: website visits, lead generation, sales, and more. The success or failure of a campaign will be measured based on those previously defined goals. These should be the report’s driving force. Analyze every piece of data and always compare it with your stated objective.
Less is more: include only critical information
Remember that this document's aim is to give the person reading it an idea of how the campaign or action performed. It's likely that this person has little time; the report should convey everything they need to know about the campaign quickly and in a straightforward manner. Only include the essential details and if you so choose, add secondary information as attachments.
A picture is worth more than 1,000 pieces of data
To ensure the report is efficient, in addition to selecting the most essential information, you must represent the data visually and make it understandable in just a single glance. Use resources like bar charts or tables to show the campaign’s data whenever possible.
Performance reports for all audiences
What is a good performance report? A good performance report is one anyone can understand, not just the marketing team. It's critical that this document can be interpreted by anyone, whether it be someone from the team itself or someone who doesn't have day-to-day contact with the project, such as the sales team or the CEO.
How to create a digital marketing report: what sections it should contain
While every digital marketing professional has their style, the truth is there are some aspects they all have in common, such as the information the client needs to know to determine the success of the campaign. Taking this into account, order the data according to its degree of importance so, in the first few pages, the reader can answer the question they have in their head: how did the campaign go?
Our ideal structure and the one we tend to use in our reports is the following:
1. Overall campaign results
When the client receives the campaign performance report, they’re generally wondering how it went. Therefore, this should be the first point mentioned. As this is the most crucial part of the report, it should come first.
Try to make sure that the person reading the report understands how the campaign is going in the first four or five slides, maximum. Offer a summary with the campaign’s goals and the results we’ve achieved so that, in just one glance, the client can have their questions answered.
Also, take advantage of this time to remind the client of the objectives they set with that campaign. A good guide to create Inbound Marketing goals are the SMART objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
2. Results by channels
Today, it's customary to carry out multichannel actions where we use social media, websites, Paid Media, and more. The client wants to know to what extent each channel contributed to achieving the goals set at the beginning of the campaign or action. Should you find this of interest, you can include this information at the beginning of the report. A table with a breakdown by channel and the corresponding data will suffice. For the client, it’s fundamental to observe the relationship between investment and obtained result; this way, we will see the ROI of the campaigns by channel.
3. Actions carried out
The client's familiar with the campaign you've executed, so you don't need to go into too many specifics. Use bullet points to list the different actions you've carried out to refresh their memory, but that's it. If you desire, you can break it down by channel or areas if it makes it more transparent: SEO, web, design, social media, etc.
If the campaign includes SEO/SEM actions, we recommend including the results you’ve obtained in the final report. Remember to present the objectives and explain how these channels have played a part in the results we’ve achieved.
5. Paid Media Traffic
In the same way, if we've run Paid Media campaigns (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and so on), we should include the results we've achieved in terms of our objectives. Include the main KPIs (key performance indicators) and put the rest in an appendix or a specific report that’s linked to this one.
Create a brief assessment of the campaign in a summary format with the decided objectives and use bullet points to highlight three or four essential aspects. This conclusion must be sufficiently complete so that the client can read it independently and understand the most important parts of the document.
In the same way you wrote your conclusions, create four or five brief recommendations based on the results you received from this campaign. For example, these could be lessons to take into consideration for the future and errors to correct for future improvement.
8. Próximos pasos
List out the next steps concisely. Note that these are general recommendations for developing a digital marketing report after launching a marketing campaign or action. Nonetheless, it’s critical you adapt this template to your client’s needs or to those of the action you’re carrying out. The key to this report is that it’s useful; there can be many ways to execute it.
This is a way to structure your digital marketing report, but there isn’t just one way to present the data. You have freedom in your presentation, as long as you meet the main requirement: order the information according to its priority and offer it in a clear and understandable way to a non-specialized public. Put numbers in attractive graphics that convince your clients of their campaign’s success.
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