What is the value of a good marketing report?
Have you ever felt confused by a marketing report? You might see some green and red arrows, but what do they mean? Bounce rate? Time on site? The numbers look good, but how is this helping you win more business? Reports without summaries or key metrics highlighted…what the heck should you be looking at?
Measuring marketing metrics can be an art form. A good marketing report should provide actionable insights and help you work toward your marketing goals.
Many agencies offer marketing reports as part of their services, but they can struggle with developing and analyzing the reports if that’s not their expertise. The bright side? A focus in one area leaves room for improvement in reporting. Agencies may not have a clear understanding of what the metrics mean or may not be aware of inexpensive, high-quality reporting tools and automation features. And they may not have proper access to client analytics accounts.
All of these factors can make it tough to develop a digital marketing report—this is where Data Driven Marketers can help. We know how to structure and present marketing reports—and what insights to share to engage c-suite team members and stakeholders. (It’s in our blood!) Not only can we provide reporting that you can trust, but we’ll help you interpret key performance indicators (KPIs), bridging the gap between agencies and their clients.
Our proven results, good reporting, and insightful presentation can help your agency increase client satisfaction and drive more sales.
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Page navigation menu:
- What is a good marketing report?
- Why marketing reports matter
- The effect of a good digital marketing report
- What metrics are important in a good report?
- Tools to create a good marketing report
- Final notes
First, what is a good marketing report?
A good marketing report is a way to see metrics that impact your marketing strategy and overall customer buy-in. A good digital marketing report will include metrics from multiple sources—the client’s website (organic, paid, social, referral, and direct information), social media, paid ads, and more. It should also include summaries of your goals, key wins, and challenges throughout the given time period and recommendations for your client. Some marketing reports are segmented into different facets of digital marketing. For example, you might also have an SEO marketing report, one for PPC ads, a content marketing report, or social media marketing report. While the actual content of your report may vary, here are the key criteria the information should meet:
Benchmarked against market research
Before you can measure the success of your marketing campaign, you need market research. By conducting market research, you can uncover your client’s target audience demographic and report on qualified leads. You’ll learn your audience’s age, location, likes, dislikes, and so many other preferences—key data that impact your reporting. Including this information in your marketing report will give you enough background information so you can give recommendations and provide insights.
Aligned with your marketing strategy
An agency needs a marketing strategy for each of their clients. A marketing strategy maintains the company’s value proposition and ensures that the overall brand messaging and approach is consistent for their target audience. Once a strategy is formulated, it should be added to the report, and KPIs should be sprinkled in the reported metrics and summaries to show the client value and to call out wins related to your initial plan.
Related to important marketing goals & conversions
Setting marketing goals will help you identify the success of your marketing strategy. Think about how you want your audience to interact with your content. Do you want them to submit a form, click a link, or sign up for a newsletter? These engagements, when completed, are called conversions. Conversions will help measure whether you’ve reached your goals, but to view that, you first have to present it in the report.
Include key website traffic data & engagement data
Your digital marketing report should contain website traffic data and engagement data. Website traffic data shows how many people are visiting your website and where they’re coming from by traffic channel. The traffic data will show direct traffic, social traffic, organic search traffic, referrals, and other traffic sources. This is important because it will highlight wins and challenges within a specific traffic channel. For example, if your organic traffic takes a dip this month, you might want to reevaluate your SEO strategy. Or let’s say you have more social traffic this month from posting twice a week on Facebook. That’s a win you can keep monitoring, especially if you want to make adjustments to your post schedule. Engagement data shows how long people are staying on your website as well as the number of sessions they’ve logged. These are important metrics to gauge how your audience is finding you and whether they’re interested in your content. Basically, as the agency, you’re showing the client that you’re doing your job right!
Share projected outcomes
You should also include projected outcomes/data forecasts in your marketing report (especially if you’re reporting on paid marketing campaigns where market data is built into the platform). After analyzing trends in your report, you should be able to predict what future results might look like and recommend additional optimizations that will improve your outcome. This will give your clients an idea of what to expect in the future.
Get a report that your client will be happy about
Agencies, we’re here to help. Our white-label digital marketing services include analytics management and custom reporting.
Why marketing reports matter
Digital marketing reports are important because they back up your success with data and provide your clients with actionable next steps. They also keep you accountable—if a campaign is performing poorly, you can take more immediate action to improve your outcomes. Having a digital marketing report also allows you to educate your clients on the value of your work and why you’re making changes. Data-driven reports and recommendations illustrate more clearly and specifically why what you’re doing isn’t working or is cause for celebration.
How often should you create a marketing report?
We recommend developing weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly digital marketing reports to best monitor your metrics. So which one should you choose? There are benefits and disadvantages to each type of marketing report for the duration you set:
- Weekly or bi-weekly reporting provides actionable insights for timely campaigns. However, to the untrained eye, a slight dip in traffic or rank could send up red flags, when really, this is normal. Traffic, rank, and even views fluctuate daily.
- Monthly digital marketing reports give you enough data to spot trends, but you may not have the opportunity to adjust your strategy in a more timely fashion if needed.
- Quarterly reports provide stakeholders, decision-makers, and (for SMBs) business owners a true picture of marketing successes and challenges. This is good for long-term strategic planning and trend spotting, but it’s harder to solve any issues between each month.
Depending on your goals and overall marketing strategy, each reporting style may be useful. At Data Driven Marketers, we like to deliver monthly and quarterly reports. Weekly and bi-weekly reports are provided for sprint campaigns (campaigns with a short duration of two weeks to four months).
The effect of a good digital marketing report
A good digital marketing report (including all the information we’ve shared above and below) can mean a lot of great things for your agency. When stepping up our reporting game in 2019, we experienced the following wins. When improving our reporting delivery for all agency partners, they experienced the following wins too.
- Calls that engaged the whole team. (Even the callers who were on mute—they started to chime in!)
- Customers who ended the call happy. Sharing thank you’s and “I look forward to our next call.”
- Email follow-ups with positive feedback
- Client approvals (or work that actually gets done). We’re still collecting data, but so far, we’re seeing the client completing their “to-dos” (sending us assets we requested during the call and/or approvals on new content/ads) on the same day or the next day with this new call format/report presentation.
- Increased sales for the agency. When decision-makers understand our work and our strategy (in formats, language, and delivery methods they can engage with), we build trust. Trust paired with proven results means we get the budget and approvals we need to keep moving forward.
Thinking in terms of business, a good marketing report will benefit your agency in the long run:
- When you engage all Zoom or in-person meeting attendees, you build a stronger presentation and brand image.
- Trust fosters better relationships with your clients, which leads to interest and buy-in on new services and campaigns that affirm how you’re benefiting the business.
- When your client better understands your insights, they’re more likely to take action or fix any issues you might flag.
Deliver with your target audience in mind
A good digital marketing report is based on the overall marketing strategy, but you should deliver it with your audience in mind. Consider who you’ll be presenting to—whether they’re other marketing professionals, colleagues, executives, investors, or boards of directors—and customize the delivery of your report to engage them. Include a brief summary of the metrics and make sure you’re telling a story with the data (give context to those metrics). In essence, it should show what you did, how you did it, and why it matters for the business/their role in the strategy.
When you work with Data Driven Marketers, you get to access the format, language, and delivery methods we’ve built to support growing agencies and creative firms. We’ve been passionate about data-driven reporting (it’s one of our core services!) and providing actionable insights since 2013. Partner with us to start receiving understandable and practical reporting.
Questions to consider when writing your marketing report:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are the primary marketing goals and channels?
- What opportunities are there?
Get help with creating a marketing report that will impress
Agencies, we’re here to help. Our white-label digital marketing services include analytics management and custom reporting.
What metrics are important in a good report?
Now that you understand what a marketing report is and why it matters, let’s look at specific metrics you should include in your report and why.
This is how many people visit your site in a month. It’s important to spot trends in this data and look for any dips or spikes in traffic when your campaign is live.
Paid traffic vs organic traffic vs other channels
Paid traffic means that someone arrived at your site after clicking on a paid promotion for it. This could be a Google ad, Bing ad, social ad, programmatic ad, or something in between. Organic traffic is traffic from someone finding your site from a search engine, and it’s often the result of search engine optimization efforts. Including these metrics in your digital marketing report helps determine how people are reaching your client.
These are actions your audience is taking while on your site—like calling your business, engaging with online chat on your site, or having a number of other interactions. To set up conversion/event tracking on your site, enable Google Analytics and Tag Manager. Understanding all actions that take place on your site will make it clear how you can increase traffic to and interactions with your website—both of which drive more sales.
Engagement measures the average session duration and bounce rate on your website. Are users immediately leaving after visiting a blog post, or are they taking the time to read it? Engagement sessions let you see how long users are staying on your site and reports on how a campaign may be performing.
Top visited pages
These are the pages people are landing on the most. Knowing your top visited pages can help you produce similar content that can perform just as well.
Some SEO metrics that you should include in your marketing report are page rankings, top organic keywords, overall keyword performance, and sessions and conversions from organic visitors.
Trends & performance
Trends are important to include in your marketing report because performance fluctuates over time. Identifying what is and isn’t doing well will help you make adjustments to improve your overall campaign.
PPC (pay-per-click) metrics
There are several PPC metrics that you’ll want to monitor and include in your digital marketing report: CTR (click-through rate), overall CPC (cost per click), impressions (number of times someone sees your ad), ad spend (total spent on the ad), ROI (return on investment), and overall conversion (completed actions). These are good to have in your marketing report because they help you evaluate PPC budgets and identify trends and overall profitability.
Social media metrics
Followers, shares, engagements (likes and comments), and impressions (how many people see your post) are all important metrics to measure when analyzing your social media strategy. They can determine how interested your audience is and how much they’re interacting with your content.
Channel sources tell you where your audience is coming from. This can be organic search, direct traffic, referral traffic, social media, display ads, affiliates, or other paid search. This is typically included so you know where to focus your marketing efforts.
Tools to create a good marketing report
Now that you’re familiar with the parts of a marketing report and why each metric is important, it’s time to learn how to accurately measure and report on the results. There are several categories of tools you can use to do this, each with different capabilities and integrations. Learning new software can take time, cause frustration, and come with a hefty price tag. By partnering with Data Driven Marketers, you can let us take care of the reporting software and data analysis—it’s what we do best!
The following software tools provide visual marketing reports with charts and graphs and include integrations with tools such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google My Business, Facebook, Twitter, and so much more. You can customize your reports to feature specific KPIs, making it easier to analyze and take action versus manually reporting on these metrics.
- DashThis: This is Data Driven Marketers’ favorite! It includes reporting for SEO, PPC, and social media. You can export this data into PDFs or share links to the report. It’s $33/month, billed yearly for three dashboards. (You typically need one dashboard per client.)
- Google Data Studio: This is a free tool that integrates with other Google tools and has a fully customizable dashboard you can alter for all sorts of digital marketing reports.
- Databox: This software includes several common integrations as well as third-party integrations, such as Trello, Gmail, and Dropbox. A professional license is $169/month for 25 users.
- Ninja Reports: This is primarily for SEO audits and reporting. It starts at $29/month for a business.
- Agency Analytics: This tool is designed for SEO, PPC, social, email, review, and call tracking dashboards. It starts at $49/month.
- Hotjar: This is a source for heatmaps, recordings, and surveys for user experience research. It’s $99/month for 500 daily sessions of data capture.
- SEMrush: This is software for SEO research, competitive research, PPC, content marketing, and social media marketing. The cost is $449.95/month for businesses, agencies, or e-commerce projects.
- Moz Pro: This is used for SEO reporting, keyword research, link building, backlink queries, and all other SEO-related tasks. The cost for a large team is $249/month.
- Other noteworthy tools to consider: Rebrandly, Cyfe, Supermetrics, Megalytic, RavenTools, Tap Analytics DataHero, Dasheroo, and Klipfolio.
Big data reporting software
Tableau is a popular reporting software used to visualize big data. It’s the market-leading choice for modern business intelligence, delivering in-depth insights collected and connected to an SQL database, a spreadsheet, or cloud apps like Google Analytics and Salesforce. Tableau is powerful and data-driven reporting software that’s fit for enterprise businesses.
With the exception of Excel and Adobe Analytics, these tools are free! They help you with your data reporting by finding trends, sorting data, and visualizing it as well.
- Google Sheets or Excel: Google Sheets and Excel are both spreadsheet tools that can help you organize your data
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free reporting tool that looks at first-party website data and displays it in charts, graphs, and columns. You can export this data, add qualifiers to it to drill it down, and so much more.
- Google Trends: This shows you data based on what people are searching for and where they’re searching from.
- Google Search Console: Similar to Google Trends, Search Console can show you what keywords or phrases people are searching for to get to your site. You can also see data on the keyword ranking on Google.
If you’re wondering which of these tools you should use, don’t sweat it! Data Driven Marketers is your helping hand when it comes to marketing reports. We offer an on-demand marketing reporting service that doesn’t require you to be working with us for your entire marketing fulfillment. If you’re interested in a robust marketing report, we can provide you with that and analyze the trends we see. This can give you peace of mind—especially knowing that your marketing report is coming from a trusted source.
Working toward your marketing goals without a roadmap can mean getting lost along the way. When you have digital marketing reports, you have that roadmap. A digital marketing report will help you choose when you should or shouldn’t adjust your marketing strategy to fulfill your goals. A good report means actionable insights and clear, data-driven solutions to any issues you might face. By knowing your target audience, what metrics you should include, and what tools to use to create it, you can feel confident in your marketing analyses and recommendations.