It’s one thing being excellent at what you do; it’s another thing to prove it. As a marketing professional, you constantly have to inform your clients or management team on how your efforts are paying off.
Here’s the thing: some initiatives bring results in weeks, some may take years. At the same time, a non-marketing professional may be unfamiliar with the specific numbers or formulas.
So, how do you, as a marketeer, show the importance of your work to others? In today’s article, you’ll learn how reporting helps to prove your work matters. Also, you’ll be introduced to the best reporting tools and methods.
Why does reporting matter?
Unlike the words “results are coming, we just have to wait,” data doesn’t leave that much room for interpretation. By providing actual numbers, you show the client or your manager what you did and how it paid off.
However, the way you present the results is what matters here. If you’re thinking, “Oh, I’ll just show them my spreadsheet,” – consider two things. One, non-marketing people may not understand what a 7% CR drop is. Is it a regular fluctuation, or do we need to take immediate action?
Two, people already spend a considerable amount of time looking at spreadsheets – don’t add yours on top of that. In all seriousness, some people find it difficult to get through an entire data report. They don’t finish reading it: either the data is too complex, or there are too many irrelevant numbers.
Hence, the best way to represent what you’ve done is by creating a performance report. Here are three steps to ensure your report is valuable, insightful, and visually appealing.
1. Choose the correct service
By visualizing your performance numbers, you’ll be doing your client (or boss) and yourself a favor. Not only does it help them understand the effectiveness of your work, but it might give you a new perspective. By compiling the numbers together, you may see what efforts pay off and which ones you should get rid of.
Choosing the right reporting tool is the key here. If you’re not looking for anything fancy, you may collect the data manually from each channel and present it using Google Slides. However, that will consume a considerable amount of time and leave room for errors or miscalculations.
Alternatively, you can use automated software that does the work for you. There are multiple tools you can choose from based on your needs and budget.
One such tool is Whatagraph: it automatically pulls performance data from your selected sources and turns it into a visual presentation. You can create reports for channels individually or blend data from different sources to see the full picture. Using professional software, you’ll be able to create the report in 10 minutes or less.
2. Include relevant elements and metrics
When you’re building the report, try finding the balance between covering everything that’s needed and skipping irrelevant information. Now, there’s no general rule to that, but most marketing reports contain the following elements:
- Title. Whether your report analyzes campaign performance or monthly leads, your title should reflect it – especially when you’re sharing the report with non-marketers.
- Reporting period. Select a timeframe your report is going to cover – it can be weeks, months, quarters, or even years. It’s recommended to place the date at the top of your report.
- Summary. The summary should include the key pieces of information: celebrate the wins and admit the wrongdoings. Here, you can add the number of new leads, goal progression updates, cost analytics, and ROI.
- Context and insights. Finally, make sure to provide context and insights: compare current results to past performance; address how you’re planning to overcome current obstacles.
3. Break down the channels
Finally, you should provide an overview of each marketing channel you run. Whatagraph, for example, offers pre-built templates for different channels, containing all the vital metrics. But if you’re not using reporting software, here’s a checklist for every channel along with its essential metrics:
- SEO: Organic traffic and conversions, keyword ranking, domain authority, backlink quantity (and quality), engagement, page speed, mobile traffic (and rankings), and organic landing pages metrics.
- PPC: Clicks, click-through rate, quality score, cost per click, cost per conversion, conversation rate, impression share, average position, budget attainment, and lifetime value.
- Social media: Number of posts, new followers (or the number of unfollows), reach rate, web traffic, likes, comments, shares, page, or profile views.
- Email marketing: Open rate, CTR, conversion rate, new subscribers, subscriber growth rate, email deliverability rate, inbox placement, spam complaints, reply rate, number of people contacted vs. open rate, unsubscribe rate.
You could say that it’s essential your client (or manager) somehow relates to the report: make the report visually appealing, tailor it to their needs, and minimize the marketing jargon.