Every client and company is different and has unique needs from their digital marketing. What works for one brand may not work for the next. Some businesses may have customers on Pinterest while other company's clients may have never even heard of the image-focused social network.
As a result, there is no single right answer that encompasses the best practices for every brand's digital marketing strategy. That is of course for one notable exception - reporting.
Every single digital marketing campaign should be tracked, analyzed and reported on.
If you're like me, reporting is the most exciting part of any marketing activity, but if the prospect of digging through an unending pile of numbers does not make you giddy, you're not alone. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone express their disgust for reporting, I would probably have 20, maybe even 21 dollars!
Many people view reporting as tedious and time-consuming, but it is one of the best ways to improve your digital marketing performance. Reporting provides you the opportunity to review what you completed in the last time period and compare it to the time period before. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on what went well and what went poorly during your latest reporting period.
The insight you will gain from reporting is invaluable. You will be able to spot trends in your data and catch slips in metrics before they end up making a real impact on your performance.
The first step to any report is to review your goals for each channel. If your goal on your website is to generate leads, you should review numbers that give you insights into how your lead gen efforts are working.
You should also consider the audience for the report. A report prepared for the CEO is likely going to be different than the report you compile for the Director of Marketing. Understand the needs of your audience so you can prepare a report that speaks to those needs.
If you are the only audience for the report, you have full license to report on whatever you find important. A good rule of thumb when deciding what to include for a specific audience is that the closer you are to a project, the more information you need. A CEO may not need to know how many clicks your PPC received last month, but a project lead should know how many clicks you've received the last 6 months and know the trend your clicks are following.
Now that you have an approximate idea of what you need to include in your report, it's time to start building it. There are plenty of resources you can use to begin reporting on all your successes (and opportunities for growth).
I prefer to get all of my data right from the source.
Facebook and Twitter have robust reporting options that will give you more information than you ever knew possible. LinkedIn and Instagram are a little lacking when it comes to reporting, so if you need deeper insights, I suggest getting a social media marketing platform.
Good email marketing platforms should have analytics built into the system. Similarly, PPC marketing platforms like Google Ads (previously Google AdWords) and Bing Ads will provide you with all the information you could ever need.
And then, of course, there is the mecca of all reporting - Google Analytics. Though it may seem daunting at first, Google Analytics provides every statistic you could want for your website. This will let you see how people got to your website and what they did when they there. There is also the option to set up automatic reports that are sent to your email directly and can save you some time gathering the data.
If this seems a little too complicated, you should consider using Google Data Studio. If you are able to put in the time in the beginning, GDS will automatically pull the data you want and generate a beautiful report.
If you still need help preparing your marketing reports, we are here to help! Fill out the form below and we will be in contact within 12 hours.