digital marketing reports

Create better digital marketing reports that show off your results

Digital marketing has become widely accepted as a vital part of any cohesive, successful campaign. The data behind digital is an added benefit, because marketers can make smart, actionable decisions without guessing.

But the data is only beneficial if it’s collected and reported in a way senior leaders can understand it. Stakeholders want to know what’s working and what’s not, and what moves to make in order to reach bottom-line business goals. How can you provide the answers? We’ve put together a guide to help you create the digital marketing reports senior leaders actually care about.

Finding the Right Metrics

Defining the right metrics to track and put in your report depends on many things such as your industry, business model, and most importantly, what numbers your senior leaders want to see.

If you know they have a goal to drive organic traffic to the new website, put those numbers into the report. While we can’t predict what stakeholders want to see in your exact reports, we do know the important metrics that are often popular in boardrooms.

  1. Cost-per-lead-per-channel. Calculating your cost-per-lead is never a bad idea but this takes it to another level so you can actually see the average amount of money you’ve spent on a particular digital marketing channel to attract a new lead.
  2. Conversion rates. There are a few different conversion rates you can calculate depending on what matters in your company. The first one is sales and would be a calculation of online transactions. The second one is for leads and could be a variety of things that a customer does to show interest in your brand, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook or a white paper, or creating an account.
  3. Return on ad spend. Also known as ROAS, this is a little bit different than ROI as it calculates the exact return you receive (in revenue) for the total cost that was invested.
  4. Total website visits. Take a look at the total website visits so you can pull back and see the bigger picture. Then, start to drill down an look at your paid vs. organic traffic, and additional channel-specific acquisition, such as traffic coming from social media.
  5. Bounce rate. This is the only metric where a low number is good news. Bounce rate can let you know if your website content, design, or even user-experience is missing the mark.
  6. Customer lifetime value. This will show you the average value of a customer. Many companies can easily spout off the cost it takes to gain a new customer, but do they know how long a customer has to stay on board in order for them to make money?

Elements of Good Report Design

When it’s time to design your report, it’s important to remember to include the most important metrics — the ones your senior leaders want to see. Here are a few other tips for your report design:

  • Always let the data lead the way
  • Include a balance of text and visuals
  • Offer top-level observations and key takeaways
  • Include branding (logo, company colors)
  • Use dashboards and generated visuals when possible

Depending on the reporting tools you’re using, many — such as HubSpot and Google Analytics — have the capability for you to build custom dashboards and automatic reports. This will save you time and leave less room for error, plus you’ll have great-looking charts and graphs to present.

digital marketing report

Here’s an example of the Marketing Dashboard from HubSpot. 

Translating Marketing KPIs to Bottom-Line Business

The marketing KPIs on your report will vary from business to business, but they should be linked to bottom-line business goals. Here are some common business goals and the digital marketing KPIs tied to them:

Business Goal KPIs
Reach new customers Social media likes and followers, social media reach and impressions
Retain current customers Social media reach, impressions, and engagement; online reviews
Establish authority & trust Time on site, bounce rate, number of content and social media shares
Increase sales Organic vs. paid efforts, number of leads, conversion rate
Drive website traffic Number of referral links, traffic acquisition
Brand awareness Overall web traffic, website content downloads, number of referral links
Increase lead generation Number of form completions, number of email and/or blog subscriptions, overall conversion rate

The key is to make sure everything in your report ties back to a business goal that’s important to the company and stakeholders. Make a clean, simple design that gets the point across and makes it easy for senior leaders to walk away with clear next steps.

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