A digital marketing report serves as the compass guiding your marketing ship through the digital seas.
These reports help you not only understand your current standing but also set the course for future success. And if you're starting from scratch without historical marketing data, they become your foundation.
In the upcoming discussion, we'll explore the world of digital marketing reporting, uncovering its critical role and unveiling the valuable insights it provides. Join us as we navigate the ins and outs of a digital marketing performance report, helping you chart a course toward enhanced understanding and strategic victory.
Understanding the Importance of Digital Marketing Reporting
A digital marketing report provides a synopsis of your current marketing activities and the results these activities have produced to date.
Preparing a quarterly marketing report allows marketers and other key decision-makers to get a top-down view of a brand's overall performance or the effectiveness of a specific marketing strategy and determine if any major or minor changes should be made.
In fact, around one in five marketers consider tracking and analyzing digital marketing reports the number one way to gain a competitive edge.
Within these insightful marketing reports, you'll find a wealth of easily quantifiable data points, including:
- Sales figures
- Unique visitors
- Email signups
- Social media engagement
- And other metrics
By having these easily quantifiable metrics on hand and historical performance to compare them with, marketers can justify maintaining or increasing marketing spend and decipher what is helping or hurting them.
This way, any future marketing decisions and considerations for new strategies will be based on data rather than speculation.
How Frequently Should You Create a Digital Marketing Analytics Report?
Metrics should be examined and analyzed on a regular basis. This will determine if a strategy is succeeding in meeting specific marketing goals and increasing revenue.
Not looking at marketing data often enough can lead to poor decision-making, while hovering over results daily or in real-time may not tell the whole story of what’s happening with a campaign, strategy, or overall brand performance.
Examining key performance indicators (KPIs) weekly or monthly is a good idea to have historical benchmarks so you can easily compare current results and have a data-driven basis on which to set longer-term marketing goals.
However, as helpful as monthly reports are, quarterly reports provide a clearer idea of how different marketing strategies are working out. This is because the results are still short-term, but since quarters represent different seasons, they can also provide more insight into forecasts, planning, and analyzing results.
At the end of the day, reporting intervals are up to you based on what makes sense for your industry, firm size, and other factors.
At LAIRE, we recommend quarterly reports since they can provide a more holistic view of your performance and whether certain strategies are effective or not. This is particularly true of the following list of metrics, which can be used as a digital marketing report template.
What to Include in a Digital Marketing Report Each Quarter
Historical Performance Data
Depending on how long your marketing campaign has been running or how long a particular strategy has been in effect, your report should include historical performance so that there is a benchmark to compare the current results.
Revenue, New Leads, and Deals Won
Ultimately, how many leads you've generated and deals won are the primary metrics to pay attention to. This is because they are direct drivers of revenue, while some of the other metrics on this list are more indirect.
For instance, gaining more social media followers is good, but it could take months or years before they become paying customers.
Forming a clearer picture of how many leads and deals you have won lends more insight into how leads are slipping through the cracks. Some of the cracks in the system may even actually be gaping holes that need to be sealed, such as needing to make major changes to your website or lead generation process.
When your leads and deals won metric is more closely examined and included in your quarterly marketing report, it helps you understand where both the sales and marketing processes need to address shortfalls.
By monitoring revenue in relation to marketing activities, you can justify your marketing investment and ensure that your resources are being used efficiently. In essence, these three metrics are the compass guiding your marketing ship toward profitability. Keep them in focus, and you'll stay on course for success.
Metrics related to your website provide a clear picture of how your web presence translates to both your overall marketing strategy and revenue generation.
Monthly and weekly traffic, where the traffic is coming from, and how many conversions result from clicks are all helpful metrics that tell you how effective your search engine optimization (SEO) is and what your audience is interested in.
For example, it may be different types of content that perform better with some audience segments than others. Or maybe one of your buyer personas tends to beeline to speak to sales and service representatives rather than spending time on your website.
To get an accurate read of how your website is performing, you’ll also want to keep track of:
- Page views
- Number of sessions
- Session length
- Unique new visitors
- Returning visitors
- Bounce rate
- Traffic sources
Depending on your results, this data may reveal that it’s time for a site update to improve page speed and accessibility, remove cobwebs and orphaned links, and update outdated information.
Keeping tabs on your search rank is a crucial practice, ideally done on a quarterly basis. Why? Because the ease with which potential customers can discover your brand directly impacts your revenue. If you're not securing a strong presence in search results, it's a clear signal to amp up your investment in SEO and consider innovative approaches to keywords and content.
According to insights from Search Engine Journal, an impressive 49% of marketers highlight organic search as the marketing channel delivering the most robust return on investment (ROI). This statistic underscores the immense value of maintaining a strong search rank, as it can significantly contribute to your overall marketing success.
Social Media Stats
Social media also increases SEO authority and traffic to your website, in addition to overall brand awareness.
B2B and B2C social media have different elements that need to be paid heed to, but what both have in common is that social engagement can foster quality leads and keep the brand relevant. Social media metrics to include in your quarterly report include:
- New followers
- Interaction on posts that communicate which social channels you should prioritize and which ones should take a backseat
If your social media performance is lacking, it could be any number of issues with your approach based on your industry and target audience. The wrong platform, not developing enough of a brand voice, and being too bland and repetitive are often culprits for why business social media fails to launch.
Think about what your target buyer is drawn to on social media and what would make them want to engage.
Email metrics are also important to note in a quarterly marketing report since unlike social media, they have the reader's attention rather than potentially being lost in algorithmic churn.
Pay attention to your email open rate and how many subscribers are actually reading the emails. Click-through rates also tell you how responsive the emails are, along with the user's intent such as clicking on links to see more content or to schedule calls with your team.
Unsubscribe rates are also important to track because while they have a negative connotation, they should be compared to how many new subscribers you've gained in a month or quarter. High unsubscribe and low open rates could be an indication that it's time to rethink your email marketing strategy and how effective this marketing activity is.
If too many emails are being bounced back or reported as spam, both the technical aspect and how emails are collected need to be examined more closely.
Paid Advertising Data
Paid advertising, like display ads, also has metrics that can be tracked to determine if the amount being spent is producing enough ROI to warrant the ad budget. Impressions are important to note, but your marketing report should highlight just how effective that ad campaign is with metrics like the click-through rate and conversions.
Other signs of intent like signing up for a pre-order email list also matter because paid ads can serve brand awareness purposes or advertise a very specific product at a time when customers are likely to click and buy.
Decision-makers want to see if your ads are actually increasing reach and awareness, or even getting conversions right away, to ensure that advertising budgets are justified.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Report Dashboard
Setting up digital marketing report dashboards can sound intimidating, but it doesn't have to be difficult.
1. Define Your Goals and Objectives
The best place to start is to talk to your manager or leadership in your organization and ask them which metrics are relevant to their short-term and long-term marketing goals.
2. Select a Dashboard Platform
Decide which digital marketing reporting tools you'll use to create your dashboard. Popular data visualization platforms include Google Data Studio, Tableau, or specialized digital marketing reporting software like HubSpot.
Connect your dashboard platform to your data sources, such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, email marketing platforms, and CRM systems. Ensure data integration for real-time updates.
3. Design Your Dashboard
Your company’s leadership may want a general picture of your marketing KPIs or zero in on a specific area like social media or email if they've been looking to address shortfalls in those areas.
If they're more interested in certain marketing activities while displaying little interest in others, that's your cue to include more comprehensive metrics and a more general picture respectively.
4. Include Comparative Data
Incorporate historical data or benchmarks in your digital marketing report dashboard to provide context and facilitate performance comparisons. For example, display last month's metrics alongside the current month's data.
5. Create Actionable Insights
Regardless of which metrics the viewer cares more about, show more than just the numbers. Explain the context of those numbers with a narrative centering around the campaign or strategy, and visually present the numbers with charts, graphs, and other images that help explain these changes and what recommendations can be made based on the results.
6. Monitor and Iterate
Continuously monitor the performance of your digital marketing campaigns through the dashboard. Identify areas for improvement and make necessary updates to the dashboard and your marketing strategy.
Navigating Success… the Data-Driven LAIRE Way
At LAIRE, we're staunch advocates of making marketing decisions rooted in data — not just gut feelings.
We understand that in the complex landscape of digital marketing, various activities often appear as isolated events. However, it's crucial to recognize that these diverse efforts, though seemingly disparate, converge toward a common goal: driving revenue and continuously nurturing new leads.
In a world where every click, engagement, and conversion can be tracked, we believe in harnessing the power of data to inform every marketing move. By doing so, we not only optimize our strategies but also ensure that our efforts are aligned with the overarching mission of business growth.
Finally, when you have insightful data at your disposal, it can be way easier to justify your marketing budget to your boss. Need help creating a budget that’s bound to bring ROI? We’ve got just the thing for you.