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What Makes a Good Marketing Report?
At the end of every month, Ironistic puts together a monthly marketing, SEO, and web report for each of our integrated marketing clients detailing what we worked on in the past four weeks, how we’re doing on the goals we’ve previously established, and what our plans are for the coming months.
But what’s in those reports, you may ask? Here, we’ll reveal (some of) our secrets.
It’s important to note that just like every client and every strategy, no two reports will be the same. We always customize reports based on the client’s goals and what work we’ve completed for them. So, for example, it wouldn’t make sense to include email marketing metrics in every client report because not every client does email marketing. Our biggest tip in putting together monthly reports is to make sure you’re tailoring it to your specific client and their goals.
We also take the time to schedule a monthly call with every client to go over the reports in more detail, answer any questions the client might have, elaborate on what the data means, and coordinate upcoming campaigns and initiatives. Sometimes, we’ll even schedule more frequent calls – it all depends on our level of engagement with the client.
Onward to our tips!
1. Executive Summary and Future Recommendations
Your client is busy. We all know that. Make their lives easier by starting off your reports with a one-paragraph summary or bulleted list of what work you’ve completed for them that month. Did you start a social media campaign or optimize the blog posts on their website? Include it all! The client will love to see what’s being accomplished and how their marketing money is being spent, all in one spot.
Then, highlight and quantify the results of your efforts. This could include:
- Total marketing reach grew by x%
- Unique monthly visitors to website went up by x%
- Generated x new leads
- Online sales increased by x%
Again, this should be specific to your client’s goals that you should have established when you came up with the marketing strategy.
Another note: we like to make sure that we balance specific marketing jargon and statistics (that’s useful for us as marketers) with data that the client cares about and can understand, like sales and leads. Make sure your report is a mix of the two. If you focus only on marketing jargon, your report won’t be useful or understandable for the client, and if you only provide a high-level overview of increased sales and leads, you as a marketer won’t be able to improve your campaigns because you won’t see the breakdown of your efforts.
Finally, make recommendations for what you think needs to be completed for the next month. Is there a campaign you think deserves more of your attention, or do you want to focus on researching new leads? Make a bulleted list of recommendations so that your client can quickly scan and make comments.
We recommend that you include these three on the first page of the client report. Since you’re using bullets or short paragraphs that are to-the-point, you should have no problem fitting it all on one page without overwhelming the reader. Your client will thank you!
2. Monthly Highlights
This is the fun (or not so fun, depending on how you look at it) part of client reports – the charts and the graphs. These are useful in showing the overall trends in your different marketing campaigns and give them historical context.
We like to pull data from Google Analytics that summarizes different events and goals we’re tracking. It’s useful because we can compare our efforts this month to what was happening at the same time the year before, and clients love to see how our marketing efforts are paying off year-to-year and month-to-month.
For example, for one client, one goal might be to drive visitors to their website in order to sign up for an exclusive discount on a product. In Google Analytics, we might create a dashboard with the following metrics:
- Website visitors (broken down into returning visitors and unique visitors)
- Where visitors are coming from (source/medium)
- Number of sessions
- How many people signed up for the offer (event tracking)
- Product revenue (by source/medium)
Other monthly metrics you could track for your clients based on their goals are:
- Leads by source (offline sources, social media, referrals, paid search, email marketing, etc.)
- Paid vs. organic leads
- Page views
- Marketing reach, broken down by channel
- Top landing pages
Whatever reporting measure and metrics you use, it can be helpful to compare results from previous months and years to assess growth and opportunities for improvement.
3. Client-Specific Campaigns
Toward the end of your report, you can break down specific marketing campaigns you’re running. Whether it’s social media, SEO, email marketing, or paid search, it’s important to report on each campaign individually to see where you can make improvements. If you see that one campaign isn’t too effective in reaching your client’s goals, you can alter it or stop it altogether, but it’s useful to have the numbers to support your decision.
We’ve broken down some metrics you can track for each online campaign you might be running. This list is in no way comprehensive, but it’s meant to serve as a jumping-off point for you and your client.
- Number of followers (and percent increase over the month)
- Interaction/engagement (likes, comments, retweets, replies)
- Post reach
- Where your followers come from (company newsletter, website, etc.)
Helpful tools: Facebook Insights, Twitter analytics, Google Analytics, Moz, Followerwonk
- Most improved keyword rankings
- Most improved page rankings
- Number of external links to your website
- Domain authority
- Search breakdown by engine
- Pages with crawl issues
Helpful tools: Moz, Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool
- Open rate
- Click-through rate on links
- Number of forwards
- Bounce rate
Helpful tools: Constant Contact, MailChimp
- Click-through rate
- Top-performing keywords
- Average cost-per-click
- Total campaign cost
- Conversion rate
Helpful tools: Google AdWords, Social Campaigns
Want more? Check out more ideas for what to include in your marketing reports!
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