A great client marketing report should concisely and effectively explain the work you’ve completed during the time period in question - and highlight the ultimate effect that your marketing strategy has had on their bottom line.
Here, Sheffield-based digital agency Evoluted shares their insight regarding how you can use DashThis to create meaningful digital marketing reports designed to capture the attention of your clients:
Comparing results across time periods is a great way to quickly and effectively highlight improvements to clients - but you need to focus on the comparisons that matter.
In an awful lot of cases, year-on-year will trump month-to-month, because of the seasonality factor. A case in point would be a clothing retail company. You’d expect to see a jump in the run-up to Christmas, so comparing October to November, for example, wouldn’t necessarily offer the best evidence of progress.
Comparing November from one year to the next, however, would provide a much more accurate measure of the success of specific marketing efforts.
When you’re putting together your monthly marketing report, you might be tempted to highlight key performance indicators that mean a lot to you, but very little to the client. While it’s important to educate the company you’re working with, they also don’t need to know every single statistic related to their campaign.
Ultimately, it’s about showing them the return on investment they’ve enjoyed for the relevant time period in the most effective way. Thankfully, with the array of preset, custom, and static widgets in DashThis, you’re free to highlight exactly what you need to. Plus, you can speed up the process by starting with one of their preset marketing report templates (created by speciality, like social media, email marketing, paid search, and more). You can then swap out the KPIs you don't need with ones that mean more to your client.
You also need to explain the work you’ve done using words as well as visuals, but again: avoid going into crazy amounts of detail. Keep it concise.
Every client is different, every budget is different, and no campaign is ever the same. It might sound obvious, but it’s vital to remember this every time you put a report together for a new business.
Obviously, a SEO-centric report will be markedly different to a PPC one, but even if you’ve got two companies paying you for the same service, the goals, aims, and delivery will vary significantly from one client to the next. And while, as mentioned, it can be incredibly useful to start off with a subject-specific reporting template, there's a level of personalization that you need to reach before handing off your report to your client.
Take the time to highlight the key metrics that matter most to the client you’re working with and to their specific business goals.
While the preset options available through DashThis are great, it’s worth taking the time to dig further into the custom widget feature they offer too.
A great example of this could be wanting to highlight a certain segment of organic website traffic within a SEO campaign. Let’s take ‘non-blog traffic’ as an example:
By creating an ‘historic’ custom widget via DashThis’ Google Analytics integration, you can link up to any custom filters you’ve created directly within Google Analytics. So, in this case, you’d simply need to create the ‘non-blog organic traffic’ filter in Google Analytics and link it up via DashThis.
You have to stick to this one - no excuses. When you’re creating your monthly reports, you need to be consistent, transparent, and honest. Avoid removing or altering the KPIs you typically include without justifiable reasoning.
If there’s been a drop in sales, conversion rate, new customers, or website traffic in the past month, rather than panicking, take the time to explain to the client what looks to be the root of the problem and identify a series of potential solutions to take forward.
There is always a solution to an issue, whether it's optimizing existing landing pages, ramping up external content marketing, or modifying your paid search targeting in AdWords. Your client won't need to worry about little dips if you propose a solution immediately; it shows that you're proactive and involved.
Visuals are an integral part of the monthly reporting process, but you need to substantiate and add value to the graphs and charts you use. This can be easily achieved through the incorporation of a couple of text box and CSV sections.
At Evoluted, we tend to include two groups of text:
This could be applicable across several different areas of the reporting process, but it’s vital to keep things simple to avoid the risk of client confusion.
Ultimately, while you might be particularly proud of some complex work that’s helped bring around some great results, your client probably doesn’t need to know all of the intricate details.
They want to know what it’s worth to them in terms of satisfying the campaign goals. While it’s important to summarize what you did to achieve any notable results, keep it simple and focus on the KPIs the client will care about.
It’s likely that you’ll be reporting on several different areas for your clients. With this in mind, you don’t want to bury away the most important results and explanations. People are busy and in most cases, they want to be presented with information that can be quickly digested.
Using the handy drag-and-drop feature in DashThis, pull the most important graphics and explanation boxes to the top of your monthly report so that the client’s eye is always drawn to the stats that matter most.
It might be that there is information you’re obliged to include, that isn’t particularly easy to digest. A good example could be tracking hundreds of different keyword rankings for a SEO client.
In a case like this, consider creating a simple static CSV which summarizes the number of organic search keywords triggering your website in the top position, top 3 positions, and top 10 positions for example.
This way, you can quickly display key information to your client without them having to scroll endlessly through a table.
The whole point of creating reports is to educate and inform your clients – so it’s vital each business you work with is actually engaging with them.
Don’t be tempted to simply send your reports and then forget about them. Encourage feedback from your clients and offer to talk them through any of the results or work they don’t understand. Why not give them a call if you don’t hear back, too?
This way, you can help them to get the most value from the reports while ensuring they also understand the value of the work you’ve done for them. This will go a long way to helping to reinforce your relationship with them.
Evoluted specialises in digital marketing including SEO and PPC, as well as bespoke web development and digital design.
This post was put together by Sean Potter, Content Manager at Evoluted. You can read more posts from Sean on the Evoluted blog.
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