Including digital marketing reporting in your overall digital marketing strategy is a step that can add a huge amount of value. Many businesses are so focused on forging ahead with digital campaigns that they forget to stop and consider how these campaigns will be tracked and measured. Although there are numerous free tools available, these seldom provide the same level of insight as dedicated reporting solutions such as digital marketing audits.
Along with more obvious benefits such as showing results, digital marketing reporting also helps you gain critical insight into areas for improvement and growth. Reporting also ensures accountability, driving trust and ensuring that you and your marketing agency are on the same page. This, in turn, is the most effective way to take your marketing efforts to the next level, knowing exactly what is working and what is not. With the help of digital marketing reporting, you will have a clear picture of the channels you are currently using, to easily see progress across your entire digital strategy.
How much value does digital marketing reporting offer, though, and why should it be something you cannot afford to overlook? Do you really need reports to grow or are they more of an icing on the cake type of service? If you have been wondering why you need to be thinking about reporting, it always helps to see the value. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest advantages that reporting can bring to the table.
The Real Value of Digital Marketing Reporting
We’ve briefly touched on some of the biggest benefits offered by digital marketing reporting. Now, let’s have a deeper look at how much value you can expect from reporting.
Reporting shows results – both good and bad
Without any type of reporting, how will you ever know which campaigns are delivering results and which are not? An integral part of clear communication between you and your digital agency is being able to show results in a way that is objective and easy to see. Simply being told that your Facebook campaigns are going well and that your SEO efforts are paying off is not enough. You need reports that show exactly how those campaigns are going. You will be able to pick up on conversions that occurred after you ran a PPC campaign and notice that the social media ad campaign you ran did not give you the results you’d been expecting.
Being able to easily track results is vital to know how to continue. If you are not seeing results from a specific channel, you should be able to make changes or even focus your efforts on another channel if you are continually not seeing results. This prevents wasted time, effort and costs.
Reporting keeps everyone on the same page
Mistakes all too easily happen when your agency is thinking one thing and you are thinking another thing. Keeping everyone on the same proverbial page is key to the growth of your digital strategy. There is often a big gap between expectations and delivery. Big promises are often made by digital agencies at the start. Unless those promises can be backed by cold, hard data in the form of digital marketing reporting, it becomes very hard to keep your goals aligned.
When everyone is on the same page, however, it will be far easier to plan ahead and stay on track. You will be able to keep expectations in line with what your agency can deliver, with fixed schedules and delivery timelines to further keep things organised.
Reporting shows progress and builds trust
Without reporting, how can you see progress? You might be able to look at your website and social media stats, but it is far harder to compare progress from month to month or take a broader look over the year to see how your campaigns have done. Be very careful of any agency who tells you that you are doing well without showing you any type of report to back up their claims. If you cannot get a report that clearly shows the numbers, how will you be able to trust your agency?
Trust is not given blindly. It comes through visibility and the ability to back up promises and claims. It plays a hugely important role in your success. Having a digital specialist you can trust to guide you through to optimal growth and help you meet your goals is essential.
Reporting increases accountability
Closely linked to trust is accountability. Once again, this is where reporting is something you cannot afford to dismiss. In addition to ensuring that your digital agency is accountable, reports also keep internal teams accountable. Your social media team needs to be able to show that their campaigns are performing. Your email marketing team need to be able to show clickthroughs, open rates and bounce rates. Everyone needs to be able to show results – good and bad – in a way that is completely transparent. Digital marketing reports are the best way to achieve accountability.
Reports help to keep the focus on pre-determined goals and milestones, using designated strategies to reach these goals. Rather than going off track, progress needs to be kept in line with broader goals, too.
Reporting offers preparation for change
Reporting can be a very useful tool to prepare for changes. If you need to change strategies, consider new objectives or shift your focus to new metrics at any point during a campaign, reporting is one of the most effective ways to prepare for such changes. You may have a new marketing team on board or your priorities may have changed over the course of the year. You may find that your current strategies are no longer working or you may find that you need to scale as your company grows. You may be entering a new, previously untapped market.
Preparing for such changes is key to navigating change more fluidly without issues. Reporting on a regular basis helps you stay on track – summarising your progress and using micro-goals to keep your new strategies running smoothly.
Reporting shares insights and trends
Finally, another way that reporting can add real value is to share potential insights and trends that you may not have noticed. Reporting can be an excellent way to reveal insights through the data as well as through trends that arise. You may notice that you have promotional strategies that you had not fully explored or you may see an audience trend that had not previously been a market you had considered. Reporting takes a wider look at your progress, revealing new and improved ways of doing things.
When you have detailed reports that go beyond the numbers, you will have a valuable resource on your hands that can be used for future planning and forecasting. This can pave the way for new campaign ideas that can improve your results even further.
Invest in Digital Marketing Reporting
As you can see from these benefits, reporting offers value in numerous ways. Investing in reporting is every bit as important as investing in digital marketing in itself. Included within a multi-channel strategy, digital marketing reporting will allow you to take your campaigns to the next level in a way that drives real, authentic growth.