Why reporting has become key to choosing a digital marketing agency

There are countless factors you need to examine before selecting a digital marketing agency. To make the best decision for your business, you need to consider the agency’s experience, services offered, price and your own personal marketing needs.

However, an often overlooked aspect of choosing the right agency is reporting. While it may not seem like a crucial element of the selection process, ignoring it could be very costly.

But why is reporting so important?

After all, aren’t the results that the agency can produce the only real criteria that should matter?

Well, the truth is that reporting has as much to do with the ultimate success of your digital marketing campaign as the strategies you use themselves.

You see, the world of digital marketing changes at a rapid pace, to such an extent that even professional marketers can have a hard time keeping up with all the changes and developments. So it is only natural that for most business owners, having deep and fresh knowledge on the subject becomes even more difficult, if not almost impossible.

That means that the digital marketing agency that you decide to employ will not only be in charge of running your campaigns but will also need to educate you about the progress and convince you that their plan will be effective. And that’s where reporting can be so powerful.

Since most digital marketing campaigns deal with an enormous amount of data, most of which is complicated and very technical, reports allow for distilling that information into an easy to digest format that’s not only easier to understand, but also carries a clear message and can show specific results.

These reports will be the main tool which allows you to see the progress that the digital marketing company is making on your online business presence, so if the reports are of poor quality or not comprehensive, you will lack sufficient control of your campaigns and be unable to measure if your investment is paying off.

In addition, reporting plays a crucial role in making decisions about how your campaigns should progress or what digital marketing services will be required. An agency that is unable to develop a clear plan and present it in an easy to understand manner will not be able to show you all the benefits of a particular course of action, which will leave you second guessing on how best to proceed.

What exactly should you expect from a digital marketing report?

The exact type of report that you should expect will largely depend on your company. For a company that creates a lot of content, some of the most important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) include keyword rankings, social media engagement, traffic to landing pages, as well as on-site user behaviour such as average time on site, bounce rate, and others.

An e-commerce store would likely be focusing on completely different goals, so the most important metrics would include traffic, transactions, conversion rate, cost per lead, ROI, and user-specific insights such as the device used or demographics.

Finally, if a company was mainly using the agency’s services to improve SEO, the reports would include focus on another set of KPIs. Ranking position for the most important keywords, number or ranking keywords, traffic from different keywords, search visibility, as well as conversion stats, would all be important.

As you can see, it would be hard to create a universal blueprint for a report that would work in any situation – businesses are unique and have a variety of goals for their digital marketing campaigns, so it is understandable that reports have to be designed individually as well.

But even though each report will be different, every good digital marketing report shares core characteristics that make it valuable.

In fact, it can be boiled down to a few simple aspects that, when present, can make a difference between a bland report that does not connect with the client and a hard-hitting one that leaves a strong impression.

What makes a good digital marketing report?

Well, it can be boiled down to three key points. The report has to be:

1. Simple
2. Insightful
3. Results-oriented

Although this might seem pretty straightforward, you would be surprised how many agencies fail to follow these basic principles and end up either overstuffing their reports with unnecessary info or omitting key details, making the entire report useless. In the end, the entire purpose of the report is to help clients quickly and easily understand how the project is progressing, present them with specific and clear information about the results that were achieved, and show them the goals that they can expect to reach if this course of action is maintained.

So if you want a positive and hassle-free experience when engaging with a digital marketing agency for your campaigns, make sure that it offers extensive reporting, because that can be the difference between failure and success.

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