If you need a helping hand with your content marketing reporting, look no further than this post.
We will be providing a 10 minute (and we mean 10 minute!) whistle stop tour on how to write a clear and informative content marketing report for your team or the senior marketing team.
But, before you create a report it’s key to understand which metrics are important to track, so you know exactly how your content is doing!
This puts you in good stead for collecting plenty of valuable data which can be used to inform future decision making. After all, this is the whole point of creating the report so you can make better decisions going forward.
For this post, we will be running through what a content marketing report is and why they’re important, as well as how you can create your own one (with some useful top tips).
So, let’s get started as we have a lot to get through in just 10 minutes!
What is a Content Marketing Report?
A content marketing report is a document that holds information on how your company’s content is performing, based on the metrics you track.
This helps to make you, your team, and your managers aware of whether your content needs to be improved upon or is achieving results already!
By collecting this information into a content marketing report, it allows you to present your findings in a clear and professional format, and ultimately allows your company to see what’s working and what’s not.
Creating a content marketing report is crucial if managers are going to understand your strategy and which elements are working, generating leads, and creating ROI.
After all, if budget is being spent on content marketing then it needs to be bringing some sort of value to the company.
What Are the Best Metrics to Measure?
Marketing metrics make up a huge part of your content marketing report so it’s key that you know exactly what you’re tracking, and why you’re tracking it.
Content marketing covers a huge variety of areas and metrics can be split into separate categories such as:
These metrics can be collected through online tools such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, or ActiveCampaign where all of the data linked to your website, social media accounts, and company emails will be stored.
This means it’s simply a case of logging into these platforms and retrieving the information that you need.
Usually, there is a ‘dashboard’ or ‘reporting’ section so click into these areas and copy the results from there.
How Do I Create a Content Marketing Report?
We already have a fantastic blog on How to Create Great Marketing Reports, so we won’t go into too much detail here, but we thought we’d provide a brief overview as a good starting point.
Let’s kick things off with the purpose of your report which is the driving force behind why you’re creating it.
Outline the Purpose of the Report
Without a purpose your content marketing report will end up being pages and pages of numbers that hold no real meaning.
As such, it’s important to ask yourself:
- What is the purpose of this report?
- What are we looking to learn from it?
- What are we looking to share through this report?
Are you looking to specifically measure social media growth, or double down on your blog content and SEO strategy? Whatever it is you’re focusing on, make this clear at the start of your report, as it gives everything that follows a sense of direction.
Gather Your Data
Once you’re clear on the purpose and you know who your audience is, it’s time to gather your data.
It’s likely that you will be using one of the software options we briefly mentioned earlier such as Google Analytics, or Ahrefs, so in order to write up your report you will need to go into these platforms to retrieve the data you need.
Depending on the scope of your report, you may wish to collect data from the last week, month or even year depending on how much you want to track.
Remember, although you may feel tempted to include all of the data you find, it’s important to include useful and critical data that provides the most insight into how your content marketing strategy is working.
This will help with decision-making going forward!
Write Up Your Report
There are a variety of ways to format your content marketing report, so we won’t tell you how it’s done as ultimately it’s up to you.
You will know best what your audience responds well to, but it’s a good idea to include: a title or cover page, summary, introduction, body and conclusion as a minimum.
What you include in these sections will depend on the data you have collected and the general format you use within your organisation.
It may be that you use more visuals to get to the point, or you prefer to create a longer written report to walk your reader through.
All we will say is that it is important to craft a report that is:
- And actionable
As with any report, you should provide a good balance between the areas to improve on, as well as your overall content marketing achievements.
It doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom!
Content Marketing Report Writing Tips
So, now that we have explained how to create a content marketing report, it’s time to run you through a few of our top tips.
The content and the way it’s presented will differ from company to company, based on what the senior marketing team needs to know and what the company tracks consistently.
However, these tips can be applied to any content marketing report to help to improve the quality of the writing, and the accuracy of the data.
Customise Your Report
First things first, your report should be customised to whoever you are presenting to.
It can be uninspiring if a report is created using a standard template pulled from a site that a lot of marketers use day-to-day, and lacking in colour and visuals.
Creativity and customisation are key elements so this is the time to use graphs, charts, bullet points, and infographics to make your data stand out.
The data represents your team’s achievements after all!
Why not try creating a graph that shows how many keywords you have gained organically over the last 3 months?
Or perhaps one of your targets was to increase social media engagement, so a visual explaining how shares and likes have increased on LinkedIn would provide a nice insight into improvements on social media channels.
Using visuals will help to guide your audience to the most important information first and hopefully this is the information that they retain.
Another good addition to a content marketing report is an initial summary at the beginning to establish the key points.
This helps to outline what is included in the report so your audience know from the get go exactly what to expect and can prepare any notes or questions if needed.
Understand Metrics and Make Them Actionable
As we have mentioned above, metrics are a vital element to a good content marketing report, so you need to understand what each metric is tracking, and where each one fits into your marketing strategy.
We have briefly explained some of the key content marketing metrics above so we hope this has helped you to get to grips with the basics, but you will need to have a deeper understanding of the information metrics can provide and how they are tracked.
We have gone into more detail on some of the metrics in our 11 Website Metrics that Every Marketer Should Track blog, so if you’re still unsure head over to that post to squash any last minute misunderstandings!
Once you understand how metrics are a central pillar to your content marketing report, it will become clear that metric information is useless unless it can be acted upon.
Showing the information you have collected is great but you also need to explain how these numbers can be improved going forward.
For example, don’t just take a list of percentages from Active Campaign (or the platform you use for email marketing) for metrics such as click through rate, clicks, and open rate and pile them into a chart.
This isn’t providing any new information, so instead provide this information then include ways to improve these numbers such as:
- Working to improve subject lines to engage subscribers
- Switching up CTA’s to increase the amount of people clicking through to the website
- Increase the number of relevant links to ensure people are clicking through to other content such as blogs and resources
Then once you have provided some suggestions use this opportunity to open up the floor for discussion, or ask your senior team for feedback.
This way you are getting a wider company opinion on what changes should be implemented into the strategy or new metrics you are going to track.
Know Your Audience
If you’re presenting your report to the CMO or the marketing director, it’s important that you’re providing the information they need to know.
If you pack your report full of information, graphs, charts and numbers the audience you’re presenting to will be overwhelmed and it will be unclear which key points they need to take away from the report.
The best way to do this is to put yourself in their shoes when gathering your data, and ask yourself questions such as:
- What do they need to know?
- What questions might they have?
- How can I highlight the importance of my team?
- How can I present the information in a way that works best for them?
Equally, it may be useful to ask the CMO or director what they want to see from the report you are providing. This can give you a basis of whether they want to see how social media channels are helping the company to grow, or whether email marketing is engaging customers and resulting in leads.
This way the content report is more tailored towards the audiences needs.
Keep Your Report Professional
Last on the list, but certainly not least, is ensuring you keep your content marketing report professional.
Although you might enjoy creating colourful reports full of graphs and charts, this is only worth it if the information is useful.
Be sure to strike up a nice balance between a professional report, and a report that people are engaged with and eager to read!
Aside from this there are the main checks you should conduct before hitting send, or opening up your slides onto a screen in front of the whole senior marketing team.
It’s a good idea to double check everything, whether that be spelling in paragraphs of copy, or the numbers in your blog post pie chart to ensure everything is accurate.
For example, you might mistake 3% for a 30% for click through rate data, and that is a huge difference.
Checking your report ensures you are providing detailed information that is clear, easy to read, and without errors.
Your 10 Minute Guide to Effective Content Marketing Reporting
So, there we have it, your 10 minute guide to effective content marketing reporting.
That was short and snappy wasn’t it!
We hope this guide has given you a little bit more insight into how to create a report that is to the point, targeted, and a success among your senior marketing team.
Here at Canny we work with marketing teams and marketing managers to create strategies and content that engage audiences and get real results.
We have a range of resources to help such as the Marketing Report template that can help you to collate your data and showcase what your content has achieved!
If you feel you could benefit from working with an agency on your content marketing, get in touch with our team today.