You’ve been running a content marketing campaign for months and you’ve got all the data. What now? It’s essential to establish how successful you’ve been, and then communicate that information with everyone involved with your marketing. And a good content marketing report is a useful tool and an integral part of any content marketing system.
What Is a Content Marketing Report?
According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 86 percent of business-to-consumer marketers use content marketing. Yet only 7 percent consider their marketing to be sophisticated. There’s always room for improvement, even on successful campaigns. A content marketing report is an essential component in evaluating and evolving your approach.
At its simplest, a marketing report brings together the findings of your marketing analysis. It presents that data in a clear and concise format for presentation to interested parties, such as managers and investors. However, it’s important not to think of the report as a formality. The report is a vital element in your content marketing system.
A Content Marketing Report does the following:
- Helps you to understand your marketing goals, and to define the metrics for measuring success
- Brings together data from various sources to make it easier to understand what’s happening with the campaign
- Presents marketing data in a formal, clear manner, providing a complete overview of the campaign for executives
- Encourages a deeper look at the figures, reducing the risk of oversights or mistakes in the analysis
- Improves communication throughout the company so there’s less risk of misunderstandings; with 56 percent of business-to-business companies outsourcing at least one aspect of their content marketing activities, it’s a good idea to have documentation that makes it easier to negotiate contracts and define targets when outsourcing
- Boosts morale when the figures indicate something is working well
- Helps you to develop future marketing campaigns by focusing on the areas that worked, thereby making systems more efficient and improving the potential for a return on investment
Creating a Content Marketing Report
Before you start running your content marketing campaign, you should already be thinking about the report you’ll compile, because the report must show how successful your campaign has been. That means you need to define your campaign goal.
One of the biggest challenges facing content marketers is showing the return on investment of their marketing. For example, it’s often difficult to define metrics for measuring the impact of a specific piece of content. Determining a quantifiable metric for success is an important part of creating an efficient marketing system, and ensuring your marketing report is a valuable asset. Metrics often equate to how the marketing affects the bottom line, but there are many other ways to measure success, including:
- Website click-throughs
- Subscriptions to a white paper
- The number of comments on a social media post
- Quantity of sales
- Time on page
- Number of return visits to a site
By defining goals in advance, and figuring out how you intend to measure them, you’re ensuring that when the time comes to create the report, you have the correct information to hand. You don’t want to be in a situation where executives or marketing managers are asking for data you don’t have access to.
Content Marketing Report Tips
Ready to start writing your content marketing report? You should have a good idea of the kind of information you need to include. But there are plenty of other things you need to consider:
As good content marketing reports are so important, it’s worth making something to order, or bespoke. There are plenty of online templates to download that make it easy to slot in data, but a cookie-cutter approach may not be ideal.
Create Multiple Lenses
One report may not be enough. The information you want to share with freelancers is very different to the information you want to share with the executives in your Monday morning board meeting. Think carefully about what information is going to be most important for the recipient, and prioritize accordingly.
Show, Don’t Tell
As part of creating bespoke reports, keep in mind that presentation is a key element. Senior management may not have the time to drill into figures, so some useful charts, bullet points, and infographics guide them to the most important information they need to make their decisions. Always include a summary at the start that highlights the key points you need to establish quickly.
Keep it professional
You don’t know who might end up seeing this report, so make sure it’s clear, easy to ready, and free from spelling errors. Ensure all the facts are accurate, but also take care to avoid grammatical errors that might change the meaning of a sentence and lead to confusion.
Make sure the report’s findings lead to an actionable conclusion. The report is more than facts and figures; it’s the blueprint for the next stage of your marketing. Make sure anyone reading the report is fully aware of what worked, what didn’t, and what has to happen next.
Final Thought on Content Marketing Reports
A successful content marketing system is cyclical in nature. It starts with an idea: You decide on a fixed goal for how you would like to use content to improve your business. You create and share your content. Finally, you analyze the results to establish the return on your investment.
At this point, you need a way to feed your results back into the system to start the process all over again, which is where a good content marketing report is important. A well-written report identifies what worked and what didn’t, it communicates essential information to everybody working within the company, and it serves as a launch pad for the next campaign. Don’t scrimp on your content marketing report, or you run the risk of overlooking important strategies for evolving and streamlining your system.