How to Tell a Story with Your Paid Digital Advertising Report

by WordWrite Staff, on Jul 17, 2019

Digital marketing report

The idea of creating a monthly, quarterly, or annual report can be a stressful time for digital marketers, especially with paid digital advertising, since a chunk of your company’s or client’s budget is being used. Did any campaigns generate leads? Did people respond to the creative? Did the ads increase traffic? Did they outperform the previous month or quarter? Or simply, were they effective? These are just some of the concerns that plague the minds of digital folks when it’s time to report.

Reporting is truly the backbone of advertising, specifically with digital, because the data you are analyzing will tell you exactly what to do next — whether it’s updating a headline or image, or repeating a campaign for another month. The data changes constantly, and it’s something that you’ll have to review regularly to maintain your overall digital health.

Once you start pulling the raw numbers, the next step is presenting the results. This can be tricky if you are presenting it to someone who may need some guidance on what all this data means and the terminology that comes with it. This is where the power of story comes into play. It’s not easy to tell a story, but it is important to display the value of your digital efforts throughout the year.

Two of the most important qualities we value are being authentic and collaborative. That means presenting the real data (good or bad) and working collectively with a client or superior to determine the most important metrics that align with their business goals.

Here are just a few tips to help you present the data at your next meeting.

  • Identify main KPIs and goals

With paid digital advertising, the top six key performance indicators (KPIs) we recommend are new visitors, impressions, total investment, total clicks, bounce rate and cost-per-click. These metrics are at a high enough level that they’ll give you a broad overview of a campaign. Then, you can dig deeper to look at website engagement, demographics and anything else that may be valuable to share.

Assigning goals for your KPIs is an important part of the process because you can track the progress as each campaign runs. It also manages the client or superior's expectations.

The KPIs identified here are meant to be a guide, so we encourage you to collaborate with whoever you are working with to have an understanding of what metrics will be tracked  to hit your goals.

  • Create an easy-to-understand template

There are a variety of paths you can take to create a comprehensive report, but graphs and visuals will be your best friend. Separate the data by social channel and website engagement to show how each is affecting the other. A nice touch is to present your best performing posts with screenshots. This may also be a good time to show how competitors are running paid digital advertising campaigns.

A best practice is to create a first draft of your report and ask for feedback from someone not in marketing to determine if it is easy to understand. Use their feedback to make adjustments. If they find it confusing, then it probably is — and it’s back to the drawing board.

  • Be prepared to educate

When you take your car in for repair, you probably have no idea what they are going to do when they use ‘car speak’, but you expect them to explain what they will be doing in simple terms. Makes sense, right?

Presenting digital advertising results should be no different. No client or superior is the same, nor will they have the knowledge or understanding of the various terms that come along with reporting, so it may take longer than you would like. That’s why it’s vital to be patient and relatable with the information you are presenting. In the long run, this will truly benefit you — especially when the report’s results are good. Every story hopefully has a happy ending, after all.

Topics:digital marketingdigital advertisingdigital reporting
Noah Fleming-wordwrite-
Noah Fleming
Digital & Inbound Marketing Specialist

Interested in creating a paid digital advertising plan? Feel free to reach out to me at to get started, reporting included.



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