If you’re a digital marketer who loves reporting, raise your hand. Come on. Not all at once. Really, just me?

The cheese stands alone.

I get it. Reporting can be daunting – there are massive amounts of data to mine and sadly, most of it’s useless. Well kids, it’s time to shift your mindset. That starts with decoding data and unearthing valuable insights that can change the course of your campaign. That’s when you elevate as a marketer and when reporting (and campaigns) get really exciting. Killer reporting is a prerequisite for any successful digital campaign. So instead of stressing about your next report, crush it with these tips.

Start with your campaign objectives.

It’s tempting to go deep into analytics and present all the data you find. While that sounds sensible, you need to rein it in. Your client, manager, CEO, insert powerful job title here, has limited time. They don’t need details on every single impression, they need you to get to the point. Keep your audience in mind and start looking at your reporting structure through the lens of your campaign objective.

What’s the goal of the campaign? What metrics will give insights into its success? Your entire report should flow from here. Every metric you report should correlate to your overall campaign objectives. They should tell a story about the campaign and whether it’s hitting or missing the mark.

Structuring your report around objectives over analytics has major upside. For you the reporter, you’ll be able to weed through useless data, spot trends, and hone in on areas for improvement. At the same time, you’ll be presenting your reader with easily digestible, parsed information that gets straight to the point.

Now don’t mistake this for under-reporting. This is about quality over quantity. Just because you can report it doesn’t mean you should. Vanity metrics that aren’t important to campaign success should never make their way into your report. I’m looking at you, unsegmented website traffic.

Say you’ve launched a campaign with the goal of establishing stronger onsite user engagement. It’s easy to report on bounce rate and time on site as default metrics. They’ll get you by, but will they tell you why people are bouncing? Will they point out areas of improvement?

Remedy this with stats on deeper engagement like scroll depth and on-page events like clicks, video watches, or downloads. Use events to learn how users interact with your site and how you can improve engagement. If you find most users are bouncing before 50% scroll, maybe it’s the result of poor landing page design?

Ask yourself ‘so what?’

There’s a reason you’re doing the report. Your reader doesn’t know data like you do, so it’s your job to go deep and tell the analytics story. By unpacking the stats, you’re communicating the info in a more meaningful way than Google Analytics ever could.

After that’s complete, go one-inch deeper and ask yourself ‘so what?’. How does this story relate to the objective? Why does it matter? What is it pointing out? If your report answers these questions, you’ve proven your worth as a marketer.

Focus on what’s next.

Congrats, your report is wrapped and the campaign’s complete. Think you’re done?

All great marketers know that it’s what’s next that can really make an impact. With your data validating your thinking, it’s time to think about next steps. Take what you’ve learned and come up with ideas for the next campaign cycle. You and your report were a hit – build off that momentum and push your data-driven story to the next level.

I’m feeling less lonely than I was at the start of this blog. Reporting is cool now, right? Come on guys. Not all at once.