A guide to setting up digital marketing reports and automating them for success
When your marketing team manages a myriad of social media platforms (from Facebook to TikTok), it is hard to keep an eye on the ROI of your marketing efforts.
Each platform comes with its own set of dashboards that provide marketing analytics. But the trends and insights from those dashboards are limited to each specific platform.
Knowing how you performed on Google Ads tells you very little whether you should increase your Facebook advertising expenditures.
So when the various stakeholders (from sales to the CMO) come knocking with questions about marketing results, you have to give them more than 20 spreadsheets of fractured highlights and overviews.
In this article, we will dive deeper into how to build digital marketing reports that effectively communicate the digital marketing campaigns’ performance.
Keep on reading to discover how to set up a digital marketing report, what exactly to include, and - finally - how to automate your reporting templates to save yourself time with every new report.
Digital marketing is a catch-all term for four different pillars of digital advertising:
The four pillars all have the same marketing goal: to convert a digital user into someone who loves your company or product. The love can be expressed as loyalty to your brand or in hard-earned cash exchanged for your great product or services.
But despite having the same goals, the four different approaches differ in their tools, methods, and criteria for success.
This is why your digital marketing report should be divided into four sections - each measuring the success of the four digital marketing approaches.
A digital marketing report is - in its essence - a summary of digital marketing performance.
To evaluate the performance - or success - of your marketing team efforts, you need to track the right marketing metrics for each channel.
This is why these important metrics are called KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. They tell you if your digital marketing campaigns are performing according to standards.
Let’s look at the most crucial metrics for each digital advertising pillar.
Social media marketing is all about the digital community of brand followers and advocates. The main metrics to track social media marketing performance are:
Performance marketing is best evaluated by the performance of the ads:
SEO marketing is best evaluated by the following metrics:
Website optimization can either be measured through UX or conversion rates experiments to see if a new version of the website performs better. Both need the following web analytics metrics:
To dive deeper into sales funnel optimization, check our guide to eCommerce analytics metrics.
Knowing which KPIs to use is not enough. You also have to structure your digital marketing report in such a way as to get the most insights out of your marketing analytics.
Setting and measuring the right marketing metrics is just the first step to a proper digital marketing report.
The next step is to structure the marketing data so it tells a story.
A digital marketing report should always have:
It’s time to put the theory to the test.
Let’s get our hands dirty with a step-by-step guide on how to build an actual digital marketing report.
There are 4 steps to build your marketing report:
Before we dive into the intricacies of each step, a tale of caution.
You can build the digital marketing report by hand. Heck, the internet is filled with intern nightmare stories of how they had to go through a repetitive click-hell to collect data from Facebook Ads, Google Ads, … into Google Sheets, and then to manually produce daily digital marketing reports.
Or you could use software that is dedicated to making your life easier.
Here we will opt for the second door by showing you how easy it is to build a digital marketing report with Keboola. Why? Because:
The following steps will be illustrated with Keboola, but you can follow along manually if you prefer.
Every marketing platform and tool you use - from Google Analytics to Facebook Ads - offers the possibility of extracting data.
A pop-up will appear offering you multiple options - from diving into the documentation on how to configure your account (link here, for ease) to connecting your Facebook Ads account. Pick “Use Blank”.
You will land on the authorization window where a wizard will guide you through the steps needed to authorize Keboola with Facebook ads (aka, give Keboola permissions to extract advertising data on your behalf). It is as simple as typing the name of your ad account (this is for you to remember what you are extracting does not need to match) and logging into the ad account via Facebook login.
Once connected, just select the ad account you want to extract data from (in the pic the ads account are omitted for security reasons).
Once the authorization is configured, click the button “Run component” to start the actual data extraction.
Your data will appear under Storage > name-of-your-extractor-in-low-caps.
You can rinse-and-repeat the same exercise with a myriad of data sources, like PPC advertising platforms (Facebook ads, Google ads, Bing ads, Linkedin ads, etc.), social media data platforms (e.g. Instagram, Facebook Pages, Twitter, Snapchat), email campaigns (Sendinblue, Mailgun, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and more), CRM and sales tools (Pipedrive, Hubspot, Intercom, …) and many, many more.
Now we move to the next step, data cleaning.
Data cleaning is more of an art than science.
You might want to look just at recent data and remove anything older than 1 month. Or remove certain campaigns from the report. Or - most likely - join multiple data sources into one.
Keboola empowers you to transform your data whichever way you like.
Simply go to Transformations > New transformation and pick the language of your choice to do the data cleaning (Snowflake SQL, Python, R, Oracle). (Not comfortable with programming languages? No worries, we show you how to clean your data with other tools later on.)
On the transformation page:
After thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the data, it is time to visualize it and construct a dashboard.
Your data is safely saved under Storage > name-of-your-marketing-data-tables.
To get it into a dashboard tool, simply go to Components > Directory > Data visualization and pick the business intelligence tool you use.
You configure the data visualization software similarly to how we did in Step 1. Just follow along with the wizard to get the data into the dashboarding tool of your choice.
Each BI tool is specific, so it is best if you just follow along with your tool’s best practices for cleaning the data (without coding) and building dashboards with the metrics we discussed above.
Getting the cleaned data into the BI tool is not the last step, though.
Keboola is extremely powerful because it offers end-to-end automation.
With every component, job, and transformation, you find a button that says “automate”.
Simply click on the button, to set-it-and-forget-it. That’s it. Let Keboola take care of the heavy lifting and save you valuable time.
Ready to try it yourself?
Check out what Keboola has to offer with its no-questions-asked, always-free tier, and start building marketing reports that will make your team efforts shine.