22 Jan Creating A Quarterly Digital Marketing Report for Non Profits
I love charts and graphs, but I’ve got to be honest, some of the quarterly marketing reports out there with colorful lines and donut graphs make my eyes cross. Too much information presented with too many colors and too little explanation results in information overload, especially for board members who may not understand what all those numbers mean.
Your social media channels, email marketing tools, and website analytics account provide you with more than enough data for an excellent report, but how do you ensure your board receives the most relevant information in a format they can understand?
Start with Your Mission and Goals
Not every number is relevant to every mission. One nonprofit with whom we worked recently wanted to raise awareness in specific geographic areas. The organization boasted very healthy follower numbers in general so increases in followers were not a big deal but demonstrating how follower numbers increased in specific geographic areas did matter.
Before you parse the data and find yourself awestruck by shiny numbers, remember to relate this information to specific goals. If you’re going to talk about follower numbers, find out what’s the most important aspect of those numbers. Has the age distribution changed? Are you attracting more people from specific areas or did you see an increase in followers related to a specific campaign?
Follower numbers may not be important at all. Your board may need to see how blog posts have increased visits to your website and online donations. Your organization’s goals will lead you to the right data to discuss.
Cover the Basics
Not all these categories will be important to you, but choose what’s changed, interesting or relevant in the data to present in these areas or others you’ve identified. Be careful not to include too many areas. Pick three to five of these areas that best demonstrate marketing’s role in reaching your organization’s goals.
- Follower increase/decrease
- Engagement increase/decrease
- Reach increase/decrease
- Click-throughs increase/decrease
- Online donations from specific channels increase/decrease
- Conversions per media type
- Cost per conversion
- Returning website visitor vs first time visitor
- Bounce rates
- Highest converting website pages
Keep It Simple
Marketing jargon in a report to the CMO makes some sense because the word means something to her. Those same words in a board report mean much less, even if your board is stocked full of business tycoons. Use language your audience will understand and explain what the numbers mean in a few sentences. If you’re able to give the presentation in person, you may be able to verbally explain the results but otherwise, include an easy to read explanation of the numbers.
Be Honest About Failures
Not all your numbers will look good all the time. Sometimes it’s because an idea crashed and burned like a dud firework on New Year’s Eve. Other times outside influences over which you have no control affected the numbers.
For example, Facebook shifted it’s algorithm’s priorities in early 2018. The platform’s paid advertising eliminated some of its most widely used audience segments in August 2018. Both of those influenced reach, engagement, conversions and click-throughs for everyone which means a comparison of the same quarter a year earlier might show vastly different results. These less than stellar numbers offer a prime opportunity to update the board on changes to the marketing landscape and how your department is already adjusting its strategy.
Make It Pretty
Everyone loves a pretty report. We enjoy Canva.com for its ease of use. You can create a powerpoint template with beautiful charts and graphs without having to be well versed in graphic design. If your department has a graphic designer on board but finds itself short on time to create one more template, we’ve found some great premade templates on graphicriver.net.
Keep the design simple and focus on the main areas you want to discuss. You might include one slide for each major platform for each of your brands and then a slide to discuss the overall effects of your marketing such as the number of conversions by channel or how many more volunteers you had at an event this year than last year as a result of online marketing.
Every organization has different KPIs. If you need identifying which data of the pages you’ve collected is the most important for your board, reach out to us. Find the story in your organization’s digital media data is a key part of the services we provide our clients.