Digital Marketing Report Frequency & Their Outcomes

Report building is very critical for any agency or brand. With the right KPIs measured in the reports, a campaign manager/stakeholder can understand how his marketing campaigns are performing & can   make data backed decisions. Most agencies or companies share reports with their clients/stakeholders on a regular basis. It can be weekly, monthly and/or quarterly. This blog covers the different report frequencies and what are the outcomes you can expect. 

Daily Reports:

Daily reports are used mainly for internal purposes which include the KPIs, critical and important to your client/stakeholders. It helps you identify any anomalies or changes and you can act immediately. 

Example: If the Campaign ‘actual daily spend’ is more than the target spend, you can spot it immediately and modify it accordingly. 

Daily Report Outcome:

  • With Daily reports in place, you can find a trend in your campaign/website performance 
  • You can spot anomalies in KPIs which need immediate attention 
  • A constant status check on the performance against goals 
  • Ensure that both the campaign manager & the client/stakeholders are on the same page

Weekly Reports:

With weekly reports you can measure performances against your short term plans and  track variances compared to the previous period performance. Along with it you will be able to identify metrics/elements that  are working and the ones that  are not, based on the tasks carried out with respect to their results. You can share the weekly reports during the first two days of the week (Monday & Tuesday) and plan for the week. The day can be finalised based on your convenience and your clients. Some reports are scheduled based on the stakeholder’s meeting with higher-ups, which would need the most recent data. In general these meetings happen in the first 3 days of the week (Monday – Wednesday), So you would end up creating the weekly report on the previous day of the meeting.

Example: Introducing a new set of keywords during a week could either boost your conversions or result in a high cost. You need a couple of days to gather significant data and see if the newly added keywords impact your performance in positive or negative. However, this could be an initial check to see if the keywords are spending without any outcome.

Weekly Report Outcome:

  • You can check  if the performance increased or decreased, with reasons that identify the  campaign, keyword, channel or landing page responsible for the impact
  • You will be able to clearly identify what is working and what is not, based on the tasks carried out, and compared to short term goals
  • You can plan your actions according to the recent performance

Monthly Reports:

Monthly reports are the best way you can highlight your campaign KPIs which are critical to your client/stakeholder. You can showcase results of the long term plans/actions taken over a period of time, determine where you stand against the goals, and define if the campaign is on track or not. The monthly reports help the Directors/CMOs to plan their marketing efforts going forward.

Monthly Report Outcome:

  • Like weekly reports, even these reports help you understand what is working and what is not, for a longer time frame as weekly data is generally not sufficient to take decisions
  • Which channel or campaign impacted your performance 
  • Your plans/recommendations to derive better results and either recalibrate goals or recalibrate plans to meet the goal

Here’s a quick summary of the 3 reports:

You can use daily reports internally while the weekly & monthly reports are made for clients/stakeholders as well as  to optimize the campaign. Ensure the Weekly & Monthly reports cover the main elements  in the summary slides such as

  1. Ensure that all the important KPIs are covered
  2. What happened & why it happened
  3. Was the performance in line with your previous plan or not? 
  4. What is your plan/recommendation to either improve performance or maintain it?

Google’s ‘Auction Insights’ to Analyze How Competition Can Impact Your Performance

Google Ads is one of the most promising paid channels that delivers ROI. So while you run campaigns, utilizing all or at least most of Google ad’s features will help you gain insights to strengthen your campaign performance. One of these features that is probably not used by a lot of marketers is the ‘Auction Insights’ report. 

While running campaigns on Google Ads, you will come across situations where the  performance changes are not always directly related to the changes made by you as a part of your optimization plan.  The performance could be a result of external factors like seasonal trends, competition, etc.   This is where ‘auction insights’ comes in – You can identify market opportunities by analyzing your competitors who are participating in the auction and make changes to your bids and budgets.

Let’s see how an ‘Auction Insights’ report can help you make strategic decisions & improve campaign performance. The rest of this blog will help you understand and make the most of this report with 4 simple steps.

What is an auction and what will an Auction Insights report contain?

Whenever a user searches on Google, in the background Google runs an auction to choose which advertiser’s ad should be served, and at what position in the sponsored section of the SERP within sub-seconds. Google now provides 5 metrics to help analyze the competitors that rank for a keyword in an auction insight report, specific to Google Search campaigns, and 2 metrics (Impression Share & Overlap Rate) for Google Shopping campaigns.  

Understanding the metrics:

  1. Impression Share – The number of impressions received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. A high percentage here translates to a healthy brand takeover, and a low percentage translates to a high volume of opportunities missed.
  2. Overlap Rate – The number of times your competitor received an impression when your ad was displayed. When the report shows 40% against a competitor, it means that your competitor’s ad was shown 4 times off the 10 times your ad was displayed. 
  3. Position Above Rate – The number of times a competitor’s ad was shown in a higher position than yours, when both of your ads were shown at the same time.
  4. Top of Page Rate – The number of times your ad (or the ad of another participant, depending on which row you’re viewing) was shown at the top of the page, above the unpaid search results.
  5. Outranking Share – The number of times your ad ranked higher in the auction than the competitor’s ad.

Where do you see the Auction Insights Report on Google Ads?

The Auction Insights are available for one or more Keywords, Ad Groups & Campaigns. The Auction Insights report can be selected on the left menu in the Google Ads console. 

What are the questions Auction Insights can help you answer?

  • Who are the competitors competing at the auction? 
    • The report calls out the list of competitors that are a part of the same auction as you, as well as lets you see how active your competitors are.
  • Any new competitors bidding for the same keywords?
    • Comparing different date ranges, you would be able to see if any new competitors are bidding for your keywords. 
  • Any competitors changed their bidding strategy?
    • By looking at the change in Impression Share & Position Above Rate, you will be able to track changes in your competitors bidding & budget strategies. An increase in budget would increase the Impression Share & an increase in bids would increase their ad position on SERP which might improve their Position Above Rate compared to yours. 
  • Which device is the competition concentrating on?
    • With the Device segmentation, you can track the devices your competitors are focusing on. For a keyword or a set of keywords, you would know exactly how the device target has been set & you can optimize your device strategy accordingly.

  • At what time or day the competitors are aggressively bidding?
    • Like device segment, Time segment helps identify when your competitors are aggressive compared to you. Based on this you can optimize your bidding strategy based on when they are active & low. 

Pointers to improve your performance based on Auction Insights:

  1. Increase your campaign daily budget to improve your Impression Share. If you don’t have the room to improve the budget, analyze competitor ads by either searching on Google or use tools like SEMRush. Now based on the information available, identify ways to improve and refine your ad copies.
  2. By increasing your CPCs, you can increase your Top of Page Rate Improving Quality Score would help achieve a lower CPC with a higher Top of Page Rate.

Do monitor this report and you can derive insights and strengthen your strategy and performance.


Defining the Structure of a Digital Marketing Report

While you share your digital marketing reports with your client/stakeholder, it is necessary to  pre-empt all possible questions your client/stakeholder may have. Your digital marketing report should contain the status of your campaign performance, where you are against your target, how efficient your plans were, keywords and ads responsible for the performance impact. So if you were to lay out all this information in a report, this blog provides a structure that you could follow. And if this is a recurring report, use the first 2-3 reports to define the structure with your stakeholder

Here’s a quick structure that can get you going:

  1. A Summary section
  2. Performance by channel, campaign, network, etc
  3. Visualize your data
  4. Optimization impact  
  5. Next Steps

Summary Section:

Your summary should be clear and concise which can be understood not only by the marketing team but anybody. Highlight the important aspects of your performance & along with the result, the reason for it, and what does that mean for the brand. Your summary should also talk about where the account stands when compared to your goals (short term & long term). Think of this section as one that gives all the information required to know if the campaigns are performing or not, with reasons. Ensure that you don’t go overboard by providing all the information possible. Take a call on what’s important and what’s not. As mentioned earlier, use the first 2-3 reports to define the content with your stakeholders.

Performance by channel, campaign, network, etc.:

Every metric critical to your client/stakeholder should be analysed and compared with the goals set. This will help you understand if your marketing campaigns are working or not. To add value to your reports, ensure that you don’t just add tables and charts, but add critical data driven analysis insights based on the KPIs. Your campaign performance should answer a) what has changed since last reporting, b) the corresponding reason, c) how the change impacts your performance.

Visualize Your Data:

Turn your data into visuals which are easy to read and understand. Ensure to use elegant colors so your reader does not get distracted  with the choice of your colors (danger red, fluorescent green). Always try to find a balance between creativity and clarity. A clear, simple  and aesthetically created digital marketing report template enhances the style. 

Optimization Impact :

It is very important to understand how your performance behaved or changed based on the optimization  carried out during the reporting period. This will help you and your client/stakeholder understand what is working and what is not to define the next steps. 

Next Steps:

Finally, you need to clearly list out your next steps based on your findings from the above steps. This  becomes your plan to optimize the campaigns, so be specific about how you are going to achieve your goals. Being specific will also create a clear path for your client/stakeholder’s marketing efforts moving forward. 

Implementing these 5 tips will help you build comprehensive digital marketing reports. You can make your reporting easy & fun instead of a worrisome weekly task. 

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