As an agency owner, you’re well aware that time is a precious resource. There are only so many hours in a day to execute campaign deliverables and grow your clients’ businesses. However, showcasing results is just as important as the results themselves. That’s why client reporting plays a vital role in maintaining strong client relationships. In this article, we’ll guide you on streamlining your agency’s client reporting practices.
Discover how to share your agency’s performance, progress, and the value it delivers to clients–all in a scalable way that optimizes your agency’s resources.
Understanding the Purpose of Client Reporting
Client reporting serves as proof of the work your agency is doing to drive results and help your clients achieve their goals. Ultimately, these reports are crucial for demonstrating the value of your services.
Let’s take a white-labeled SEO report, for instance. When done well, it showcases your client’s organic search growth over time–and we all know SEO takes time–while keeping your agency’s brand at the forefront. It’s a win-win for your agency, and your clients–because at the end of the day, your job is to help them grow their online presence and power the engine that drives customers to their business.
Setting a Client Reporting Framework for Your Agency
Part of streamlining any agency process involves coming up with a standardized way of doing things across your agency. When it comes to client reporting, you’re going to want to have a tried-and-true way of getting things done–while leaving room for personalization.
Here are six ways to set your client reporting standards:
1. Establish Clear Client Expectations With Your Reporting
- Define the KPIs the client needs to see from the get-go. What results do they want to achieve, and are they SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound)?
- Define your reporting frequency and format–will you be sending them on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis? Will they be in live dashboards or static reports?
- Design a report template that is easy to make, replicate, and modify. A drag-and-drop function is a great way to customize your reports to highlight what matters most.
2. Automate Your Agency’s Data Collection and Reporting
- Identify the right reporting tools and software for your agency–they should be robust enough to accommodate more clients as your agency grows
- Integrate data sources for seamless data collection–each client has their own marketing platforms, so the software should easily connect to multiple platforms
- Automate report generation and distribution using pre-built templates or build them to your exact needs–again, this should be user-friendly
- Customize reports based on client preferences–then set it and forget it! Each month, the report should automatically generate itself, giving your team time to add expert analysis and recommendations
3. Analyze and Interpret Your Data
- Translate the data into meaningful insights–this is where you might take the best nuggets of information to write up in your report summary (more on that below), add annotations, or utilize goal-tracking widgets to instantly communicate progress to goals
- Identify trends and patterns by zooming in and out of date ranges straight from your client reporting platform
- Address successes and areas in need of improvement with your team and with your clients
4. Streamline Communication and Collaboration
- Establish clear lines of communication with clients–will you give them 24/7 access to a live dashboard? Will you schedule regular meetings via Zoom? Will you simply email them their reports each month?
- Eliminate back-and-forth emails by pushing chat messages to clients straight from your client reporting platform
- Encourage proactive client involvement. Touch base with them periodically and make recommendations based on their goals
- Use collaborative project management tools and assign tasks to your team within your client reporting platform–so each account manager has access to their specific client’s marketing data
5. Enhance Your Reports with Visual Data Representations
- Choose effective data visualization techniques–clients don’t have time to sift through mountains of data points, so some things are best in a pie chart or a graph. Client reports should be visually appealing and digestible
- Incorporate data storytelling elements into your reports to add context to the metrics
- Tailor your reports to different audience types–consider whether they should be more top-level or granular, depending on who is going to read your report and make budget decisions
6. Continuously Improve and Evaluate Your Methods
- Collect feedback from your clients–automating your reporting doesn’t erase human interaction altogether. Ask them what they think.
- Identify areas for optimization and efficiency. Your client reports can be an effective tool for highlighting upsell opportunities
Key Elements of a Great Client Report
Your agency doesn’t do basic work, so your reports shouldn’t be basic either. Let’s take a look at what you need to include in a powerful and engaging client report.
A Report Summary
Client reports are not a place where you want to keep the best for last. Your clients are busy business owners who want to get to the bottom line, and how your agency is helping them make money.
Choose the most relevant metrics, KPIs, and key performance highlights for each client, highlight them, and show how the results align with their growth goals.
Think of the report summary as your Tl;dr where you give a concise breakdown of:
- The performance metrics and KPIs you’re tracking
- What marketing tasks you’ve completed in a given period of time
- An overview of the results (think big-picture)
- Recommendations for improvement
Here’s an example of a one-page report summary:
By reading this, your clients don’t even need to go through the rest of your report to gauge how many new leads your talented team provided or how you’re exceeding campaign targets.
Speaking to them in ways they can easily understand brings them on board as a partner, more than a client listening to marketing jargon.
Overview by Marketing Channel
The body of your report should be broken up into different sections, depending on the different channels you’re using to promote their business. Are you doing PPC services by running ads across Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn? Then you’ll need a page dedicated to each, summarizing the key metrics you’re tracking.
Generally speaking, Google Analytics is a great starting point to show the overall success of your digital marketing campaigns, highlighting how much traffic you drove to their website, where they came from, and how well they converted.
Here’s an example of an automated Google Analytics report page that summarizes a month’s results using data visualization tools:
Depending on your agency’s services, you would also include a page dedicated to summarizing your clients’:
- SEO Rankings
- Social Media performance across multiple platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube
- PPC Campaign results from Google Ads, Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads, and more
- Email campaign performance
- Call Tracking
- And more.
Now here’s where streamlining all this data collection becomes essential. There are dozens of top marketing metrics to track for each channel, and the more clients you add, the more tedious it becomes to gather it all in a succinct and meaningful way.
Tip: Once you’ve onboarded a client, start gathering their data from Day 1. Create a template that automatically collates their data in one place so your team can identify areas of need. Turn them into client-ready reports come reporting time.
What To Look for in Client Reporting Software
If you take a look at the Marketing Metrics Power Triangle, you’ll see that there’s a lot at play here. And visually representing that data is crucial to gather valuable insights into your clients’ campaign performance.
So here’s where client reporting software not only comes in handy–it’s essential to your agency’s daily operations.
You’ll need a tool that integrates with each of their client’s marketing platforms to keep all your clients’ KPIs in one place.
Otherwise, your teams will be bogged down by manual tasks such as logging in and out of multiple platforms, and copying and pasting data into complex spreadsheets–hello, human error!
At the end of the day, time is money–and your team shouldn’t be spending hours manually collating data for client reports.
With the right platform, agencies:
- Automatically collect the latest metrics for each client in well-organized dashboards
- Zoom in and out of time periods to easily view trends and benchmark against past results
- Show key performance metrics in a visual way so your team can go straight to optimizing their campaigns
- Share information both internally and externally with specific user settings
- White label dashboards, reports, emails, and domains to boost professionalism, build trust, and make client reports look like they were built in-house
Cut Through the Clutter With Your Client Reports
Regardless of how granular you’d like to get to impress your clients, they all truly care about the bottom line: cost and conversions. By streamlining client reporting practices, agencies achieve reporting efficiency and deliver impactful results:
- Time and resource efficiency so your team focuses on the creative endeavors that bring campaign success
- Improved client satisfaction and retention with transparency and clear results
- Enhanced communication and collaboration within your team, and more meaningful conversations with your clients
- Data-driven decision-making to optimize your campaigns and benchmark against success
- A competitive edge that makes your services and effectiveness stand out from the rest
Streamline your client reporting to boost client satisfaction, enable data-driven decision-making, and gain a competitive edge. It’s time to cut through the clutter and present your clients with powerful reports that showcase your agency’s true value.
About the Author:
Content Marketing Manager at AgencyAnalytics
Melody is a marketing manager, writer, and startup consultant with a background in behavioral neuroscience. Through a data-driven approach and a passion for product-led strategies, she helps businesses achieve growth in today’s competitive digital landscape.