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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Analytics, Marketing Strategy

optimisation-cover-image-800px.pngDid you kick off 2016 with all the best intentions for implementing an inbound marketing strategy, setting SMART goals and (more importantly) achieving them? The next step is finding ways to monitor your progress against these targets throughout the year.

Read on for our five best practices for creating marketing reports, and download our eBook, 4 Ways to Optimise your Inbound Marketing, to learn how to turn your reports into actionable data and improve your inbound strategy.

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Behind all great optimisation, of course, is great tracking. Here are our 5 tips for creating watertight inbound marketing reports.

1. Establish a reporting process

Making decisions about your monthly reporting process early on will make things more consistent and efficient in the long run.

These decisions include things like how you’ll divide the year (calendar months or four-week periods), which team members will fill out which sections of your report, and how you’ll present the relevant data to your colleagues and internal clients; for example a newsletter, monthly presentation or set of charts?

Only when your marketing reports are done in a methodical way can they be used to accurately monitor your performance, track month-on-month progress and guide your strategic decisions next month and beyond.

2. Create a reporting template

The next step is organising your KPIs and data points into a clearly structured reporting template, with different tabs and sections, arranged in a logical way.

HubSpot's Monthly Marketing Reporting Template can be used as a basis for a comprehensive report. This multi-tab reporting template includes everything from reach, to traffic, to lead-to-customer conversion rates and comes complete with detailed explanations of their suggested metrics.

3. Track the whole sales funnel

When you track every phase of your sales funnel, or buyer’s journey, you can clearly see where your marketing efforts are working and where they are falling short.

Tracking your visitor phase will include monitoring traffic by source, website interactions or CTA clicks. At the lead phrase, you can record the number of leads that came from each source, and the same goes for customers.

As an indicator of how your marketing performance is improving over time, you can also calculate the conversion rate (%) at each stage of the buyer journey (visit-to-lead and lead-to-customer) as well as visit-to-customer conversion rate, to see how your funnel is working as a whole.

4. Send only the relevant data to your internal clients

Your internal clients, such as your CEO, CFO and sales team, usually won’t be concerned about all of the same KPIs as you. For example your reach, traffic and open rates may not interest them as much as ROI, LTV and cost per customer acquisition or lead.

As well as creating a monthly reporting template with all of the important KPIs you want to track within your marketing team, we would recommend creating more streamlined versions for your internal clients.

Download our Internal Client Reporting Template to get started with creating tailored reports for C-level executives and sales.

5. Use one marketing platform to run and track everything

To make your reporting process quicker and more efficient, use as few platforms as possible to track everything. Interfaces like the one HubSpot helps you run your entire marketing efforts in one place.

It also allows you to track your website visits, broken down by source, your blog visits specifically as well as your CTA clicks, landing page performance, your customers, leads your social media engagement, email marketing metrics and SEO keyword performance.

Using Google AdWords, you can run, track and optimise your PPC campaigns. When tracking using either Google Analytics or HubSpot, the visits, leads and customers originating from your search, display and remarketing campaigns will all be listed under the 'Paid Search' category.

Download our eBook, 4 Ways to Optimise your Inbound Marketing, for our essential guide to using your data to improve your performance.

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