Let’s face it: slides and slides of numbers, charts and graphs aren’t all that exciting. And yet, numbers are often the key to understanding your digital efforts and ensuring that your brand is staying on track. The good news is that it’s entirely possible (and easy!) to produce a report that’s both informative and captivating, and these five tips will help you get there.

1. Sketch out a story arc.

Before you even begin to design a template, ask yourself what message you are trying to get across with your report. Whether the numbers you’ve pulled are from a singular Facebook post or are a part of an ongoing Instagram ad campaign, you’ve got to craft an effective narrative.

For example, maybe your restaurant just launched a series of Facebook posts promoting a new meal on the menu, and people are LOVING it. Instead of simply including numbers that reflect post engagement, pull examples of customer sentiment from the comments section to showcase.

Remember, crafting a compelling story doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding the negative. Even your not-so-successful digital efforts say something important and could highlight the areas where your digital efforts might need improvement.

2. Determine your audience.

Is this report being presented to your boss or manager? Your client? Your investors or stakeholders? Determining your audience will lead you to the most appropriate voice to use in your report.

3. Place this story in the context of your digital plan at large.

 Use the insights and analytical tools already built into the social media platforms you use to build a broader understanding of how certain ads or posts fit your overall digital efforts. For example, Facebook Audience Insights offers important audience statistics as well as engagement analytics, which are key in understanding how your social media presence is received.

How might these numbers compare to the objectives you mapped out when you initiated this digital project? Better yet, how do they compare to industry averages?

 4. Summarize the most central, relevant points.

 For example, if this report is being delivered to your client, make a list of the five most useful things that specific client needs to know. While you may be incredibly passionate about the number of impressions your digital ads received in one month, your client may not be as familiar or interested in that language. Take what you know about those numbers and turn that information into a measurable advantage for your client’s bottom line. Take out any superfluous information and stay as concise as possible.

5. Put it all together.

This is the fun part! There are a variety of free online programs to help make your words and numbers pop, like Canva, Prezi and Adobe Spark. You don’t have to be an artist or a graphic designer to turn your data into something beautiful. You just have to practice!

 

 

Are you currently working on a digital project and interested in generating more creative stories with your reports? The Vela team can help! Contact us today to learn more.