What do we know about the best digital annual reports? The most successful yearly wrap-ups go beyond just sharing essential info about financial standings. They also feature dynamic designs, strong imagery, and moving storytelling to showcase accomplishments from the past year.
Though the preferred way to share annual report findings varies from company to company, every year more companies are embracing digital annual reports. Some of the reasons for this format’s popularity is its greater potential reach, more flexible formatting, and added opportunities for interactivity.
Plus, in some cases, strategically designed digital annual reports can also be more affordable in the long-run (especially if you reuse CMS layouts and other creative assets to support other marketing and communication initiatives).
Keep reading to see examples of the best digital annual reports published in 2021.
What do the best digital annual reports have in common?
1. Intriguing infographics
An annual report is ultimately a report, after all. Paint a picture for your shareholders by creatively displaying pertinent statistics about how you are achieving your goals.
2. Telling real stories, in their own words
The best digital annual reports will incorporate real people who have been impacted by your work. Use any combination of testimonials, case studies and client stories, and even video interviews to tell their stories.
3. Spotlighting the mission and goals
Make the connection for your audience by weaving your mission and goals throughout the report. Since a user controls how they navigate your digital annual report, you’ll want to incorporate the mission in different ways to tie them back to overall goals for the year.
4. Use of professional, custom photography and videography
Having custom, professional, high-resolution photography or videography is the gold standard when it comes to online imagery. While stock photography has its merits, custom imagery paints a more compelling and engaging story for your brand. This is true in print marketing, but with so many images on the web, custom art can be a way to make your digital annual report stand out.
5. Utilizing enhanced analytics tracking
Unlike a printed report, you can gain real-time information about your audience and users in a digital annual report. You can use passive data to better understand what appeals to your users, such as a time on page, bounce rate, and click tracking.
For some organizations, it makes sense to offer a gated copy of the report to collect contact information about their shareholders and potential investors.
6. Customizing the user experience
While a printed report is a similar experience for all shareholders, from the cover to the imagery to the order of the information, the best digital annual reports give users more control over the information that matters to them. Use navigation and design elements to help your users “choose their own adventure” to provide them with the best experience with your annual report.
7. Staying on brand
The best digital annual reports are like virtual brand ambassadors. When your annual report is interesting, tells your story, and is user-friendly, it has the added benefit of adding validity to your overall brand credibility on the web. The annual report can be a way to show a new expression of your brand while still being recognizable and adding your digital tool belt.
Consider the improved user experience, the ability to tell stories with images and videos, and the ability to track user engagement to determine how to best build your digital annual report.
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