Don’t dismiss an annual report as something that’s produced by accountants for accountants. In fact, it’s a valuable marketing tool that can be used to make a big impression on your clients.
Forget about the traditional image of a dull document filled with pages of tables of figures. Today’s annual report is about sharing your successes and showing your customers what you can do for them.
Why do you need an annual report?
The purpose of an annual report is to give your shareholders and other interested parties an insight into your previous year’s activities and financial performance.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to prepare and disclose annual reports and file them with the relevant authority. This contents list for the annual report of a UK company provides some helpful guidelines.
However, your annual report is also an opportunity to showcase your organisation’s achievements. You can include any information relevant to your stakeholders – and this is where you can use your annual report to your advantage.
How to gain maximum benefit from your annual report
When it comes to incorporating additional elements into your annual report, there are many areas you can choose to focus on.
For example, you could use your report as an opportunity to highlight your stance on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Once upon a time, this was an issue that manufacturers with environmentally or socially sensitive operations would focus on to dispel any concerns about their practices.
Now it’s a subject that’s relevant to every organisation.
By highlighting your stance on corporate social responsibility, you can build trust and credibility with your clients. Why not use your annual report to showcase your environmentally friendly office practices or publicise your involvement with local community causes?
What to include in your annual report?
Once you’ve incorporated the essential financial information that you’re required to disclose, you have the flexibility to choose what else to include.
Essentially, whatever you put in your report, the tone should be positive and forward-thinking. These are just some of the themes you can explore:
- Celebrate your achievements
- Explain your future vision and goals
- Encourage your clients to engage with you
- Build trust with your stakeholders
- Motivate your staff or volunteers
Pick out key messages you want your audience to concentrate on. If your organisation is about to undergo significant changes, use your report to explain these to your stakeholders.
This is your chance to describe your strategic business plans. But be brief – and avoid information overload. You’ll make a bigger impact if you’re selective about what you include.
Think of your annual report as a visual journey that guides the reader through your activities, successes and future plans.
Create a compelling call to action
Even though your annual report is for information sharing, rather than selling, you can still include a compelling call to action.
At the end of your report, give your readers a clear message as to their next course of action. What do you want them to do now? Give them directions on how they can purchase your products or services, sign-up for your offers, or donate to your charity.
Why include a table of contents
Your annual report will be viewed by a broad range of people that could comprise of stakeholders, clients, employees and other interested parties. Even competitors.
That’s a diverse audience, which is why a table of contents is a handy tool. It helps each reader skip to the sections they’re most interested in. A clear contents page with engaging graphics should pinpoint exactly what can be found in the report, and where.
By making your report user-friendly, you ensure the information contained in it gets read by the people that matter.
Maximise exposure of your annual report with an interactive digital version
Why not let our digital publishing department transform your report into an interactive online publication? This way, you maximise its exposure.
You can make your annual report even more engaging with these features:
- Multimedia content
- Video, animation and sound
- Live web links
An interactive digital report will impress your customers and motivate them to act. Incorporate click-to-call numbers and an enquiry form submitted from inside the document. It’s an effective way to direct customers straight to your sales team.
A link to your digital annual report can be shared on social media to drive traffic to your website. As a result, you can obtain detailed analytics offering open rates and click-through rates via the publication.
Your report can also be made downloadable from your website – and optimised for viewing on digital platforms such as smartphones, iPads, and tablets.
The Clever Marketing approach to designing an annual report
When designing an annual report, our team works closely with you to ensure your message is delivered in the right way. Our graphic designers know how to draw the eye to the statements you want to stand out.
We use graphics, quotes and other design techniques to highlight your most significant achievements. Visuals can be used to impart facts in bite-sized chunks while devices such as ‘your year in numbers’ can be used to tell your story with powerful statistics.
The result is a sleek, colourful and highly polished publication that has the wow factor.
Let us create your powerful and persuasive annual report
Our team will take the hassle out of producing your annual report. We take care of everything for you, from the design to the printing of your choice.
We’re a digital marketing agency made up of experts in a number of different fields, and we work across multiple industries. This gives us the experience to advise you on the best style, layout and format for your organisation and the type of messaging you want to convey.
We offer competitive pricing, quick turnaround and fast delivery. Because the sooner you can get a persuasive and professional annual report in the hands of your stakeholders and clients, the sooner you can start winning new business.
Looking for a new slant on your annual report design? Need a fresh design, quality printing?