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January 21, 2016 Annual Reports

Improving ROI on digital annual reports

Recently, Comprend analysed the digital annual reporting activities of 49 companies which, according to Webranking by Comprend, had the best digital annual reports this past year.

Despite the fact that these companies received praise for their innovative digital reporting, the results show that a surprising one fourth do not promote their digital annual reports whatsoever.

An annual report is one of the most important communication exercises a large company undertakes throughout the year. This report is invaluable to stakeholders as it summarises all the major achievements of the year. Similarly, it is often the only document that has been signed off by the entire management team.

In spite of its importance, many companies are still having difficulties making the most of the digital annual report. Comparable to producing a lavish printed report and placing it in a desk drawer, it is often difficult to find online reports on corporate websites. Likewise, annual reports are also rarely promoted on other digital channels or social media.

By the numbers

According to the study, 24% of the companies included do not engage in any promotional activities for their online report, while 35% only provide a link to the report on the Investor Relations homepage.

Considering companies invest sizeable time and monetary resources into producing a digital annual report, not providing a direct link on the homepage means forgoing an important opportunity to improve ROI and increase the number of readers.

Tips for promoting your digital annual report

Easy to find links

A simple way to increase the visibility of a digital annual report is to implement a banner or link on the homepage. It seems intuitive, but only 41% of companies surveyed provide this. If it is not possible to dedicate space on the homepage, try to ensure that the report is easily accessible from the Investor Relations page.


One of the main benefits of online reporting is the possibility to be indexed by search engines. This grows in importance when a direct link is not provided on the homepage, as individuals will be more likely to turn to search engines to locate the annual report. By applying SEO tactics, you can help guide stakeholders effortlessly to the report.

Social Media

An interesting strategy to increase readership, is to leverage the community by offering the ability to share the report via social networks. This is a unique possibility that sets digital reports apart from their static counterparts.

Regarding the importance of promoting digital annual reporting, Paula Kandimaa, Senior Corporate Reporting Advisor at Comprend says, “annual reporting offers stakeholders a snapshot of the company’s journey throughout the year. This content, in addition to the graphs and infographics often included in digital reports, are ideal for sharing via social media. Engaging in these types of promotional activities ensures that the readership of your report is maximised, while perhaps even sparking the interest of additional investors.”

Read more about corporate reporting