3 Feb, 2020

The modern annual report is written, typed and printed. What’s next?

TWouldn’t you want your annual report to reach a wider audience? Take a look at digital annual reports. It’s accessible, easy to set up and will build a company brand.

And because several companies are realizing the value of a digital report, top annual report designers are being hired to design them. The biggest benefactors of a digital annual report are the investor relations team.

Digital annual reports are valuable, and there are several factors that make it so. Let’s look at why digital annual reports are so important and how they benefit corporates.

The value of digital annual reports

Communicating information is a challenge. Cutting through the unwanted white space of annual reports requires some level of expertise.

Reporting has evolved into a strong piece of business storytelling through mediums such as, blogs, forums, and microsites.

A standard annual report is long. With multiple sections, sub-sections and financial information to cover, an on-the-go annual report format is needed. The solution is a digital version of the annual report, which can accommodate videos, links and a cool CTA (call-to-action).

Digital annual report vs printed annual report

It’s highly recommended to design both. A printed annual report saved as a PDF online can be uploaded to business centers online. But this is not a digital annual report.

A digital annual report is an interactive, smart, next-generation publication style. It is better than a traditional print annual report format because of its:


Digital annual reports allow the extraction of financial reporting data. This information can be downloaded as a .csv file to be viewed on Microsoft Excel.

Easy interaction of a digital annual report allows the figures to be located, complied and presented say for example as a bar chart.

Effortless navigation

The digital annual report is a webpage. This means a company investor or other stakeholders can navigate through it via a scroll, zoom, and on-click.

The use of optimal UX elements leads to scannable blocks of text, bite-sized content, attractive visuals, and engaging videos. All this makes for perfect online reading.

Multimedia options

Digital annual reports allow investor relations websites to incorporate static images, explainer videos, social media posts, thus catering to all audiences who visit the annual report online.

Digital annual report benefits to corporates

The following benefits highlight why companies need to get a digital annual report designed by a top report design agency.

Reaching more hands

With smartphones and data packs combining to make online content accessible, setting up a digital annual report as a microsite is a no-brainer.

Online digital reports allow companies to quickly reach and influence targeted audiences. This also saves on shipping time and print costs. It’s easier for stakeholders to revisit and refer to these reports.

Provide an experience

Digital reports are user-friendly and can be designed to provide relevant information. The report can provide a visual experience that is rich in visual storytelling, emotional appeal, and engagement.

Innovative brand image

By adding a digital annual report online, a company can identify itself as a technologically savvy brand. Digitizing reports can help convey information that is personalized and relevant.

Measured content impact

Digital annual reports can be set to record impressions and clicks. This gives the company an idea as to who is viewing the report and from where. Analytics allow for tracking metrics such as average time spent & internal page redirects.

Rise in rankings

Presenting an annual report digitally through HTML pages rather than simple PDF downloads can improve SEO rankings. Theoretically, search engines can access a 200-page annual report PDF. But a web page annual report URL is recommended for a boost in search rankings.

Effective user engagement

With interactive components such as audio, animation and video, digital reports rule in the segment of engagement. The report does not rely just on text; as it does in printed reports. Integrating interactive components can bring a corporate report to life.

A combination of both – digital and print is recommended. This gives traditional stakeholders a personalized experience. The larger demographic can be appeased with an innovative digital annual report. A dedicated annual report design agency will do justice to both.