Annual reports have a reputation for being dry and boring. Accordingly, publication is kept to a minimum and takes place in the classic paper form. The modern alternative is online annual reports. Especially with a digital publication, you break away from the stereotypes associated with annual reports. We explain how to make your digital annual report a success.
What is an online annual report?
The annual report provides information about the company's activities in the past year. At its core, it consists of the annual financial statements, the balance sheet and similar key figures of the company. Thus, the report provides an overview of the success and development of a company. An online annual report is a digital version of the normal report.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships with annual sales of more than CHF 500,000 are legally required to publish an annual report.
What information belongs in an online annual report?
An annual report consists of a mandatory component and voluntary components. An annual report must contain the following components:
- Management report (objectives and development of the company)
- Corporate governance (information on shareholders and the board of directors)
- Financial report (balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement)
In addition, you can include a range of other information in the annual report. In fact, there are no restrictions. It makes sense if the information is related to your business operations. It is also possible to focus on topics that are current or of interest to your target group. These are, for example:
- Letter to investors, partners and shareholders
- Interview with management
- Sustainability report
- Information on the state of the industry and the company
- Future planning, orientation and strategy
- Segment reporting
What are the key benefits of online business reports?
An annual report provides information about the state and development of your company. On the one hand, this is substantiated with facts and hard figures. On the other hand, the annual report also gives you the opportunity to back up the activities with words.
This is precisely where the strengths of the online annual report lie. With online annual reports, you can reach both your target groups and the entire public via the Internet. In addition to the key figures, the digital platform gives you the opportunity to send a message. For this reason, more and more companies are turning to digital annual reports.
Below, we'll go over the key benefits of online annual reports that you publish on your website.
Online business reports as an image tool
The publication of the annual report is a good opportunity to work on your image. By linking to further information such as content in the blog, it is possible to provide context.
Through the annual report, you can emphasize certain developments or focus on the direction of the company. This can be investments or the expansion of business activities in a certain direction. Practically speaking, there are no limits.
The primary objective is to crystallize a positive image of your company. With the help of the business figures, the development and orientation can be supported with facts.
In this way, you can demonstrate your commitment to the environment by investing in a photovoltaic system. This ensures a green image. A wide variety of actions can be presented in this way, which are reflected in the figures of the online annual report. This is how you use the annual report for image advertising.
By publishing it on your website, you have the option to link to the annual report. This allows distribution on social media, blog, and other platforms. This maximizes the reach. In addition, you have the option to target the channels you find useful.
Interactive elements and interaction options
Unlike a paper annual report, the online version offers many opportunities for interaction. You can reach your customers, partners and the target group directly as well as include options for interaction.
By integrating it into your own website, it is possible to combine the annual report with videos or other information material. In this way, the bridge between marketing, information and branding is successfully built.
The focus is also on the expectations of modern users. They expect not only facts but also entertainment on the Internet. Here, the presentation decides whether you reach your target group.
A start animation, for example, is the right attention catcher. Even large corporations like Google use this to attract the attention of visitors. Studies show that the first three seconds are crucial to arouse the visitor's interest.
We design appropriate animations and work with other web design techniques to catch the user's attention. In this way, we create opportunities for interaction and make your online business reports interactive. In this way, the dry annual report can be livened up at the same time.
Storytelling is also an option for online annual reports. As British-US business consultant Simon Sinek said, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." According to this, the modern customer wants to know as much as possible about your company and your motivation.
The online annual report is an ideal opportunity to combine hard facts with storytelling. Background information about business activities, future plans and even individual stories from everyday life can be optimally linked to the annual report. This increases credibility and builds trust with your customers.
The way to a successful annual report is through targeted planning. It is important to approach publication with a long-term strategy. In addition, an experienced partner is helpful.
Here's how we go about creating online annual reports
Your online annual report is created in several phases. The first step is the kickoff. This is where a first rough concept is created. The focus is on your goals, the core topics and also the rough structures for the design.
Then we develop a content concept. Together with our customers, we develop a plan for how the online annual report is to be integrated into the website.
In the next phase we define the concept for the navigation as well as the modules. We also create the design for these elements. Using a mood board, we design the creative segments and exchange ideas with our clients. This way a design concept is created according to your ideas.
After our client has approved the prototype and the moodboard, we start building the website. We use WordPress and SULU as content management systems. Next, the content creation begins. In this phase, you can create content even before the website is published. If you wish, we will take care of integrating it into the site.
Before the website goes live, extensive testing is done by us. At the latest one week before the actual publication date the website is ready. Only minor cosmetic work is done. Should you still discover the need for changes, there is still enough time for the implementation.
Already in the run-up we discuss the time of the publication. This means that you know at an early stage when the website with your online annual report and the associated content will go online. We prevent premature publication on the Internet by providing a staging version with password protection. This ensures a successful premiere.
cloudtec supports you in the digital creation of your annual report. We have experience with the digitization of annual reports. Our references include a second place in the annual report rating in design. For another client, our digital annual report achieved ninth place in design.
We offer the following services as part of the creation of digital annual reports:
- Conception of the website
- Design of the website
- Capture of the content
- Dynamic preparation of the business figures
The entire digital annual report is based on a CMS and can be implemented in multiple languages. We also take care of the design of the online annual report. In this way, we adapt the format and look to your corporate image.
We take care of your data and we know that business figures have to be treated extremely confidentially and we handle this information accordingly. We develop exclusively in Bern in Switzerland and store the data on a server in Zurich.
Furthermore, if you wish, we can take care of the search engine optimization of the report for you. This way you increase the reach and address your target group. Furthermore we provide possibilities for monitoring. You will receive information on the conversion rate and other key figures.
Have we sparked your interest in digital business reports? Then use our contact form and request an individual quote.