By Brenna Lofquist, Marketing Consultant for Heinz Marketing
Working for a small marketing agency has its perks, one being every project is different. Some people might think differently but, you are exposed to all kinds of things – people’s perspective, different ways of doing things, tools and tech, and more!
One thing that has stuck out to me recently is around the user experience. This can be looked at several different ways but as a marketer, when you are planning or developing a campaign you are thinking about the user experience from start to finish. The start could be an ad they saw or an email you sent; no matter what the medium is you want to make sure their experience is seamless. It should be clear to the user what you’d like them to do.
I thought back on my experiences and realize sometimes you might not have control of the entire user experience, or you might not have overseen the development of certain aspects of an experience you care about. For example, most websites have already been created so you don’t have control over the page layout or elements on a page but, it’s just something you’ll have to work around or do the best you can with what you have.
As you think through a typical user experience for your business, there are likely similar elements that always appear in the journey. I’ve broken out the major ones below and provided some things to think about when analyzing and trying to improve on the user experience.
Your website is the core anchor of your digital marketing efforts so put in the time and effort to perfect it. In most cases, the website is already built but that doesn’t mean you can make recommendations to improve it. Making updates is easier than starting from scratch so you might as well speak up.
One thing that might be obvious to some but, not to others, is to always keep the user in mind. So many times, I see a website that looks like they thought about everyone except the user – the navigation is unclear and unorganized, there’s too many elements on the page, the list could go on!
If you look at your website as its own element (i.e., if someone came through organically), the user should be able to easily figure out who you are, what you do, how they can learn more, and how they can contact you. If it’s too complicated for a user to find what they are looking for they will leave and that’s a lost opportunity for you.
Aside from the structure of your website and its individual pages, you’ll want to pay attention to things like white space, page load speed, CTAs, and more. Use this list Hubspot put together as a way to rank your own website – identify which of these tips you have incorporated on your site and which ones you have not. There are tons of great articles online to give you ideas – use your resources!
The biggest disconnect in the user experience, that I see, is from a multi- or omni-channel strategy. The more channels you are utilizing in a campaign the trickier it can get to ensure every combination produces the best user experience possible. No matter what the medium is, you always want to make sure the user experience flows seamlessly from one to another.
Here’s an example: you send a prospect or lead a marketing email through your automation system. There’s likely a customized and/or personalized element to the email and then you have a call to action– Let’s say you want them to download a case study. They click the button or link and are taken to a landing page. Whether gated or not (that’s a whole other blog post), make it easy for the user to figure out how to download the case study, it should not be a hyperlink (or a form) buried at the bottom of the page. If you are gating the landing page, once the user fills out the form to obtain the case study, don’t send them to another landing page and make them click another button, just give it to them already!
This example also applies to digital ads and any other medium you are using to attract users. Here’s a great blog post from Inbound Rocket about tips for creating the optimal cross-channel user experience.
I’m just scratching the surface on this topic, I know there’s more to be written but at least think about the overall user experience and the flow from one medium to another. Put yourself in the user’s shoes or even get the perspective from someone outside your organization to give you some feedback.
What aspects of the user experience have you worked on improving? Or where do you see other businesses struggle?