The whole concept of UX or user experience design revolves around the user and how to best serve them by designing sites and apps that answer their needs. Today, all good websites and applications are built with the principles of UX guiding every aspect. Interestingly, you can also apply these principles to content marketing.
Digital marketing today revolves heavily around content marketing. Done correctly, content can significantly impact your website's SEO ranking. It offers value to customers by sharing information and is a powerful way to drive traffic without having to spend money on advertising.
Content marketing statistics show that better content can drive up traffic to a blog by up to 2000%. With more traffic, you stand a better chance of getting leads and more customers.
How can UX principles help boost your content marketing? That's exactly what we're going to explore in this article. Let's get started.
In the interest of providing their audience with all the necessary information, businesses often overwhelm their readers. Businesses create too much content in a single page section and weigh down their readers' cognitive workload.
Progressive disclosure answers this problem by revealing just the right amount of information needed at the moment. If someone is visiting your website for the first time, you need to show them who you are and what you do in the brief window of time they're paying attention. You can do this with a headline, a subheading, an image, and a call to action.
These few elements won't overwhelm your readers, but they must pack enough information to convince site visitors to stay.
If a visitor stays and explores your site, you can offer them links and further reading as they scroll down or navigate through your site. In this way, your audience isn't confused, but they'll get the right information they can consume at the moment.
One way to ensure that they do get more information at the right time is to create an opt-in popup when they've spent some time on your site or are about to leave. You'll give your visitors a way to get information by signing up for your email marketing list.
You can then send them information such as discounts, updates and more content. To successfully use progressive disclosure, you need to prioritize your content – something we'll cover in the next point.
Before you can decide what to show readers first, you have to decide what matters the most. What kind of content does your audience need to see and when?
You can answer this question by researching and planning before you launch your content. It's essential to find out what your audience is looking for, because it can be different from what you expect. It depends on your industry and audience needs. Some websites are better off with an 'About' section on the front page while others link to it in the site footer or in the navigation bar.
In the end, you need to back your content prioritization with good research and by getting useful feedback. The next point covers more about how to do research and get feedback.
Business leaders often assume they know what their audience wants. This assumption can create a blind spot that will lead to wrong choices in your content marketing strategies.
It's wise to not assume that you have a clear understanding of what your audience wants unless you're backed by actual data. One of the core best practices of UX design is to constantly get feedback and to test any design choices. It's through continuous feedback that the best user experience is possible.
Get feedback and data for your content marketing by using website analytics tools. Add Google Analytics to your site or work with an SEO tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush.
Also, send out surveys and feedback forms to your existing email list. If you can do interviews with your clients, you'll get even better information.
Your other options include working with user testing platforms and social media listening tools. By understanding what people are looking for through their comments or posts on social media, you'll be able to get feedback on the type of content to make and how to prioritize it.
A visual and content-based hierarchy will help you showcase high-priority content on your website. You'll guide your audience toward content or actions of importance. This helps your readers by making content easier to find and read.
How do you create a hierarchy for your content? You do this by using:
- Headings and subheadings – g., H1, H2, etc.
- Formatting options – e.g., italics, bold, etc.
- Bullets and numbering
- Short and easy-to-read paragraphs
- Grouping content with categories and tags
You can also leverage colors, fonts, spacing, and other design elements to support content and visual hierarchies.
Communicate value proposition
As a business, it's easy (and poor practice) to create your messages from the viewpoint of your brand and product features. It may even make sense. However, it does ignore something important - your customers' needs.
When creating your copy for your website, email marketing or other communication, your content needs to be written to appeal to your customers. This means showcasing benefits that they get rather than the features you offer.
You can find a sweet spot where you're communicating product features alongside tangible benefits that matter to your audience.
Here's an example. A resume writing service might focus on their technical skills that don't mean anything to someone who's worried about getting a job. A much better practice is to communicate a value proposition by featuring how their services will help a person fast-track their career.
Remember to always phrase your landing page and lead nurturing copy in a way that reflects the benefits your audience stands to get. You can offer product specifications when your leads are doing product research and are about to buy from your brand.
When building a website or an app, an important principle that's followed is to maintain consistency across the application. This is in terms of color, sizing, spaces, aesthetics, and more.
This principle applies to content marketing and any marketing effort in general. Your brand needs to have a consistent voice, tone, and vocabulary across all platforms. This is no easy task if you consider all the places where you might publish content:
- Multiple social media sites
- Your blog platform
- Guest posts on other publication sites
- Email communication and more
If you have multiple writers, you need to have a way to create a consistent voice so that your readers don't experience dissonance and discomfort.
How can you do that? Create a style guide at the very beginning of your marketing set up. Get your writers and marketing heads together to collaboratively decide on a tone, persona, or voice.
Create a content calendar that's accessible to everyone so that there's no topic overlap. You can also use tools like the Hemingway Editor and other readability tools to ensure that your written content is easy to read. With some practice and effort, you'll be able to develop a unified and consistent voice across platforms.
UX design principles hold the needs of the user as its chief guide in building websites and applications. These principles, however, are also useful for creating content and using it to create more conversions.
In the end, you'll do your best work by focusing on what your customers want and thinking of ways to make it easy for them to achieve their goals.
By using the principles explained here to boost your content marketing and by listening to your audience, you'll see growth in your organization.