User experience (UX) focused marketing doesn't just extend to an optimized experience on your website. It's time that our content strategies focus on the user as much as our homepage design does.
So how do you think like a UX strategist, and how will doing so help you produce better results?
These four UX tips will provide direction as you plan, create, and implement your content strategy.
1. Think: Users First
UX strategists have a gift for keeping the user at the center of everything they create. You should do the same when it comes to creating your content strategy.
Instead of deciding whether you should focus on white papers or how-to guides, think about what types of content and information your users want or need from a business with your expertise.
How to do it:
Create buyer personas. Then, every time you start to craft or modify your content strategy, ask yourself which buyer you're looking to make more aware of your brand, convert, or sing your praises.
Buyer-focused content will prevent you from creating a killer piece of content that won't resonate with your customers or potential customers.
Ask yourself these questions before you create your next content strategy:
- Which buyer personas do I want to target in the next few months?
- How do these people consume content?
- At what stage of the purchase process does this buyer persona start to consume content from our business?
The last question is key. You don't want to create a content plan that will be rolled out in the next three months and is aimed at converting a particular buyer persona if it typically takes that persona five months to have a shift in attitude and become a customer. Instead, create targeted content for each stage of a persona's buying process.
2. Customer Experience is King and Clutter Kills Conversions
Above all, UX strives to deliver the ideal experience to users. UX professionals know that in order for a first-time buyer to become a repeat customer and a brand advocate, their experience needs to be spectacular from the beginning. This mindset needs to extend to your content strategy.
How to do it:
First, understand your company's brand image and the experience it wants to deliver to its customers. Then, with every content piece, think about the experience it will deliver to your users. Ask yourself these questions about the content you're creating:
- Will it answer all of their questions on this topic?
- Will anything about the information included or excluded in this piece frustrate the consumer?
- What do I expect the takeaway to be for people who read this content?
Understand the structure you want your content to take before putting together a new piece for your content strategy. The technicality and complexity of the information you want to get across should dictate the structure your content takes. Don't frustrate your users by becoming overly concerned with what the content should say instead of how it should be said.
3. People Make Snap Judgments
UX reviews take into account the visual appeal of a user interface. The end goal or most important information on a page should be clear. A good UI uses white space to its advantage and makes the information easy to navigate. Content you create should follow the same guidelines.
How to do it:
Your content plan should have a theme. Worry less about creating many unique pieces of content and more about how you can repurpose existing content so that it resonates in a different way with different users.
Your content may contain the exact information you need to show to a user in order to turn them from a window shopper into a repeat customer, but if it fails to meet a user's expectations within the first few seconds of delivery, then you've lost the opportunity.
Compelling headlines and section headers in blog posts, white papers, or case studies go a long way to deliver a good first impression.
Never produce a “how-to” guide that's promotional. People will make quick assessments about your work, and although your content strategy is ultimately a promotional tool for your brand, you don't need to scream your brand name for people to know it's from you.
4. Funnel Analysis Can Tell You What Types of Content Your Users Need and When They Need it
A good UX analysis includes a break down of website goal funnels to identify the primary pain points for users. Before you roll out a content plan, find the areas of your conversion processes that are causing users to bail. Think about when you can deliver content to those users that will help push them through your sales funnel.
How to do it:
Use Google Analytics to analyze your website's goal funnels and tap into other resources such as your sales team or automation tools to help you determine where potential customers need a little nudge. Once you've identified the areas causing these people to leave your funnel, think back to those buyer personas and ask yourself these things:
- What is it about our product or service that the buyer isn't confident about at this point in the process?
- What kind of content do we have on deck that can supplement this knowledge gap?
- What is the best delivery method for this content?
You may find that there is an information gap when it comes to a particular decision-making topic, and you simply need to add content to your website in a place that it will be helpful to users. However the more likely scenario is you should create content to be shared through email campaigns or social promotion that will deliver the missing, personalized information to your potential customer when they need it.
With a focused content strategy that a UX professional would be proud of you'll see better engagement from your users and help them become repeat customers.