User Experience in Inbound Marketing

Jun 11, 2014 | Graphic Design, Inbound Marketing

User experience

This is part one of four in a series I’ll be writing during the summer months. With inbound marketing comes The Four Marketing Actions: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. Today, I’m touching on Attract.

We’ve given the meaning of inbound marketing plenty of times on the 212 Media Studios blog. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t read one of our inbound marketing-related articles, the two words can be summed up by saying that it’s hunting rather than setting a trap. That’s it. In inbound marketing, you actively seek customers by providing valuable content through social media, blogs, emails, and websites instead of sitting back and waiting for customers to come to you by putting your name on billboards, signs, and phone books.

You may not know the term “user experience” (UX), but the quick definition is pretty self-explanatory. It’s how a user experiences something. (See? Pretty simple.) In our industry, user experience is key and is usually limited to websites, email campaigns, blogs, landing pages, forms, and every other form of inbound marketing.

As a designer, I want to touch on UX in inbound marketing because, to me, it’s most of what design is when it comes to inbound. It isn’t all about the logo or color usage. Why? When a designer creates a website, many factors play into the design. Deciding what comes first, what goes in the middle, and what is last on a page all factor in and play large parts in UX. The “what” can be anything from the logo to the copyright information. It’s about how information flows with the user’s eyes and brain.

To attract customers, the first and recurring issue in a designer’s mind is how to arrange content. Different applications call for different arrangements. For example, when attempting to capture leads, you wouldn’t want to present content before and after a form capture. The user would read, sign up, and then read more? You would have given them incomplete information and then asked for their business—and then provided them with the rest of the information they needed. If you were buying a car, you wouldn’t be asked to buy before the salesman finished explaining the initial features and specs.

Blogs are the first place you should start when it comes to attracting customers with inbound marketing. You can either create a custom blog or find an online service that allows you to customize. When you’re looking for a theme, keep in mind how easy it is to use. Don’t just look at colors, image sizes, or text sizes. Think about your users and how they’ll experience your site. Will they be able to find past posts? Are you encouraging them to share via social media or email? Is there enough spacing between objects and/or text to show different elements?

The next time you’re finished reading a blog post, stop for a minute and realize the ways in which the designer made your user experience easier.

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