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The Relationship Between User Experience and Digital Marketing


Marketing expert improving the user experience for a new campaign.
Image source


Although digital marketing has existed for a while, we have lately seen radical shifts in online shopping and customer behavior. Nowadays, users don’t want to be marketed to; instead, they want to be entertained and educated. Most successful marketing campaigns for large brands are based on developing an emotional bond with their audience. However, for this to work, marketers need to have a strong understanding of the user experience. For this reason, we will look into the relationship between user experience and digital marketing.

What makes up the user experience?

Many marketing buzzwords are floating around the internet. However, most online users and even marketers will struggle to explain them adequately if you ask for a definition. One of the most complicated terms to pin down is the user experience (UX). Many consider the User Interface the key determining factor of the overall user experience. This is by no means incorrect since how a user interacts with your product or website will have a massive impact on their experience. Nonetheless, there are more things at play besides just the UI.

The User Experience is composed of everything your users see and feel while interacting with your brand. Therefore, how things look and the graphic design you use undoubtedly have an important place in our discussion. Visuals are the final piece of the UX trifecta which we can define as: look, feel, and usability. We’ve already mentioned UI and how great it is when we talk about products. However, we will broaden our discussion and look at the relationship between user experience and digital marketing.

If we want to include marketing into the mix, we need to look at how users interact with it. A simple answer would be – by clicking on one of your ads. Once they click on your ad, users will be taken to your website, where most of the actual interaction occurs. This means that we need to include web design into the list of necessary components of UX for digital marketing.

Employees looking at the relationship between user experience and digital marketing.
It’s essential to define which elements are vital to UX before designing your marketing. Image source

The importance of user experience for online businesses

The user experience can make or break any business, especially in the field of online shopping. In online spaces, things happen quickly, and you will have very little time to make a good first impression before users move on to the next thing that piques their interest. Online businesses need to rely on user reviews and other forms of social proof to attract new customers. A poor UX is much harder to hide in online spaces, and negative word of mouth can sink your business, particularly if you are in the field of e-commerce.

If you want to continue having a presence in online spaces, you’ll need to improve the user experience for both your products and your marketing. It’s not only users who can pick up on the negative UX of your previous customers. Google is also making it a top priority to conduct user research. Based on their studies, they will adapt the Google search engine algorithm to factor in UX when delivering results.

However, there are some additional benefits to investing in your UX. You will directly reduce the number of customer complaints and thus also lower your customer support expenses. Secondly, repeat business and customer retention will be much easier if you offer customers a positive user experience. These factors form a positive feedback loop, meaning that they can add up and significantly impact your bottom line.

Couple talking about positive online user experience.
Customers who have a positive user experience will talk about it to their friends. Image source

How to improve the relationship between user experience and digital marketing

Digital marketing has always relied on research; however, you will need to take a multifaceted and comprehensive approach to learn what your users care about. Although the user experience will be subjective for each person interacting with your company or marketing, there will be specific, measurable attributes that are objective and quantifiable. You can research which aspects of your marketing have the highest impact on the user experience.

Good design will always provide a positive UX, no matter which kind of marketing it is applied. There are going to be some generalizations and overlaps. There can also be some overlap within segments of your target demographics. For example, studies have found that trust is the most important factor for millennials. If they trust your marketing, users will be more likely to make a purchase, and their entire experience will come across as significantly more positive.

Smartphone displaying social media apps.
Social networks are the best places to promote a positive user experience. Image source

Marketing is a form of storytelling; let your users share their experiences

We mentioned that you need to get users to care and form a bond with your brand and products. Although marketing has always been about telling stories, even our storytelling methods have evolved. Nowadays, we are seeing marketing develop UX strategies based on self-storytelling. Businesses are promoting user-created content on social networks, and for the most part, that strategy is giving excellent results. Unfortunately, you can’t just sit back and leave everything to the users. Their content still needs to be curated and branded. However, users are generally showing high rates of engagement for content that their peers have created.

You can proudly promote the positive user experiences of your customers as part of the success journey of your business. This can speak much louder than any form of marketing about your dedication to your users and their needs. Make the user experience of your customers an integral part of your brand and your marketing. Online audiences will then have an easier time differentiating your products from your competition.

In conclusion

Hopefully, you understand that the relationship between user experience and digital marketing is intertwined and inseparable. If you manage to improve the user experience for your customers, you will be able to win the favor of a broader online audience. Keep in mind that traditional design elements such as interactive environments and aesthetically pleasing design play essential roles in shaping the UX for digital marketing.

Author Bio: Nick Portnoy is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Digital Dot New York, where he loves to bring real-world experiences into digital spaces. His secret passion is trying to stay active on too many social media accounts, and his favorite hobby is getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

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