9 User Experience Tips for any Digital Marketer (UX in Marketing)

nine-user-experience-improvement-tips-for-any-digital-marketer

UX (user experience) design is a field of marketing that is often left to particular experts, with many digital marketers having little input into the process. However, there are plenty of UX marketing considerations that marketers on any level can learn. UX is wildly important for digital marketers and forms a core pillar of a good SEO strategy. Remember, a poor UX will lead to drop offs and higher bounce rates, something no digital marketer wants. This article will provide a list of simple, actionable UX marketing tips any digital marketer can make use of.

What is UX in digital marketing?

UX design sounds like a scary topic for digital marketers, but it needn’t be. UX is just the process that goes into making a product (in this case a website) more pleasing to use. It’s worth explaining User Experience vs User Interface and why these things are distinct, as they can cause a lot of confusion. User interface (UI) looks at the design elements of the assets the user is interacting with, such as the best colours or typography to use, whereas UX is all about the interactions themselves and the journey the customer takes. The terms can be confusing and are always accidentally interchanged!

1. Understand your customers

Firstly, when making any decisions for your company’s website, it’s always useful to look back at your user personas. If your company doesn’t yet have a set of user personas, it’s definitely worth creating them. Personas help you empathise with the users and their needs. A good user persona will include their motivations and goals and as a digital marketer you can take these and make the website changes needed to satisfy them.

2. Ask for feedback

This leads on from the previous point, user research is incredibly valuable to any digital marketer, but especially so when it comes to UX. Try setting up a website feedback form to better understand customer sticking points and generate ideas. There are numerous types of feedback form to try, depending on what you want to know. Align the feedback form type to your website’s goals; if there’s a page with a higher drop off than you’d expect, maybe it would be worth adding an exit intent survey to find out why, the responses may help remedy a poor section of the user journey! Maybe there’s some information your users are struggling to find, in this case a timed feedback pop-up asking if the user is having trouble may provide useful results. Always use pop-ups and surveys sparingly as too many can come across as spammy and damage your user experience.

3. Set up a user experience visualisation tool

This is probably the easiest way for any digital marketer with no experience in UX to get started. Tools like Microsoft Clarity and HotJar can visualise the user experience for you, allowing you to understand how users are actually interacting with your website. These tools provide you with visual heatmaps, showing exactly how far users scroll, where they’re clicking and where they’re spending time on each page. They also provide session playbacks, showing you videos of actual users going through their customer journey! Click maps for example will give an insight into whether users are interacting with your site in the way you intended, for example, are they mistaking something for a button? Scroll maps show whether important content isn’t being seen and session playbacks can show you how intuitive your website is overall.

4. Evoke emotion at the right stages

This is something digital marketers already utilise across other disciplines that fall under their role and it’s no different here. In the same way that digital marketers will want to invoke an emotional response at particular customer touchpoints, a UX designer will want to invoke emotion at particular stages of the website’s customer journey. In eCommerce for example, you may want the customer to feel satisfied after they’ve completed a purchase. Perhaps you could use a nice animation, happy icon or image. Or maybe you could think about splashing some happy or comforting colours like yellows or greens. Think about your tone of voice at particular sections too, what emotions do you want to evoke at each stage and what words can you use to get there. Of course, this should all be in line with the company brand guidelines.

5. Create a user flow chart

This will help with visualising the steps your customers are taking toward a conversion. Tools like FlowMapp can help with this, with easy intuitive sitemap creation and the ability to collaborate with your team. As a general rule, try to keep the number of stages in the customer journey down. There’s no set rule here but more than 5 is excessive. At that point, users may get frustrated or lost. See if there are any less important steps that can be removed as this will streamline their experience. Ensure that the navigation is well organised and intuitive with clear pathways. Make sure the content of each page gets progressively more specific the further down the site structure the user goes. Lastly, add a breadcrumb if you haven’t got one already. Breadcrumbs massively ease navigation for the user and always let them know where they are!

6. Create wireframes for suggested improvements

A wireframe is a rough sketch of a web page, made up of simple shapes and diagrams representing an interface. These can be incredibly easy to produce, any digital marketer can take a look at a website and create wireframes for their suggestions.

wireframe-ux-in-marketing
A simple wireframing process

Wireframing can be done with pen and paper, however tools like Freehand by InVision make the process easier and allow easy sharing and collaboration with your team. Wireframes could even be made in Microsoft Paint, as long as they can get your idea across. You won’t need any graphic design experience to produce wireframes and honestly, they’re pretty fun to make.

7. Design, layout and readability

This provides plenty of opportunities for quick wins. Make sure there is enough white space on your page, this is space between each element on the page. You might feel like cramming things together to “not waste space” but this will severely negate your user experience. This means checking there is a good amount of padding between elements, making sure section breaks are obvious and having well placed and uncrowded calls-to-action. For readability, don’t have your text span the entire length of the screen, this is jarring to the user and they lose interest. Best practice is to keep to 50-60 characters per line length. Left aligned text is easier to follow with longer amounts of copy too, so don’t centre align large passages!

8. Check your page performance

There’s nothing more irritating to a user than slow page loading or poorly optimised mobile web design. In fact, 1 in 4 users abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load, and a 1 second delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16%! You can run each webpage through Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which provides a score, highlights issues and suggests improvements. Take up technical issues with your web developers. If it’s just an image size problem, ensure large images are converted to JPEGs and compressed. You should also run pages through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which highlights any issues the page may have on mobile devices.

9. Commit to regular A/B testing

When it comes to UX in marketing, any changes are almost pointless if you can’t measure the impact you’ve made. You won’t know if you’ve created a better UX unless you test against the original. While counterintuitive, there are plenty of cases of companies creating more beautiful website designs and yet getting worse user experience. A/B testing works because it gives you the truth as to whether new changes have actually contributed to your goals. Remember to always keep staging copies of websites so you never lose anything! A great resource for coming up with new ideas to A/B test with is GoodUI, which lists hundreds of real tests run on widely-used page types. It tells you exactly which data-backed design choice to go with, however counterintuitive it may be.

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Top 5 Digital Marketing Tools: A Marketing Toolkit

digital marketing tools

As a digital marketer, there are plenty of different tools to choose from. In fact, there are so many it can become overwhelming. Through-out my career in digital marketing, I have trialled many different tools and software that promised the world but deliver nowhere near. So I have put together a digital marketing tool kit that will be sure to take your digital marketing game to a new level.

Discover my top 5 digital marketing tools:

Later

Usually, the best is saved for the last, but in this case, I had to start with my ultimate top digital tool. Later is the best social media scheduling tool I have tried, not to mention it comes with so many additional benefits. This tool can be used to schedule Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest posts. 

Like all scheduling tools Later does what most scheduling tools do. What makes Later different is you can schedule Instagram stories and visually see the layout of your Instagram feed, including posts that have not been published yet. Furthermore, Later has comes with a great social analytics tool, including hash-tag analytics, and a place to reply to comments on all posts, from all platforms. Not to mention, Unsplash comes free with Later. Based on my time using this tool, it is clear that they constantly update their site to reflect social media updates. This ensures it consistently stays the best social scheduling tool available.

Unsplash

Following on from later, Unsplash is the next tool you need to add to your tool kit. Unsplash is a royalty-free photo website that includes only high-quality photos. Shutterstock is the most common choice but the quality of images that are available on Unsplash outway the choice that comes with Shutterstock. A lot of photos uploaded onto Shutterstock are amateur and are not at a standard good enough for brand content. On Unsplash there is also a wider selection of portrait images that fit better with image size options on Instagram. Finally, there is no cost involved with Unsplash if you choose Later as your social media scheduling tool.

digital marketing tools

Spark

Spark is an easy to use graphic tool that allows you to create high-quality social content, from Instagram stories and Pinterest posts to Facebook banners and collages. There is some debate when it comes to Spark vs Canva, but personally, I think Spark is the better choice. Spark allows you to create cohesive content with a much more friendly user interface. Canva is great for icon selection, however, you have limited choice unless you pay for the software. Spark is free if you already pay for creative cloud. Spark allows you to create a brand by adding your logo, brand colours and brand font. This makes it easy to design work that is cohesive to the rest of your content. The duplication feature allows you to quickly create Instagram stories and the animation tool makes the stories much more captivating.

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is an email marketing platform for eCommerce that has really elevated my email marketing. Prior to Klaviyo, I was using Mailchimp which is a good tool, however, Mailchimp’s biggest downfall is its inability to adequately segment audiences. Subscribers are not automatically added into audience segments unless you ask their interests, you have to add them manually. This can be extremely time-consuming. Klaviyo is extremely sophisticated as you can create dynamic audience segments. This automation feature saves time and allows me to spend time on more important things, such as designing the emails.  Moreover, when you create emails you can be extremely specific with who you want to receive it. For example, people that have viewed a specific product in the last 3 months. Klaviyo has significantly helped in personalising emails and decrease our unsubscribe rate.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great social media platform for brands, but it is also a great way to collect content. By creating private Pinterest boards, you can visually brainstorm ideas for different campaigns, social media content, or even the aesthetics of your brand. An additional feature of Pinterest in the Pinterest plugin tool that you can add to your browser. This allows you to collect images for your boards both on and off Pinterest. This is particularly useful if you want to create a collection of Instagram posts for inspiration or to repost.

Conclusion

There are many different digital marketing tools out there, but these 5 digital tools are a must as a digital marketer. They will improve your skills within your job role, from scheduling content to email marketing. Not to mention the automation aspects of these tools will free up time so you spend time on more important things such as creating content or researching new developments with the industry. To conclude, these digital marketing tools are the best of what is currently available and will be sure to improve your performance within your job role.

To find out more about the skills involved in digital marketing, click here.

Interested in pursuing a career in digital marketing? Earn while you learn with an Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing.

Level 3 Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship, Publishing assistant apprenticeship

Looking for a new creative career path? Does supporting key parts of a publishing process from the conception to production sound appealing to you? If it does, read on to find out how the level 3 publishing assistant apprenticeship could help you kick-start your career or help you take a step in a new direction from the one you are currently in.

Overview of the level 3 Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship

The publishing assistant apprenticeship is an entry-level role. In the role you will provide support for specific areas across all key parts of the publishing process, from the conception of a book, digital product or journal, through to the production, in a variety of paper and digital formats, and then to support the sales, marketing and publicity processes.

As an apprentice, you will be involved across a variety of areas from:

  • editorial,
  • marketing,
  • sales,
  • publicity,
  • production,
  • rights
  • digital.

The main person you will report to is the editorial manager and will be involved in editing, proof-reading and briefing external stakeholders about their work and the work of colleagues.

Depending on your department, your job title may be editorial, marketing, publicity, production, rights or contracts assistant.

A picture containing a person working, computer, computer, publishing, editing, assistant, apprenticeship

What skills and Knowledge will I require?

During the apprenticeship, you will need to have a variety of essential skills. For example:

  • Data Management
  • Publishing Journey/ Editorial Process
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Rights Management and Contracting
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Working
  • Communication
  • Working Independently
  • Discretion and Confidentiality
  • Attention to detail
  • Determination to Succeed
  • Inquisitive
  • Passion

Publishing assistant programme journey

After that apprentices must follow an agreed learning and training programme that supports their acquisition of the knowledge, skills and behaviours as defined in the standard. The off the job element of this learning and training must be at least 20% of their apprenticeship duration.

Entry requirements

  • Firstly the completed all learning and training as agreed between the employer and training provider
  • gathered evidence in the form of a portfolio to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours learned as defined in the standard
  • achieved level 2 or equivalent or higher in English and maths
  • had the employer’s support to enter the end-point process
  • Finally had a minimum of 12 months of training

Conclusion

As demonstrated, this level 3 apprenticeship is the starting point for anyone looking to pursue a creative career. The core skills covered in training will open a wide range of job and career advancement opportunities, in the future, only increasing your value as an employee. And if that’s not convincing enough you earn while you learn!

Find out what other apprenticeships are out there by using our site!

Level 4 Marketing Executive Apprenticeship

Laptop showing marketing analysis/research.
Find out how a marketing apprenticeship can guide you in the right direction to excel in your future career.

Have you always wanted a career in marketing?

This apprenticeship will guide you with the right steps to ensure you have a successful path to do so. Continue reading to learn more about this Level 4 Marketing Executive apprenticeship role and see if it’s right for you because it can help you kick start a career in marketing.

Marketing jobs this apprenticeship could lead to and entry requirements

There are, without a doubt, many occupations within marketing, which stretch over most industries/sectors. Undoubtedly, this apprenticeship will help develop a high level of skills you need to be able to pursue a career in Marketing.

The types of job titles within Marketing include Marketing Executive, Marketing Officer, Marketing and Communications Officer, Marketing Specialist, Communications Executive and also Communications Specialist. According to Indeed, the average salary of a Communications Specialist is £34,556 per year, demonstrating that by choosing this career path, you will be making the right choice. This Marketing Executive apprenticeship is a role that will show a great deal of development of skills and ensure outstanding opportunities. Desirable salaries ranging from an average of £26,000 to around £34,000 are achievable for the other jobs mentioned, such as Marketing Officer and Marketing Specialist, according to Indeed, Glassdoor, and TotalJobs.

The entry requirements for this apprenticeship will be decided by individual employers. However, a mandatory level 2 English and Maths are required to complete the end-point-assessment. Learners with an education, health and care plan, or a legacy statement, an Entry Level 3 is required for English and Maths. Birth Sign Language qualifications are a substitution to English qualifications if it is their primary language.

Duration:

This apprenticeship’s duration ranges from 15-21 months.

Marketing Executive – what are their responsibilities?

This Marketing Executive apprenticeship will allow the learner to be able to create and perform functioning marketing plans. You will work together with a Marketing Manager whose role is to breakdown the essential marketing strategy. As a marketing executive, you will be very audience-focused, therefore be required to have a creative mind, great communication, and project management skills. There will be a responsibility for ensuring a organisation and execution of the specific marketing activity.

Responsibilities of a Marketing Executive:

– Looking after and maintaining marketing channels (digital, offline and social media)

– Be able to plan and put campaigns into effect

– Manage the production and selling of marketing materials

– Communicating and networking with key people, such as customers, colleagues, suppliers (such as agencies) and partner organisations

– Collect and analyse research to be able to understand the target audience (e.g. behaviour and views across the market)

– Using said guidelines as a way to achieve effective brand positioning

– Organise and attend marketing related events (for instance, conferences, seminars, receptions, and exhibitions)

As a Marketing Executive apprentice, you will generally report to the Marketing Manager.

Required knowledge of a Marketing Executive:

Marketing Concepts & Theories

Understand the foundation of marketing theory which supports the marketing process (for instance ‘the extended marketing mix’ made up of Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Physical environment, Process, People (7P’s), product development and segmentation. You will also need to understand brand positioning, and the principles of customer relationship management (CRM) to ensure effective functional relationships both externally and internally.

Business Understanding and Commercial Awareness

Knowledge of plans and vision in their business and how to achieve objectives, like understanding decisions made by the target audience and the impact of them. Lastly, understand the Data Protection regulations and other legal frameworks of their sector.

Market Research

Fundamentals of market research (e.g. methods, digital sources, and data collection) and just how influential and effective it can be for marketing activity.

Products and Channels

Understanding the development of products/services and how to analyse the competitive market landscape to ensure the most efficiency. Acknowledge the advantages of different marketing channels (online and offline), and when the best time to use them is.

Marketing Executive working with a Marketing Manager

The essential skills and behaviours of a Level 4 Marketing Executive

You may be wondering what type of skills you need to fulfil your duties as a Marketing Executive.

Firstly, you need to be able to implement methodical and strategic marketing campaigns and manage them amongst online and offline channels. Furthermore, the production and distribution of marketing materials should be closely managed.

Underlining the above, being able to deliver a service is key. This comes under a high level of time management skills, where you report, plan and execute projects and multitasking, for instance liaising with key stakeholders and organising campaigns for a specific deadline, which also requires an great level of communication skills. Interpersonal skills are required as they’ll constantly shine through in the role, whether it’s drafting and writing project briefs or doing presentations.

Furthermore, the ideal Marketing Executive should have great budget management skills, alongside a professional level of analysis. In this role, you would need to evaluate which marketing channels would be most effective and gather appropriate data to be able to support your marketing activities, plus use research to ensure improvements on future campaigns, which means you need to show competency in systems/technologies needed for analysis and general marketing, and be up to date with the latest trends in marketing in order to demonstrate them in your work.

In summary, the key abilities needed are great interpersonal skills (communication skills), time management skills, and effectively be able to implement campaigns and use the appropriate technologies/tools to do so.

There are important behaviours you would need to exhibit in this role such as:

– Flexibility

– Creative Thinking

– Adaptable

– Professionalism

Conclusion

As stated above, you can see that this amazing Level 4 Marketing Executive apprenticeship is a great way to progress in your career. In addition, it is an amazing role perfectly suited for anyone that wants a career in marketing. The competencies and skills you learn in this apprenticeship will open many doors in the marketing world, therefore providing great opportunities. Upon completing this apprenticeship, the learner will by then have met the requirements for registration as an Affiliate Member with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

As an apprentice, this means you earn a salary whilst you learn. Also, you gain experience in a work place which is a great training preparation for your future. You can continue progressing after completion for professional advancement. For instance, you can continue until a Level 6 Marketing Manager apprenticeship which will help further develop your marketing skills and obtain a career as an Insight/Innovations Manager or a Marketing and Communications Manager, for example.

Click on the button below for a more in detail look at this Marketing Executive apprenticeship role:

Other amazing opportunities:

If you think this apprenticeship isn’t quite ideal for you, please have a look at the button below for more types of apprenticeships:

Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Standard

Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Standard

Drive customer acquisition, engagement and retention through digital mediums with a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Hone your skills in the digital industry by helping to develop digital campaigns over a variety of different online & social platforms. This blog focuses on skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined by the standard.

Digital Marketing Skills & Technical Competencies

Believe it or not a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship requires a good level of written communication. Having a good level of skill in writing will massively benefit you for this apprenticeship. This is important as you will need to be able to write for a range of different audiences with blog writing. The sensitivity of communication is also important for customer service; you need to be able to respond effectively to enquiries using online and social mediums.

Digital Marketing Skills & Technical Competencies

It’s important for apprentices to have a keen eye on digital advances and updates to ensure they can contribute relevant information to short and long term strategies and campaigns. This is also important as a range of technologies will need to be used to help achieve marketing goals.

Above all, the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship requires a problem solver; ideally, someone that can think on their feet. Apprentices will need to use digital tools effectively to tackle problems and issues across a variety of digital platforms.

Finally, Digital Marketers need to have to offer a level of analysis when going into campaigns to review and monitor the campaign and online activity. This data will then need to be manipulated within a basic analytical dashboard to refer back to clients.

Digital Marketing Knowledge & Understanding

When it comes to a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship it’s useful to have some basic knowledge of other related digital processes. Since you will be dealing a lot with customers it’s important to have a basic understanding of the customer lifecycle, customer relationship marketing and the basic marketing principles.

Digital Marketing Knowledge & Understanding

Alongside these skills its important to understand the principles of:

  • Coding
  • Search Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Email Marketing
  • Web Analytics & Metrics
  • Mobile Apps
  • PPC (Pay Per Click)

With these in mind, it is also imperative to follow digital etiquette with regards to the working environment and following the correct security procedures to protect data. This knowledge will be helped along with knowledge and vendor exams to ensure you are equipped with the right information to take on Digital Marketing in a real working environment.

Digital Marketing Attitudes and Behaviours

Naturally, the apprentice is preferred to have particular supporting skills that will help them when securing a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Examples of these skills include:

  • Sensible and innovative thinking skills.
  • Problem-solving skills supported with analytics.
  • The ability to initiate and asses work independently with responsibility.
  • Organised and thorough with their approach to tasks.
  • Ability to work with a range of different people, internally and externally.
  • Ability to communicate effectively to a range of different people with a variety of different situations.
  • Great work ethic with an ability to keep productive and professional.

Conclusion

A Digital Marketing Apprenticeship is a fantastic starting point to propel you into a digital career or job role. Some job roles and titles include:

  • Digital Marketing Assistant
  • Campaign Executive
  • Social Media Executive
  • Content Co-ordinator
  • Digital Marketing Co-ordinator
  • Email Marketing Assistant
  • SEO Executive
  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • Analytics Executive
  • Digital Marketing Technologist

Senior management roles within this job role have the ability to earn you over £40,000 a year. The core skills applied correctly from this apprenticeship can open up so many doors! The great thing about apprenticeships is that you earn while you learn, you get the best of both worlds. It also gives you amazing progression opportunities to further your studies, one example is a Level 4 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are great to shape employees to learn and progress within a working environment, the possibilities from this apprenticeship are endless! For more details on how the apprenticeships work; read our blog on more of a deeper look into the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship.

Full list of digital industries apprenticeship

As of March 2020, this is the list of the 21 approved digital apprenticeships ranging from level 3 to level 7. The range is quite varied and there are a number of progression routes from level 3 to level 7 if an employer considers how an apprentice’s role can evolve within the business.

Digital Apprenticeships:

Level 6 Creative digital design professional Apprenticeship
Level 4 Cyber intrusion analyst Apprenticeship
Level 6 Cyber security technical professional (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 4 Cyber security technologist Apprenticeship
Level 4 Data analyst Apprenticeship
Level 6 Data scientist (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 6 Digital and technology solutions professional (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 7 Digital and technology solutions specialist (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 4 Digital community manager Apprenticeship
Level 3 Digital support technician Apprenticeship
Level 6 Digital user experience (UX) professional (integrated degree) Apprenticeship
Level 3 Infrastructure technician Apprenticeship
Level 4 IS business analyst Apprenticeship
Level 3 IT solutions technician Apprenticeship
Level 3 Network cable installer Apprenticeship
Level 4 Network engineer Apprenticeship
Level 4 Software developer Apprenticeship
Level 3 Software development technician Apprenticeship
Level 4 Software tester Apprenticeship
Level 3 Unified communications technician Apprenticeship
Level 4 Unified communications trouble shooter Apprenticeship

The slide share below was created to display these in a more visually appealing format.