How to Leverage User Research to Improve Marketing Campaigns
If you’re a marketer, analyzing the psychology behind how prospective customers make purchase decisions probably isn’t new to you. Whether it’s to increase contact form completions or online purchases, all strategic digital marketing efforts are working toward a goal or conversion. Once on your website, it’s critical that your website visitors can easily convert. This is where user experience (UX) research comes into play. When you conduct UX research, you can discover improvements to boost your marketing efforts!
What is user experience research?
UX research refers to the analysis of the behavior of website visitors when they are on a website or application. Once marketing efforts send high-quality leads to the website, the experience is what will turn those website visitors into customers.
Website visitors want their tasks to be simple, so it’s essential to make the experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. If there are pain points while using your website, it’s important to know about them so you have the opportunity to improve before spending your marketing budget. This will give you the best chance for success, and UX research will give you direction.
Why All Marketers Should Be Doing User Research
Marketing and UX are working toward the same goals. Through marketing you want to create memorable experiences, and through UX you want an easy experience. It’s crucial marketers understand who their customers are and what they’re looking for, and UX takes the guesswork out of marketing decisions.
UX and marketing are a team - marketing drives people to the website, while UX should engage people and help them convert.
How to Conduct User Research
If you’re a marketer who is brand new to UX research, it can be intimidating to decide where to start. Fortunately, there are several tools and user research methods available to let you start collecting behavioral data today.
User Research Methods
Heatmapping and Mouse Tracking
Heatmapping and mouse tracking technology allows researchers to see where potential customers are clicking on a web page. If there are calls-to-action (CTAs) being overlooked, you’ll be able to develop a plan of action to improve them.
UX experts recommend tests to learn if website visitors can easily complete critical tasks. During a user test, participants in your target demographic are asked to complete tasks and rate their difficulty. This is another UX research method that will help you understand how well visitors convert on your site.
Surveys and Focus Groups
Sometimes the most valuable insight you receive is from simply asking your users. Through surveys and focus groups, you can get a sense of pain points on your website. You don’t need hundreds of people to hold an effective focus group; by talking to even a small portion of your customers, you can start to develop a plan for areas to improve.
Applying User Research to Your Marketing Campaigns
Now that you’ve collected the data, it’s time to put it to use! Here are a few common ways marketers leverage user data to improve future marketing initiatives.
- Match Your Target Demographics, Their Interests and Their Behaviors. User research will reveal valuable information about your target audience. You’ll learn the demographic breakdown of the top converters on your site as well as how different groups of people behave on your website. With this information, you can tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right people with the most effective content.. For example, you might learn that leads from Facebook are more likely to browse multiple articles before converting, while a potential customer from a search ad is more likely to be task-driven, converting on the page they enter on.
- Align Efforts With the Top User Tasks & Paths. User research will help you understand what website visitors are trying to accomplish on your website and the paths they are taking to convert, allowing you to connect this with your own marketing objectives. Through UX testing and research, you might learn that people who enter your website on your homepage are more apt to learn more about your company, while those who visit an interior page are more likely to complete a form. Knowing this information, you’ll be able to create marketing campaigns and landing pages that line up with what users are trying to accomplish at each point along the customer journey.
- Reduce Pain Points and Points of Friction. One of the most valuable outputs of user research for marketers is the discovery of pain points in the conversion process. If there is a specific part of the online conversion process causing potential customers to drop off, you need to be able to identify it. User research will reveal where visitors are getting stuck, giving you the opportunity to make it easier for them to convert. You’ll learn if the CTA is ineffective, if the form is too intimidating and difficult to finish, if navigation labels aren’t matching expectations and more.
UX Research Provides Strategic Direction for Marketing Campaigns
While marketing efforts convince potential customers to consider purchasing, the user experience will lead them to convert. UX research will add valuable data about what website visitors want, ensuring the marketing campaign is a success. If you have additional questions about collecting user data to drive your marketing campaigns, the UX analysts at Blue Compass can help! Learn more about what you can learn about your potential customers.
Author bio: Brady Rebhuhn is a Digital Marketing Analyst at Blue Compass. Brady regularly combines user experience research with digital marketing tactics to develop strategies for clients that increase conversions and revenue.