Communication channels have changed greatly over time; from smoke signals to carrier pigeons, Morse code and now the internet. Digital technology continues to advance at an accelerated rate every day and with it, so do communication tools. Businesses need to realize that digital is a major part of the world we live in and it is greatly unwise to ignore that. The ability to engage with consumers is paramount to any business’ strategy, and in the digital space, this significantly rings true as there are many ports of contact which create a fragmented environment within which organizations operate and are expected to make meaningful connections with consumers.
Whatever purpose an organization has to engage with consumers is very important and determines whether the message disseminated will be received by the intended customers. Content is created for various reasons: be it to inform, educate or entertain. As such it is essential to gather data about one’s consumers in order to present relevant information to the right person, in the right place at the right time. This is called smart advertising which helps businesses to use the information they collect through market research to best engage with and serve their customers. Because there are so many touch points that companies can use to communicate with consumers, a lot of noise is created as they try to push through all the other business messaging available on the digital space. It is therefore key that a business creates a digital strategy that will allow its content to be visible amongst all the rest.
A major area of concern when creating a digital strategy is user experience. The communication platforms that a business chooses to use need to be focused on the experience that the consumer will have when they interact with the company. This means that all points of contact and the content created for a multi-channel delivery system need to be consistent and possess a thread of continuity that shows that it has been created by one brand. Consequently, businesses need to ensure that they effectively utilize and leverage the digital landscape. User experience, particularly when it comes to digital technology, is crucial to the reception of a business’ content.
User experience: The bare fundamentals
Consumers have extraordinary control over what and how businesses distribute their messaging and by extension the success or failure thereof. Good user experience is convenient, functional and reliable but great user experience is enjoyable and an experience worth sharing. Resultantly, it is every business’ goal to create digital content that its consumers will appreciate and enjoy. There are six core principles of user experience, namely findability, accessibility, desirability, usability, credibility and usefulness. In simple terms, users need to be able to navigate through an organizations’ content with ease.
Consumers have to want the information, be able to find it whenever they need it, through an intuitive platform that possess legitimacy and adds value to their lives. A business that can achieve all six qualities should thus be able to differentiate itself well and gain a competitive advantage that allows them to break through digital congestion as consumers are bombarded by multiple messages.
Regardless of what device a consumer will use to engage and communicate with an organization, there has to be seamless continuity not only in the written content but also in its look and feel. This means that content has to be easily adaptable to any type of platform that the consumer chooses to use. This is of great importance when it comes to a business’ reputation as it will determine how consumers interact with their content. Online Reputation Management (ORM) therefore comes into play were the content shared with consumers is received in real-time and can have an immediate impact. Consequently, a great advantage of ORM is the opportunity to instantly respond to consumer exchanges and manage all relevant data for the benefit of the company.
So, you have the right content for your market and you want to effectively deliver it. How does your user experience fare?