7 Easy Steps To Improving Your Mobile User Experience

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A new Ofcom report found that we now make three times more calls on mobiles than landlines and the tipping point for internet access was also passed some time ago. According to a 2018 study by Stone Temple, nearly two thirds (63%) of website visits were made on mobile rather than desktop in the US, with similar patterns present in the UK.

Some activities are also far more popular on smartphones than  laptops and desktop computers. We Are Social reports that around nine in ten of the 3 billion people who use social media each month do so on their mobile devices. Facebook said an even higher figure, with 95.1% of users accessing the platform via smartphones and tablets – although 31.8% did use laptops and desktops as well.

That’s a lot of content being consumed through mobiles, whether it takes the form of videos, animations, written copy, interactive PDFs or any other format. Small screens increasingly equate to big business but, despite this increasing shift towards mobile, the user experience (UX) is not always optimised. It used to be the case that many designers would simply tweak and shrink down their desktop websites and content, or use a responsive design that adapted to the device it was being viewed on. Consumers are increasingly demanding in the UX they expect on their mobiles; however, this means a mobile-first approach is often the best to take.

All sites and apps are different cases,  there is no one-size-fits-all approach, even when designing with a specific screen size in mind.

There are some critical mobile UX design principles to keep in mind including:

  • Focus on key user goal
  • Cut the clutter and keep things clean
  • Use big, easily identified and  interactive buttons
  • Break tasks, sections, and content into bite-sized chunks
  • Keep the need for typed input to a minimum
  • Use single rather than multiple columns
  • Place controls where they can be easily used with fingers and thumbs

The way we use mobile devices differs from the way we use laptops and desktops, so, by designing with this fact in mind, you can provide your customers with the best possible UX for mobile.

If you think you could have a better mobile experience for your users then get in touch! 

The omni-channel approach

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More people than ever are taking various routes and multiple breaks on their buying journey. It’s not uncommon for a contemporary buying journey to start as a response to an ad in a magazine or in-store, be continued on a smartphone, then on a tablet, before being completed on a desktop computer. This journey may take hours, days, weeks, months or even longer.

The challenge for businesses is to ensure that their customers can make this journey successfully. By providing a seamless user experience that can be accessed quickly, easily and consistently, it’s almost inevitable that customers are going to be encouraged to complete a purchase. Constructing the marketing funnel so that it is adaptable and versatile enough to meet the needs of every one of your target audience, no matter how they access your brand, is known as an omni-channel approach. Read on to discover how an omni-channel approach can be implemented in your business and, how we can help you achieve it!

Omni-channel methods: Customisation is key

Consistency across all portals, both digital and physical, is vital when it comes to marketing. Customers need to be able to switch effortlessly between devices and between print and the virtual world. Here are some ways you can achieve this cross-over approach:

  • Include opt-ins with your physical marketing material, such as QR codes, URLs and email addresses. Social media connections on your advertising help customers find you online as well as on the street or in store
  • Diversify your real-life marketing. Contemporary print doesn’t have to be confined to billboards, magazines, leaflets or posters: printers can superimpose your branding and online information onto everything from water bottles through to T-shirts. Not only can you use these items as attractive prizes for online giveaways, prize draws, and promotional events, but they also provide additional advertising when in use.
  • Personalise what each member of your audience receives, whether it’s an email reminder, a birthday greeting or notice of upcoming discounts on items the consumer has been looking at online. Customising the consumer experience to suit each member of your audience is vital as part of an omni-channel strategy. Records of previous browsing, buying behaviour and brand engagement can help to inform an individualised experience.
  • Relevant content. Fleeting content is on-trend, with many social media stories, promotional events and other interactions having only a limited window of appeal. This means that updates and fresh material need to be both relevant and timely.

The benefits of omni-channel marketing

If done correctly, omni-channel marketing has the potential to reward customers with an accessible, customised experience that’s directly related to their needs at the time. Seamless, relevant, and engaging, the omni-channel consumer adventure has the power not only to drive traffic and enhance conversions but also to build brand loyalty and sustainability. As seasoned omni-channel deliverers, we have the skills and passion for transforming your marketing to meet the needs of a contemporary audience. With decades of collective experience in video, web design, event planning, animation and design, we can:

  • Design and create your suite of marketing products, ensuring synchronicity and seamless movement between virtual and real-life material
  • Ensure that the infrastructure is there to support a comfortable, engaging customer journey
  • Work with you to reduce abandoned carts, ensure previous buyers are aware of relevant special offers and provide assistanceassist in working towards a personalised unique journey for every visitor.
  • Create fresh, exciting content in the form of videos, promos, social media campaigns and more
  • Design innovative events that excite, engage and inspire

Get in touch to find out more.

Fortunately, one key trend can bring a bit of fun back to business. It’s named gamification!

A host of benefits

In basic terms, gamification is about applying game mechanics to non-game situations, with the aim often being to boost engagement and interest from a chosen audience — the mechanics which could be used range from points scoring to rewarding consumers when they engage or react to content.

The concept has become hugely popular in the business world, as the tactics are effective at:

  • Capturing the attention of individuals
  • Engaging and entertaining
  • Building a sense of competition
  • Making people feel a sense of achievement
  • Creating an immersive learning experience.

But what are the practical ways that you could adopt gamification in your organisation?

Play our seasonal game*

*Although Chester is a just a little dog, he needs a big screen to run around. Play our game on your PC or laptop using Google Chrome or Safari.

Check out our five simple examples of bringing the concept into play.

1. Induction programs

Joining a new company can be daunting, and the induction process can often be a long and painstaking one, especially if you have a complicated business model. However, using gamification techniques could keep the process engaging and also give new employees a positive first impression of your business.

Why not introduce a system which encourages new starters to seek out information or tackle challenges that boost their understanding of the company? Perhaps include a platform-based approach that walks through the departments, group businesses, product ranges, and critical audiences.

2. Training and development

Gamification can apply to more than just new employees, however. Take steps to retain your best talent by introducing elements that keep them motivated to boost their learning and engaged in your brand’s message. Which could include:

  • Challenges (learning objectives)
  • Levels (learning path)
  • Instant feedback (to support progress)
  • Scores or Points (accomplishment and gratification)
  • Badges (achievements)
  • Leaderboards (adoption)
  • Competition (build a sense of)
  • Collaboration (when multiple teams play).
  • Why not reward staff who are actively seeking to develop their professional skills?

3. Compliance adoption

Ensuring your employees are up to speed on the latest regulations is necessary, but can often be a relatively dry process.

Introducing some game mechanics either to an online training module or to an overall compliance scheme may not only encourage individuals to stay updated on developments but also challenge their colleagues to do the same.

Gamification works well for remote or field teams as they can work through programs at their own pace and without the need to bring them to a central location.

4. Loyalty programs

Gamification for reward and loyalty schemes are popular and can be useful in several ways.

Not only can they encourage customers or clients to use your services regularly, but they can also keep employees engaged and feel like their contribution to the business is appropriately valued.

5. Brand awareness

Consumer brands have been using games to promote themselves for a while now with great results. It can help change perceptions, lengthen the amount of time your audience spend engaging with your brand and open you up to a whole new global audience when combined with a targeted social strategy.

Businesses must consider a host of issues on a daily basis but ensuring that your customers and your workforce are engaged and productive is usually pretty high on the agenda.

Gamification is a useful way to do this in a fun and stress-free way. Get in touch to see how you could use gamification to bring a little joy into your business.

1. Personalised video

When you market to your customers, they want to feel special. They want to feel like you have taken the time to direct messages to them and that is why personalised video is already proving so useful. 3 in 4 consumers are more likely to purchase if you have taken the time to recognise their individuality.

You can personalise video through a variety of means, such as including their name or purchase history. Plenty of big-name brands have started using personalised video to tremendous effect. So, don’t you think it’s time you incorporate this trend into your content marketing strategy as well?

2. Enhanced video

Nowadays, enhanced video content comes in the form of blending high-quality animation and infographics. Standard infographics still have a lot of value. However, they are merely no longer engaging enough in a society where video marketing on platforms like YouTube and Facebook are coming out at number one.

Meaning it’s time to revisit all of your old, outdated infographics and bring them to life through enhanced video. Be sure to update any content along the way, and turn them into engaging, insightful animations.

3. Long form content

Long form content is king. It’s been the rule for a while now, especially if you want your content to rank well in Google. 300-word blog posts just don’t cut it. Instead, you want to be offering long, in-depth content that digs into the subject matter.

3000-word blog posts have a much higher chance of ranking in the modern age of search. Users want accurate answers to precise, long-tail questions. By making your content longer, you have a far higher chance of ranking for these particular questions.

4. Using trusted sources

Internet users of all ages are becoming increasingly savvy. Instead of immediately believing everything they read online, they are instead taking the time to research and verify that content. It’s all about battling against the rise of “fake news”. But how can you get on board?

Well, you need to be using trusted sources! Your claims should be backed up by a valid date from trusted bodies. And we’re not the only ones who feel this way. Research into the 2018 US elections has found that people’s trust in social media has dropped by 66%.

If you want your content marketing strategy to be successful in 2019 and beyond, it’s time to get on board with these four trends. Doing so will help you stand out against the masses and ensure your online strategy is fresh and drives ROI. Get in touch.

Testing, testing, A/B Testing

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After a period of consistently similar content, it’s perfectly acceptable for a business to want to take a different approach to keep things fresh, and for the audience to expect something a little different. A/B testing is a great way to let the audience influence how the information is portrayed to them.

The most straightforward way to run an A/B test is to take a randomly selected percentage, let’s say 10%, of your subscribers, and divide that in half. One half receives A, the other half receives B. The side that gives you the best response in email openings can be considered the ‘successful’ option and your email platform will send the 90%.

What can you try with A/B testing?

  • New layouts
  • New product/seasonal offers
  • Different subject lines
  • Different levels of personalisation
  • Different calls to action

A/B tests allow you to evolve your messaging without taking an unnecessary ‘leap into the dark’; they allow you to make changes based on real-time customer interactions.

It also allows you to test several solutions to one problem. This means that you don’t have to craft one, perfect idea – you can split your creative elements into several ideas and allow your audience to naturally select what’s most appealing.

After some time, you can then run another A/B test, which includes the options that didn’t ‘win’ last time. The main positive to this approach is it allows you to bring in substantial changes in a pre-planned, staggered way, so your audience won’t be overwhelmed by any changes and break the familiarity they have with your content.

You give the choice to the audience.

The ‘losing’ option doesn’t become valueless. You can use the unfavourable results of A/B tests to determine if there are any treads or consistencies your audience are frequently rejecting. There are no such things as bad data from an A/B test, as there is plenty to learn from both sides of the test.

If you’re looking to do more with your digital marketing strategy, get in touch.

Using colour in brand identity and email marketing

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Using a calculated approach to colour within your communications can help your audience:

  • Identify and remember your brand
  • Relate to your message
  • Connect emotionally
  • Develop trust
  • Feel part of your narrative

With colour holding this much sway over your audience, you’d imagine there would be some sacred method of selecting your colour scheme… sorry to disappoint you, but there isn’t.

The choice of colour ultimately falls to you-you know your brand identity and campaign objectives better than anyone.

Top-tip: A time-proven strategy is to choose only a few colours – a strong example of less is more.

Colour control

Once a strong base colour scheme has been decided, you can use an accent colour to highlight points of interest. As an example, you can have your ‘subscribe’ button in a standout colour to draw attention to it. Call-to-actions benefit greatly when they stand out. Encourage the reader to look at the important content by prioritising key information you want to share.

Be careful with your choice of accent colour! Picking a colour that clashes with your brand colouring can make your email look disjointed, and even look like poor quality work.

A legacy

Be aware that once you have chosen your colours, your brand flag, as you will then begin to develop customer expectation. This is the palette that your customers will expect to see on all your communication mediums – so this needs to be a well thought out and researched decision. Consider the colour schemes used by competitors, those used by brands you wish to emulate, and also consider attempting a forecast schedule of any potential changes to the brand.

Rebranding can be costly; readers can be averse to change. A way to remedy this is to make use of A/B testing, as this will give you some insight into the results of a change.

If you need help with showing your colours, get in touch.

Well, no doubt you have. And the only thing worse than watching a boring, unengaging presentation is being the person responsible for it! It can be embarrassing and completely demoralising, so don’t let it happen to you! Instead, follow these six top tips to help boost engagement.

1. Cut back on the text

Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is cramming each slide with as much text as humanly possible. Doing this is a surefire way to make your audience uninterested and unfocused. Instead, limit the amount of text on each slide to a few key points. They should be there to support what you say. So instead of reading the board, your audience is actually listening to you.

2. Use multimedia

A quick way to engage with your audience is by using videos and pictures. Include these throughout the presentation, on as many slides as you see fit. Once again, it’s important that you don’t fill the page with them and overwhelm the audience. Similarly, only use high-resolution images and videos that will hold up well when projected onto a large screen.

3. Limit the number of slides

Nobody wants to sit and listen to you drone on through a seemingly endless supply of slides. It all comes down, once again, to you realising that your presentation is about you, not the slides. The slides are there to support you, not to be focused on. As such, think of the bare minimum your slides should say, and then find the minimum amount of slides needed to help convey your points.

4. Make use of animations

Animations and transitions can quickly help to improve the perceived quality of your slides. Don’t try anything too fancy, but some simple wipes and fades will go a long way. They also allow you to gradually reveal more information on a slide as and when necessary. Displaying everything all at once, before you’ve had time to explain it, will leave the audience confused and overwhelmed.

5. Visually represent data

If you’re relying on lots of data and statistics in your presentation, then it’s best to find ways to make this more digestible. The best way to do this is by creating bar charts, graphs, pie charts and any other means to help display your findings. If people want anything more detailed, then print this off and issue it as a handout to be viewed later.

6. Consider readability

Finally, take a look through your slides and put yourself in the shoes of the viewer. How easy is it to read and understand your text? Especially from a distance. Any number of problems could crop up, and it usually comes down to these three things:

  • Using the wrong colour scheme. As standard, if you are in a light room then use a white background with black text. Vice versa if the lighting is dim.
  • Having text that’s too small. Ensure that the font size is large enough that it can be read from the back of whatever room you are presenting in.
  • Choosing a font that is too stylish. For presentations, basic fonts like Times New Roman and Arial tend to work best in terms of readability.

If you have an upcoming presentation and are really worried that your slides aren’t up to scratch, then stop panicking! Here at Outlook Creative, we offer a complete PowerPoint presentation design service. Helping you to ensure your slides are the highest possible quality, and allowing you to successfully engage with your audience. Discover more today.

This type of content is establishing itself as an integral part of any B2B strategy, it unlocks a whole world of creative opportunities to reach and engage with target audiences.

A pretty basic point, but important to remember, professional audiences are also B2C consumers! They are exposed to video marketing every day in that capacity. But when it comes to B2B communications, they must go back to the ‘stone age’ of dry and informal written content.

Research shows that viewers retain 95% of a message from a video compared to 10% when reading it in the text. It can be used in lots of different ways and this blog will try and help you decide how it might work for you.

Ways Outlook can help your business grow with video (1-5)

1 – Get to the point quickly

People are time poor, and if you can’t express your point quickly, they will lose interest. A video is by far the most efficient way to share information in a short space of time, communicating around 10 times more compared to the written word. You can more easily control the tone and express any emotion, humour or complex information to an audience.

2 – Show your product in action

There is nothing easier or more convincing than seeing how easy your product is to assemble, use, and quality it produces. By turning it into a story, you can make it even more engaging as people want to see what happens next. The videos can also help you minimise unnecessary customer service enquiries.

3 – It’s very shareable

It’s easy to believe that by 2019 over 80% of all web traffic will be video. All the major social platforms are prioritising video within search results and paid social campaigns. Check out our social engagement blog and how we helped Clas Ohlson & CBRE spread their messages.

4 – Search engines rank it higher than text

All the major search engines prioritise video content overwritten word. Just by investing in video marketing, you will be increasing the visibility of your brand and traffic to your website.

5 – Blending video with images

After effects, animation or fly through effects can further enhance your messaging, adding layers of detail that convey complex information.

Check out reasons 6-10 why Outlook can help your business grow with video……or you can get in touch to see how we can help you make video work hard for you.