When it comes to choosing a product or service, customer experience rules. It’s predicted to be the main differentiator for businesses by 2020 or sooner, more important than price and product, according to consulting firm Walker. Already, 71 percent of companies cite customer experience as a competitive differentiator, according to the 2017 Global Customer Experience (CX) Benchmarking Report.

Customer experience is:

  • Delivering value
  • Making that value easy to identify and engage with
  • Presenting a business in an enjoyable, emotionally appealing way

Great customer experiences exceed expectations. They provide value in every interaction. They help build long-lasting relationships that increase trust, authority and loyalty.

Customer experience matters in all forms of digital marketing, from website design, to app development, to social media interactions. It also is important in paid advertising.

You might be wondering what CX has to do with paid ads, since you’re not always targeting current customers with paid advertising. There are many ways to make your paid ads more effective by applying customer experience best practices to your strategy, though.

And, considering 65 percent of consumers say a great experience means more than marketing or advertising, according to Adweek, if you apply customer experience techniques to your paid ads, you’ll make them more effective. Here are five things to consider.

1. Create an Emotional Connection

Great customer experiences occur when the customer feels like a brand really knows them and their needs, and will deliver a solution in an engaging way. Research shows emotional responses are a greater influence than logic and rational thinking when making choices. Even if your ad is limited to a certain number of characters or a little block of space on a page, there are numerous ways to connection emotionally with customers.

First, use your buyer personas to determine what the best kind of emotional appeal is that you can make in a paid ad. Maybe it’s a photo of an adorable puppy for your Facebook ad. Or copy that creates a sense of urgency in a Google Ad, which positions your business as the solution to mitigate the user’s fear of missing out.

Building ads with an emotional angle is a way to stand out from other advertisers’ boring copy and photos that consumers will turn a blind eye to.

5 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience in Paid Ads2. Deliver on What You Promise

One of the quickest ways to hurt the customer experience is to frustrate customers by not providing what you say you will. For example, if you put up a paid ad advertising a certain product, and then the link takes the user to different product or, worse, a 404 page, trust in your business rapidly disintegrates. If the user was actually interested in what you were offering in the ad, they’ll be frustrated when it’s not there or they have to spend time on their own searching for it.

That’s why paid ad testing is so important. Everything from ensuring your copy is spelled correctly, to making sure every link is perfectly matched to the keyword is vital. Get multiple eyes on your ads before you schedule them and send them out.

3. Use Proper Targeting

Another way to turn off potential customers? Show them ads they have zero interest in. People are already annoyed with ads. Business Insider reports ad blocker usage increased 30 percent year-over-year in 2017. If users are going to see an ad on a site where blocking is not possible, then the ad should at least be relevant to their interests.

Improper targeting means you might show your ad to a consumer who has a distaste for your industry or product. Simply seeing your business name might be enough for them to not like you. That sentiment can spread to their friends, who might actually have been interested in your product or service.

Proper ad targeting makes the web a better place. You won’t repel users who would never be interested in you in the first place, and you’ll get warmer leads.

4. Provide Something Valuable

One way to get an instant customer experience advantage in paid advertising is to provide something that’s valuable to those who click. That’s one of the core principles of customer experience – value – so you want to make sure your paid ads provide value, too.

Maybe your ad leads to a free coupon, or a really helpful piece of content marketing, or a custom landing page designed specifically to start a new customer journey with that lead. If you’re using ads simply to get people to click to your website but don’t give them anything in return, they’ll stick with your competitor who does.

5 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience in Paid Ads5. Start with What You Have

Beyond the ad experience, make sure the customer experience throughout your website is primed to turn those new leads into customers. Some of the common ways to negatively impact customer experience, especially on mobile devices, include:

  • The website has an incorrect display or is difficult to navigate
  • The search results in a website are unhelpful
  • The website loads slowly
  • The site is not searchable

Hopefully, your users who click on your paid ads will stick around and spend more time on your site, clicking various pages to explore what you have to offer. Even if you nailed the CX in the paid ad portion, you have to ensure all other elements deliver to keep them engaged.

Get a CX Evaluation

CX is at the forefront of all digital marketing tools and techniques today. We’re passionate about CX and want to make it great for you, too. Get in touch for a free consultation on your customer experience efforts, paid advertising or other digital campaigns.