Digital Diagnostic: the mistakes that could harm your campaigns

Katie Thompson

Katie Lingo

The beauty of digital marketing is that nothing is ever predictable. Campaigns could sink or swim, based on anything from poor targeting to unfortunate timing.

In our upcoming Digital Diagnostic session, we’ll be addressing these issues head-on. Content connoisseurs Gill Andrews and Eddie Schleyner will diagnose the problems within real-life campaigns, helping you plan for the future.

Ready for your close-up? Submit your campaign here for a no-nonsense review.

Or, if you’re feeling camera-shy, try these campaign tips from Gill Andrews.


Focusing on user experience

Before you launch a new campaign, go back and finesse your current content for the best user experience. These principles will steer your forthcoming campaigns. Like optimising for search engines, you should always start with best practices in place.


Issue #1: not utilising the ‘above the fold’ space

This design term applies to the first visible section of content on a webpage. In Google terms, you may see this referred to as ‘first meaningful paint’.


Your first meaningful paint is your shop window – your chance to showcase your USPs and calls to action. You don’t need to over-complicate this. A simple hero banner with a striking image and CTA button is all it takes – see Gill’s homepage, for example.


Issue #2: illegible text

Cookie bars, newsletter sign-ups and promotions all make for cumbersome user distractions. If those weren’t enough, small fonts could be the difference between a new lead and swift exit.


Google refers to this as ‘Cumulative Layout Shift’ – the potential for elements to move around on a page. It’s even more troubling on a mobile, with potential pop-ups obscuring text. Try keeping pop-ups to transactional pages only.


Likewise, don’t baffle users with endless links in navigation bars and footers. They want your content, and they want it now.


Issue #3: long paragraphs with no visuals

The 21st Century reader is short on time and will likely scan your text. Wordy paragraphs are an instant turn-off. Users want to avoid eye strain and find the information they need instantly.


Keep paragraphs to three or four sentences, and use headings, bullet points or images to break up the text. This may also help Google to single out the most valuable sections to answer search queries. Ever noticed how Google now highlights snippets? Keep it simple.


Writing for the masses

Next comes the content itself. Every audience is different and every piece of content you produce will have distinct goals, but there is no sense alienating your readers.

Issue #1: overcomplicating content

William Faulkner once said of Hemingway: “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” Good for him – we want to send them to the checkout.


Avoid using overly ‘clever’ copy or jargon. For technical industries, appropriate language has its place, but keep it to a minimum. You could risk diluting your message, or worse, turning off your customers.


Issue #2: using close-ended questions in headlines

Ready to grow your business? Of course you are. Or are you? Questions in headlines should be used sparingly, and when they are, they should be thought-provoking.


The problem is that a yes or no question could always end with “no”. Rephrase these closed questions with a benefit, for example, “want to do more in less time?”. This still empowers the reader, but also reminds them what you can do for their business.


Issue #3: weak CTAs and trust signals

You’re the best at what you do, so be bold. Rather than telling users you’re fabulous, show them with strong credibility enhancers or trust signals.


Use testimonials in context, with a headshot and a name. If you’ve been featured in a relevant publication, shout about it! This will also break up your content, for example awards badges or client logos.


Calls-to-action need to be just as strong. Again, we’re highlighting the benefits here, so use copy such as “download free eBook” rather than “click here”.


The takeaways

Everything you produce needs to be about the reader, not about you. Certainly, you’re providing the service that will enrich their lives, but you need to frame it in a way that benefits them.


This could be as simple as a few design tweaks, to a complete overhaul of your copy. The Digital Diagnostic session takes place on Wednesday 30th September from 8-9pm. We look forward to seeing you there, and pushing your campaigns forward.

Digital Diagnostic can be accessed through the #CopyCon2020 event on the Attendify app. Please contact us at if you need help.

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