The Call to Action, or CTA, has always been a part of a good marketing campaign. It’s goal? To bring the piece to a conclusion, motivate the customer, and tell them what action to take – aka how to buy. But does it belong in your content marketing strategy? Absolutely! As Chris Brogan explains:
“If you’re not putting some kind of potential hook to future business into your efforts, you’re not content marketing. You’re writing.”
Create a call to action 1st
You hopefully know why you’re creating a piece of content marketing, but do you know what you want your audience to do after they read your content? Start with that decision. When you know your destination before you start, it’s much easier to get yourself, and your audience, there. In a great post about defining your CTA, Anne Murphy outlines the importance of defining your CTA early.
“It’s the key to converting visitors to customers, and the whole point of content marketing,”
Make a choice
As with any piece of marketing communication, you have to make smart choices when it comes to your CTA. While you can offer a primary and a secondary call to action, don’t rely on throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. “ACT NOW, CLICK HERE, CALL TODAY!” is a sure path to being ignored. Unless, that is, you’re selling Snuggies. You’re building your brands reputation with every piece of content, and a communication that says everything, really says nothing. It just comes out as noise.
Make it visible
Don’t hide your CTA in the corner. Use some style, keep your reader in mind, and in today’s any device world, be sure to keep user experience as a top priority.
- If you’re going to put it within your content, make sure your audience will notice it.
- If you want your audience to sign up for your email list, put that form above the fold.
- If you want them to click a button, give it some visual weight
You should also keep in mind that every rule has an exception. That’s why it’s so important to test your CTA’s placement.
Test and learn
One of the great things about digital marketing is the ability to test and optimize. Move that subscription field from above to below the fold, test out different button copy, and find out if your designer was actually right about not using Comic Sans on buttons. Try different things and see what works for your audience. In her post, Five Tips to Enhance Your Call to Action, Stephanie Thompson, vice-president of client services for PERQ, tells us:
“At the very least, test the idea against similar campaigns you’ve done in the past. Pick one variable to change and track how it impacts the results. If it works, great! If it doesn’t work, adjust and try something else.”
There’s an art to crafting a call to action, but when you start with one in mind, choose your destination, make it visible, and learn from past campaigns, you’ll find yourself crafting yours with ease.
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