The call-to-action can be the difference between casual visitor and loyal customer. Mastering the art of the call-to-action is a key step on the path to content marketing success. Writing quality content is great and all, but it provides no value to your business unless it motivates consumers to take the next step. By compelling readers to take an action, you are elevating their level of engagement and that’s the difference between mediocre and killer content. Ready to master the call-to-action? Check out the eight tips below.
- Choose a goal. What is your current marketing goal? This is the first question content marketers must answer as they craft their calls-to-action, advises Content Marketing Institute’s Pawan Deshpande. Your chosen CTA should serve your overall marketing strategy as well as the specific page’s purpose. Are you trying to increase social media shares? Capture leads? Nurture a relationship? Nail down these details before deciding on a call-to-action.
- Keep in mind the consumer’s context. Your CTA should be customized for the consumer’s stage in the sales cycle. Is this their first visit? Or are they a marketing qualified lead? Consider these questions to ensure your CTA makes sense. Don’t place the call-to-action “Buy this product” on the landing page from a search engine. Unless you want your bounce rate to skyrocket, educate and nurture new visitors rather than immediately hitting them up for cash.
- Maximize verbs, minimize word count. Use direct, actionable language to quickly get your point across. Wordy calls-to-action are ineffective. Clear and concise is what drives click-throughs. A CTA as simple as “Like this page” are the most successful. Check out this infographic from HubSpot.
- Highlight value. Give users a reason to click. If you aren’t promising something unique and relevant to the consumer, your so-called call-to-action is unlikely to generate any actions at all. “Click to save” or “Subscribe for unlimited access to killer content” are examples of calls-to-action which deliver value
- Make it user-friendly. The call-to-action should direct consumers to a simple path to the next step. If it’s even the least bit complicated or confusing, the consumer will abandon the conversion pathway. Also, double check the call-to-action directs consumers to the right landing page, advises Heidi Cohen, or else kiss any hopes of conversion goodbye.
- Make it pop. Use buttons or banners in colors that contrast with the rest of the content on the page. Place the CTA apart from the regular content in a spot the reader can’t miss. The upper right hand corner above the fold is good choice, advises Mark Sherbin of the Content Marketing Institute. This is the first place the eye goes when you open up a webpage.
- Apply dynamic CTAs. Also known as smart CTAs, dynamic CTAs change based on a website visitor’s prior activity on the website. For example, if a user reads an eBook and then returns to consume more content, the call-to-action would not link to same eBook they already read but rather another piece of content, explains HubSpot. This increases the effectiveness of call-to-actions and deepens a consumer’s engagement with a web page.
- Measure the effectiveness of calls-to-action. Keep track of impressions, click-throughs, and completions to evaluate your calls-to-action, suggests Heidi Cohen. Use these metrics to learn what works and inform your future call-to-action strategy. What actionable verbs or types of language generated the highest click-through-rate? What type of action drives the most consumer engagement? Whatever works, just keep doing it!