What on earth is a CTA? Is that car part?
A call to action (aka CTA) provides content viewers, including blog readers, with a direct roadmap to their next experience as it pertains to your product or service. In short, it tells them where to go and what to do next. Easy peasy, right?
An effective CTA can turn a fence sitter to a buyer. If you provide a new buyer with half off their first month of a subscription service, for example, you might not profit on the first sale—but the lifetime value increases as they remain subscribed.
Most content you create should have a call to action—from a PPC (pay per click) ad to an in-depth blog post to each page on your website. If you’ve inspired your readers to take action, it’s time to help them take the next step on their journey as a buyer.
Should Different Formats Have Different CTAs?
If you produce different types of content (such as videos, blog posts, and white papers), you may want to know if each call to action should lead to the same place. In all honesty, we recommend looking at this concerning the goals of the piece rather than the type of the content. You should also evaluate your content’s goals and include it in an overall marketing strategy before you sit down and get ‘er going.Remember: not all media must lead to a sale button. You can send people to more advanced pieces you have created on the topic, meaning a video could go to a blog post and vice versa. Click To Tweet
Whatever you do, never miss an opportunity to provide your audience with the chance to get notified about new content. Sending people back to your website from an outside platform or guest blog post also increases the SEO value of your site thanks to the hearty and beloved backlink, so don’t forget to include it even if the CTA leads people to a separate social media page or mailing list signup.
Additionally, keep in mind your readers’ experience. If they’re on a mobile phone, an accessible “call us now” CTA might work best. In fact, they might want to get a fast answer by talking to a real person, and that convenience and connection are essential. You’ll have to take a look at your existing (or predicted) website traffic to know more about how your users access your site (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop).
How Do You Know Which CTA to Include?
This depends heavily upon where your buyer is in their journey. If you’re crafting introductory or 101 content and your reader or listener are new to your niche, they’re possibly at an early stage of their buyer journey, especially if you’re selling a product that is expensive or requires a monthly investment. (This is a little different than selling something like a $5-$10 book, which is a one-time purchase that could lead into future publication purchases.)
That said, we’ve got your hookup with a few examples.
Let’s say you’re an IT company selling a SaaS (software as a service) CRM (customer relationship manager) which works with a monthly subscription:
Type: Blog post as introductory content
Title: 5 Signs You Need a CRM
Stage in Buyer Journey: Intro/New/Top of Funnel
Goal: Webinar Signup
CTA: “Interested in learning more about how a CRM could help? Sign up for our FREE webinar!”
Type: Sales page on website
Title: CRM Pricing
Stage in Buyer Journey: Exploratory/Mid-Late Funnel
Goal: Free trial sign up/capture email address
CTA: “Ready to try our CRM? Sign up for a risk-free 14-day trial.”
Type: Customer education piece
Title: Advanced CRM Software Tricks
Stage in Buyer Journey: Existing customer/needs re-engagement/end of buyer journey
Goal: Initial signup/re-engagement
CTA: “Want to increase your sales with these strategies? We challenge you! Sign in to the CRM software. Have additional questions? Our customer service agents are here to help. Contact us now.”
Make Your Audience Feel Inspired
There are times you shouldn’t be emotional about business, like when you’re looking at budgets and cold, hard numbers. Keep that cold shoulder.
Your relationship with your prospects and customers is not one of those times: it is, in fact, a relationship, and that relationship requires an emotional appeal. To lead up to and craft a compelling call to action, you need to make your audience feel inspired. You can do this in several ways:
- Show them what they can accomplish with your help: Provide examples and testimonials, and even offer a free sample. Don’t just make them think “I want that”—make them feel it.
- Center them in a story: Collaborative storytelling is more effective than regurgitating your success story. Your customers want to be part of your success (especially if you’re a small business). It will make them feel empowered to contribute actively, especially if you also offer something they need anyway. This gets the total emotional buy-in.
- Be transparent: This is where you can rise above your competition, decisively. Many brands are afraid to let customers take a look behind the curtain. Even if you’ve messed up in the past, transparency is usually a worthwhile risk. People love knowing about how you operate and what you’ve learned—and if you want them to make a purchase, that means this sort of customer affection is essential.
Your CTA is the culmination of this emotional content. For example, at Dominate With SEO, we want you to be able to showcase your story—genuinely, ethically, and effectively—to your clients. But we want to create that story together, with your input. That’s why we send a discovery form to each of our new clients.
While our team members are productive, they’re not a machine; there’s emotion involved here, and it’s a relationship. (See? Hopefully, that’s a more enticing appeal than ‘we’ll make content for you and help you rank in Google.) Plus, we mean it—we’re pretty badass at what we do, but we care about your success, and we’re passionate about what we do.
Offer to Solve Some Problems
An effective CTA can offer to solve problems. You can detail the steps for your reader to solve those problems themselves, then let them know how much easier it is for you to do it for them. After all, they want to spend their time on other things, and you’re ready to solve this annoying problem for a reasonable price. As a business owner, you understand that the best service relieves a pain point. And it feels good to have that burden removed.
Need Persuaive Content? We Can Help
Are you ready to create higher converting, more persuasive content for your blog? Dominate With SEO is here to help. We research keywords, work with you directly, and consider your audience to create a long-term inbound content marketing strategy. We know how to inspire your audience to contact you for more. Ready to make it happen? Contact Dominate With SEO to maximize the potential of your content.