Sure, you know what a call to action is supposed to do: drive more leads and sales from prospects and customers. And you know how important calls to action are as part of your inbound marketing strategy. But could you be writing calls to action all wrong?
The answer is “yes” if you fail to follow these three goals when crafting each call to action:
Goal 1: Consider the business goal of your content marketing.
Your call to action, like your content, should align with your business goals. Your content marketing strategy defines that alignment. It outlines exactly whom you want to take action (your target audience) and it outlines the type of long-term engagement you want with this audience. Do you want your content to raise awareness of your brand? Generate conversations? Provide leads? That informs the type of content you want to write and how you will craft your call to action for that content.
Creating an effective call to action is both art and science. You want your readers to respond, so you must keep three things in mind as you write every CTA: your business goal, the goal of your content and your audience’s need.
Goal 2: Make sure your call to action meets a specific purpose.
Once you craft a call to action with your business goal in mind, then consider whether that call to action matches the purpose of your published content. For example, if you publish useful, authentic and original content to raise awareness of your brand, a call to action that asks a reader to “buy now” misses the mark.
Goal 3: Know your audience’s needs.
“You must understand your customer’s goals” so you can solve your customer’s problem, says Lee Odden, author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing. Your customer, or potential customer, needs something. The job of your content is to help meet that need. And the job of your call to action is to be the gateway to getting that need met.
Put it all together
Let’s put these three goals to work in a hypothetical case. Let’s say you’re the content marketing director for XYZ Community Bank in Northhampton. You write a blog post to raise awareness about your bank providing funding for small businesses. The audience you target is sole-proprietor entrepreneurs in the special event industry, so your post is about how to successfully apply for an SBA loan. Your call to action, which leads to a separate landing page testimonial, could be something like this: See why a Northhampton caterer, photographer and DJ love our small business loans.
This call to action works because it meets the business goal (raise brand awareness), the goal of the blog post (inform a particular audience about SBA loans at the bank) and the reader’s need (to learn how other people they probably know successfully got a loan).
Calls to action are simple, direct statements that tell a person who reads your content what you want them to do next. A call to action can encourage a reader to make a purchase, download additional content, share the content and much more. Get creative. Be direct. And remember to craft your calls to action with your business goal, your content’s purpose and your audience’s need in mind.
To write a great call to action, you have to have an effective content marketing strategy. Get your fast 5-step tutorial.