There’s a reason marketers don’t end blog posts, case studies, or even e-books with the words “THE END.”
Because when the marketing team has done their job well, the real story doesn’t begin until the audience is finished with the content.
Brands know they need to engage customers and prospects from the start, whether it’s a written asset, video, or podcast.
They also know that audiences won’t stay unless they receive much value, whether it’s education to address their pain points or inspiration on achieving greater satisfaction.
However, if customers and prospects are done with the content and move on, something has gone wrong.
The vast majority of marketing content in the B2B or B2C space should include a call-to-action (CTA). A brand should suggest, encourage, ask, or even urge its audience to do something specific based on the story they just told.
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Where marketing calls-to-action can lead
Your CTAs are at a crucial point in the customer journey. In many cases, the journey could have started with a customer or prospect finding your website through search or social media. Once they land, your marketing team’s content should help them see your brand as credible and a potential resource for whatever they are trying to do.
The CTA bridges the gap between informative and even entertaining content and the next leg of the journey: to the paying customer.
While some CTAs can be as simple as driving audiences to your product pages, many other options exist. These include:
- Contact the sales team to learn more about your specific needs.
- View a product demo, either online or in person.
- Offering their contact details via a procedure to receive more marketing materials relevant to them.
- Take a survey to empower research that benefits you and your peers.
- Download your brand’s mobile application.
- Register for an event or class offered by your brand.
- Enter to win a contest or promotion.
- Provide feedback on past experiences with the brand.
- Navigate to self-service resources to troubleshoot a common issue.
Although they often appear toward the end of a content asset, the most successful marketing strategies identify and validate the CTA early on. This not only guarantees that the content produced has commercial value. It can also be a way to structure and outline the story you’re telling, so the call to action feels natural and not fixed.
The most common approaches to creating marketing CTAs
Calls to action can also take different forms depending on the content you deliver to your audience. The following are just a few that you might consider as part of your strategy:
1. The link
In an increasingly digital world, creating a CTA that leads nonstop to a germane URL first makes sense.
Of course, if nobody is already on your site, you don’t need to direct them to your home page. Instead, consider where they would benefit most from your next visit or where you would like to take them on their journey.
In addition to a product page, some CTA links show a case study of a customer following the advice offered in a blog post. Other links can go to your store or even a third-party marketplace.
Be sure to include CTA links naturally in the text. For example, associate your URL with active keywords that others might type into a search engine.
2. The button
The risk of relying on in-text links is that they get overlooked in a sea of words. Buttons overcome this by providing a more prominent presence and mimicking the same types of tools people use when clicking through to make an e-commerce purchase. This reinforces the concept of a “call to action”.
When using a call-to-action button, think beyond the basics to ensure the background colour reflects your brand guidelines. Think about what the disputes on the button should be.
For example, you can use text just above the button to explain where it will take your audience, meaning a simple “Click Here” might be enough. However, this is not all. You can also put words on the button that make the CTA’s response value clearer.
Will it help your customers learn more about your product to reduce costs? Maybe the button could say something like “Show me the money” or “Start saving.”
3. The verbal
As marketing content becomes more dynamic and hypermedia, you may need someone to say your CTA.
For example, in an explainer video of your product, a voice-over could explain the next steps to learn more or make a purchase.
In a podcast, the presenter may have calls to action to subscribe, become a guest, or visit the brand’s website for more resources. Of course, you can also have verbal calls to action mentioning URLs. Just ensure they are short enough for someone to remember and refer to later easily.
Creating marketing calls to action for success
Of course, you don’t have to save your CTA to the end of a resource. You can also introduce it from the beginning to save your audience time when they’re ready to move on.
Nor are you limited to a single call-to-action. For example, many eBooks intersperse various CTAs based on potential tactics readers could use to apply what they’ve learned from specific chapters.
Finally, don’t necessarily let your CTAs remain static. When you measure the performance of your content, take a close look at how many people are clicking through or responding to the CTA you’re offering. If the number is now, it changes the format. Change wording. Move to where you put it.