Content marketing is a highly effective approach for any business. But your content needs an effective call-to-action to finish the job!
Most business owners are probably familiar with the term, but sometimes a little clarification is in order. So the question might be, "What is a call-to-action anyway?
The simple answer might look like this: A call-to-action, or CTA, is anything on a web page, an ad, or a piece of content that asks for an action from the viewer or reader. Hubspot has a nice way of defining it, as well:
A call-to-action (usually abbreviated as CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a "call" to take an "action."
The action you want people to take could be anything: download an ebook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, etc. A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing -- on your website, in an ebook, in an email, or even at the end of a blog post.
On a website, or online ad, It is typically a virtual button or link that is placed there that will take prospective customers to either a form to be filled out or a landing page. Once they have completed this action, the prospect becomes a lead.
Here's an example of a CTA we like to use at BroadVision Marketing:
When a visitor to our site (such as yourself) clicks on the real version of this CTA, they are immediately taken to a landing page where we politely ask for an email address to send the free eBook to. This is an essential component for your content marketing strategy. Making your content work for you with calls-to-action.
A CTA serves as the link between the content that your website visitor was drawn to, a blog post perhaps, and a landing page. The landing page will have a relevant and valuable offer for your visitor which will lead them to complete a short form, maybe something as simple as a first name and email address.
This is also one of the elements of an effective inbound marketing strategy, as well.
What Your Visitors Can do
While your offer in the CTA can be any number of things that a visitor may want to access, there are a few typical offerings that can be used. The CTAs that can attract attention from potential leads include:
Download a free eBook
Make an appointment
Get a free consultation
- Subscribe to a newsletter
Start a free trial
Register for a free webinar
Since many smaller businesses have limited resources when it comes to marketing and promotion it makes sense to maximize the opportunities available to get interested prospects take an action whenever possible.
This doesn't mean asking for a purchase or even to view some sales pitch, however. In fact, your initial CTAs should simply serve to provide a prospect with some form of valuable and relevant information - often more great content!
Call-to-Action Best Practices
It has been recommended by our friends at Hubspot that CTAs follow suggested guidelines for optimal results. CTAs should be:
- Visually striking with copy that compels you to click the offer
- Brief: A couple of words is best, no more than five is ideal
- Action-oriented: Begin with a verb like "Download" or "Register"
- Located in an easy-to-find spot that follows organically from the flow of the web page
- In a contrasting color from the color scheme of the web page, while still fitting in with the overall design
- Large enough to see from a distance, but not so large as to detract attention from the main content on the page
- Easy to understand and clear: Be sure to state exactly what the visitor will get if they click on the CTA and go to the landing page
In addition, you may want to place your CTA button, or link, in a number of locations throughout your website where it does not interfere with the content. In the middle and at the end of each blog post are great spots, for example.
Here is a graphic "cheat sheet" for designing your new CTAs:
Share this Image On Your Site
5 Ways to Use a Call-to-action
Capturing an email address or inviting a purchase are not the only reasons for a well-crafted call-to-action. A CTA can be used in a variety of situations. Here are some of them:
1. Attract visitors and turn them into leads
There is very little gained by having visitors stop by your website, look at your home page or your blog post, and then move on, possibly never to return. Capturing their attention with a compelling offer in a CTA will allow you to obtain their name and email address at minimum.
2. Nurture prospects with additional offers
Ultimately you want prospects to become customers. And, over time, you want to encourage them to buy your product. One way to do this is with CTAs placed in spots where leads tend to visit consistently.
3. Highlight upcoming events
A bold CTA can draw visitors to events such as webinars or shows that your company is participating in. The link can be used to take a visitor to a registration page that also provides relevant information about the event.
4. Promote your social sharing buttons
These are an easy way for visitors to become engaged with your company by giving them a tool to share your site, your blog posts, and follow you on the social media platforms your company is on.
5. Encourage a site visitor to make a purchase
For some businesses, a product or service can be purchased right from your website or a landing page. When that is the case, a well-crafted and strategically place Call-to-action is absolutely vital.
A Call-to-action for Your Prospective Customers
Attracting visitors to your website is only the beginning of an effective content marketing approach. People have come to your site, read your blog, and studied your company's offerings because you have promised to solve their problem or answer their question.
Once they are have arrived, you have often very little time to spur them to take an action before moving on. Make the best use of that opportunity with great CTAs and compelling and relevant offerings.
Want some help with your marketing efforts? Get your Free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session to help you make an informed decision or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.
You can also click on our cool CTA below to get a powerful case for using content and inbound marketing for your company: