Calls to action are at the heart of inbound marketing.
But even though they are one of the most valuable elements of successful business blogging, they are also one the most neglected.
Brands need to strike while the iron is hot and guide readers onto their next step. They’ve been on a journey, immersed themselves in your story and absorbed your experience.
Now is your opportunity to deepen the relationship.
Chances are your readers are on the page for a reason. They want to engage with you, be privy to future insights and be the first to hear your latest news. So help them do this and pave the way for them with effective calls to action...
What is a Call to Action?
As the reader nears the end of their journey, a good post will bring all the key points of the article together. An overarching statement that wraps up the post and helps the reader move forwards.
Your wisdom will usher them forwards with renewed vigour…and a clear Call to Action will forge the beginnings of a fruitful business relationship.
Whether it’s signing up to your newsletter or downloading your latest case study, you need to compel your audience to carry out your desired action…
A Call to Action will encourage readers to enter your all-important sales funnel. You have them hooked. Now you can really start to nurture the relationship and prove your worth. - Blog, Sweat and Tears
But how can you best make and impact and encourage people to take the action you want them to?
The Makeup of an Effective CTA...
In short, the makeup of an effective CTA comes down to the design, the copy and how you use them on the page.
But before you get caught up in the fun of it, take a second to reflect on what you’re trying to achieve.
What is the goal of your content?
Whether you want to increase your database, boost followers on social or nurture your current contacts into leads, set a goal and establish what you need to be doing to deliver this.
Then - with this firmly front of mind - create your CTAs.
To guarantee you get the results you’re after, join me as I walk through the best practices of irresistible calls to action...
1. The Design
Whatever your end goal - contacts, social followers, leads, whatever - the aim is to encourage clicks - to pump some impulse into that index finger.
To do this, keep CTAs visually vibrant…
- Choose contrasting colours whilst still keeping it within the design and colour scheme of your brand
- Make them large enough to take notice of, without detracting from the rest of the blog content
- Be original with the shape of the overall CTA and the button itself. You want to make them take notice; combining and playing with shapes is a great way to add another visual element to your button
Just remember, there is no one size fits all.
As we mentioned in our blog post on increasing dwell time (and as is the case with pretty much every area of content marketing) - create, optimise, measure, tweak and repeat!
2. The Copy
When creating the copy for the CTA it’s important to keep your goal in mind. And the best way to encourage your readers to take action is to make it clear what you want from them.
Keep it clear. Tell them what they need to do and why.
What information do they need to provide you with?
What are they downloading or signing up to?
What’s in it for them?
Keep it simple and straight-to-the-point.
Try and keep the copy below or as near to five words as possible. And don’t confuse them with technical language or unnecessary information.
Keep it action-oriented. Use verbs like ‘Download’, ‘Register’ or ‘Sign-up’.
Add a touch of urgency to ensure you capture them there and then. They’ll be able to find an excuse for not taking action immediately; it’s your job to give them an excuse to take action right here, right now...
More than 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy. - Unbounce
Keep it relevant.
Readers found your content because you knew what they were searching for, and attracted them with relevant blogs. You’ve done the hard part in attracting them; don’t blow it now that they’re interested in what you have to say.
Avoid unrelated CTAs and instead make sure they add something meaningful and helpful to the blog.
Once you have decided on a relevant CTA to use for your next blog, focus on achieving the perfect balance…
3. The Balance
CTAs and blog copy should intertwine seamlessly, flowing naturally from one to the other.
Position them logically - somewhere that is easy to find and helps the reader.
Mid-page CTAs are the perfect way to break up longer blog posts, and guide readers on to something meaningful and of interest. They don’t have to be loud, and they definitely shouldn’t interrupt the reader’s journey down the page - keep them visually appealing and easy to consume.
And don’t forget the bottom of your page.
You’ve just grafted away over a ‘how-to’ blog post, guiding your audience through the best way to create effective calls to action. You can interpret that those reading it are interested in business blogging, marketing, or just an avid fan of your work (Hi Mum!).
Yet you don’t do anything about it.
You let them finish their journey, exit your site, maybe to return again next week for your latest blog.
What is the point?
You want to attract valuable leads, but instead you’ve become a distraction from adverts when they’re favourite programme is on a break.
A content marketer’s nightmare!
Placing your CTA at the bottom of a blog post captures them at the right point. You’ve just captivated them, given them intelligent insight and demonstrated why they can trust you.
Now you just have to help them move onto the next step!
Create, optimise, measure, tweak, repeat
Yes, that old chestnut.
We use this phrase a lot because, well, it makes sense.
Whether it’s a blog post, a video ad, or a CTA - you’ll never truly achieve your full potential without monitoring and tweaking your content.
If your CTA isn’t having the desired effect, make small tweaks. It could be as simple as adjusting the colour of the button, swapping out the image, or turning things up a notch or two with copy that packs a punch.
And remember, create, optimise, measure, tweak, repeat…
Make one tweak at a time, and measure the results before tweaking it any further. This will help you determine what does work and what doesn’t.
When you find your CTA sweet point, work your way through old blog posts and update them. They might be veterans - so to speak - but they sure still make an impact...
76% of monthly blog post views and 92% of monthly blog leads are from old posts - HubSpot.
Start with posts that attract a lot of traffic but have below average conversion rates, and then roll it out across all relevant blogs on your site.
As one door closes, another one always opens
Or, as one piece of content comes to an end, another piece is just a click away.
Practicing what we preach and all that…Download our FREE 43-page guide to business blogging and make the impact you’ve been dreaming of!