Content marketing is a great way to draw in potential leads with helpful information relevant to their needs. But you don’t want your content marketing to feel like one long ad, manipulating your readers to simply buy your products and services. Rather, most of your content should remain informative, but you can add a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your blog letting your readers know how you can help them.
A CTA is a short sentence or two, typically at the end of your content, that ties your brand back into the subject at hand and “calling” your readers to “take action” by interacting with your brand. For instance, let’s say a roofing company posts a YouTube video discussing the pros and cons of five different types of roofs. At the end of the video, you will remind the audience that you can install the best of these roofs and encourage them to schedule a free quote today.
What goes into a great CTA? Here are a few of the best elements to include:
#1 – Clarity
If there’s any part of your content marketing that should be easy for your audience to understand, it is your CTA. If it’s unclear how they should actually take action, they probably won’t.
First and foremost, make sure you’re using language that the average reader or audience can understand. Second, it needs to be obvious what action they need to take. If you say “contact us today” there should be a link that leads them directly to your contact form. Call us today? Follow up with your phone number. Email us? Add your email address.
They should also know exactly why they might reach out to you. Does it start with requesting a demo of your software? Booking a free consultation? Or would they contact you simply to inquire about your products or services? Make this clear, as well.
#2 – Urgency
Add a bit of urgency to your CTA with a limited time offer that puts a ticking clock on the call to action. For instance, maybe you can say, “Call in the next 10 hours for a special discount.” This may not work for a blog or YouTube video that stays up for months or years at a time, however.
In that case, consider highlighting an ongoing special — as well as the time that special will last. Maybe you offer discounts in a particular season or you’re running a limited time campaign. This, too, will add some urgency to your CTA.
#3 – Value
You know the reason why you want your audience to follow up with your brand, sign up for your newsletter, contact you for a consultation, etc. But what’s in it for them? Your CTA should have a strong sense of value to the customer.
Going back to that roofing company, what if you install roofs that have a 50 year warranty instead of simply a 10 or 20 year warranty? This could be immensely cost-saving for potential customers who want to stay in their home for the rest of their lives. Or what about a financial consulting firm offering a free ebook on financial planning for customers who sign up for their newsletter?
Think about what makes your brand special, and then make sure that is represented in your CTA.
#4 – Enthusiastic Tone
This doesn’t mean that you have to give your CTA in all caps with several exclamation points. In fact, that’s more likely to ward your audience off. But you should sound confident and enthusiastic about your offering to your audience. If your tone sounds bland and tired, you can’t expect your audience to be excited enough to move forward with reaching out to your company.
#5 – Brevity
Make sure you aren’t writing a long-winded CTA or stretching your CTA out across the entire blog. Your audience may be discouraged from reading an entire wall of text or something that feels too much like an ad. The key is to keep your CTA short and sweet, getting straight to the point and wasting no words.
Think of it like a haiku (not that your CTA can’t exceed seven syllables!). You have to choose the words that will be most effective, rather than throwing in as many words as possible and hoping something sticks. Tell your audience what you can do, why it relates to them, and what they should do next (sign up for your newsletter, contact you, check out your shop, etc). That’s it! Anything else would be fluff.