The Supreme Marketer: A Call to Action
Your brand’s blog posts can be used in a number of ways: to entertain or inform the reader, establish your company as a thought leader in your industry, improve your website’s SEO, etc. But ultimately, your posts should produce measurable results that turn clicks into revenue. To do this, you need a call to action.
In marketing, a call to action (CTA) is a line of text or an image that provides next steps for your readers. It’s an effective marketing technique designed to convert your readers into customers. You’ve probably seen calls to action in pop-up dialog boxes or on landing pages: Subscribe, Sign Up, Get Started, or Join. But there are a number of ways you can build a unique call to action that will work for your business.
How to use a call to action
A call to action tells your reader to do next. It creates an actionable, engaging, and interactive blog post that does more than just provide value. The two most common placements for CTAs are at the end of a blog post or midway through the text (aka an in-line CTA).
An ending CTA usually appears in the conclusion. This summarizes the piece as a way to show the reader how they can use that information moving forward.
For example, your blog post is about “10 essential SEO practices.” After the last paragraph, there’s a dialog box with the text: Why SEO matters for your business – get our free e-book. You’ve given your readers information they care about; now, you’re directing them to further expand their knowledge on that same topic. In this way, the blog is a “teaser” for more information… and that additional information enters your customer into a sales funnel when they input their email address for a free e-book.
In-line CTAs aim for the same goal, but they tend to be subtler. These CTAs usually appear at your post’s midpoint as an anchor text. Instead of leading readers to download your e-book, let’s say your goal is to drive traffic to an evergreen blog post about SEO. You may use a line like: Read this blog post to learn more about SEO, where you link to another one of your blog posts. Or, you could draw attention to a specific service with, Learn more about our SEO consultations here.
Types of CTAs
In order for a call to action to work, you need to know what the goal of your piece is. Think about how you want the next step of the relationship to look after they’ve clicked on your article.
Do you want your reader…
to engage with your brand?
give you their email address?
purchase your product?
contact you to learn more?
request a quote?
read additional content?
share your content?
It’s time to determine which CTA type will work best for your strategic content objectives.
“Contact us” CTA
An estimated 96% of your readers aren’t ready to buy your products or services after the initial impression. But there’s still an opportunity to provide additional value and keep them engaged with your brand. You can offer a free consultation or custom quote that builds upon the information you’ve shared. This approach creates trust and pulls in the customer without forcing them to make a commitment right away.
Example: Contact us today to set up your free consultation. or Request a free quote with our specialists.
Notice the use of “today” and “free.” These are power words that will prompt an urgency in your customer to continue on with the call to action.
“Learn more” CTA
Because your readers may not be ready to commit just yet, you might want to provide additional information… which leads to more impressions and a higher likelihood of buying. This call to action leads them to other pages of your website for increases brand awareness and engagement.
Example: Can’t get enough SEO? Learn more with our article: 3 Reasons You Aren’t Optimizing.
Social media CTA
This CTA directs readers to either share the post on social media or follow your brand’s accounts. Shared posts help improve your word-of-mouth marketing and expand your reach. It can also improve your subscribers and followers, which ensures future impressions on your content.
Example: If you enjoy our blog, follow us on Facebook so you never miss a post.
With this CTA approach, readers can share specific lines, pieces of advice, or notable statistics on Twitter. Separate your pivotal points on their own lines, a strategy we discussed in our post, 4 grammar rules to break when blog writing. Next to that line, write a brief call to action like, “Tweet this” or “Share with friends.” You can also include the Twitter logo here.
Example: “The most optimized articles provide the highest value to your readers.” – Tweet this!
Blog subscription CTA
This method directs readers to sign up for an email list or newsletter by entering their email address. This can help give you a database of interested prospects who might want to purchase from you in the future.
Example: Was this useful? Sign up for our weekly SEO newsletter for tips and tricks delivered right to your inbox.
This call to action also asks for an email address, but the reader gets something in return right away. Common downloadables include e-books, free courses, PDFs, and checklists. Generally, these downloadables are free and provide supplemental information related to the blog’s content.
Example: You’ve read our 10 tips for SEO… Now how do you implement them in your blog? Download our Optimization Checklist now for practical implementation tools!
A comment CTA boosts your post’s engagement per impression. Ask readers to add additional value to the piece (i.e. “Comment below with your favorite DIY home repair tricks”). Or spark a debate in the comments section (i.e. “Do you agree that Apple isn’t as innovative as Samsung?”). The reader interaction keeps people talking about your post. Prospects are more likely to share if there are high levels of engagement. Plus, it’s the comments, likes, and shares that make a post go viral.
Example: Now we want to hear your tips! Let us know in the comments below.
For articles about a specific service or product, “purchase CTAs” are a great way to convert at the end of the article. Use your CTA to send customers directly to a purchasing page. This works especially well for limited time offers, free trials, product samples, or impulsive purchases.
Example: You’ve learned how to prep your house for the holidays. Now, it’s time to buy the gifts. Check out our holiday gift collection of goodies here.
Different CTAs for Different Content
Not every call to action works with every blog post. It’s important to determine what stage of the buying process or sales funnel your readers are in while reading your content.
Let’s say you’ve just introduced an SEO consultation service. Your initial blog post might contain a CTA that asks the reader to subscribe to your newsletter. The newsletter then uses a “Contact us” CTA that directs readers to request a quote. Once they contact you, the thank you letter could contain a coupon code, a complimentary product, or a prompt for them to write a review.
Choose a call to action based on where your reader is in the sales funnel and the types of purchasing power they have.
Also, make sure your CTA is relevant to the piece. It should be specifically related. “Now that you know how to write a Call To Action, click here to learn how to find your brand’s content voice and objectives.”
Lastly, your call to action should be subtle but forceful.
For example, a hidden look at the Palm Beach Content Co. CTA: At the end of each of our blog posts, we use the CTA “Your turn.” We provide practical exercises for you to go out and try these content techniques yourself. Our posts are designed to educate writers and content creators. We want to provide value so you will want to work with us. This gives the reader a chance to use the knowledge they’ve learned, and it keeps them coming back for additional tips and tricks. This also demonstrates our value to potential clients; it shows that we can create great writers and content that will drive their business forward. It’s an indirect CTA that builds interest without a hard-sell.
Let’s come up with a list of CTAs you can easily reference and use for your content.
If you’re a freelancer, make a list of your clients. If you’re a marketer, analyze your own business.
What are the key services your business provides?
What are the key techniques you use to convert readers? (i.e. email sales funnel, direct action, etc.?)
Which CTA would work best to push your client through the sales funnel towards a purchasing conversion?
Brainstorm a list of possible CTAs you can use in future posts (in different variations dependent upon the subject matter).
This is a quick and easy way to insert CTAs that are properly branded and aligned with your business objectives.