A major reason why content marketers spend so much of their time crafting stellar content is that they want to be heard. The pen they say is mightier than a sword, and in a blogger’s case, it is an amplified speaker. It can, therefore, be very frustrating to create meaningful content, post it, and later realize that your readers are not taking any significant action. So, why are they not listening to you?
Data show that the digital buyer population is on the rise and that there will be more than 2.14 billion buyers by 2021. So why does it seem as if everyone is making money from blogging, but you are not? Communication specialists say that no one listens to people that whine, talk only about themselves, cry wolf, are trite or unconfident.
If you have all these bases covered in your writing, then your audience is most probably missing your sales directives. If you are trying to get the point across, yet lead your audience off track, they will wander away. This is why learning how to make clear calls to action is paramount for any blogger.
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Table of Contents
Why are calls to action necessary for your blog?
A call to action, also known as a CTA is a statement designed to produce an immediate response from the person it is directed to. Some of the most famous CTAs include phrases such as “Yes We Can!” or “Make America Great Again.” These statements are catchy, easy to remember, and very short. They are also very effective at spurring action.
Netflix, too, has a very compelling CTA. It has effectively eliminated the fear that potential subscribers have over making commitments. It simply offers them an opportunity to watch “content anywhere; cancel anytime.”
The movie streaming business further sweetens the deal by throwing in more phrases that offer a free subscription for a month. Their ability to reassure customers has given the content streaming brand a year on year growth of 27% to 35% over the last five years.
What are good calls to action?
Good calls to action are the bread and butter of any digital business, and without them, you will have abysmal conversion rates. The conventional narrative is that a CTA is a brightly colored button on your website with some buyer instruction.
In sharp contrast, good CTAs are well crafted and creatively incorporated into scripts or landing page copy. CTAs are nevertheless not an internet phenomenon. They have been a staple of the marketing industry for decades, but have had to transition to online marketing.
For years, calls to action have taken the same format as they did decades ago on-screen or print media. Businesses have used the same CTA phrases style, to motivate consumers and lead them to purchase. It is not surprising, therefore, that early digital content CTAs read like most print media CTAs.
Why? Because decades back, marketers found a CTA formula that worked in increasing sales. These are the same marketing principles that many websites use to stimulate revenue generation. Some of these principles of good traditional CTAs include;
The use of concise phrases with active verbs
This factor ensures that a CTA speaks directly to a buyer. Today, this principle will not work for you if you do not avoid weak words such as ‘click here.’ Specific but relatable phrases that connect the CTA to the desired outcome, such as ‘Book your adventure now,’ deliver better results.
They offer a final directive
Calls to action are made to provide final instructions to readers. They are asking your readers to perform an action that makes your content marketing strategy fruitful. If you, therefore, construct top-notch content and fail to give a final directive to your readers, all you will have done is let them wander off.
It is this principle, however, that makes copycats of the most uncreative CTAs. Poorly crafted CTA instructions always read the same across different websites. Once more, a good illustration of this failure is “click here.”
A risk-reducing phrase
The most successful of these directives have a no-obligation phrase that eliminates or cuts down the risk of purchase. This aspect gives a buyer confidence to make that next step. They also have very usable phrases such as “click the button” to guide the buyer.
They encourage immediate action
A good CTA encourages quick response. They do not give buyers time to go away and reconsider their decisions.
These traditional CTA principles worked perfectly in the early days of content marketing. You, nonetheless, have to tweak them to excite the evolved digital customer of the day. Those tactics applied as they are will make your CTAs read as spammy and dated.
You are now selling to a very skeptical audience and readers that have a lot of product information on their fingertips. Internet users are also more familiar with CTAs and landing pages and will be turned off by high-pressure salesy CTAs.
Nevertheless, a good CTA can eliminate the fear of risk, guide, and increase purchase urgency amongst your audience without forcing a sales speech down their throat.
How to create a call to actions that convert
1. Encourage action with social proof
Today’s online customer wants trustworthy proof before they can commit to purchases. Most of them have been jaded by the effects of false advertising and trust the opinion of unbiased third parties and their peers more than brand ads.
If you want to create actionable CTAs, you need to infuse them with real-life social proof. Data shows that over 92% of all buyers online, study product reviews before purchase. In fact, reviews get 12 times more traffic than sales copy and product descriptions in e-commerce sites. A CTA that combines clarity of action and social proof will hook more buyers and increase revenue.
2. Feature immediate benefits
Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing can promise and deliver instant gratification. You can, for an instant, award your buyers with premium services, downloadable resources, and tools access seconds after sign up. Some e-commerce businesses have a gratification-waiting period, but their customers can enjoy instant payments and processing services. Online buyers love the ease of buying items from the comfort of their homes.
Your calls to actions, therefore, need to feature instant gratification to increase conversions. If you do not have an item to offer, give a lead to another offer. As an illustration, OptinMonster sells conversion rates tools but provides a free conversion guide to any first-time visitor considering a future subscription payment. Provide related immediate value to your customers and watch your numbers grow.
3. Infuse positivity into your CTAs
People will not pay you any attention if you are whining or negative. Whiners and pessimists are demotivating and are a pain to listen to. If you have a point to get across, find the bright spot, and highlight it, then share the downsides later.
Neil Patel is a master of positively worded CTAs. His landing pages will, for instance, ask readers if they “want more traffic.” Most of his readers visit his site for this very problem. This very positive proposition is very difficult to turn away from.
4. Use secondary CTAs
While primary calls to action encourage buyers towards conversion, secondary CTAs provide your prospects with alternative actions to take. These alternatives should complement your Primary CTA’s goal. Secondary calls to action are usually featured less prominently than their counterparts.
They are designed to entice visitors that are not ready to heed to your primary CTA. You can use the secondary CTA to capture data in a lead capture form or to capture email addresses. You need to offer your readers other options besides your high-value action.
If all you have is a primary CTA, you will be pushing your visitors’ backs against the wall, and they will leave. Design additional offers as a means to create CTAs that convert.
5. Be very specific and clear
A good CTA can be as simple as a four-word phrase. In your bid to communicate to your readers a need to take action, you need to avoid confusing elements and words. This is the reason why the most successful calls to action are very straightforward and uncluttered.
Let your readers know at a glance what item it is that you have on offer and why they should click through. If they have to read the whole email or post to place the call to action in context, then you have failed on the aspect of providing CTA clarity. Avoid vague phrases such as “get this offer” and construct a CTA copy that communicates better.
6. Write in the first person
Data shows that writing CTA copy in the first-person narrative can rapidly increase your click-through rates. Your tone and word choice can make your CTAs sound business-like and impersonal. As an illustration, “get started” or “buy now” are addressing your reader but are in the second person. To add a first-person point of view, you can use possessive determiners such as “my.”
Writing “Reserve my ticket” rather than” Reserve your ticket” on your CTA will make a choice more personal and will provide a bigger payoff for your business. Using the first-person narrative will give your buyer a feeling of control when they are sharing their personal information.
It will also enhance personalization, which data shows that it has the capability of increasing your transaction rates. The use of the first-person view will also be a welcome change from CTAs that use possessive determiners such as “you” or “your.”
7. Use humor where applicable
Millennial humor is mystifying since it is embedded in social media and technology and is often weird and confusing. Most of it has tones of the absurd and heaps of self-deprecation, but it sells. Self-deprecating humor allows millennials to create a sense of community when interacting online in relationships that often transcend physical ties.
These illogical and unreasonable humorous statements can make very good CTAs. If this type of humor suits your brand, use it in your CTAs. The trendy, funny, and punchy CTA will leave your millennial customer excited about other entertaining content that you might have up your sleeve. Humorous CTAs will differentiate your brand and spark curiosity.
8. Use color cleverly
Besides quirky and catchy copy, let your CTAs have some color. Color has a great psychological influence on people affecting their mood and even health. Studies show that the color red improves the brain’s attention to detail, while blue enhances creativity. This is why marketers use specific colors to create robust branding materials and persuasive logos.
To create a highly effective CTA, ensure that your color of choice provides contrast with your webpage’s background color. The color of choice should also pop to increase visibility. Some studies suggest that there are colors that work better than others do when it comes to CTAs. One of these studies, for instance, says that red works better than green if the background has green overtones.
Use complementary colors for maximum contrast but also be very careful to use on-brand colors to eliminate confusion amongst your customers. Make the CTAs colors uniform across your pages or emails. Let it be a visual cue so that whenever your readers see it, they are sure of what to expect if they click through.
9. Create a unique but straightforward CTA
If you have an ample graphics and web design budget, create text as unique elements such as flashing GIFs or swipe up buttons. This level of creativity will help your CTAs to stand out amongst your competitors.
Use different fonts to separate your clickable CTA from other landing page elements. The trick with proper font usage is to reign in your creativity so as not to go overboard and build clutter. Two fonts are sufficient for contrast.
Digital content marketing will grow as it takes center place in the product supply chain, but most of its primary elements will remain unchanged. Your CTAs will, for instance, need to keep driving your readers to take action. If you want your readers to listen, take action, and increase your conversions, observe the primary elements of good CTAs.
Let your calls to action remain clear, specific, give a low barrier to entry, and enhance urgency of action. Go ahead, integrate these other features of great CTAs and sit back, and enjoy increased conversions.