If in doubt, don’t leave it out.
There are few examples of B2B online marketing content that aren’t enhanced by using a Call to Action (CTA). In fact, I can’t think of any. Static website pages, landing pages, email campaigns, social media posts whether organic or sponsored, blogs, white papers, e-books, PPC display ads…all of these will perform better with a CTA.
Referred to as “the tipping point between bounce and conversion”, a CTA is your opportunity to bring a prospect closer to becoming a customer, or to turn an existing customer into an evangelist. It is a chance to guide your audience to the next stage of the sales funnel. Without a clear CTA, they will be left wondering what their next action should be, and in most cases, will simply give up and look elsewhere.
But how do you make sure your CTAs will lead to conversions rather than bounces?
Here are some rules for creating powerful CTAs in a B2B marketing content:
- Button it
A CTA can take many forms. Simple, colourful buttons have been proven to be the most effective form of CTA, leading to an increased click-through rate versus text links, and they are not just reserved for landing pages, websites and emails. They can be used in virtually any situation where you want your audience to do something.
That said, there’s not always a justification for a big, bright button. In a blog post, for example, an inline link such as ‘Read this blog post’ will do the job just as well without disrupting the flow of the article or making it look too ‘salesy’. Buttons don’t work on organic social media posts either.
On Twitter, there is another type of inline CTA: ‘Tweet this’ links. When a reader clicks this link, a pre-written tweet will appear promoting the content. You can create links like this using a tool called Click To Tweet. This CTA can be great for posts that include data, infographics, or facts.
- Avoid clutter
Ideally, include just one CTA in each piece of content - multiple CTAs confuse users and slow down the conversion process. The fewer CTAs you have, the more likely it is that viewers will focus and click on the lead magnet. In the same vein, don’t lose conversions by crowding out your CTA with other, less important actions. Your CTA should be the clear focus of the page or piece of content.
Carry this principle through into the design by leaving plenty of white space and avoiding overcrowding. White space directs a reader’s attention towards the CTA.
- Be clear about the benefits
Another tip is to ensure viewers understand exactly what they need to do next and what they will gain by clicking. Even though ‘Click here’ sounds specific, it’s actually rather muddy. What happens when I click? ‘Submit’ is another CTA to avoid as it is vague and doesn’t suggest any benefit to the user. It is essential that your CTA emphasises the benefits of the interaction. How is reading your white paper going to help your followers? An example of a CTA that might work here is ‘Read our white paper to save your business money’.
- Consider placement
Arrange your copy and buttons in a strategic way to encourage a natural flow that ultimately directs the reader to your CTA. Readers shouldn’t have to scroll back up or track down to a CTA they previously saw.
There is much debate around whether CTAs should be located above or below the fold. The general rule is to place it above the fold as the content at the top of the page is more likely to be read. However, there is a case for placing it below the fold too. If your proposition is crystal clear above the fold then position the CTA higher up. However, if your product or service requires more explanation before the viewer is ready to act, place a CTA at the bottom of the page. A slide-in CTA or CTA located within the sidebar can also work as way of interacting with your readers while still allowing them to read the content without interruption.
- Choose your words carefully
You need to select words that evoke a sense of urgency and create momentum. Some CTA phrases that maximise conversions include: ‘Register now’, ‘Join today’, ‘Download here’. You can also leverage FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) with exclusive offers and time-restricted commands such as ‘Sign up now to get 50% off’. Where possible, incorporate emotive words, such as ‘you’, ‘easy’, ‘guarantee’, ‘proven’, ‘results’, ‘free’ and ‘save’.
If you’re writing CTAs for social media, a healthy proportion of these prompts should be platform-specific. For example: ‘Follow us on Twitter to receive updates’ or ‘Share this post to be entered in a competition’.
- Make it painless
Make the process that follows the CTA as easy as possible. If your CTA is to increase the subscriber base for your blog, don’t make the visitor fill out a long form - just ask for the information you need. If you just need an email address, only ask for the email address. Making the conversion quick and simple increases the chances that they'll actually follow it through.
EMG has extensive experience in creating digital content that is optimised to drive conversions. Whether your goal is to generate leads, expand your subscriber base or increase your following on social media, we can help you generate engaging content with persuasive CTAs. Reach out to Rita Verschuuren to discuss.
More on these subjectsCommunications Strategy Marketing Communications
on October 21, 2021