The most important and also the most often neglected part of creating content for content marketing purposes, is the call to action. After engaging your audience with images of how your product or service is going to solve their problems and help them achieve their goals, you have to tell them exactly what to do in order to make it happen. Think of it, as giving them a nudge in the right direction.
The Elements of a Good Call to Action
When you create a call to action you should try to ensure it is short and very clear on what you want your audience to do. You should tell your audience the one action they need to take in order to gain these wonderful benefits.
You should emphasize the change that is going to happen in your audiences’ life. For example, “click here” or “subscribe now” are very weak calls to action. They are very clear in what they are asking the audience member to do, but they don’t mention one benefit from doing so.
A much better call to action would be “Get Access Now.” It emphasizes the “getting.” It makes the audience focus on the end result that you’ve been promising the audience member throughout the content you created.
Calls to action should ideally be short and precise, but you can include a few key benefits as bullet points. You should try to keep the wording as short as possible and only add in words that have a purpose. You should use active verbs and refer to benefits.
Guarantees and Urgency
If you create enough content on a regular basis your regular audience members will already count you as an authority figure and will want to trust you. If you don’t have such authority or want to really spice up your call to action, you could use guarantees and urgency, as these are proven to work.
A guarantee removes any final doubts from the audiences mind. It informs them that they don’t need to worry about anything and it informs them of your refund policy, if indeed you have one. Your guarantee should say to your audience, “You have nothing to lose.”
Urgency adds a time element that cannot be ignored. It can be as simple as adding the word “now” as in the example above, or it could be more serious, like a time limited offer or limited supply. You often see countdown clocks used in such circumstances because they enable the audience to instantly visualize the amount of time they have left.
Formatting and Your Call to Action
No matter how good your call to action is, if it is formatted poorly it will never work. Your audience has to be able to easily locate your call to action. You should place it on your website in such a way that it stands out from all of the other content. You could try using different colors, different fonts, etc. to differentiate it. You can also use it more than once, for example at the top of an article where people can easily see it (above the fold) and then repeated at the bottom.
Testing Your Call to Action
There are many elements of the content you create that you can test. The call to action is one of the most important. Run A/B split tests and experiment with the wording, formatting and elements of your call to action, until you find one that works well with your audience.