So you’ve put together some brilliant content; it’s informative, it’s interesting, it’s compelling – but it’s not leading to any more business for you and your team. More often than not, one of the biggest challenges content writers face is coming up with a way of actually converting content into customers. This is where the call to action comes in.
A call to action is typically found right at the bottom of your content (although dotting them throughout doesn’t hurt either). It’s basically a call out that urges your reader to perform some task – be it subscribing to your emails, paying for a membership, or simply making a purchase.
Make it personal
Every so often we stumble upon a blog or website that publishes insightful and unique content regularly, but uses the same tired call to action at the end of every article. Your call shouldn’t be a generic line about how you’re the best in the business at everything you do, it needs to be catered towards the audience you’re immediately addressing. Make sure you think about how your call to action ties directly into the piece of content it’s attached to.
No one likes to be tricked into making decisions, but readers are also savvy enough to spot a standardised, throwaway line – which is why you need to be particularly attentive to your audience’s needs. If you’ve got readers looking at your content, then it’s safe to assume they’re at least somewhat interested in the product or service that you’re offering, so don’t let it all fall over at the final call – make sure your call to action follows suit. You want the action that you require your audience to take to be, virtually, a ‘given’.
The trick with a call to action is to make it compelling enough that your audience wants to answer the call, but not so pushy that it turns your audience away – and it can sometimes be a very fine line between the two!
Once you know that your audience is interested in what you have to offer, you need to push them towards the next step that will see them converting into a customer. Give them a little urgency, for example, a “Send me specials now” button or call to “Claim your free trial today”. This urgency stops your potential customers from sitting on their hands and thinking they might follow up tomorrow, or next week. Instead you’re talking directly to them and showing that you know how to fix a problem they’re dealing with right now.
Don’t be afraid to get a little imaginative with your calls to action – there’s a whole world of possibilities out there. Instead of a simple ‘Get in touch’ or ‘Contact us’ why not think about what doing that actually means for your audience? One of our favourite calls to action is on a tourism website for Humboldt County in California – doesn’t their ‘Follow The Magic’ button just make you want to explore?
Another way to be creative is in what you’re offering with your call to action. Perhaps instead of simply a contact form, you could let them download gated content – a guide to your top tips, a webinar to help them get started, or a white paper that highlights some of the best research relating to your industry. Not only will you get their name and email address to begin building a relationship, but you’ve also taken the opportunity to give them real value the first time they have chosen to engage. And that’s a precedent that’s worthwhile to continue!
A call is only as good as the content
It may seem obvious at first, but if you want your audience to respond to your call to action they’re going to need to see some proof that you can actually add value, which is why it’s so important that your content is hitting the mark.
Responding to your call takes a small leap of faith on behalf of your audience – it’s an investment of their time (and sometimes an investment of their money!), so there needs to be evidence that you can actually help them. No matter how strong your call to action is, if your content is falling flat then many of your potential customers won’t even make it as far as the call, let alone answer it!
At Intelligent Ink we pride ourselves on our ability to bring out your potential. You have a story to tell and sometimes it just takes a bit of extra help to give that story life.