Conventional wisdom says that including calls to action in your blog posts and social media content helps to direct users down the conversion funnel, but the reality is much more complex. Savvy marketers know it’s not just what you say in a CTA that draws in subscribers—it’s how you say it. Knowing how to properly include a call to action can make the difference between increasing your reach and chasing potential customers away.
Offering subscribers access to exclusive, one-time-only events such as webinars gives them a sense of being “in the know.” This makes your offer that much more attractive, and adds perceived value to the already useful and relevant online content you are providing. Unlike video testimonials or other promotional content, webinars are usually limited to one topic of interest to your subscribers. Another strategy to promote a desirable, exclusive image is to offer subscriber-only content such as eBooks and limited time offers. Calls to action in blog posts should emphasize these exclusive offers and give readers a chance to take part.
The placement of your CTAs is just as important as their wording. Many bloggers place calls to action at the end of the article, which makes sense logically since a reader who has finished the article is probably engaged and receptive to your message. Unfortunately, the prevalence of this technique has conditioned many users to simply ignore a CTA at the end of an article. For more effective targeting, consider slide-in CTAs, which appear in a box at the side of the screen once the user has begun scrolling. This is best for offering additional, related content such as eBooks or other blogs, since a conversion-focused CTA at this stage can seem too salesy. A recent HubSpot study showed that slide-ins increased the click-through rate by 192%.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for content marketing, and CTAs reflect this. Rather than issuing a blanket call to action, try tailoring them to users based on information like location and industry, links they’ve clicked, and what brought them to your site. Sites that customize their messaging see an almost 20% increase in conversions, so it pays to get to know your subscribers. A full-screen opt-in CTA is a great way to get a reader’s attention and deliver a strategic, targeted CTA that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Readers will respond much more positively to content that feels like it is part of a dialogue rather than “talking at” them. To encourage a sense of engagement and collaboration, try soliciting ideas for blog and webinar topics from subscribers in CTAs. That way, you will be addressing their concerns directly and they will feel that they have made a valuable contribution to your content creation. User generated content not only encourages emotional investment, it also takes some of the pressure off when it comes to coming up with new ideas for content. There are many ways to engage with your audience depending on what works best for your brand. Whether it’s a live Twitter chat, a Snapchat contest, or an interview, reaching out to users means building a sense of community.