Eric Wendt

More than 90 percent of website visitors who read a headline also read call-to-action copy, according to Unbounce.

Brafton has discovered first-hand the effectiveness of relevant, well-placed CTAs. After updating one client’s CTA strategy, their revenue jumped 83 percent in a single month. E-commerce conversion rates increased 22 percent quarter over quarter, and average order value for blog readers rose nearly 50 percent during the same time period.

The numbers speak for themselves: CTAs are a vital component of successful content marketing.

What makes a strong CTA?

CTAs exist to drive website visitors toward a specific action. Whether it’s to “Find out more” or “Buy now,” CTAs provide a clear next step for readers.

Getting them to follow through with that next step is much easier when CTAs are found amidst compelling content. Valuable, actionable content engages readers and builds trust. It provides a reason for prospective customers to listen when you ask them to click.

CTA creation is not a one-and-done affair, either. Different types of content serve specific goals. It makes sense that varying assets should contain tailored calls to action. The trick is knowing which type of CTA fits best with each type of content.

“Select the right channel and corresponding CTA based on where content fits in the sales funnel.” 

Let your channel be your guide

Content marketing can take numerous forms, from website landing pages and email newsletters to animated videos and social media updates. The channel you’re using should dictate the type of CTA you employ.

Perhaps you want to generate more leads. Maybe you want to promote an event. Regardless of the purpose, the content and CTA should both align with it. Just like the content itself, CTAs must be goal-oriented.

Determining where content falls in the sales funnel will allow you to select the proper channel and corresponding CTA.

It’s been proven that certain types of content perform better at specific points in the sales funnel.

For instance:

  • Blogs and newsletters are more likely to be effective in the pre-sales portion, when individuals are first gaining awareness of a business and how it can help them.
  • Videos tend to work best for leads who are in the process of weighing their vendor options and making a final decision.
  • Whitepapers are intended to provide more in-depth information about a specific subject. These assets perform best during the beginning of the sales phase. Video blogs require CTAs suited to their format.

Imploring a website visitor to make a purchase from a blog may come off too strong when they’re in that early stage of the sales funnel. Blogs should demonstrate business expertise and value propositions. A more appropriate CTA would encourage readers to download an in-depth content asset, such as a whitepaper or eBook, to learn more. This would continue leading a prospect down the sales funnel and provide an ideal opportunity to capture contact information.

From there, the whitepaper could feature a CTA persuading readers to contact the business directly and speak to a representative who can answer lingering questions.

Meanwhile, a video blog could end with a spoken CTA extolling the benefits of a product or service and encouraging consumers to act now or learn more.

Some CTA practices never go out of style

Regardless of the type of CTA you decide to use, certain best practices remain the same. These include:

  • Creating visually appealing CTAs: A call to action should be easy to spot and fit in with overall design and color schemes. It should stand out visually without distracting from surrounding information.
  • Providing clear directions: The next step for someone reading a CTA should be easy to understand and undertake.
  • Making copy concise: CTAs should be short and sweet, featuring fewer than five words to get the point across.
  • Including action words: Verbs are essential, whether you’re asking someone to “read,” “download,” “register,” or “call.”
  • Placing CTAs in proper areas: Placement of CTAs should be natural in terms of the content they accompany. CTAs are typically found at the end of content, but web pages and social media platforms make it easy to include calls-to-action above and to the side of content if appropriate.
  • Keeping branding consistent: If you opt for CTA buttons or other design-oriented options, it’s essential they correspond with existing brand aesthetics, including brand colors and fonts.
  • Testing CTA effectiveness: Even if you’re confident you have the perfect CTA for your content type, A/B testing is recommended to ensure it is not only working properly, but engaging your specific target audience.

Choosing the right CTA is ultimately a matter of allowing content to lead the way. By creating high-quality content that prospective clients will want to engage with, you can craft an appropriate call-to-action that supports it and convinces individuals to take the next step.