You’ve spent hours writing your latest and greatest piece of content. You have a killer story, eye-catching presentation, and even a multi-channel promotion strategy to reach all the right people.
But was it a waste of time and money because you forgot the one essential that makes your marketing matter?
Your call to action.
Every interaction you have with your audience is an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships. Because of this, every piece of content you create — be it a press release, podcast, blog post, email, website landing page, SlideShare, video or ebook – must have a call to action (CTA) that offers the relationship a next step.
There’s also the not-so-warm-and-fuzzy reason to include a CTA: It’s the only way your content is going to collect leads and earn you money.
It’s not enough, though, to slap the same, tired CTA on everything. As the multimedia news release featured in our latest case study shows, your CTA must be an interactive and compelling part of your content experience to drive quality leads.
Make your calls to action count by following these 10 tips.
1. Understand the action.
The call to action in your media outreach is going to be very different than the CTA in your lead generation form.
While an email pitch to journalists should be an ask for a conversation or coverage, your CTA encouraging readers to enter a contest or download your white paper is better phrased as a statement.
Understanding whom you’re targeting and what action you want them to take is the first step in determining your CTA’s approach.
2. Limit the choices.
The more paths you provide your audience, the less likely they will be to follow any of them. You need to make sure your audience can find their way without getting lost or confused.
When writing your content, focus your audience’s attention on a primary call to action. It is ok to offer a secondary CTA; however, you should limit the choices as much as possible.
Although there are a few exceptions to this (blog round-ups, for instance), the majority of your content should point to a single path.
3. Highlight the value prop.
If you want your audience to keep coming back to you, the path your call to action sends them down must be worth it.
Consider the common CTA of downloading gated content. At minimum, you’re asking someone to give you their name, email address, and other contact information in exchange for a piece of content.
That content must offer something of quality that can’t be found anywhere else. Furthermore, the CTA should emphasize what makes it irresistible.
4. Keep your promise.
While the whole purpose of the call to action is to entice someone to do something, you can’t put a CTA out there and not deliver on its promise.
If you’re promising an exclusive ebook, it can’t be a 2-page rehash of content you previously published elsewhere.
Be honest and upfront about what your audience is getting and what they have to provide in exchange for it. Fail to set expectations and you can expect your audience to be wary of any future promises you make.
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