Content marketing encompasses many different types of content. Social media posts, email messages, blog posts, videos, ebooks, courses, and even podcasts are all content that is created by you and consumed by your audience. And every piece of content you create is a place where you can include some sort of call to action.
In fact, if you want to get really picky about it, every piece of content you create must include a call to action that lets the consumer know what they should do next. Whether it’s a call to read more, sign up for your mailing list, share a social media post, or even buy something, every piece of content should have a goal and a clear message on what the next step is.
Bearing that in mind, here are five different types of content and tips for putting your call to action in each one.
#1 – Email Calls to Action
When it comes to email marketing you want to have one email for each topic you want to talk about. The “one problem – one solution” formula works really well in email marketing.
You can put your call to action in different places throughout the message. Standard placements are usually one at the top and one at the bottom, but you should test to see what works best for your audience.
#2 – Website Calls to Action
There are almost endless places to put calls to action on your various webpages. Truth be told, many people overdo it and that’s when you end up seeing pages stuffed full of banners and other advertising.
Every page should have at least one relevant call to action that complements the content on the page, and gives your audience a clear indication of what to do next.
But instead of overloading them with banners and advertising, use your tracking tools to strategically place your calls to action where they will get the best results.
#3 – Calls to Action in Your Blog Posts
Every blog post you write should have a purpose. And that purpose should be to either inform, entertain, educate, or engage with the reader. The main objective of your post should be to inspire your reader to take action when they’re done reading.
There are many places you can put calls to action in a blog post, including contextual links, call-outs, social sharing buttons, and even signup forms. All of these tell the reader what steps you want them to take.
The nice thing about a blog post is that it’s okay to include more than one call to action.
Just as an example, this post has contextual links (that link you to other related content), social sharing buttons (to get you to share this post if you liked it), and a signup form at the end of the post for you to subscribe to my mailing list.
#4 – Video Calls to Action
Video content is becoming more and more crucial to a successful online business these days. Even I am taking the plunge and making a commitment to do more video content in the coming months.
The trick to adding calls to action to your video content is that you have to be a little more proactive. You don’t have the chance to just drop a link and leave it to the watcher to click it. (Well, you can if you use the Simple Video Management System that I use, but that’s another post.)
What you should do is tell the audience within the video content itself, exactly what you you want them to do. Click the link in the description, go to my website at yourdomain.com, etc. You have to be a little more vocal about your calls to action if you want your videos to be successful.
#5 – Calls to Action in Downloadable Content
Placing calls to action throughout your downloadable content should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t really “money up” their opt-in reports, ebooks, checklists, etc.
You have several options here. You can put one call to action at the end; you can sprinkle affiliate links to related products throughout the report; you can put a full page ad at the beginning. The options really are only limited to your imagination and your audience’s willingness to click the links and take the actions you suggest.
The important thing is to be clear about what you want them to do after they've consumed the content. So, don’t give them too many things to do because that will confuse and overwhelm them in the end.
Anytime you create any type of content, you should know what the call to action is going to be before you start. It should be simple to figure out what to do because you have a reason for creating that content in the first place. You want it to lead someplace, and the call to action helps guide your reader there. You want to focus on the benefits to the audience consuming your content. Answer their main question, “what’s in it for me?,” and you’re sure to get more clicks, more signups, and ultimately more sales. And that’s really what effective content marketing is all about.
This is Part 8 of a 10-part series on Creating Effective Calls to Action
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Part 10 - 5 Tips for Creating More Effective Calls to Action