47% of buyers read 3-5 pieces of content before making a sale. If you thought your blog posts were not a key piece of your sales funnel, then you are mistaken.
For many companies though, they are not seeing the glorious results described above. There are many factors that can complicate the dark art of blogging which will be addressed in other posts. Things like keyword density, topic optimization, etc. An area we can talk about here is how well your blog posts are optimized to convert visitors into leads.
After writing a thorough blog post, there is one last step before you should publish it. You need to consider what you want the audience to do now that they have read it. In other words, you must think about your call to action (CTA).
What is a CTA
A call to action can take many forms, but its base form as a next step for a reader to take from your content.
Vague definitions aside, let’s look at some practical examples.
Do you want your reader to promote your story on social media? Do you want them to sample a product your business promotes? Whatever it is, it is important to get your audience involved. The more user engagement you have, the better the return on investment will be. At its core, a CTA is something that allows or inspires action by visitor.
Let’s look at an example:
When you open Netflix for the first time, you see an example of a CTA “in action. ” You read that you can “watch anywhere” or “cancel anytime. ” It is a simple message that works well because you know that subscribing to Netflix will not entail a huge commitment. You can literally stream it from anywhere and if you are unsatisfied with the service, you can cancel it without much hassle.
Subtle call to actions like this one take time, but there are some important techniques to keep in mind when thinking about your call to action.
When it comes to a blog post, there are various options to choose from for CTAs. There could be a download form for a piece of content related to you post, a subscription form for an email list, or a button to view your pricing page.
We know what CTAs are, but why are they important?
What it really boils down to is, what results do quality CTAs really return when used across your content.
Well, there’s the first statistic mentioned in the post but let’s examine a bit more data behind the power blog posts can lend to your marketing and sales funnel.
From SEO tribunal:
66% of B2B marketers who blog generate more leads than those who do not. And companies that blog receive 55% more web visits than those who do not.
And from QuoaraCreative 60% of blog posts convert without mention of the company’s product or service.
Simply put, blogging works. It works because it helps you get found on Google, shows you are knowledgable in your industry, and provides site visitors with upfront value before any pricing considerations come into play. Having a quality CTA is imperative because you want to maximize the retention of your site visitors and turn readers into leads.
A CTA Selection Process
Choosing your CTA can be daunting, but it needn’t be.
Before jumping into the content you should add in your call to action, think about the end of your blog post. After all, your blog posts should be telling a larger story. Ours, for instance, is trying to reach businesses and organizations how to become thought leaders in their industries. As a result, our CTAs may be geared towards finding subscribers and leads so we can continue to help marketers worldwide.
Take a look at your content. What is the one action that you want someone to take after reading your content?
How does this blog post look to people who are viewing your site? Is it geared to be universal and apply to first-time visitors as well as regulars? Is it designed to be shared on social media? Are you hoping that this article leads viewers to do something more than promote it on their social channels? To go a step further, is this post part of a lead generation funnel, the first step in a visitor becoming a customer. The CTA you choose will carry a great deal of weight as to the next action that is taken from your site. The ultimate goal is for someone to become a customer, but what is the micro goal? The next step you want someone tom take.
Think strategically and know that a CTA can change depending on the content of your blog post.
Content of a Quality CTA
There are so many call to actions you can encourage your readers to do once they finish reading your article. As said above CTAs take many forms. They can be a button link, a form to fill out, or even a direction to go in from your blog post (such as call this number or send an email to learn more).
You can ask them to leave a comment after asking a relevant question, invite them to spark a friendly debate or you can even place a subscribe button there to invite them to stay updated on future posts. Essentially your call to action is just that: a way for the reader to do something after having read your content. A CTA is a way for them to interact with your site beyond landing on your pages, and an invitation to continue a relationship.
However, like Netflix, if it does not become too overwhelming for the viewer, your CTA’s could be on display in different parts of your website. Social media icons or signing up for a mailing list could be on the home page as well as your blog. The design is up to you! We are big fans of call to actions throughout our site. Check out our homepage for instance:
While we love to toot our own horn, outside resources are good too. Check out this post from HubSpot on eye-catching CTAs you can emulate.
Your next steps
Armed with the know-how as to what makes a great CTA there is nothing stopping you. Take your blog posts from simple pieces of content to targeted lead-generation machines. It’s as simple as choosing a well-styled and well-placed button or next step, and trust us it makes a world of difference.
Our CTA? Download our free CTA guide and checklist by filling out the form below to share with your team and start leveraging your blog posts to the fullest extent.