Remember when you bought a product, subscribed to a service, submitted your details on a site, or downloaded different apps (even if you later deleted most of them)?
Well…we all have. In fact, we do at least one of these options almost every day on the internet. But why?
We do them because we are PROMPTED to do them.
You couldn't help but obey the order to sign up for that newsletter after reading a valuable blog post that cleared some gray areas in your business.
Or to use a tool after watching a tutorial on how you can use it to automate some business operations, thereby saving time, energy, and money.
That prompt, order, command, or whatever you call it is the CTA (call-to-action). As the name implies, it calls you to DO something.
But can't we just sign up for that newsletter or download the app without being told to do so?
Why do adults need to be told what to do?
Why should your content have a CTA?
And why only one CTA?
Reason 1: A confused mind takes no action
As a business owner, one fundamental marketing rule you must never forget is that A CONFUSED MIND WILL ALWAYS SAY NO.
Have you noticed that you end up doing nothing if you are presented with multiple menu options on a website?
Rather than help you decide, the website has succeeded in confusing you. As such, your response will be to take no action. The easiest way to confuse an adult is to give them a choice.
A CTA helps to clear the confusion. This means it must only provide one option. There are many paths your audience can take next, but only ONE is right. Your CTA must show the only right path for your audience to take.
Multiple CTAs in the same content only leave your audience confused. More importantly, it shows you aren't sure about what you are doing, so why should your audience trust you?
Reason 2: You must tell adults exactly WHAT to do
Of course, they aren't babies, but you must tell them exactly WHAT to do. You don’t leave them to figure it out by themselves.
Never ASSUME your audience knows what to do after reading your content. Never assume they have figured it out already.
What if what they figure out isn't what you want them to do?
This means you must know EXACTLY what you want your readers to do before creating content and slamming a CTA on it.
What is a CTA?
Your CTA is that part of your content that prompts your audience to do something after reading the content. It is often the last part of your content.
It may be to sign up for your newsletter, buy your product, share your content on social or leave a review. Your CTA depends on your content's goals and audience. What you say at the start, middle, and end of your content MUST lead to your CTA.
Your content shouldn't go in one direction and your CTA in the other. Your readers must have been hooked from the beginning of your content, or your CTA won't be effective.
That said, how many types do we have?
Types of CTAs
As mentioned earlier, there are many paths your audience can take after reading your content, but only ONE is right.
There are different types of CTAs, but only one fits your content. There are mainly two types of CTAs: the Soft CTA and the Hard CTA.
The hard CTA is more direct and often used in content addressing an audience already familiar with your business. It prompts them to do something specific such as buy from you or sign up for a demo. However, the hard CTA only works when the audience is already convinced of your business' credibility and only needs a push to buy from you.
The soft CTA isn't direct and only demands a little effort from the audience. It is primarily used for new audiences who need to know, like, and trust your business first before buying from you. Usually, the soft CTA is used to lead the audience to check out other web pages or follow your business on social. It focuses on making the audience know more about your products.
Other types of CTAs fall under one of the major CTAs.
- Lead Generation CTA: This type falls under the soft CTA. It seeks to turn new audiences into leads for your business. Since you would be requesting their contact details, the CTA should tell them what they are getting into and how it would benefit them. Try to make it as compelling as possible.
- Social Sharing CTA: Sometimes, your content might not necessarily serve as a means to generate leads but to get more eyes on your business. You can use the social sharing CTA to encourage your audience to share your content on social. It is straightforward, such as "Like what you read? Click this button to share with your friends and family."
- Learn More CTA: Not everyone in your audience is ready to take the big step and buy from you. Some need more convincing. If most of your audience falls in this category, use the Learn more CTA to clear their doubts. As the name implies, this CTA leads them to another webpage that provides more information on your product. However, that page can contain a purchase CTA that will prompt them to buy from you.
- Purchase CTA: This type falls under the Hard/Primary CTA. It prompts an already convinced audience to buy your service or product. However, ensure you have laid a strong foundation for how your service/product can solve your audience's problems before using the purchase CTA.
An effective CTA should fulfill your content goal. Are you creating content to sell your products? Use the hard CTA.
Or is the content intended to educate your audience? Use the soft CTA.
Always remember that your CTA depends on the content's goal and audience.
It's not enough to create valuable content; you need to master using CTAs effectively too. Using the wrong CTA equals shooting yourself in the leg.
Of course, you can't learn all about CTAs in just one blog post. You need something more comprehensive, so we have organized a CTA masterclass to help you master the art of using CTAs in your content and close more business deals.
Sign up here.