In marketing there is one goal.
The goal is to get the consumer to take an action.
The consumer could be in the market for a consumer good or they could be part of a business looking to hire a partner. In both cases there is someone that is interested in doing something. It’s the job of the marketing effort to convince that person to take an action that moves them down the sales funnel eventually handing over some cash in return for services or products.
HubSpot recently released an article concerning best practices for calls to action in web design. Please read the entire post for all the great insight. Here is a short excerpt to set off this post on blogging calls to action:
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are one of the most important elements of lead generation, and they should be used in each and every one of your marketing tactics: emails, social media updates, press releases, trade shows … the list goes on. In fact, whenever you want to ensure your team is moving in the right direction, pose the question, “What’s the call-to-action we’re using to drive people’s behavior?”
This post reminded me that a few people ask me about calls to action in blog posts.
Blog posts should have calls to action.
Common Blog Post Calls To Action
These are the most common calls to action I incorporate in my blog posts. These all have one goal in common and that is to further move someone down the sales funnel closer to making a purchase that leads to profit.
The focus of any business is profit so all calls to action should have that single purpose as a guiding point.
A comment is important for most blogs and bloggers. A comment means there are actually people reading your blog (huge for those in the early stages). A comment also means that someone took the time to read your post and felt compelled enough to share their own opinion on the matter.
In most posts I write I ask for comments and feedback. While I don’t think a single comment will lead to an eventual sale (although it might be chance), I do feel that a collection of quality comments on a blog can add legitimacy to the blog and the company hosting the blog. Commenting is a form of proof to new readers that there is an audience for this commentary and that can entice new readers to subscribe, which leads me to…
Email Sign Up
Email sign up is important for bloggers. Email is a great profit driver for a variety of businesses. Blog visitors and readers are typically new to your company. A single blog post is likely the first introduction someone has to your business and brand. They either came from a search engine query or they followed a link in an email or on a social media channel.
When this person is finished with the post they have a decision to make. They can decide to leave your site and never come back or they can subscribe to receive further updates. This is where the call to action asking for an email sign up is key. You want visitors to sign up for your emails. This way you can send them your newsletter and your marketing emails.
The money is in the list with online marketing just as it has been for decades in offline marketing.
In the case of blogging, readers will often seek more information. If you successful hook a reader into your content, your voice and your company they will want more from you. They might not be ready to purchase at this point, but they do want more content from you.
This is where a quality content download is used by online companies. You’ll see these content downloads in the form of guides, case studies, etc. There are a number of ways you can offer content downloads and it’s a great call to action at the end of a blog post.
Contact Form or Phone Number
I like to include the phone number and contact information on websites. I think it’s important to have this information on any page including blog posts. This way readers can always have access to the contact information whenever they are ready to call. They might have further questions. They might be ready to buy. The simple act of including the information can sometimes be all the call to action you need to convert a blog reader into a new customer.
Profit is the ultimate metric for any marketing activity.
It’s important to measure profit and make sure all calls to action lead to profit. With blogging, profit is the ultimate goal as well. You want to make sure that any call to action you have on your blog posts is profit focused.
These four are just a few I use in my own blogging:
- Email Sign Up
- Content Download
- Contact Form or Phone Number
Do you have any others to add?