Saturday, 16 December 2017

Information and commentary for the small business banking industry

The fine art of the CTA

What’s a CTA?

It stands for Call To Action. And you’d be surprised how many people don’t understand what it actually does, which is a shame because they’re missing out on opportunities to further engage their audience.

So what is it exactly? It’s a link – which could be text, an image, an information box – that encourages readers to click through. But it’s not just websites that have CTAs – they can be used in mobile text messages, infographics, webinars – basically any kind of content.

As a bank, CTAs can – and should – be used for a variety of purposes. You may have recently published case study where a client has had some business success using your new financial tool – so when people are reading the case study, you want to drive them to find out more about it.

Or you could be blogging about an upcoming business event or seminar – again, you want your audience to click through to sign up for it.

How to write better CTAs

CTAs are most effective if they’re deployed properly. And to know how to do that, you need to identify what kind of CTA you’re using. Is it a sidebar, a link within text, a button, an image, a pop-up?

What you need to do is consider how you want to engage your readers – which one would work best? Here are some tips:

  • Your goal – are you trying to get readers to sign up for a webinar, download a new tool, or click through to a new microsite? The CTA needs to make it as hassle-free for the reader as possible.
  • Highly visible – what you don’t want is a CTA hidden in a corner somewhere it’s easily missed. They often work best on the right of the content, since that’s where a reader’s eye naturally moves.
  • Short and simple – don’t go trying to a) cram a whole lot of information into one CTA or b) loading the page up with multiple CTAs. The whole point is to get your audience to click through – that’s where they’ll get all their information. So your CTA is click-bait – just enough information to get readers to click on it.
  • Create a sense of urgency – try to convey the idea that time’s running out. It might expire, there could be a limited number available – anything that’ll convince the reader they need to be in, and fast.
  • Test – always make sure your CTA is working across all the platforms it’s intended for. Get people on different computers and mobile devices to click on it and report any problems.

Does everything need a CTA?

Short answer – yes. If you’re selling or promoting something, then deeper engagement with your audience is necessary to get the most out of your marketing strategy. If you’re not trying to sell a new small business banking package, or promoting a new financial calculator, your content is probably aimed at building trust. You can still have a CTA for this kind of content, such as “Ask to speak to one of our Small Business Specialists,” with a link to relevant contacts.

Remember – CTAs are one of the easiest and most effective content marketing tools available.

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