Converting words into subscribers and subscribers into buyers are the fundamental purposes of online content. Just popping an image of something cool to buy just isn’t going to cut it with the amount of content out there. Prospects are savvy and how you create and where you implement your call-to-action will directly impact your conversion rates and overall success.
The Types of CTAs
HubSpot describes eight types of CTAs that are commonly found in blog posts. These structural ways to integrate a call to action to attract people at different parts of the post to take different types of action. Not all CTAs have the purpose which is why experimenting with different ones will not only determine which offers generate the best conversion rate, but what style is most effective for your content.
Here are the eight types of CTAs:
1. Bottom-of-the-Post CTA:
The bottom of the blog should always have some sort of CTA. Don’t just leave readers with the conclusion of your blog; tell them what is next and how they can learn more or solve their problem. There are some ways to rotate these CTAs at the end of a blog so a new viewer will get a certain one while a returning reader gets a different one.
2. Subscribe CTA:
In online marketing, if you can’t get the sale right away, you want to get an email. Most people need to visit your site two to three times before they feel comfortable buying from you. When they give you an email and subscribe to your blog, you are able to craft content that builds the relationship in both the blog articles and email touches.
3. Connect on Social Media CTAs:
This is almost as good as getting someone to subscribe to your blog. When you can get someone to follow you on social media, you at least have the opportunity to share more content with them and develop a credible relationship with them. Trust develops and they are more likely to buy over time.
4. Share on Social Media CTA:
Great content should be shared but your readers won’t always think to do this. Remind them with a call-to-action (CTA) to share on social media. “Tweet this” is a common way to get your content shared and grow your audience.
5. Leave a Comment CTA:
Encourage your readers to leave a comment to help show others that people are engaged in what you have to say. It also lets Google’s algorithm know your content is relevant to readers. While there are those who ask directly, “Please leave a comment,” the better approach is to ask readers to share relevant experiences or stories.
6. Slide-In CTAs:
This is a nice way to get the attention of a reader as they scroll through your content. The slide-in CTA literally comes from outside the page and slides into view when a specific part of the blog has been reached. The movement draws attention to the reader to take notice and ideally take action.
7. In-Line or Anchor Text CTAs:
These are often overlooked. Many readers skim or never make it to the bottom of the article simply because the article addressed their needs earlier. The in-line CTA gives people a reason to take action long before they get to the main CTA at the bottom. It doesn’t need to be the same CTA; it could be to get different relevant information in another article or to see a product that solves their needs immediately.
8. Sidebar CTAs:
A sidebar CTA sits in the column to the right of the content. It’s like a static ad that doesn’t really have a 100% relationship to the blog content but is relevant to the company’s goals. For example, a blog might be about dog supplements but the side CTA is for a pet CPR class the company offers.
Picking the Right Types of CTA
There is no one right CTA. I know that isn’t what you want to hear, but if you learn anything from me when it comes to blogging and content marketing is that there is no magic pill and you need to look at the objectives you are trying to accomplish and then experiment. Neil Patel will tell you that there are pros and cons to each type of CTA type. Todd Brown will tell you that without measuring metrics and testing other types of marketing actions, you’ll never know what the best solution in.
Because readers are unique, independent, and often fickle. Don’t let that discourage you from looking at your options and building a solid strategy that will work over time.
Your CTA Strategy
Before you can write a CTA, you need to know what you want to accomplish. Selling is great, but it isn’t always the objective of your marketing efforts. When State Farm is behind home plate at Dodger Stadium, they aren’t expecting anyone to buy insurance right then and there (at the field or at home watching). What they are doing is developing brand awareness. It is a very clear part of their marketing efforts and where a ton of money gets spent.
You need to decide with your blog:
- Do you want to sell something from the blog?
- What do you want to sell?
- Do you have a core offer that needs to be presented even if it isn’t the blog topic?
- Do you want a bigger audience? If so, what is the best way to accomplish that?
- Do you want to build a list to market to?
It isn’t until you can clearly answer these questions that you can start to develop the right CTAs that fit your goals. While you may want to do it all immediately, set priorities of which goals are your priority. This way you can focus your efforts one or two effective CTAs because if your priority is to build a list, a few small product sales might not be the most effective CTA.
That might not make sense because we think that every sale must be good. No. Selling a $10 product in the blog is money, but if you had the email and had a really good follow-up campaign, you could generate $300 for that same customer with your core offer. It would be easier to do that compared to trying to immediately sell the add on when the sale is already complete.
The CTA Integration
Every blog should have a CTA at the end. Again, what that CTA is will depend on your blog’s business priorities. At the very least, you should ask someone to leave a comment or subscribe to your blog or social media.
Remember that the attention span of a reader online is often very short. This means having sales CTAs higher in the article can often be effective. Just make sure the article doesn’t look like one great big ad. No one likes every paragraph split with a full page ad. It’s frustrating and causes an increase in bounce rate.
Integrate CTAs according to your priorities and then monitor results. Try switching a social media subscribe with a blog subscribe as well to see what is most effective. Monitor and test to develop your best practices for your blog and your audience.
If you need help with monetizing your blog and getting them to convert to sales, reach out to us. We love helping bloggers and business owners generate more sales.