What Is a CTA and Why Does It Matter in Content Marketing?

February 15, 2023
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Each marketing material you publish online should persuade people to know you more, buy from you, or subscribe to your service. Your blog posts and ads should have CTAs or calls to action to ensure this. "Call to action" refers both to the exact phrase which asks people to act, like "read more" or "buy now," or to the paragraph where you can find these phrases. Let's take a closer look at different calls to action and how to incorporate them in your campaigns.

Why You Need CTAs in Marketing

Whatever your marketing goals, you need to get your audience to move. Movement creates numbers like traffic, sales, and bodies in workshops or demos. When you run a campaign, you need to measure its effectiveness, and you do that through numbers, through an increase in profits, social reach, subscriptions, or leads—and you get those through well-crafted CTAs.

Don't let people read your blog or view your video without suggesting another action they can take. Your CTAs act as prompts for your audience, helping ease them down the marketing funnel toward more persuasive and attractive offers that would hopefully get them to purchase high-ticket products.

However, there's a technique to placing CTAs. For example, hard sells won't be a good fit for blog posts. Since people reading blog posts are probably looking for specific information, they won't be likely to find it compelling. That said, here are three reasons why you should include CTAs in your marketing:

Boosts lead inquiries

CTAs allow you to generate more leads. If people like your content enough, they can sign up for more by subscribing to your email newsletter or channel. When they sign up, you can add them to a customer database that enables you to build a relationship over time. Here are two examples of CTAs that boost inquiries:

  • Download Our ___ Now - This CTA is suitable if you are offering something valuable to the audience, like a free e-book, in exchange for an email address or contact details.
  • Start Your Free Trial - You can also take a "try before you buy" approach and let them do a test run of your service. Towards the end of the trial, you can prompt them to upgrade to a paid service.

Increases Product Purchases

The primary reason you're online is to have people find, trust, and buy from your brand. Certain calls to action help you get more people to buy, especially at the end of the marketing funnel. Some examples are:

  • Contact Us For Inquiries -  This CTA is best if you need to have a skilled sales representative break down services or costs included in a price structure or a big-ticket item.
  • Shop Now - This CTA is suitable for e-commerce stores and is a more subtle way of encouraging people to buy.
  • Book Now - Similar to 'shop now,' this CTA does not mention money or making payments, taking a more subtle approach to getting people to click.
  • Get ___ Percent Off - Everyone loves a bargain, and percentages off certain items will surely convince people to purchase. Some people are even willing to spend a little more on two items to get a more significant discount!
  • Free Shipping - Again, people are happy to benefit from reduced prices or freebies whenever possible. Eliminating the cost of shipping removes one objection people have when considering purchasing from your website.

Invites People to Research the Brand

Educating clients is an excellent way of getting them on board without pushing the product aggressively. You want them to conclude that you're the best choice, instead of forcing that decision on them. Examples of education-focused CTAs are:

  • Learn More - This CTA is simple, but it is effective in informative posts and inbound marketing materials. You can use this in a link leading to a sign-up form or a lead magnet.
  • Discover More - This call to action is similar to the first one, but it implies reading or watching something new to the visitor.
  • Enroll Now - This is a formal call to action and is suitable for mainstream educational institutions.

Things to Keep in Mind When Writing a CTA

The words in your call to action are crucial, perhaps even more so than any other part of the post or ad. Whatever type of CTA you use should be concise, directing users to one action (two at the most). Don't deceive readers with your CTA—make sure they know what waits when they click through. You don't want people becoming disgruntled because they found out that they have to pay for the trial subscription you're linking!

Conduct Competitor Analysis

Look at the CTAs your competitors use and analyze how compelling they appear to be. When you look at what other people in your industry are doing, you can benchmark your practices. Conversely, you might find a gap in the market and create CTAs to fulfill that gap. Looking at how others convince customers to act lets you refine your approach.

Evoke Emotions to Spur Action

Feelings almost always cause people to act. Look at your words—do they hit pain points, provide relief, or offer solutions? Depending on the type of product or service, you might lean more toward one type of CTA over another.

For example, your CTAs might be oriented toward relief and escape if you're in the travel industry. Meanwhile, if you're a B2B company, you would probably do better when you hit pain points. A personal trainer might want to emphasize how health and fitness strengthen the body, and a CTA that revolves around becoming stronger would work.

Create a Sense of Urgency

People do not want to miss out. Phrases like "click here," "browse our store," and "like and subscribe" are effective, but adding time as an element makes them even more so. For example, "buy now" is a little more compelling than "browse our store," and "get our one-time offer now" will get more clicks than "get our special offer."


Visitors to your website who find your content interesting will be more likely to interact even more with your website. It's natural; they'll be open to reading another post, buying from your store, or downloading a free e-book if they like what you have to say, meaning more engagement for your brand. A good CTA enables them to transition smoothly from one portion of your funnel to the other.

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