Blogging Best Practices: CTAs Truths and lies you need to know
As a journalist, I’m not stranger to writing, but when it comes to marketing strategies, I’ve felt totally lost in the woods, naked, hungry, thirsty and mostly angry. Don’t get me wrong here, I love blogging, finding the right keywords, getting that headline just right to make you read the whole thing, but last week I was confronted with a new foe (that has been slayed, btw):
The CTA Of Madness!
That would be a perfect villain name if I were to put it on a comic book, indeed this little fucker super great task has been quite the challenge, you know. My editor comes and says: “I need you to do a CTA on blah blah blah” and I’m like “sure, no problem, I learned a lot from Hubspot’s inbound courses!” and so I began my journey.
No biggie, until… I got rejected like 5 times [Editor’s note: It was at least a 2000. I counted], so I go back to the basics, right? Just check hubspot’s notes on blogging best practices… What a CTA is… and do as they say, and still couldn’t get where I had to. My mind is filled with thousands of question marks.
So I get back to Hubspot and…
Hubspot lied to me1. A CTA isn’t just a button: Any google search will tell you a CTA is a button compelling users to act. Hubspot will also tell you that… and they’re not entirely wrong nor right. A CTA is much more than a button in a flashy color asking you to download something. If we were to make a formula, it would look like this:
CTA = Copy + Message + Image + Color
Action words x Goal + Offer Style + Coherence Copy + Image
So, this is what helped me turn a total mess into a working, stylish and wanted CTA.
2. Size really does matter: Hubspot says to make them “brief’’. A couple of words is best, no more than five is ideal”. Real world CTAs, are somewhat different, the best ones having from 15 to 20 words! And that doesn’t include the button’s wording! You get to see things like this:
3. The copy is as important as the color of the button… But no one talks about it. Now, this is quite important fellows, an image might say a lot, but words are what make people “click” your stuff. This means you’ll have to get yourself acquainted with a little something called...
Action Words: These babies will compel people into doing something, it’s an action that will pump them, here’s my top 3 faves:
- Start : Simply put, one of the first action words I’ve seen to make people do something (like in Mario Bros? Yes! Just like that)
- Learn: Some people will disagree with me, saying that visitors might be offended by this one word,I don’t think so. Inbound marketing is all about teaching people and messing with their Knowledge Gap can be greatly beneficial as it will make them want to learn something new. Sure they know lots of stuff, so exploiting what they don’t know is the hack here.
- Join: Some marketers wonder how to engage prospects, to that I say Ïnvite them’’. Nobody (well, not everyone) goes to a party uninvited, so ask them to join you in something.
Action verbs should become regulars in your writing, and this isn't just for CTAs but it's applicable to blogging best practices in general.
4. The message: This one is the easiest part. Basically, it’s saying what your buyer persona wants to read, so you gotta be like Dr. Strange, a little magic over here, some intelligence over there, a little douchey but cool at the same time… you know, basic stuff, here are the two tips:
- What do you want to communicate? Is it a free eBook download, a sign up, or something totally different?
- What do you want to achieve with this CTA? What’s the proposition of it? What’s in there for the visitor? What are you willing to give to receive the golden prize of their data?
Here you have to know the product you are cueing, gotta know your buyer’s persona and of course, it all has to meet the corporate voice of your company, easy task, right? Have your inner designer do the thinking here (or better yet, your design team).
6. The right color: So, you’ve got your copy and your image, now, colors are a key factor here, psychology of color will come in handy if you want people to click your button. The color has to be in the same wavelength as the copy and the image.
- Optimism: Being the happiest color of the spectrum, Yellow will have people full of clarity and warmth!
- Power: Blue has been used as a color to represent power, trust and strength, many banks and brands representing wealth, use this color so people will think of the color’s attributes when thinking about the brand.
- Emotion: Red makes you feel excited, youthful and full of energy, so, make the killer combo with some images and copy that reflect the energy and make your buyer persona click right away!
Choose the color that emits your message in accordance to the image and copy, style, corporate voice, trends, and buyer persona’s profiles.
Got more tips? have you found a better way to defeat this opponent? Let us know in the comment box down below!