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If that were actually true, you’d probably be sharing it with all your friends. Well — sorry for the deception, but our goal was to have you thinking about what motivates people to do something. When it comes to your marketing campaigns, that responsibility falls largely on your Call-to-Action (CTA). So we’ve got 6 helpful tips for creating effective CTAs in your video and digital ads.
First things first, what’s a Call-to-Action? For many marketers, they’re an afterthought, but they’re actually really important. A CTA is the one part of your ad that tells your audience exactly what they should do once they click and hit your landing page. It’s the one step that will filter a quality lead from a wasted click and a possible conversion from a loss opportunity.
A strong CTA achieves the following three things:
- Minimizes Banner Blindness. Your CTA cuts through a noisey page and makes the reader think about the benefits of clicking.
- Increases Click-Through Rates. A targeted, smart, and concise CTA gets people clicking.
- Discourages the Wrong Users. You can be as specific as you want, which will help deter the wrong audience from clicking to save you money on PPC ads.
Now that you know what an effective CTA does, how do you make sure yours is actually effective?
1. Use a Strong Command Verb
Conciseness is key. Ad platforms don’t give you a lot of space to work with amongst other competing on-page elements. So with only a few dozen characters to get your point across, start with a strong command verb. If you’re an ecommerce site, choose words like “buy,” “shop,” or “order.” If you’re promoting a newsletter, event, try words like “download,” “subscribe,” “register,” or “join.” By using more passive phrases like “our whitepaper is now available,” your CTA lacks the ‘action,’ making the result too vague. Where, when or how can they expect to get it? When your user thinks there is extra work involved, they’ll likely pass. Don’t leave room for confusion.
2. Tap Into Consumer Emotion
If you’re not excited about what’s on the other side of that click, then why would your consumer be? So think about the tone of your CTA. In many cases, it’s as simple as adding an exclamation point for enthusiasm, such as “Order now for 25% OFF!” In others, it’s showing a bit more fun & creativity, like a play on words or emotional trigger. (Ie. a real estate ad that says “Show Me My New Home” or an ad for a gym that uses “Lose the Wait. Join Today.”) Always keep it positive and look for clever ways to make your CTA stand out.
3. Give Them a Reason to Act
To put it simply, what’s in it for them? Will it help them save money, be more productive or get healthier? The benefit you convey here is often tied to your unique selling point (USP) — or what makes you different from everyone else — and should directly represent the landing page content they’re about to see.
And with an average consumer attention span of 8 seconds or less, keep in mind the importance of instant gratification. Whether it’s a landing page that specifically answers the questions your audience is looking for or an eBook they can download right away, your CTA should deliver on their exact motivation for clicking.
4. Take Advantage of FOMO
If you’re not up on the hip lingo, FOMO is the ‘fear of missing out.’ There’s a reason all the kids are using it. When people feel like they might miss a rare opportunity, they’re more motivated to act quickly. For sales or promotions, it’s important that your CTA relays the time-sensitivity or scarcity of a product/offer. For events or sign-ups, this could translate to conveying exclusivity or offering the benefit of being the first to hear or learn something. Similar to other emotions from in Tip #2, fear of missing out forces people to think twice about waiting.
5. Show Some Numbers
As consumers, we like things we can quantify, and we appreciate facts. So when an ad tells us we’ll save 50% on a pair of shoes by clicking now, we find it a lot harder to pass on. Likewise, if we see an actual price on the ad and still visit your site, then you know we’re serious. While prices aren’t necessary on special offers, they do help ensure that the people clicking your ad are more knowledgeable shoppers and more likely to become customers. And if your goal is to send users to a blog or resource, numbers also help prepare the user for more digestible content. “Get 6 Tips to Create Effective CTAs” lets you know you’re leaving here with six ways to make your CTAs rock; nothing more, nothing less.
6. Know Your Devices & Placement
Make sure you think about how and where people are viewing your digital ads. Is it on mobile? Then maybe the CTA is ‘Be one of the first 20 callers to get an extra 15% off!’ since their phone is already in hand. If your ad is appearing on Facebook, then maybe it’s asking users to message you directly within the platform for an easier means of contact. Always customize your CTA to better fit the expectations of your audience on whatever device they’re using.