Content Process: How To Write Purposeful Calls To Action CTAs.

What is a purposeful content? It is designed to achieve a certain measurable goal. On a daily occurrence, I see content with blatant, forced calls to action (CTA). They offer no takeaway actionable value or link / CTA fulfilled on the page. Worse still, they are uninspired, dry or immature. Here is how to approach writing purposeful content and where to place the CTA’s to effect a change.

A purposeful blog and contents means taking a different mindset and approach to content writing. Most content writers I have met use 50% of the process. 

Here my tried and tested approach to writing blogs and content with relevant CTA’s.

Think:

  • Who am I writing to? 

    Mistake number one is thinking it is the end user. Consider thinking who is your audience. 

    See the audience in your mind, put yourself in their shoes, imagine if I was them reading what I’m about to write what would I want from it. 
  • Where in the buying cycle / customer journey is your audience. Here is a reminder of all the customer journey steps. Inbound marketing calls this top to bottom of the funnel content.

    1. If it is top of it is focused on awareness of a product or service. After this stage an audience knows you or your competitor’s offering and is engaged in a consideration process. This continues all the way post sale to effect another journey.

    2. The further up the content is in a website directory the higher it is in the funnel. The lower down the directory the linked content is, the lower in the funnel it is.

    3. If it is top of it is focused on awareness of a product or service. The rest is once an audience knows you or your competitor’s offering and is engaged in a process of consideration all the way post sale to effect another journey.
  • TOP TO BOTTOM OF THE AUDIENCE JOURNEY FUNNEL
    1. Awareness
    2. Consideration
    3. Intent
    4. Purchase
    5. Post Purchase Before Getting the thing
    6. Post Purchase Getting the thing
    7. Post Purchase – Re-incentivize

As a quick guide, most websites have directories that go from the generic to the specific. E.g: continent, country, city, activity. 

  • Then think – a person needs to do this and this CTA. I need to put this in the structure in a logical order, not as an afterthought after writing it. 

Think – what solution does my blog provide (value) and what doesn’t it provide. If it is not provided then the content suggests to each out on or offline to get an answer.

Here are examples of CTA’s that are provided and not provided.

PROVIDED: The CTA backs up the value you provided (find out more about the product that is not answered in the linked content)

NOT PROVIDED: If the audience needs something else (consulting, quote, comparison, brochure etc). 

HOW MANY CTA’S SHOULD YOU INCLUDE IN A TEXT

The purpose of content is to effect a call to action. It has to include one. Good content is focused to achieve just one.

Personally, in the consideration in the intent phase I use two CTA’s. A main CTA (point of what the page is trying to achieve) and a supporting one. 

In terms of structure, I include the main CTA high up in the content. After answering the main audience ‘pain’ I offer a provided CTA. Near the bottom of the CTA in most cases I offer a not provided CTA.

Where is best to place it. It depends on how ‘effective’ your content writing is. I find it works in the second paragraph. This is after ‘what you’ll learn reading this’ and an opening and solution to the main pain answered in the article (using an inverted pyramid structure).

Why do this?

The higher up and more relevant the CTA is, it is likely to get read and clicked by the user.

From experience, and depending on the content type, the secondary CTA at the end doesn’t as not much value is given and the interaction with a person has ended. 

To summarize, relevant content ‘In the flow’ it has a better chance of working and moving the user to the desired end goal. It works when the content piece has value. 

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