Death to the CTA (Call to Action): why marketers don't need them
There is little more that is as awkward as a CTA, or Call To Action. These can be especially annoying if you were reading something and didn’t realize it existed solely as a means of funneling customers toward a given suite of services or products. The truth is, it is perfectly reasonable to expect advertisement effectiveness without “twisting the arm” of the reader.
Businesses savvy enough to realize this, and then go about ways of effecting such a perspective, are going to have more conversions. They’re going to see increased clientele. They’re going to reach previously unrepresented individuals and be able to branch out demographically such that they can essentially cater to all needs.
Well, that’s the goal, anyway. Certainly there are some limitations. For example, it’s pretty difficult to use feminine hygiene as a springboard for reaching a masculine audience. However, should a hygiene organization grow large enough, they could branch out into products specifically geared at a new demographic, and then continue to expand from there.
Put it this way: if a basketball player can expand into soft drinks, your business can reach new demographics. But to get to that point, you’ve got to focus on maximizing your reach to your primary demographic first. The best way to do this today is through SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
The SEO Component
One of the most important aspects of SEO is this advertising solution’s ability to constantly collect and reveal statistical data about your online marketing’s effectiveness. The digital age gives us access to unparalleled data. From the time a site is most relevant to customers throughout the day, to where those customers are checking your site from, and how long they stay on your page, there is a rich data harvest to be reaped via SEO practices.
Having such data is part and parcel to this method of marketing, too. You’ve got to know where you are effective so you don’t waste time or aggravate potential clients. With this in mind, what do you think the best way to optimize your business for a search engine is?
Would it be through visual advertisement? Would it be through traditional ads? Well, considering CTAs, this can be a mixed bag. People don’t like that which sounds or feels hokey; they’re likely to ignore it or disregard it so automatically it’s almost a subconscious act. You understand this yourself when you’re flipping through a magazine and your brain hardly registers the ads.
Videos are a little better, but how long do you usually sit through an infomercial? And other types of advertisement are so apparently marketing endeavors that you likely aren’t going to watch them long. However, a show sponsored by a company may catch your interest, should the program appeal to you. This is why many advertisers in the nineties would produce certain shows—you remember: “Saturday Morning Shenanigans, brought to you by Generic Toy Producers!”
In the modern era, the way this works is through targeted content. Basically, a blog is written. If you’re not familiar, weblogs became blogs, and blogs are continuously updated. The more often they’re updated, the better. As you go about creating and disseminating content, you want a blog with keywords and links that increase its SEO effectiveness.
The blog should be an ideal length for your demographic. It should be broken up in ways which make it more readable. Additionally, you should include a few pictures or videos. There should be links, too. These increase visibility, and direct new clients back to your home website—which is the primary goal of blogging in the first place.
There are many different elements that define a good blog. To summarize from the article, content must be: original, led by strong headlines, actionable, contain useful information for readers to employ (like actual answers), accurate, engaging/thought-provoking, suffused with some visual element, brief, and continually updated.
How continuous? Well, here’s a good rule of thumb: you want to produce fifty original posts at or around 500 words every month. That’s 600 a year. You can go longer or shorter, but the 500 to 600-word range is ideal for many organizations. If you want to go more in-depth, jump past the 1,000-word barrier and construct content that is a digital analogue to something you might read in, say, Popular Mechanics.
The article should have that engaging, authoritative quality. Now, doing that in the same way journalists for big ticket publications like PM do will take more time than you’ve got available; so you’re going to have to learn to write more quickly. Develop a process which establishes in your mind a skeleton of elements which you flesh out uniquely on the regular.
Additionally, working with some professional life science marketing agency isn’t a bad idea. In fact, you may save time and money this way by avoiding common pitfalls and more expediently establishing a consumer-base around which to launch more directed campaigns.
The YouTube Angle
Once you’ve mastered the blog, or while you’re mastering it (depending on budget and resources), you may want to look into establishing a YouTube channel for the same purpose. You’ll want to get as many “likes” as you can, as many “shares” as you can, and as many views as possible.
You need to define clear strategies for more likes on YouTube, SocialMediaDaily.com points out: “YouTube is by far the most popular information website on the web. If you can harness it well, you’ll get your message across to potentially millions of people.”
In short, some actionable YouTube optimization strategies include telling viewers to like, share, and subscribe. If you don’t do this directly and verbally via statement to the camera, annotations—that is, those little boxes and pictures which pop up during a video, and on which you can click—can be used to do the same thing.
Like with the content, the videos you produce must be likable. They can’t be drivel. The must have useful content, funny scenes, or a visually watchable quality. Educational videos are ideal for many businesses. Such videos will help you gain subscribers, which additionally expand your likes.
If you’ve got 600 subscribers, you’re virtually guaranteed at least ten percent of them will view and like every video. If you have 600,000 subscribers, ten percent is 60,000; a good number of which will become, if they haven’t already, loyal customers. The more subscribers, the better.
Of course, getting to such level will take time. You want to promote your videos wherever possible. A great idea is to cross-promote videos with your blog, and vice versa. In this way both outreach methods can charge one another, expanding impact. Finally, be personal, make external links to videos, and fork over a little cash for advertising provided you can afford it.
A Marketing Machine With Multiple Parts
Now SEO, YouTube, effective blogging—all these things are essentially useless if you don’t have some online digital platform. You’re going to need a website, and it can’t look like some HTML drivel slapped together in a high school web class steeped in the nineties.
You’re going to need to find a website builder, whether internally or externally—according to certain marketing specialists: “Having a website is…a must in today’s digital world and is the first step to building a strong online presence. Potential customers can…learn more about…products or services, ultimately contributing to…bottom line(s).”
The website will have to be easy to navigate, look good, have engaging content, and be visual in a mobile way. Add useful things to the site beyond the YouTube videos and blogs, too. Like, for example, if you were running a real estate business, you would definitely want an easily accessible mortgage calculator available.
If you’re running a page devoted to video games, you want a “tips and tricks” section full of cheat codes. If you’re operating a rental agency for four-wheelers, include a section with all the GoPro videos you and employees have collected while jumping around on the racetrack. You can reach clients who are young, and come to find passions cathartically met through your business’ offerings.
Where’s The CTA Gone? And Who Cares? Good Riddance, CTA!
Notice how none of these things involve a Call To Action, or even reference it. That’s because engaging, visually stimulating, easily accessible, educational, interesting content doesn’t need a CTA. The viewer gets drawn in. Or put it this way: what’s more hypnotic; some well-defined computer-generated image, or a black and white spiral spun from a pencil?
It’s definitely the computer image, isn’t it? But the black and white spiral had its day, as did the pendulum. Well, in advertising, there is likewise a forward progression of effective outreach. And, like in the hypnosis example, today’s advertising and marketing must be several steps beyond that of yesteryear.
It’s no good to have commercials, magazine advertisements, TV spots and product placement in film. Today everything is digital and mobile, and people are so sick of the old methods of advertising that they tune it out subconsciously.
So you’ve got to reach them in the same subconscious way, and that’s best done through useful information presented in the ways most effective to your demographic. Provided that information is core to their interests, you will see an increase in clientele through your targeted SEO outreach campaigns.
Sign in or become a BestTechie member to join the conversation.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.