3 Keys to a Winning Call to Action for B2B Content

3 Keys to a Winning Call to Action for B2B Content
Michele Linn - Thu May 13, 2010 @ 12:19AM
Comments: 29

3 keys to a winning call to action for B2B contentLast week when Stephanie and I were presenting about content marketing at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, one of our co-presenters, Amy Black, asked the audience what they had learned thus far. One gentleman raised his hand and volunteered (and I'm paraphrasing), "I know this seems pretty obvious, but it was good to be reminded that all of our content needs a call to action."

During the presentation I shared the story about my very informal and unscientific look at 40 white papers last summer where only 12 of them had a call to action. Yes, having a call to action is Marketing 101, but hearing stories like that was a good reminder.

So, what makes a good call to action?

One of the worst calls to action is the home page of your website. How in the world will a reader know where to go? Instead, have a very specific call to action, such as a white paper, eBook, a relevant blog post, etc.

Ideally, you want your content to tell a story. As Stephanie so aptly laid out this week, you want to map your content to the buying cycle, and, as she concluded: your call to action should guide the prospect further along. In short, don't string random pieces of content together, but really think about what would be most useful for your prospects and point them there.

Remember that you are asking this person to take the next step with you, so make it as easy as possible to access the content in your call to action. In other words, don't send them to a long registration form. If it's not possible to keep the content ungated, consider something like progressive profiling.

As Pam O'Neal, our other presenter from the MarketingProfs presentation, reminded the audience: you can easily go back and add a call to action to your existing content. In fact, it's something that she does for their evergreen blog posts at BreakingPoint. Simple and effective idea!

I leave you with an anecdote from Malcolm Gladwell from The Tipping Point that I think is a good illustration of the need for a specific call to action. In his characteristic fashion, he relays this story about how social psychologist Harold Leventhal conducted an experiment with a group of college seniors at Yale in the 1960s. He was trying to find out if participants would respond better to a low-fear or a high-fear message about the need to get a tetnus shot. Long story short, neither message significantly moved either group to action.

What did move them? The inclusion of a map of the campus with the university health building circled and a listing of times when shots were available. As Gladwell sums up:

"What the tetanus intervention needed in order to tip was not an avalanche of new information. What it needed was a subtle but significant change in presentation. The students needed to know how to fit the tetanus shot into their lives; the additional of the map the time times when they shots were available shifted the booklet from an abstract lesson in medical risk . . . to a practical and personal piece of medical advice. And once the advice became practical and personal, it became memorable."

I love this idea of making your call to action practical and personal. What other ideas do you have for a strong call to action? Do you have any anecdotes to share about how a call to action improved your response?

Related posts:

About the author: Michele Linn is a B2B content consultant who helps companies create content and think through how their B2B prospects will consume it. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.

Comments: 29


1. Milap Shah  |  my website   |   Mon May 17, 2010 @ 04:03PM

A very insightful post, Michelle - human being need content to be framed by perspective, and your reference to Gladwell's book really drives home the point. A valuable and timely reminder for B2b content marketers!

2. Janice King  |  my website   |   Thu Jun 10, 2010 @ 05:28AM

One idea is to use a different graphical treatment (e.g., a shaded box) to make the call to action more visible. More discussion about the importance of the call to action is in my book Copywriting That Sells High-Tech.

3. SQM  |  my website   |   Wed Mar 16, 2011 @ 11:42AM

This is a great post Michele and I agree that many websites do not have a clear call to action. When I visit some websites during my research it takes me over a minute to even figure out what the company does. One thing that I think is missing form this article, although the article does hint at it, is split testing or multivariate testing of different calls to action. Without testing one call to action against another we cannot be sure any results we see are statistically significant.

4. Michele Linn   |   Thu Mar 17, 2011 @ 07:25AM

That's a great point about testing your call to action when it is on a website. You never know what will work until you try it!

You can even try different calls to action in static pieces of content as well. Vary the offer or the verbiage and see what works.

Thanks for adding to the conversation!

5. Georgia P  |  my website   |   Wed Sep 21, 2011 @ 10:45AM

Through my testing I have found that split testing calls to action is one of the best ways to increase profitability. I find it astonishing how many websites exist that don't even have a single call to action.

6. zynga poker hack 2013  |  my website   |   Sat Jun 08, 2013 @ 12:33AM

Come on! Am I Bear Grylls? Wait, it makes some sense. After all, bugs don't get processed, unlike most meats or vegetables.

7. ALone17   |   Wed Dec 18, 2013 @ 12:27AM

One factor that I think is losing type this content, although the content does sign at it, is divided examining or multivariate examining of different calling to activity. Without examining one proactive approach against another we cannot be sure any outcomes we see are mathematically important. http://netflixaccount.org/ 

8. xzcvbn   |   Mon Jan 06, 2014 @ 06:58AM

It charged some mature govt authorities, the advisor SNC Lavalin and some non-government authorities of crime, for which they sent characters to the Fund Ministry and Stop Corruption Percentage in Sept 2011 and Apr 2012. http://buykamagraojelly.co/

9. impo   |   Fri May 09, 2014 @ 12:26AM

Participants would respond better to a low-fear or a high-fear message about the need to get a tetnus shot. Long story short, neither message significantly moved either group to action. http://www.eastlakeneighbors.org/

10. people   |   Fri May 23, 2014 @ 12:41AM

One factor that I think is losing type this content, although the content does sign at it, is divided. http://inexhaustible-resources.com/

11. historic   |   Mon May 26, 2014 @ 03:49AM

“One of the great scholars of the historic preservation movement is Donovan Rypkema,” Stites says of the Washington, D.C.-based real estate planner. http://www.johnfoy.com/atlanta/

12. people   |   Thu May 29, 2014 @ 01:48AM

What the tetanus intervention needed in order to tip was not an avalanche of new information. http://cheapestflights.to/australia/

13. kristan   |   Fri Aug 22, 2014 @ 09:02AM

Nice Blog I have never seened, Great B2B Blog, Great Job, Thanks for sharing Nice information, I am always using http://couponcodes365.us and http://mrqe.us

14. Siva   |   Sat Aug 23, 2014 @ 10:20AM

Nice Blog. keep regular updates. i like it so much. My Blogs http://mrqe.in and http://www.seotraininginameerpet.in

15. the truth about cellulite program   |   Wed Aug 27, 2014 @ 02:11AM

I wish I have met him before. and my husband have just come back to me and every thing happened just the way he had said it I am so happy that I have met with him and now I have my husband back to my self. https://www.rebelmouse.com/truthaboutcellulitereviewsx/

16. Ohbama   |   Sun Sep 07, 2014 @ 08:58AM

Thanks a lot for sharing the detailed list of Senate names of farm bill Conferees. Most of the members are new to me. This subject has interested me for quite some time. I have just started researching it on the Internet and found your post to be informative http://www.usafashiontv.com http://www.avignaseoservices.com and http://www.avighnaseosolutions.com

17. sparxxrx   |   Fri Oct 17, 2014 @ 01:56AM

All of our male enhancement pills are herbal yet effective. Here at SparXXrX® we truly offer the safest, easiest way for you to naturally increase the size of your penis.

18. marry   |   Sat Nov 15, 2014 @ 01:36AM

found so many interesting stuff in your Anine Bing blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments anine bing on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work

19. additional reading   |   Sat Dec 13, 2014 @ 12:43AM

Most pcs these days have it since even YouTube makes use of it and if you can examine out YouTube movies then you can basically bet in a LR gambling house. http://casinofantasia.livejournal.com/

20. news   |   Sat Dec 13, 2014 @ 02:39AM

The main internet betting house will offer you individuals a multitude of products and services and various on the internet activities which can be performed by individuals with both equally genuine income as nicely as exclusive income. http://bestnewever.blogspot.com/

21. jani4589   |   Sun Dec 14, 2014 @ 10:39PM

The technique to acquire some of these no first time down payment rewards is extremely simple. http://bestseoconfiplace.hatenablog.com/

22. reference link   |   Tue Dec 23, 2014 @ 11:44PM

Since It is considered these days that period is dollars noone has extra a chance to go for a longer procedure of carrying his laptop or computer to a mechanic offering PC assistance. http://artofcompdesk.livejournal.com/

23. official sites   |   Thu Dec 25, 2014 @ 02:54AM

I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. https://storify.com/sewingmachtech

24. girlsdoporn   |   Wed Dec 31, 2014 @ 11:45PM

One you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post Anine Bing a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful. http://www.instructables.com/id/Links-Are-Only-The-Ways-To-Have-Hot-Chat-With-Teen/

25. james   |   Wed Jan 28, 2015 @ 02:03AM

Functioning planet, the saying "content is really king" model. Think about the Web being a property, the length of time you decide to go in the home to sell.

26. sulfate free dandruff shampoo   |   Sun Mar 01, 2015 @ 11:36PM

When you have content of your own posted in writing and submitting content sites you can slowly establish your name as an expert in your niche. Individuals be more apt to trust your recommendations. http://www.sulfatefreedandruffshampoo.org/

27. anonymous   |   Mon Mar 02, 2015 @ 10:50PM

An excellent development I think, as it will decease the number of accidents and insurance claimers, as a result of these injuries. http://officefitoutdetails.mono.net/

28. williama   |   Tue Mar 17, 2015 @ 01:19AM

Look for Motor Improving a Web site often includes having a certain variety of hyperlinks spread at certain durations within the material of the site. http://bookjumpingcastle.snack.ws/

29. Maria Aslam  |  my website   |   Sat Mar 28, 2015 @ 02:24AM

All parts of this post excellent and very helpfull to call to action winning keys hyperlinks and Seo can also help to increase our income that's the amazing point.

Post a Comment

powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder