Shifting Financial Marketing into Gear
Using Calls to Action (CTAs): The Inbound Content Marketing MUST for Financial Firms and Agribusinesses
Calls-to-action, also known as CTAs, are one of the most critical aspects of financial and agribusiness inbound content marketing campaigns. In a nutshell, a CTA is a suggestive element that encourages the person engaging with your content to take a desired action, which will vary, depending on your agricultural or financial marketing campaign’s objective.
A call-to-action provides clarity, cutting through the copy to get to the heart of the matter. When well-crafted, a CTA will compel the prospective customer to:
- Subscribe to or interact with your content
- Provide an email in exchange for valuable content
- Buy your product
- Sign up for your service
- Dive deeper into a product or service
- Activate a free trial
- Upgrade their service level
- Compare options
- Apply for a loan or open a new account
- Book an appointment
These are just a few examples —the point is, whatever you’re trying to accomplish with your marketing campaign, ad, or published content, you need to ask for it. Sure, you might get lucky, and the person might be interested enough that no coercion is necessary; but chances are, if they’re shopping for a financial or agribusiness product or service, you’re not the only option. The vendor with the most intriguing invitation will undoubtedly prevail.
How to Create a Compelling CTA
Creating the perfect CTA can be challenging. It’s no longer enough to say, “call us,” “buy this,” or “learn more.” You need to appeal to an audience that’s savvier than ever about digital marketing tactics, which means you’ll have to reach into their heads, appeal to their emotions, and engender a sense of urgency around your CTA.
Without these elements, your marketing campaign just isn’t going to perform to its best potential. And while a strong CTA is nothing without great content to support it, you could say they’re symbiotic. One thrives in the company of the other—feeds it, even—but today, we’ll focus solely on the CTA and how to write one that will convert more leads into customers.
And make no mistake—writing a good CTA is no easy task. It’s all in the nuances. There’s a fine line between creating urgency and being pushy and sales-y, and your audience knows the difference.
Tips for Writing a Great CTA
Just as no two marketing campaigns have the same objective, your CTAs should be tailored to the outcome you want to affect. So, think about what you want to accomplish.
Once you have that in your back pocket, you can start thinking about how to do it. The verbiage is critical. You don’t want to be overly wordy or too vague or generic. Try to choose words that relate directly to the desired outcome.
It’s all about the audience and how you can address their needs. If two doors were opened by a doorman, and one doorman said nothing but the other smiled and said, “Come in, it’s warm inside,” which door would you walk through?
For example, if you’re selling investments or lines of credit, you might say, “Build the Future You Imagine,” or “Discover What’s Possible.” Perhaps you’d invite them to “Compare Potential Annuity Payments” or “Calculate Your Payments Now” to find out how much of a mortgage they can afford. If you’re appealing to current customers to choose specific products, you might urge them to “Start Saving for Tomorrow Today.”
Brand tone, tone of voice, and language matter and in marketing it’s essential to speak through your CTA text in a way that naturally will appeal to your audience.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
On any successful landing page or content page, you’re bound to find more than one CTA. Each of them will be worded slightly differently, but they all point to the same goal.
Peppered throughout the content and placed in different areas of the page, you can be sure that if the customer doesn’t see or connect with one, they will with another. Some will be more overt and obvious, while others are more conversational.
For example, say you’re trying to get more subscribers for your agricultural podcast. Here are a few CTAs to help you accomplish that:
- Get the Dirt on Crop Insurance and Risk Management: Subscribe Today!
- Our Expert Advice Will Help You Take Your Agri-Business To The Next Level. Join Our In-the-Know Community.
- We bring top-level ag expertise straight to your ears every week. Subscribe for instant access.
- Our Podcast Digs Deeper: Get the Agri-Business News You Need to Know.
Of course, building urgency is about not missing out. Encourage them to respond right away with a CTA like:
- We’ve Rounded Up Sustainability Trends You Need To Know To Grow Your Ag Operation. Don’t Miss Another Tip: Subscribe Today.
- Global Impact, Local Solutions: Find Out How These Farmers Thrived During The Pandemic. Listen to Our Latest Episode Here.
Beyond the Phrase: Designing An Eye-Catching CTA
In the realm of CTAs, design can be just as compelling a feature as the wording itself. Where calls-to-action are concerned, the clearer and more obvious they are, the better.
CTA buttons should stand out, either within a shape (a box) or with a contrasting color. But they also need to be supported by the right wording. Reducing risk, offering benefits, and displaying urgency are all required, but take care not to force the issue.
ATTRACTIVE CTA EXAMPLE:
For example, we’ve all seen the pop-ups you get on some websites, requiring the user to enter an email to continue browsing—a tactic that’s a little heavy-handed. Demonstrating that your visitor is under no obligation to purchase is job one.
For a financial services website, you might want to segment your site visitors to take them to the most relevant information.
For example, if they are looking at investing, you might give them a couple of choices:
- I like to do it myself
- I want a pre-built portfolio
They’re not committing to anything, but based on their selection, they can take a step closer to getting what they’re after.
If you’re encouraging them to make an appointment with one of your advisors, try to appeal to the reason they’re on your site:
- Am I Diversified Enough? Book a Free Personalized Consultation with a Portfolio Risk Manager
If you are using a lead magnet to collect emails, appeal to the questions your buyers might have:
- Questions to Ask When Vetting Financial Advisors – A Checklist
Lead magnets are handy for agribusinesses too, so stimulate interest and be specific. Let them know what you’re offering and the value they’ll get from it:
- How Seasonal Pricing Programs Work: A Basic Handbook for New Farmers
- The Ultimate Guide to Dairy Revenue Protection Insurance
Finally, let’s talk about where to place your CTAs. We’re used to seeing them in the usual places – embedded in the top navigation, headers, footers, sidebars, and so on. But there are no hard and fast rules to say that these are where CTAs must live.
Ideally, you want to intersperse them throughout your copy, which means all of the above – plus in between blocks of text on a webpage or landing page. CTAs can even live within headlines or paragraphs – and you always place one at the end of a blog post.
Ideally, your reader loves your content and will read the whole post, but some will not. If you’ve answered their question early and they came to you ready to take the plunge, that’s when you want to ask them to do that thing you want them to do. Be sure to place CTAs where they seem natural throughout the content, but ALWAYS drive it home.
Are your CTAs performing?
And be sure to check out Anthem Ag: Technology, Services, and Solutions to Enable Agribusinesses to Grow.
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