The call to action (CTA) is central to digital marketing strategies. It’s about employing the psychology of persuasion to get people consuming your content to act in certain ways.
But there’s another aspect of psychology you should consider when devising your CTAs: congruence.
In person-centred counselling, the therapist strives to be congruent. This requires them to understand their own thoughts and feelings accurately at the same time that they’re listening and interacting with the client.
Basically, congruence is about being self-aware and matching this awareness with your behaviour towards other people.
Why might congruence be an issue with your CTA? Because if you’re creating thoughtful and thought-provoking content to attract your audience you don’t want to risk unbalancing it with the wrong tone of voice, at the wrong time.
Switching to an aggressive marketing mode abruptly when you’re concluding your piece is likely to come across as clunky and incongruent.
But to address this issue, first should consider why you should want to create thoughtful content.
Building Your Personal Brand
In a competitive and crowded digital marketplace, you need to find ways of standing out from the crowd.
Social media platforms offer ready channels for content, but how do you create content that resonates and reinforces your brand in the minds of your audience?
The clue is in the name: social media is social. It’s about people. Put a face to your brand and speak to your audience in an authentic human voice.
But if you’re going to do this, what sort of content should you create?
Here’s where thought leadership comes in.
What is Thought Leadership?
Thought leadership is an ugly word. It sounds egotistical, with grace notes of grandeur and a hefty dollop of self-serving quackery.
But if you look beyond the label, you’ll find that thought leadership can add value to your online audience.
What it’s really about is using your own experience and insights to help and inspire others. It shouldn’t mean you’re imposing your vision on other people. Instead, offer them useful information and ideas.
Thought leadership is how you can establish yourself as an authority in your areas of interest and activity. To do this, you could:
- Provide expert advice
- Comment on developments and trends in your industry
- Explain complex concepts and examine challenging topics.
Credibility has commercial value. Build your personal brand by establishing your credibility to build your business.
Pull Your Audience Towards You
Content marketing is the art of selling by not selling. It should pull your audience towards you rather than push your proposition out at them.
If you become their go-to source for information, establishing a viewpoint they see as credible and accurate, then this can, ultimately, influence whether they decide to buy from you.
You don’t always need to make commercial connections to add value to your brand. Thought leadership helps to establish your strategic position in the marketplace. It enables you to engage effectively with prospects while spreading the word about your brand.
- 54% of European decision-makers say they use thought leadership to vet organisations they’re thinking of working with
- 49% of decision-makers believe that thought leadership can influence their buying decisions.
Thought Leadership and Your Call to Action
The call to action is how you tell your prospects and customers what to do next.
Without it, your content cannot measurably fulfil its strategic purpose.
You may assume your well-crafted thought leadership content is engaging your audience, but if that audience fails to act on it, then you’re limiting the potential benefits.
But what should your call to action consist of?
If, for example, you’ve written an insightful piece on an aspect of your industry, will it fit in with the general tone you’ve taken if you make an urgent call to action?
- Hurry! Time’s running out to take advantage of this special offer.
Or, if you’ve taken the time and effort to create content that’s original and distinctive, will you dilute its impact with a generic or trite CTA?
- Learn more
- Click here.
Your CTA should be about maintaining consistency of tone and keeping it congruent with what you’ve focused on in the main body of your content.
Your call to action can be non-aggressive and still be effective. And keep it relevant to the content preceding it.
Use persuasive words:
- Free, new, instant.
If you’ve identified a problem, offer a solution:
- Don’t get caught out by your tax compliance, download our free guide.
Keep your CTA language clear and concise:
- Get started, find out more.
If you want your readers to act, use action words:
- Call us, contact us, join us, learn how.
Avoid friction words. These are words that make the reader feel like they have to give something up first:
- Buy, sponsor, support, invest, give.