Using a Call to Action to Engage Your Customers
Online marketing is all about building and maintaining relationships. This means engaging in the online community and contributing to it with practical and informative input. Getting your voice into the conversation is just the first step and developing your online profile is a combination of being recognized for your insight and creating valuable content for your followers. Even if you do all of this and generate copious amounts of interesting blog posts and Facebook comments, unless you can get your followers to engage with them they will never produce sales. The one simple thing that most online marketing is missing may be the most important part – a call to action.
A call to action usually takes the form of a tag line on a comment or a post that asks the readers to leave their opinion or to share the post with their friends. A lot of social media posts have gone viral using this simple technique and remembering to add a call to action should be a part of your overall online marketing strategy. Because of the way that posts on social media sites are ranked for display on their homepages, any content that gathers a lot of likes and shares is going to keep the post high in the newsfeed and increase its longevity. Even if it is just asking for readers to click on the ‘like’ button it is always worthwhile to include some sort of prompt in your social media posts just to increase your affinity with your network.
The most important place to include a call to action is on your company’s blog posts. While social media can be used to drive traffic to your website it is actually on that site that you make the conversion from Facebook friend to customer. When people visit your site they are attracted because they hope to find content that they can use. Quality content is only half of the job and it needs to be used so that it directs your visitors to your sales pages. If you don’t include a call to action with your quality content then they may never know about the solutions that your business can offer them and they will take away the information that you have given them and spend their money with your competition.
To be effective a call to action should lead to further engagement with your audience. While asking for comments and likes will work well on social pages to keep your brand more visible on a corporate website it may be better to offer free products or services to tempt people into taking the action. Calls to action don’t always have to be a hard sell and can be used to gather useful information using polls or by collecting comments. Finding just the right balance of sales pitch and social engagement just takes a bit of experimentation and patience.
The recent focus of social media marketing has been on measuring its return on investment and calls to action can give webmasters a rule of thumb for how much traffic is coming in from all of the Facebook posts and ‘tweets’ on Twitter. Tracking the number of visitors to your company website that act on your calls and comparing them to the total number of hits can also give you an idea of how effective your website is in promoting your business. With the opportunity that they create to engage your customers and the snapshot of your online performance that they can generate, including calls to action in your dynamic online media is too useful a tool not to use it as fully as possible.