Consistent, frequent blogging requires a significant investment of time and resources from your marketing department, and you want to see a return on that investment. But even the greatest blog posts will fail to provide the ROI you expect if you are making this mistake:
Failing to choose, and use, the right calls-to-action in your blog posts.
Your blog can only succeed as the center of your inbound marketing universe if your calls-to-action bring visitors to the landing pages where they can be converted into leads by accessing an offer. (Click to Tweet)
Get all of the basics from creating CTAs to testing their effectiveness in The Comprehensive Guide to Designing and Using Calls-to-Action.
Wondering what you need to consider as you choose calls-to-action to including in your business blog posts? Read on for the criteria we prioritize in deciding which offers and calls-to-action to use as the primary offer on each Inbound Accelerator blog post.
How to Choose the Right CTA For Your Blog Posts
1. Choose a CTA that promotes a relevant offer.
Many, if not most, of your blog readers will arrive at a specific post as a result of an online search. They are reading your post because that topic is of interest to them. So make sure you choose an offer and a call-to-action that closely relate to the topic of the blog post itself.
For example, if your real estate blog post is about top trends in downtown condo living in St. Louis, don’t link to a checklist for buying a boat. Link to a guide on how to maximize storage in a small space.
2. Choose a CTA that matches the persona targeted in the blog post.
Chances are your company has several different customer personas, with a variety of offers that may appeal more strongly to one group than another. If you are using your blog effectively, you are also creating posts that target specific personas.
For example, if your accounting and financial services firm provides both accounting services for small businesses and investing advice for individuals, you will want to write different blog posts for each of those audiences. Match the offer you promote with CTAs in each post to the audience the post is targeting.
That means that a blog post focused on improving cash flow during slower business seasons would include a call-to-action for a template for tracking revenue and expenses, not a guide to choosing an IRA.
3. Choose a CTA that matches the reader’s level of expertise
Just as you want the topic and the persona of your calls-to-action to reflect the blog post that brought a reader to your page, also consider how that reader’s level of experience with the topic may vary. The reader who eagerly dives into blog post with an in-depth review of three new ways to configure a server for use by both in-office and telecommuting staff probably doesn’t need your Networking 101 ebook. Find an offer more suited to their high level of competency, and use that CTA with your server review blog post.
4. Use “Smart CTAs” to address current leads and their needs
Not every reader of your business blog posts will be a new contact. Many may be leads who are already in your system. They liked previous blog posts, and have come back to read more.
In those cases, using a cohesive blogging, content management and customer relationship management system, such as HubSpot, can help you tailor your calls-to-action based on a specific visitor’s previous interactions with your site. Life cycle based Smart CTAs show return visitors offers that coincide with where they are in the sales funnel — leads still in the awareness phase receive more general, introductory offers, while those in the consideration phase will see CTAs for free trials, ROI calculators, and other decision-making offers. (Let us show you how HubSpot puts all of your inbound information and efforts together in a single package. Schedule a free demo call here.)
You can also use Smart CTAs to avoid showing your website visitors calls-to-action to offers on which they have already converted. Rather than seeing a CTA for that Introduction to Lead Nurturing ebook again on the next blog post they read about nurturing, a JONES lead who has already downloaded the ebook will see a call-to-action offering our lead nurturing workflow template.
Smart CTAs are just one type of dynamic content that makes your website visitors feel more welcome and understood.
5. Use other CTAs throughout your blog post.
While you may focus on one specific offer for each blog post, using both a textual call-to-action at the end of the post and a graphic CTA somewhere on the page, remember that there are other opportunities as well for incorporating additional offers and CTAs.
Simple in-text hyperlinks to landing pages can serve as subtle calls-to-action to offers that address additional topics. Going back to our accounting blog example, even if the blog post is primarily about cash flow, mentions of taxes, payroll, or inventory control could be hyperlinked to landing pages for content that addresses each of those areas.
Your blog page can and should also include sidebar CTAs for additional offers. These could either rotate on a random basis, or be tailored to match the same campaign/topic as the blog post, but with a focus toward a different customer persona or expertise level.
Don’t let your blog posts fall short of their lead generation potential because they are missing this essential element. Choose and use the right CTAs for each article you write for your business blog. Get even more details on creating those CTAs in The Comprehensive Guide to Designing and Executing Calls-to-Action.