Marketing is all about getting your target audience to take some sort of action, whether it be signing up for a newsletter, watching a sales video, booking a call, visiting a landing page, or making a purchase. But convincing people to do something isn’t as easy as simply announcing what you have to offer and then expecting them to act on it by themselves.
In this post, we’re talking about how to write a strong call to action (CTA) for your social media marketing posts that draws people in and persuades them to take action. We’re also sharing some examples of great CTAs and why they work. But before that, let’s talk about what a CTA is and why you need it.
Table of Contents
- 1 What’s CTA in Marketing and Why Do You Need It?
- 2 How to Write a Strong Call to Action
- 3 Nail Your Social Media Marketing CTA
What’s CTA in Marketing and Why Do You Need It?
With the digital world getting busier and busier, consumers are constantly inundated with ads which is resulting in most ads going ignored. In fact, a report by Bulbshare revealed that 75% of consumers try their best to avoid ads whereas 50% hit the skip button as soon as they see it. And if you do manage to grab their attention with a stellar, creative ad, the next hurdle is getting them to take action. This is where a strong CTA comes in.
Beating around the bush doesn’t work in marketing. People need to be told in clear, concise words what they should do with the information you’re presenting. A CTA directs your audience on what to do. For example, if you’re offering a free PDF on ‘Marketing CTA Tips & Tricks’, your CTA could be “Download Now”, “Download for Free”, or something like “Get Your Free Guide”. It could even be something as long as a full sentence.
How to Write a Strong Call to Action
CTAs employ basic psychology to guide people through the process of completing a task. For instance, when we see an ad that says “FLASH SALE: All items at 50% off! Shop now!”, it prompts us to click because it not only entices us with a reward (50% off) but also creates a sense of urgency (flash sale).
By mastering the art of writing effective marketing CTAs that leverage consumer behavior, you’ll set your business up for more clicks, sign-ups, and purchases. Here are some tips to keep in mind while crafting a compelling CTA.
1. Use Persuasive Action Words
Verbs are the backbone of CTAs. Take any CTA as an example and you’ll notice that no matter how long or how short it is, it will always have a verb such as “buy” or “Sign-up”, often present in conjunction with an adverb like “now”.
Can you identify the verbs present in the CTA of this marketing ad from Bumble?
This example contains quite a few CTAs including “Download Bumble For Friends today to make friends and hang out IRL”, “Download now” and “Download Bumble For Friends”. The common action word used in these is “download”. Action-oriented CTAs eliminate decision fatigue, so including them is how you can write a call to action that works.
Here are some other verbs you can use:
- Get Started
- Add to cart
2. Be Clear and to the Point
A good marketing CTA should never leave any room for doubt. It should, in simple terms, lay down exactly what action is expected from the reader. If you want them to download your ‘Social Media Marketing Tips for Holidays’ guide, just say “Download FREE Guide” instead of writing lengthy paragraphs with unnecessary information and hiding your CTA within them.
Take a look at this ad from HubSpot:-
Besides the obvious ‘Learn More’ CTA at the bottom right, there are three more CTAs that fit the bill:
- Create custom logos, icons, and more with HubSpot’s Brand Kit Generator
- Create a brand kit in minutes
- Design free assets
Each of these marketing CTAs is simple, straightforward, and to the point, leaving no room for confusion about what’s being offered and what action the reader is supposed to take.
3. Use a Friendly, Conversational Tone
A Sprout Social study discovered that 64% of consumers want brands to foster genuine connections with them. The easiest way to do this is by presenting yourself as a personable brand that cares about their customers. Brands that are too stiff and formal in their approach often create a divide and end up alienating their customers.
The CTA in this marketing ad from Genshin Impact, an online game, is a good example of how to write a call to action that makes you feel as if you’re talking to a friend instead of a company that’s delivering a sneaky sales pitch. By saying “Come back and explore the underwater world together now”, they’ve made themselves seem like a more approachable and trustworthy brand.
4. Create FOMO
Have you ever noticed how retailers put alert signs and ticking timers while running a sale? It’s because the fear of missing out on a good deal is a powerful motivator in getting people to take action. By creating a sense of urgency through CTAs in your marketing, you can encourage your audience to act fast or risk losing the awesome deal you have on the table.
This Instagram post from Bokksu uses the CTA “Last chance to picnic with Hello Kitty” to urge customers to order the Hello Kitty-themed snack box before it goes out of stock. The caption builds on the urgency by using phrases such as “…packing up their picnic soon!” and “Don’t miss out…”.
Some other examples of marketing CTAs that create FOMO are:-
- Act now!
- Limited time only!
- Going fast!
- Offer expires soon!
- Grab the deal now!
5. Focus On Your USPs
Suppose you’re a brand that sells cute, Pinterest-worthy candles and you want everyone who sees your ad or visits your page to make a purchase. But why should they when there are thousands of brands selling that same thing, possibly at a lower price? How to write a call to action in such a case? Play up your unique selling propositions (USPs) while writing the marketing copy and CTA!
Maybe your candles are handmade or made of soy wax or are infused with some rare essential oils that make them unique. So instead of saying “Shop cute candles now!”, you can say “Shop long-lasting soy candles infused with rare fragrances”.
You can also add your USPs in the supporting text alongside your CTA. Here’s an example from Morphe:-
The precursor to their CTA begins with “Set your makeup and protect your skin…” and then proceeds to explain why this makeup setting spray is better than others. This extra information primes the reader to complete the purchase so they can enjoy the benefits of this product.
6. Elicit An Emotional Response
Marketing copy with CTAs that evoke an emotional response is more engaging than those without. When people feel an emotional connection to a message, they’re more likely to stop, notice, and take action. While you can use urgency to evoke a fear of missing out, there are many ways to elicit positive emotions that are based on reward.
For example, if you’re selling a weight-loss diet plan, a CTA such as “Lose weight in 30 days” will make the reader excited about the offer and encourage them to click.
The same principle is at work here in this ad from Fabletics. The brand is running a BOGO offer on its shorts for its VIP members and who doesn’t like the prospect of getting something for free? This marketing CTA evokes enthusiasm and attracts clicks.
7. Make It Visible
If you want to know how to write a compelling call to action, burn this in your head – people don’t read, they scan. According to NN group, only 16% of people read every word on a page. If you present your customers with lengthy paragraphs, their brains will filter it all out in an attempt to prevent information overload.
This means that your marketing CTA not only needs to be concise but also stand out and be easily scannable. There are three ways of making the CTA in your social media ads stand out:-
- Add white/negative space
- Use contrast and bold colors
- Choose a prominent location
Look at this ad from Hootsuite. It has negative space between different design elements, smartly uses contrast to make the text and graphics stand out from the background, highlights the CTA, and has it placed in a prominent position where it can be easily seen.
Nail Your Social Media Marketing CTA
Tailoring your CTAs for your audience is essential if you want them to acknowledge your message and perform your desired action. We’ve armed you with the knowledge of how to write a persuasive call to action but it will take some trial and error and A/B testing before you can master this craft and find success with your social marketing efforts.
If you need help with your CTAs or your social media marketing strategy, the experts at Coalition Technologies are always ready to give you a hand. Feel free to contact us for a free strategy review.