Calls-to-action (CTAs) are an integral part of content marketing – and have been ever since marketers started using content to drive conversion, engagement, and sales. But, just as with any required part of content, CTAs can get a little stale. Simply writing “contact us today to learn more!” seems like it fits the bill, but there’s actually a lot more B2B marketers can be doing with their CTAs.
It pays to regularly look at your CTA metrics to see if the types of closing lines you’re including in your content are actually driving conversions or clicks. Use analytics and UTM codes to better track if users are actually clicking through on your CTAs. If the data determines that your CTAs aren’t getting much love, it may be time to switch up your CTA strategy.
Instead of including the same CTA in every piece of content, consider crafting CTAs around the content itself, or experiment with offering different types of incentives to customers to see what actually drives interest. Let’s take a look at a few ideas.
Because many B2B offerings are complex and are not easily explained in a landing page or e-commerce product pages, live demos are key to getting more regular sales. Many B2B buyers like the individualized attention that comes from a live demo with a real person.
A call-to-action in your content could include a free demo, but make sure it seems to be as easy as possible. For example, something like, “Get a free demo this afternoon!” seems a lot easier and faster than “Schedule your demo now.” Usually when prospective clients want to watch a demo, their interest level is extremely high. B2B companies need to capitalize on that by shortening the time span between a prospect’s initial interest and the demo itself.
And don’t forget this plot twist: demos don’t always have to be live. In addition to traditional live demos, there are several different software options available that allow you to reduce the time from interest to demo. Offer potential buyers the option to watch a demo instantly after showing interest in a product.
If you don’t want to implement another piece of software, you can also take users to an exclusive confirmation page after they enter their information that has an embedded video of a demo walk-through as well. This page could also include an exclusive offer to further nurture the user’s interest.
Current and potential buyers like feeling as if they are getting something that isn’t available to everyone. By including an exclusive content offer in a CTA, you further pique their interest and develop a deeper connection with them, as they get to know your content and what you have to offer.
Some examples of exclusive content you can entice potential clients within CTAs include:
- E-books: E-books allow you to go in-depth into a specific topic, while also providing an educational service to users. The end of the e-book could also contain an additional graphic-based CTA that ties into what the book covers in detail.
- White Papers: If your company does its own research or has data to share, white papers are a great way to highlight exclusive findings not found anywhere else.
- Case Studies: Many B2B customers want to know how other businesses were successful at something. An exclusive case study can show leads how another business navigated the murky waters of increasing sales or meeting a specific metric.
- How-to Guides: If your customer support or social media employees constantly get asked how to do a certain action with your product or service, consider offering advanced how-to guides to give customers more information. This could include advanced reporting, employing additional features most users don’t take advantage of, or shortcuts to save time.
- Explainer Videos: If your product takes a little time to learn or there’s a new feature, consider creating a video to explain it in more detail.
Each of these options can include an additional call to action at the end to entice audiences to take the next step in the purchasing funnel—whether that may be scheduling a call with a sales rep or actually making a purchase. Just with regular content CTAs, getting this CTA may take a few tests to get just right.
Many potential clients are already interested in your product or service, but often need additional incentives to actually pull the trigger. Capitalize on the buyer’s fear of missing out by offering temporary bonuses that are only available for a limited time.
This type of CTA can be used with blog content, email, or landing pages, and relies on a sense of urgency to get users to actually convert and take action.
The type of urgency can vary and what works best probably depends on what you’re offering and the industry. Most marketers use either a time or number restriction. Here’s the difference between the two:
- “This offer is only available for the next 24 hours, so take advantage now!”
(Some marketers even use a countdown clock widget to make their point)
- “We only had 2,000 packages of this option available, and half were sold in the first day. Buy today!”
(This type of CTA can also use a countdown widget, except it can countdown the number of packages/products that are left. This could be an average estimate based on past promotions if exact numbers aren’t possible.)
Additionally, if these bonuses are only offered once or only at specific times of the year, you can also use this as an additional incentive.
- “We will never have this type of package available again, so take advantage while you still can.”
- “We only offer this savings package once a year, so don’t wait 12 months before it is available next.”
Think of all the ways your bonuses can be made to be more exclusive, and you’ll make your CTA that much harder to resist.
Exclusive Support and Training
Because many B2B offerings come with a higher price tag than consumer goods, it can make the decision maker more hesitant. Typically, they are more likely to take their time when making a choice, especially if it’s their first time buying that type of product or service. Destination CRM reports that the average buying cycle for B2B technology is 20 percent longer than a B2C product.
The buying cycle timeline is likely even longer the more advanced a product or service gets. B2B buyers are nervous that they won’t be able to fully utilize the product or service they are actually buying, making them wonder if it’s truly worth it. They wonder if they will be on their own and if they will have some support to help them learn how to make the most of the product/service.
One way marketers can ease the minds of decision-makers is by offering exclusive support or training. B2B buyers that convert on a CTA for an advanced package or product that goes beyond the bare minimum are enticed to do so because it will make their purchase more worthwhile.
Many larger B2B companies offer exclusive support or assigned support personnel to specific accounts to make sure clients are getting the most out of their service. Clients don’t have to worry about dialing a toll-free support line, only to get stuck on hold waiting for support. They can simply call or email their dedicated support person and get help much faster from someone who knows them and their business.
Including this value as an upgraded package can also help B2B companies pay for the costs of offering advanced customer support.
Private or Exclusive Training
Training is an additional upgrade that eases customers minds because they know they’ll be given the opportunity to learn everything they need to improve their own business through the product being sold. Many large software companies hold in-person private training classes for single or groups of clients in large cities, often presenting the training opportunity as an educational one. At the end of their training, clients can become certified in that software to prove they’ve effectively learned how to use it.
If in-person training isn’t feasible, consider holding webinars or recording a series of training videos that can be accessed by the customer once they have purchased a product, service, or package that includes training. That way it is on-demand, doesn’t require travel from either side, and can be viewed again at any time.
Product or Service Guarantees
If advanced training and support aren’t driving the results you want, consider also offering guarantees for what you offer. These make great CTAs because they break down the barriers to objection. Clients can reason that if something doesn’t work out for them, they can simply request their money back.
Having a guarantee puts customers’ minds at ease because they reason that the company wouldn’t be offering such a promise if they didn’t believe that their product or service worked as intended. It makes sense that they would figure no one would want to offer a guarantee if they knew their product was substandard. While it’s reasonable to assume not every product or service is perfect for everyone, a money-back guarantee shows that the company feels it will be right for most people.
For guarantees to be a smart business decision, it’s imperative that the process is easy (otherwise customers will complain to the business and to their network) and the offering is strong enough to not face a large onslaught of refund requests. Companies that offer money-back guarantees often don’t face a substantial loss of income because the majority of their clients are happy with what they receive.
Even though most B2B offerings are long-term partnerships or advanced products that can be costly, it doesn’t mean that offering discounts can’t be worthwhile or enticing to prospective clients.
When possible, try using a discount or promotional sale in a CTA to get the conversion from prospects that are hesitating to purchase. If a user is a regular reader of your blog, they may have seen your other CTA promotions before but have never felt enticed to invest in your solution.
Offering a money or percentage discount could be the angle that actually turns the prospect into a client, as it deals with saving them money. While some decision makers can be enticed with higher levels of service and education (even if it costs them more money), some buyers are more swayed by a promise that they are spending less money than the majority of other customers.
It’s important to test whether a set amount of money off or a percentage off an order price gets more sales from your particular target audience. Testing varying amounts can make a difference too, even if they aren’t actually a big difference for your bottom line. Discounts can make even the most hesitant buyer interested in a product or service.
Calls to action can be a valuable way to drive steady leads and sales from your content. Instead of using the same old CTAs, mix it up and see if the above CTA offers make an impact for your business.
With any type of marketing strategy, be sure to set yourself up for success by making sure you can properly track all CTAs before implementing them. Use unique links, offers, or UTM codes to ensure that you can properly tell if your CTAs were effective or not. Be sure to test a few different ways to write CTAs and their varying offers (all one at a time) so you know what truly gets the most conversions.
As with most of marketing, the results may surprise you! Often because of knowledge bias, the items we are testing that we think will be the most popular actually turn out to not be the winner when actually put to the test. Testing and variation are key to increasing your chances of better CTA engagement in B2B content marketing.