It always starts out innocently enough – you write a blog. Perhaps it’s the best blog of your life. Maybe it’s worthy of millions of views and thousands of likes. It includes a shining call-to-action (CTA): download a whitepaper that’s even better than the blog.

Before posting your glorious blog, you send to a couple colleagues to validate its awesomeness and ensure there aren’t any grammatical errors. The feedback is stellar. It’s so good, in fact, that one of your colleagues mentions a product you should include in the content. A second coworker adds a note to include a new webinar they want your post to drive traffic to. And so it begins – death by CTA.

Soon, your well-meaning post is a jumble of links, buttons and offers that overwhelm the reader and only drive clicks on the tiny x on the corner of the page. Still, there’s good news. Your blog, or another piece of short-form content, can be saved. Here’s how:

  • Quit while you’re ahead – Narrow down the most important action for consumers to take after reading your content and make that your only CTA. While there are times when it’s acceptable to have a secondary CTA, it should never compete with the primary one.
  • Just say NO – When the sales team suggests you need to promote a specific item, and the events team wants you to drive registrations for an upcoming event, realize that you can’t always do both with a single piece of content.
  • Be transparent – Ensure your teams understand that each piece of content is designed to be shared during a specific moment in the purchase path. Circulating a global content calendar can ensure each of your product or sales teams feel like a priority. With a little bit of patience, they too can have a piece of content designed to push their desired CTA.
  • Ask yourself, “After reading this post, would I take that action?” – CTAs should be intuitive, appearing in the appropriate places that align with a user’s experience. For example, you would want to put a “sign up now” button in a spot where a user would find it after reading about your offer or product, not before, as it would make no sense for a user to sign up for an offer they know nothing about.
  • Test it – Each call to action should be tested carefully. Even if you know your specific conversion goal, it’s a good idea to test different CTAs, such as underlined words versus graphics and forms. You might be surprised to find that one bit of wording or a particular color converts more effectively than others.

The most important thing to remember is that CTAs are meant to stand out and direct visitors to one desired course of action. If there are too many messages vying for attention, suddenly nothing stands out and your ability to measure results goes down the tank. Finding the right CTA and sticking to it is an exercise in restraint and negotiation. Once you get the hang of it, it’s much easier and more effective to showcase tangible value from each piece of content.

As such, here’s the single CTA for this post – Call us at +1 (866) 247-3645 for a free analysis of your content strategy.