After an exciting weekend of Super Bowl commercials, too many chicken wings and a whole lotta football, let's take a quick look at CTAs and some tips on how to improve them.
CTA you say? What is a CTA?
Buy it Now.
All of those are Calls to Action or CTAs, as commonly coined in the advertising industry. And they play a very important role in getting you (the consumer) to do things. They have a specific time and place too, and during the Super Bowl we saw a lot of great commercials without CTAs at all; most advertisers use their incredibly expensive time-slots to inform people about their brand instead of telling them to do anything, hoping that the next time consumers are in the market for a car, a beer, toothpaste, a piece of gum or some other product, that their brand will be top of mind or at least have positive connotations.
This is precisely WHY we like Super Bowl commercials. They're 30 second films and not over the top sales-y. The same goes for all content - we tend to like things that don't hit us over the head with purchase messages, but offer value in other ways. However CTAs are necessary - we aren't always creating Super Bowl commercials, and by thinking through your CTA you'll be on the path to click-through success! Deciding what your CTA is and where you'll use a CTA is paramount; by understanding what you are asking people to do and the platforms you are asking them to do it on, you'll avoid annoying customers with CTAs at the wrong time or place - example: Don't ask people to use hashtags on Facebook or click a link in a instagram post. Also, don't forget to stay updated on our ever-changing social media world. Mashable recently posted an article about how the Facebook algorithm is being tweaked and posts with CTAs will be filtered out. This will ultimately lead to better experiences for Facebook users, but could be a difficult hurdle for brands.
A surprise success was this Super Bowl's Esurance ad - which had a very clear CTA; Esurance asked people to tweet #esurancesweepstakes for a chance to win one million dollars - and people did, A LOT of people did. At its peak, #esurancesweepstakes was shared 9000 times in one minute. They not only got one million mentions, they also shared a brand message - Esurance passes on the savings, including the one million dollars that they are passing on to you.
So why was this CTA successful? Value, ease and urgency.
Let's break that down: There was an immense value to the consumer: $1,000,000. It was easy to participate, a simple tweet with hashtag. And finally, in order to win, the tweets had to occur during the game. As content creators we need to put our CTAs through those five filters: What, where, value, ease and urgency - and we'll see the results in the forms of click-throughs, conversions, mentions and even $$$.
Lastly, if you liked this article, won't you please tweet about it? I'll give you $1,000,000* if you do it in the next 15 minutes.
*No I won't.