As content strategists and creators, it’s our job to take users on a journey—a journey designed to help the user and our businesses reach their goals.
But when we’re down in the trenches of the content creation process, sometimes the overall journey can fall from centre stage. After all, we’re focused on putting the right information in the right voice with the right grammar on each page. It can be difficult to keep track of the user’s next stop.
This is where having a great content strategy up front can really help. And, specifically, it’s where a Call to Action matrix or some strategic templates can come in really handy.
Remember the Call to Action
Calls to Action (or CTAs) are not about forcing your business’ will on the customer. They’re about helping your customer get to the next step in the process. For a technical product, this might mean directing your customers to a free trial signup page. For a company with a long sales funnel, it may mean connecting your customer to a sales rep. In any case, the CTA is an important component of your page. It helps direct your users and drive your business goals.
So, how can we keep these interactions top-of-mind for writers in the thick of the content creation process?
1. Create a CTA spreadsheet
If you have multiple goals in your website or project, a spreadsheet is a great way to keep your Calls to Action organized. Here’s a couple of examples:
Handing a spreadsheet like this to your writers can help them determine what CTA to include on a page and give them easy access to the suggested text and URL for said CTA.
But there’s also an even simpler way to break it down for your content creators…
2. Add CTA expectations to your templates
Recently, we talked about adding strategic elements to your content templates. One of those strategic elements could be your CTA. Instead of giving content creators a spreadsheet full of CTA options, you can narrow it down for them on a page-by-page basis by including CTA expectations on your template.
If you do this, make sure to include a CTA (or two) for each page, as well as the URL or phone number that goes with it.
Everything is custom
Every project is a little different. Some of you may need more information in your matrix (point in the sales funnel, location of a corresponding button graphic, etc.) and some may need less. But the point is that there are ways we can set our writers up for success before they even begin typing. And one of those ways is to be clear up front, either in a table, a simple list, or a template system, about what steps you want your users to take next—and how to ask them to do so.
This is a guest post by Gigi Griffis. Gigi is a content strategist and web writer specializing in travel, technology, education, non-profit, and wellness content. In 2010, she quit her agency job and started Content for Do-Gooders, where she helps clients solve messy content problems around the world. You should follow her on Twitter.
Photo credits: Click for Help