Every month, I look over dozens of good examples and bad examples of IT consulting marketing efforts.
One thing that I see missing from nearly all websites is one of the most important building blocks for success: an effective, compelling, contextually-relevant call to action or “CTA.”
What’s a Call to Action and Why It Matters
A call to action is either a text-based, or, more commonly, a graphical-based effort designed to motivate the reader, viewer, or listener of a piece of content to take action!
CTAs are extremely important tools for converting website visitors into qualified leads.
Without properly placed, compelling calls to action on your website, getting a significant percentage of your website visitors to become leads is very difficult.
Done right, however, CTAs can very efficiently escort visitors to your IT consulting marketing materials straight to landing pages that convert website visitors into leads.
This matters because you’re likely working very hard to attract the right visitors to your website –and we really need a good percentage of those visitors to convert to leads.
How to Tell if Your Content is Effective
So once we’ve caught the attention of a website visitor, if your content strategy is done right, we’ll get two reactions:
- Wow! This content is totally freaking awesome! I’ve been looking for something like this for hours (days, weeks, etc.).
- What else do they have to say?
The 3 Kinds of Calls to Action that Your Website Must Have
It’s at that exact moment when you’ve succeeded with your website traffic generation, and got that emotional reaction from the website visitor, wondering what else you have to say… that is when you need to make it super easy for that website visitor to notice a relevant call to action for an offer that’s either:
- For early-stage visitors, conducting research in the awareness stage -- a downloadable template, guide, eBook, or special report, for example
- For middle-stage visitors, starting to consider and compare different options – a webinar, comparison matrix, buyer’s guide, case studies, or ROI calculator, for example
- For late-stage visitors, at the decision-making stage, ready for a sales conversion – a demo, needs assessment, or consultation, for example
Since you will, in all likelihood, not know where in the sales cycle a particular prospect is when visiting a typical page on your website, it’s critical to have two and, in some cases, even three different CTAs that are relevant for that type of website visitor and the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
In other words, while most visitors to your website will be in the research and consideration stage (the first 57% of the B2B sales cycle that occurs before they contact any vendor), some will be ready for a sales conversation and need a way to raise their hands even higher for some human contact. Be sure that your call to action strategy and related landing pages and premium content take this into account.
How CTAs Fit in With a Conversion Path
If you want good ROI from your IT consulting marketing efforts, you’ll likely at some point develop buyer personas for your two or three most important kinds of decision-makers (perhaps: Owner Ollie, Trish the Techie, Charley the CFO, etc.)
For each of these ideal buyers, you need content that’s relevant for each stage of the buyer’s journey: from awareness to consideration, to decision-making.
And to get each of these kinds of ideal buyers from the point of website visitor to qualified lead, you’ll need a conversion path:
- Remarkable Content -- Visitor reads, watches, or listens to a piece of remarkable content that really resonates.
- Call to Action -- Visitor is presented with -- usually at the end –a call to action for a related offer.
- Landing Page for a Piece of Contextually Relevant Premium Content --The CTA drives that website visitor to a conversion-optimized landing page – a specialized web page whose entire purpose is to convert website visitors into leads.
- Confirmation Page and Confirmation Email --Once the visitor completes the form on the landing page and clicks the button, the visitor is now a lead that is delivered to the confirmation page and, in most cases, also receives a confirmation email.
How to Tell if Your Call to Action is Effective
So how can you tell if your calls to action are working? There are a few key metrics to monitor:
- The click-through rate % (CTR) of a particular call to action
- The number of leads generated by a particular call to action
- How many leads from that call to action ultimately become paying clients
- How much revenue was generated both initially and ultimately from a particular call to action
The last two bullet points generally require what’s known as closed-loop reporting, where your marketing software is able to tie your revenue-generating sales outcomes back to specific marketing activities.
The Bottom Line
If you need to generate more high-quality leads, clients, and revenue from your website, your CTAs are a very important part of getting the strategy right.
Every piece of content that you develop should always include a call to action (CTA).
What kinds of calls to action have you used on your IT consulting website? What’s been most effective? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to plan how CTAs fit in with your overall consulting marketing and growth strategy, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.