Our friends at HubSpot are always good for a timely piece of advice or two when it comes to marketing tips – so here’s our pick of the best points for those of you with a small business and big ideas, from their recent article on When not to use a call to action for lead generation in your marketing…
Call to action
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are the signals on your website to your visitors to do something. As our friends at Hubspot tell us, “…if the goal of inbound marketing is finding people who are excited to learn about your product or service, then your CTAs are the big (occasionally red and blinking) heralds telling your site visitors where to go next. We know that marketers who use inbound links & CTAs on their websites are more likely to convert visitors to leads than those who simply post a ‘Contact Us’ button on their site and pray. And over time, you’ll even learn which CTAs perform better than others…” Or, at least, you will if you are tracking what your visitors are doing when they get to your site using tools like Google Analytics.
But marketing doesn’t always have to be about the in-your-face, hard-sell conversion; witness the most successful social media campaigns which are based on anything but the hard-sell and certainly aren’t about converting an interested visitor into a customer right there and then. The Ferrari video below is a great example of this. Granted, that’s the end game, but that end game may not come into play until some weeks or months down the line. The purpose of this initial activity has been to raise your profile, get your business in front of relevant prospects and then drop them into a campaign that will mean they can be converted to loyal customers and advocates of what you do or sell – when they are ready.
Sometimes asking up front just isn’t the right thing to do — and that means sometimes, your marketing shouldn’t have a call-to-action.
Here’s an instance when Hubspot recommends you don’t use a Call-to-Action:
PR and Social Media “Buzz” Campaigns
There are certain PR and social media campaigns where your goal isn’t to drive new leads, but to generate buzz.
If the whole point of a campaign is to create a little mystery and get people talking about you, adding a big red CALL NOW! option at the bottom of your page will ultimately distract from your overall goal. This can work really well for interesting new product launches, or even if you’re just trying to drop more prospects into your marketing funnel. For instance, when Hubspot launched their parody of the popular “Gangnam Style,” they didn’t include a CTA. Not in the video itself, or even the blog post they used to promote it. Why? Over to them…
“Because we weren’t looking to use that video directly to get new leads. Instead, we wanted to generate interest in HubSpot among a wider audience than those we were already reaching. And frankly, who would want to read an ebook about using Facebook for Business after watching a Gangnam Style video? I doubt very many. But a little bit of mystery, especially when it’s well-deployed at the beginning of a relationship, can be a great way to get future customers to learn about you. Once you’ve built some social buzz, nurture those new social contacts by following up with great content like blog posts and lead-generation content to show people the heart of your company.
For a new reader, it’s much more reasonable to ask them to share a great article or sign up to read more in the future, than to ask them to attend an hour long webinar we’re hosting next week. And remember, there are other legitimate marketing goals you can try to reach with your content other than lead generation. Increasing your list of subscribers and social media reach are two extremely important ones — ones that often result in more leads down the road.”
Hear hear! As we said earlier, playing the long game is sometimes very much the right way to go!
Car companies do this well – for a new product launch they’ll often whet the appetite of their audience with videos showing glimpses of the features of what’s come before it’s available to the market – have a look at this 2011 Ferrari FF – Official video teaser on YouTube – not a call to action in sight!