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What is a Call-to-Action ("CTA")? [DEFINITION]

Written by Nick Simard on 08.27.17

A call-to-action ("CTA") is a critical tool that a digital marketing agency uses to provoke action from a visitor to your website. For example, a CTA can be as simple as a hyperlinked text that brings the user to a separate page for more information. 

 

CTAs can also be a button with a text such as...

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A call-to-action is intended to address the interests of a site visitor based on where they are in the digital buyer's journey.

 

The digital buyer's journey has three distinct stages...

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision 

 

When a buyer is in the Awareness Stage of the buying process, they are searching a problem. Therefore, a link to an educational blog about the problem would be a CTA for a buyer in the Awareness stage. You are only offering information to the buyer in the Awareness stage, not trying to sell a product.

 

For example, as a digital marketing agency, IMG targets people in the Awareness stage by creating CTAs that lead to general advertising and marketing tips. A potential client may know he needs to change his business' marketing strategies but does not know exactly what to fix yet. In this stage, the potential client would be researching marketing in general.

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When a buyer is in the Consideration Stage the user has named the problem and is researching solutions. In this stage the user is looking at all possible solutions and considering which one is best for their particular problem. 

 

IMG would use a different type of CTA for the buyer in the Consideration Stage. Let's say the potential client figured out that their marketing problem was low customer retention. To attract the potential client in the Consideration stage, IMG would potentially present a CTA that offers an e-book with step by step solutions on how the user can amp up their customer relationships. In this e-book, it demonstrates all of the tactics IMG uses to maintain a CRM without directly offering services. It also links to all of IMG's social media and their website.

 

Below is the example CTA used for this stage. 

New call-to-action

 

Lastly, the Decision Stage is when the buyer has researched all types of solutions and picked one that suited his problem best. In the case using the buyer with a problem maintaining customer relationships, IMG would provide a CTA that would give him an offer. This CTA would provide the specific services that IMG has to offer the user. Below is an example of the CTA used for a buyer in the Decision Stage. 

In conclusion, CTAs are important in all stages of the buying process. They serve as a way for a potential clients to learn information, be aware of your services and, hopefully, close a deal with your business. 

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Topics: Digital Marketing, Definitions