September 30, 2014
I recently attended a virtual conference put on by Marketo. Their content marketing specialist, Maggie Jones, talked about 411. We’re not talking information here. We’re talking rhythm, cadence, music-like time signature in content development. It’s the waltz of the marketing world when making a call-to-action in your social engagement.
It was a concept that I’d heard her talk about before. I implemented the idea right away after hearing about it the first time. But this second time, my mind began to expand the concept to a whole new realm—social.
When it comes to broad audience advertising spaces—like social—it’s important to pay attention to different levels of the customer journey and address them each in a specific rhythm.
They’re calling it 411.
The greater majority of advertising in social media should be educational or entertaining. Like a fisherman experiments with bait, marketers try out all sorts of flashy and intriguing content to attract their target market.
Remember, these are people with problems that need solving. Speak to the psyche. Commiserate. Let them know they have a friend in you. Provide them with the information they want and need. What Marketo found was that four out of six posts should employ this extremely soft CTA that develops awareness.
Nobody likes a salesman. After buttering up your audience with lots of education and emotional support, slip in a soft CTA that gently invites them to get to know you a little better.
There should be no risk, and something considerable to be gained that won’t violate the readers. Stick to an educational CTA, steering clear of sales completely.
For your last post out of the six, get ready to reel ‘em in. Now’s your time to ask for what you really want—the sale.
Marketers use these rarely in social marketing, and only when the time is right because they easily turn people off. Call them to action before they are ready, and the whole deal is off.
Socially Acceptable CTA
The marketing world functions in social as an invited guest and has to mind its Ps and Qs. It’s a place where readers can opt out of ads, get on the do-not-call list, or happily ignore banner ads. Content marketers have to engage earlier than they would normally, and then rely mostly on inbound interest to catch any leads.
Social media also provides an opportunity for marketers to listen to the conversation and engage when appropriate. Social marketers must be ultra-soft CTA masters. It is the art of helping the consumer to become aware of a need before they even recognize it.
Become an Observer
One of the best ways to learn how to use CTAs is to watch other agencies and companies do it. There are a million creative ways to ask a reader to act in a social environment that help them take the first step toward entering the conversion funnel.
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