You don’t get what you don’t ask for
Great content engages your audience. Great calls-to-action (CTAs) convert. When marketing to small business owners, the goal of every piece of content you create should be two-fold. Of course, you want to engage them with compelling content that draws them to your brand and positions your company as a resource for ideas and solutions to their problems. But you also want to motivate them to take the next step in their buying journey, wherever in that journey they happen to be.
A big opportunity for enterprises marketing to SMBs is to be more strategic with the use of CTA’s in, and adjacent to, their content. Research shows that in a market at any given time, fewer than 5% of prospects are actually ready to buy. Slightly more than half are somewhere in the buying cycle, and the remaining 40% are on the sidelines (Source: Vorsight). We also know that the SMB buyer’s journey is not linear. Since you can’t know at what point in the journey a prospect might encounter your content, the key is to have CTAs appropriate to various stages of the buying cycle.
There are broadly three types of CTAs your content should always include:
If your content is doing its job, you have captured your visitor/reader’s attention, at least for a moment. At this point, wherever they are in the sales funnel, you want CTAs that encourage them to stay engaged, dig deeper and “Learn More” – and then take the next logical step in their journey. This means that each piece of content should include multiple CTAs with links to related articles appropriate to different stages of the buyer’s journey – from the top of the funnel to various stages below. For examples of how this can apply to various industries, watch this excerpt from a talk I gave recently as the CEB Marketing to Small Business Summit in Las Vegas.
Building an audience is critical, both to growing your list of prospects and enabling you to communicate with customers at will. Your content should make it easy and compelling to “Subscribe” to your newsletter or blog. Gated content, like a “Free eBook”, can allow you to gather contact information in another way. Capturing visitors’ opt-in email allows you to nurture your relationship with them throughout their buying journey.
You never know when your SMB prospect is ready to convert. Always make sure there’s an option to buy as well: “Buy Now”, “Free Trial,” or “Contact Sales”. Doing business with you should be one-button easy when they are.
When crafting your content and your CTA’s, keep in mind that SMBs are primarily looking for solutions to pressing business issues. Your content and your product are all part of the same help-the-customer continuum. Especially at the top of the funnel, focus first on presenting ideas and solutions to your customers’ problems. Remember that your product is often at the end, not the beginning, of the journey.
Putting strategic CTAs in and adjacent to your content is not only one of the easiest ways to demonstrate and improve the ROI from your content, it also serves the reader. Potential customers should never have to wonder how to learn more, how to take the next step, or how to buy.
Speaking of which, RSL Media can help you attract, engage, nurture, convert and retain audiences with content that speaks SMB. If you’d like to learn how, sign up to join our newsletter community and receive the latest marketing-to-SMB insights.