What’s worse planning your blog or writing it? Can’t decide? You’re not alone.
According to B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmark, Budgets, and Trends, only 44% of B2Bs have a documented strategy. And as someone who is often called to revitalize abandoned blogs, I can tell you there are plenty of people who don’t enjoy the writing either.
Indulge Your Selfish Side: Write Your Call to Action First
Everything is easier with a goal, including writing. When you write your CTA before you write your content, you:
- Allow yourself to focus your content’s body on your buyer. The CMO’s Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field reported, “blatantly self-serving and promotional content is a major turnoff cited by 43 percent of respondents, and exceeded only by content that comes with too many requirements for downloading (50 percent).”
Too often, marketers worry that they won’t get their message out. Once you know you’ve checked off asking for what you need, you’re free to focus the bulk of the content on your buyers' needs.
- Add flow to your post. So many CTAs read like tacked on after thoughts. As if the writer knows they are supposed to ask for something, but they don’t know what. Or they started the post knowing what they wanted, but somehow lost their way.
- Are more likely to achieve your goal. When you write down your goal, you are more likely to achieve it.
Writing content without a call to action is like running a marathon without a finish line. Discouraging.
5 Tips for Prioritizing Your Call to Action
If you’re accustomed to tacking on a CTA at the end of the post, starting with your CTA requires a mind shift. Here are 5 tips to make the shift easier:
1. Think rough draft. Your goal is what matters, not the wording. When you go back to edit the whole piece, you can clean it up.
2. Stick with the straightforward. A good CTA only needs to be a couple of sentences. For bonus points, add a subhead.
3. Ask yourself what you need. If you don’t have a content strategy, this is your chance to decide what you really want out of the post. Do this often enough and creating a strategy will be easier than ever before.
4. Decide what’s reasonable to request. According to the 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey by Demand Generation, 82% of buyers read more than 5 pieces of content before deciding. In other words, you might need a big sale out of the post, but it is more practical to lead them further down your pipeline. If you’re unsure, consider what would be reasonable to ask for after one face-to-face conversation. You’d ask to exchange business cards before asking for the sale.
5. Set yourself up for good flow: As I mentioned above, your post should flow into your call to action. Use adjectives from your CTA in your headline. When your headline and your CTA match, you’ll naturally use your body content to connect them.
Are You Ready for My CTA?
Remember, I said keep it straightforward. And I have. Now that you’ve simplified your writing strategy, cut your editing time with my FREE checklist.