What is a CTA in content marketing?


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As your customers move through the buyer’s journey, decision paralysis often rears its ugly head. When that happens, overthinking can impede their ability to move forward in resolving their pain points.

So, what’s the remedy?

The content marketing CTA – or call-to-action.

Each CTA in your marketing sphere serves as a guiding light. As you put each one in place, you help your customers complete the buyer’s journey without getting hung up by difficult decisions.

In order to have the right effect, you must let content marketing CTA best practices lead the way to greatness.

Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know about using this digital road sign to success.

What is a Call-to-Action in Content Marketing?

The call-to-action, or CTA, represents what you want your customers to do after engaging with your content. As far as content marketing goes, it’s the next step they should take to continue through the buyer’s journey.

Each piece of content you produce should have at least one CTA on the page. Web pages will often have many, while blog posts usually just have one. But you can mix it up if you’d like.

Your CTAs may appear as linked text, buttons, contact forms, and the like. Plain statements can work, but it’s better if you use interactive elements to make it easy to complete the requested action.

In the end, every call-to-action should be straight to the point, leaving no doubt about what to do next. When set up just right, they should inspire more engagement with your company – and help drive conversions.

What are the Types of Call-to-Action?

An effective content marketing CTA directly asks your customers to complete a specific action, such as:

  • Get more information
  • Complete their purchase
  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Fill out an online form
  • Schedule an appointment
  • Share on social media
  • Join an online community

The type of call-to-action you use should directly align with what your customers need in that moment.

So, as you create content, reflect on the buyer’s journey stage, search intent, and topic at hand. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and envision their ideal path ahead.

Then, align your CTA with the content in a way that helps guide them through their journey.

How to Effectively Use CTAs While Building Your Web Presence

If you want your CTA to instantly inspire action and serve as an asset to your customers, you must follow all these best practices.

Be Clear and Concise

When creating your CTAs, remember this one rule above all else:

Be clear and concise always.

Don’t mince your words. Never leave your customers guessing about how to proceed. Tell them exactly what to do next and how to do it.

When using buttons as your CTA link, try:

  • Want your customers to reach out to the sales team? Use “Contact the Sales Team”
  • Are you trying to get them to download your free eBook? Write “Download Our Free eBook”
  • Do you want your customers to sign up for your deals in their inbox? Go with “Send Me Great Deals”
  • Would you like to help your customers explore solutions to their pain points? “Explore Our Products” is the way to go.

If all that sounds too simple, that’s because it is! CTAs work best when they are easy to understand and wholly descriptive.

You can go a bit more in-depth in how to proceed when using linked text CTAs. But, it’s not always necessary if you lead up to it with helpful content.

State of Marketing Report 2024

Align CTAs with Your Customers’ Needs

Your efforts to create truly compelling content marketing CTAs will fall flat if you don’t align them with your customers’ needs.

Start with a look at jobs to be done to clearly see why your customers even bother engaging with your brand in the first place.

After that, examine where they’re at in the buyer’s journey, reflect on their likes and dislikes, and figure out their ideal next steps.

Above all else, do not waste your customers’ time. You don’t want to lead them on a wild goose chase.

Your CTA should land them at the next logical step in the buyer’s journey to make a positive impact.

Use Strong Action Words

If you’d like to drive conversions with your content marketing strategy – and you do, of course – then your CTAs must use strong action words.

A great CTA inspires action, adds a sense of urgency, and alleviates anxiety about decision-making. There shouldn’t be any, “should I or shouldn’t I,” involved.

Following your directions should feel like a no-brainer.

To do that, the CTA needs to use strong action words that take all doubt out of the equation. The words should evoke emotion, too, bringing plenty of enthusiasm to the table.

Don’t forget to occasionally use FOMO – or the fear of missing out – to your advantage as well. But don’t over do it. Just convey that now is the time to act, so they can put their challenges behind them once and for all.

Add Color to the Mix

The call-to-action needs to stand out from the rest of the content to sufficiently grab your customers’ attention. Fortunately, that’s easy to do with bright, bold colors on your side.

Your linked text shouldn’t blend in with the rest of the content, but it should align with your branding. So, pick a bright hue in your brand’s color scheme and set up your links to stand out in that color.

Do the same with your buttons, but don’t stop there. Consider adding shadows, gradients, or other effects to add visual interest to the CTA.

Vary Your CTA Format

As you build out your content marketing strategy, aim to infuse your content with a variety of CTAs. What’s compelling to one customer might not resonate with the next, after all.

So, be sure to include:

  • Buttons
  • Contact forms
  • Linked text

Vary the placement of your call-to-action elements as well. Experiment with using them above the fold, in the conclusion, and even smack dab in the middle of your content.

Optimize Your Online Presence with Content Marketing CTAs

As with all content marketing practices, creating CTAs involves a bit of trial and error. You have to see what works for your brand, after all.

So, put the elements in place, and then gauge how well they perform. If you’re not satisfied, don’t hesitate to change things up.

Run A/B testing to see just how switching up the wording, placement, or overall CTA design makes a difference. Just remember to only change one thing at a time to really dial in your efforts and find the winning formula.

If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, just know that you don’t have to do it all alone. You can partner up with our team at WriterAccess to optimize your online presence in every way possible, including with content marketing CTAs.

To get started, all you have to do is sign up for our 14-day free trial. Then, start exploring how we can help you create and follow an effective content marketing strategy for your brand.


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