Why Compelling CTAs Are Crucial to Your Content Marketing

April 27, 2020

The internet has created countless opportunities to build connections.

Today, a large segment of the world’s population forms part of an interconnected village. Those with access can interact with each other from anywhere across the entire world.

Globally, 4.54 billion people enjoy the easy sharing of content and ideas thanks to the internet. You could say it’s the best thing since the discovery of fire, never mind sliced bread!

Anyone whose daily life depends on online access will struggle to remember what life was like before it.

Brands and organizations have long realized the need for an online presence. The bigger your presence on the internet, the wider your reach, and the more sales you can make.

Everyone is competing for the top spot in their target markets. This is why most (if not all) of them consider online content marketing a central part of their success.

And the best way they’ve found to turn audiences into customers is through the use of calls-to-action (CTAs).

A Content Marketing Definition

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

— Content Marketing Institute

Content marketing is when marketers come up with content their audiences need.

Because people appreciate the information they gain more than a boring sales pitch. They know it’s coming at some point, but they want the content to help them first.

Content marketing creates a strong relationship between businesses and their audiences. It’s building trust by consistently offering relevant information over a long period.

It shows a sense of genuine concern for intended audiences and creates loyalty from them. Once the moment comes for them to choose a product or service, they turn to you instead of competitors.

Content marketing is the very essence of storytelling with another goal in mind.

You can think of it as the line you use when you go fishing. Content marketing gives you access to the fish in the sea.

And at the end of that line – dangling there and enticing said fish – is what’s referred to as a call-to-action.

A CTA Definition

A call-to-action is the bait that convinces audiences to ‘take a bite’ and buy into a business’ offering.

The Balanced Small Business website defines it as:

“A statement designed to get an immediate response from the person reading or hearing it. It’s used in business as part of a marketing strategy to get your target market to respond by taking action.”

It’s a prompt that tells people what to do after or while they consume your content.

CTAs are used in content marketing to get conversions. Meaning that they help turn your content audience into actual customers.

Why They’re Crucial

Without a doubt, a call-to-action is the most important part of your content. Whether that’s on your blog, business website, or an ad campaign you’re running.

Every business looking for meaningful conversions need to use CTAs.

CTA Clicks Get You Closer to Your Marketing Goals

CTAs mark a transition between phases in your audience becoming customers. They’re the first step your readers take in the sales funnel journey.

Your CTAs should always relate to the goals you’re looking to achieve from your marketing and they should appeal to as many people as possible to make them act immediately.

Creating the perfect CTA requires careful consideration: It’s not a task that should be taken lightly. Without a proper CTA you’re practically fishing without the bait, and there is little point in doing that!

CTAs Are The Vital Solutions Readers Need

Readers land on your site looking for answers to their questions. They want tangible solutions to their issues and that’s what a good CTA will provide.

They’re a guarantee that by acting on a prompt, your audience will soon find the results it craves.

CTAs are like a guide showing your readers which path to take on a worthwhile adventure.

So, in a sense, they’re equally as important to potential customers as they are to businesses. Your readers expect CTAs, so not having them is a huge mistake.

What Makes CTAs Compelling

Compelling CTAs have key characteristics to them, including:


They make the reader want to act immediately. Great CTAs capitalize on the short amount of time they have an audience’s attention.

These CTAs make them act before they can lose interest or forget about what’s asked of them.

Urgency can be created by instilling a fear of missing out on the offer. The use of time references and exclamation is a great way of getting people to act now. You can use phrases like:

  • Today!
  • Offer ends on the 10th!
  • Last chance!
  • Limited time only!
  • Now!


Great CTAs aren’t vague. They’re straight to the point, letting audiences know exactly what to expect. This is all about the trust you want to build with your readers.

If you’re not clear in the phrases you use, readers won’t want to click on whatever you offer them. And if what you offer isn’t what they expect from your CTA, then you’ve lost a potential customer.


It’s best to keep CTAs short and simple. Readers won’t click on links or buttons that they have to spend time understanding.

They’re not on your platform to struggle. They’re there to find solutions to their issues. So make it easy for them by limiting CTA phrases to 2-6 words.

Action verbs

Your audience expects to be told what to do, so tell them – don’t ask them. By telling them exactly what to do, you leave them in no doubt over what should happen next.

Using action verbs shows authority and a clear sign to readers that this is the CTA. You want to start CTAs with strong action verbs such as:

  • Buy
  • Download
  • Enroll
  • Sign-up
  • Comment
  • Discover


Compelling CTAs are ones audiences want to click. They feel they like they need to click because the offer is too good to pass up. The benefits of clicking the CTAs are presented as the solutions readers are looking for.


CTAs that get clicked are strategically placed on your platform. They’re easy to find and incredibly captivating to your audience.

When placing them on a website, you can have them:

  • In the sidebar
  • Above the fold
  • On a static bar at the top of your page
  • As a popup or slider
  • In-line with the content
Katrina McKinnon


I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. In my 20 years of experience, I have helped online businesses create high-performing content specifically on an eCommerce store's blog. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.