Brand: it’s your call to action.
Building a brand is the most effective way of elevating your business beyond ‘commodity status’ – that’s to say – ensuring your business does not compete on price alone with your competitors. In this unfortunate scenario there’s never, ever a winner, not even the consumer, who in extreme cases ends up with either (at best) a long-term depressed local economy with little choice or variety, or at worst insolvency of large parts of the local economy and a heavy social cost as a result. Brand therefore becomes the ‘smart choice‘ for any business with the intention of growing or securing a position in the market, because it… helps you build ‘value’ into how your business is perceived by customers. And a brand strategist’s mantra is that ‘value and perception is everything’ because people always buy ‘value‘.
When customers encounter your brand online, one of the more subtle yet powerful online brand touchpoints (any place where your customer comes into contact with your brand) is your call to action or ‘CTA’ to use the acronym and bust the jargon.
Traditionally a marketing concept, a good ‘call-to-action’ button has a relevant and compelling message that tells the user what you want them to do next – buy now, read more, submit, upload, play now, connect, download etc…
Many business owners forget or are completely unaware of the fact that many of their online customers simply don’t know the action they should take next when they’re on their website – you have to tell your online ‘guests’ explicitly what to do next as well as give them a good reason why they should take that specific action! It may be obvious to you to ‘download that checklist’ when you view your own your website, but your prospect needs to know how the checklist is going to help them achieve their goal/solve their problem/change the world. Remember also, its most likely that your online prospect has never visited your site before – expecting ‘the viewer’ to know how to navigate your site for the first time is at best ambitious, at worst naive. All the more reason why ‘user experience’ and ‘intuitive web design’ has become so important to creating a seamless website experience for online success – but don’t overlook the fact that your call to action needs to ‘Be aligned to your brand‘.
Your brand is therefore also reflected in your call to action. The action you want your customer to take needs to be aligned not only with your brand values but it needs to Be ‘in sync‘ with your brand personality, voice, and language. Get these elements right and see your online business performance be more ‘in sync’ with your customer and your brand. ‘The devil is in the detail’ as the saying goes.
To reiterate: the purpose of a call to action is to influence your customer to take a desired action or an important next step of commitment closer to your brand. Marketing experts would term it ‘move the prospect further down the sales funnel’. The goal? To get your visitor to take a desired action and essentially gain trust and ultimately loyalty.
A strong brand will align strategically with a well thought-out call to action. Your choice of message i.e. the words in your call to action are important to influence the desired action but so too is the placement of the button on the screen, website or phone, the size, shape, look and feel and the colour of the button itself. There’s also the balance between making the button stand out on the page (contrast) and aligning with your brand colours.
So next time you think about your call-to-action, think:
‘What are you asking your online guest to do?’ ‘Voice an opinion? Support a charity? Lead a cause to change an existing policy?’ Whatever you require or want your customer to do, is it in line with your brand and your values? That’s the only way its going to connect on a deeper level and cut through the noise.
So think again and Be smart – what are you asking your customers to do? Connect, download, submit, join, comment? But beyond that, what action and to what end are you demanding of your customer? This action and cause should reflect what your brand is all about.
Is your brand ‘brave’ and ‘inspiring’, but your call to action weak and mundane?
Is your brand ‘bold’ and ‘visionary’, yet your call to actions are cheap and tacky?
No congruence means no connection to your brand or your customers.
Or are your calls to action all consistent with a strategy that makes sense?
Because getting more Facebook ‘likes’ isn’t an effective strategy, in and of itself.
Build an effective brand by making your call to actions aligned and ‘in sync’ with your brand purpose and vision.
I hope you learned something new, insightful or useful from this blog.
As The Brand Entrepreneur, I believe in helping businesses build a ‘brand blueprint’ for business growth. I do this through a series of brand workshops designed to educate businesses to identify their identity, visualise their vision and manifest their brand mission. ’Successful brands in the future care about customers, not branding. I believe that future is now’.
I’m passionate about helping businesses create unique brand stories & design assets that help brands get ‘in sync’ and connected to customers for business growth.
Jamie Thomas – The Brand Entrepreneur