Every week, Boost brings you insights straight from the writers in our Creative Network. Writers share tips on how to inject more creativity into ads, best practices for writing ad copy, and more. This week, Dylan Barmmer, pen name “wordisborn” who has been an active writer in the Network for over five years explains a few key tips to creating a successful CTA.
If you’ve spent any time around advertising and marketing people – especially those of us who knocked around a bit in The Old School – you’re no doubt familiar with the meaning of the acronym “CTA.”
If not, well, here’s a little lesson. So you’ll have a better understanding of what we’re talking about here.
Call to Action.
Or better yet…
Call to ACTION!
Yes, the CTA has always been a crucial, even critical, element to any form of advertising, in any medium. Essentially, it’s the ad’s “sign off” and “rallying cry” all rolled into one. It’s often featured at the end of the ad, meaning it’s usually the last thing a consumer will remember hearing from you. If you’re lucky enough to be remembered.
Of course, it’s important to be both lucky and good. In life and in advertising. To that end, we’d like to share some tips for crafting compelling and effective calls to action in your digital ad executions.
*Make your CTA instructional. The more information you can provide your readers with in your CTA, the better. For everyone involved in the equation. You can let your audience know what to expect if they decide to click on your ad. You can also help keep the wrong readers from clicking when you’re very clear in your CTA. Of course, you have to be clear and concise.
*Make your CTA emotional. More than merely instructional or informational in nature, the best CTAs also carry emotional weight and deliver a moving punch to the consumer. Remember that the best ads – in any era, in any medium – always elicit an emotional reaction. They speak not just to the consumer’s head, but to his or her heart also. Something like “Live your best life in a new dream home” could evoke a range of emotions and feel “interactive” to the reader.
*Lead with a strong, commanding action verb. Remember, you don’t have much space or time to work with. So it helps to get right to the point. Using strong, powerful, direct, and commanding action verbs like “buy,” “shop,” “order,” “download,” or “learn” can result in strong success.
*Blend your CTA with some USP. Don’t forget about another Old School Advertising Acronym: USP. That’s short for Unique Selling Proposition, and it’s all about clearly defining and delivering the values or attributes that really set your brand apart from the competition. Anytime you can drop a little USP into your CTA, you should be GTG (or is it G2G?). An abstract example here could be something like, “Visit our site to experience the difference!”
*Put some “Creative” in your CTA. Don’t be afraid to take some chances here, either. Not everything should be “down and dirty” or “nitty gritty” about your CTA – or your ad as a whole. So much of successful online advertising involves testing and experimenting, so why not get a little creative in your CTA composition? Just don’t get too abstract or esoteric, or you’re liable to lose your audience.
These are just some of the ways you can experiment with creating CTAs that make a real difference in your online advertising executions. Crafting compelling ads is part science, part art, and you’ll never know what works – or what doesn’t – until you try.
Boost is the only cloud-based, people-powered platform that helps advertisers and ad agencies alike create, refresh, and manage compelling ad creative at scale. Our vast and skilled network of over 1,000 experienced writers and designers help create, test, and optimize your ads – for both text and image formats – across all digital channels (search, social, and display).
Since our foundation in 2009, the Boost Creative Network has delivered more than 250,000 compelling digital ads to brands of all shapes and sizes – and optimized more than $1 billion in digital ad budgets.
Talk to us today to see how we can help you find the right thing to say in your CTA. And take care of a little CYA along the way.
About Boost Media
Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.
The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.