The Secret To Great Content

By Cara Friedman Content is king. We all know it is important. We hold it on such a high pedestal. We invest in making it great. Those who really understand why we love content so much know that there is an underlying reason why content is "king. "The purpose of having great content to elicit a response - engagement, a like, a retweet, a download - something that shows us our customer is listening. How do we do this? How do we provoke our community to take action? With the secret to great content of course...

All great content includes a call to action. Calls to action (CTA) come in many forms. Anytime you request your community to do something (click a link, register for a webinar, like your post, download a whitepaper, etc.) you are including a CTA. Including a CTA isn't enough to have great content. While the CTA may be the secret to engagement and the driver of action, you have to be creative in your presentation. Here are three tips for using CTAs in your content strategy.

1. More than just "Visit Our Page." The "Visit Us" CTA is one of the most common and, in my opinion, one of the most unpersuasive. As a customer, why should I visit your page? Give people a reason to visit your page and way to engage further once they get there. Oreo's packaging asked their customers to "like" their page to vote on how to eat their Oreos. Not only are they directing people to their Facebook page but they are involving their customers in a fun debate. Now your customers have a reason to visit your page and your brand is left with a successful CTA.

2. Don't make it look like a CTA. The best CTAs are the ones that you don't realize are CTAs. When you customers are so compelled to take action without you even asking, you know you have succeeded. Last year, Mattel launched a campaign for Ken and Barbie to get back together. Fans of the brand and the doll were asked to help the beloved couple get back together and give your two cents on whether Barbie should take Ken back. Consumers were swept up in the fun of it all and went out of their way to give their input to Barbie and Ken's relationship. Mattel created a CTA that was so effective people didn't even see it as a formal call to action.

3. Get creative and leverage your brand assets. The one thing that all of these examples have in common is that they have thought outside the box. Sure, it's easy to ask people to like, retweet, comment, or click on something (and it can be effective too) but these brands didn't settle with the easy CTA and took it to the next level. Another example of a brand using their assets and having fun with their engagement is Mike & Ike. The candy campaign focuses on Mike and Ike as people and how they have decided to pursue different careers. Customers are encouraged to keep track of their story, follow their new careers, and watch as this long-time duo splits! Create a story for the brand and encouraging users to follow the action is a creative way to have a CTA that has effectively raised their brand awareness.

Great content leads to engagement and now you know that the way to get that level of engagement is simply by asking for it. Including a call to action in everything you do is the best kept secret in the industry. You may be inadvertently including CTAs in posts and you may even notice that those are the ones that reach the highest levels of engagement. For your future content strategy, keep the end goal in mind and create content that will always elicit a response. And remember, be creative!

What great examples of calls to action have you seen? Share your thoughts below!

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