Learning the Lingo: Call-to-Action

Posted by Nick Pizzolato on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 @ 01:06 PM

Learning the Lingo is a series of posts that will investigate marketing terms, ideas and strategies. Our topic today: Call-to-Action.

BusinessesAs a person, you may not want attention drawn to you. You may want to quietly live your life and not be exposed to the public eye. You don’t want to be a hermit, but you also don’t want people intruding on your life.

And that’s fine. Some of the greatest thinkers, artists and people have lived their lives that same way.

But if you run a business, you crave attention. You demand attention. You want everyone to know about your business. If they know about your business, they will follow your business. If they follow your business, they will want to know about your promotions, events and news. All the work you put into marketing your business is so your customers will see these announcements and act on them.

That’s a call-to-action (or CTA). It’s an instruction to a customer that will drive them to make a purchase or at the very least learn more about why your business is the best place to buy a product. It’s such an integral part of any business that you are probably already doing it, without knowing it.

Even if you don’t have an online presence, you are finding ways for people to interact with your business in the physical world. By asking people to sign a form to receive a newsletter (email or snail mail). By getting them to register for a special discount by submitting a business card. By physically handing people coupons for future savings after they make a purchase.

If you use social media, you’ve been using a CTA every day. Every time you “Like”, retweet, comment and share a post on social media you are completing a call-to-action.

If you do have your business online, you want to make sure you build pages that are created with these calls-to-action in mind. In 2013, it was reported that 70% of small businesses don’t have ANY calls-to-action on their web page. In a world where a priority is put on e-commerce and being “social,” not allowing this access to customers will hinder your growth.

CTA’s on your webpage reinforce to your customer why doing business with you is the best choice. When they click on a picture, you offer deals on future products. When they type their email, you share amazing recipes once a week. When they like your page, they watch a video about how to complete DIY projects. These actions show your expertise and invite them to be a part of the conversation. A conversation that starts online and finishes in your store.

On social media, this engagement becomes even more critical. Every time a person interacts with content you have created, they are encouraging other people to view that post too. Just by using the words “Like,” “comment,” or “share” on a Facebook post, your post has a greater opportunity to be engaged with by consumers.

A call-to-action can be fun. It can try and induce humor and encourage a post’s growth through viral marketing. It can be serious and offer a customer an answer to a problem. Choose which one works best for you. They share the same goal, to create a sale.

In the end, it’s all about giving consumers more reasons to visit your business and encourage their family, friends and neighbors to do the same. You don’t want your business to feel like a cabin in the woods; you want it to be the superstar of your community.

Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at

New Call-to-action

Tags: Small Business, Websites, Learning the Lingo, Customer Engagement, Marketing