When I speak with prospective clients – be they solo practitioners like a plastic surgeon or larger enterprises like a regional health system – they often voice this complaint: “I feel like we’re doing everything right with our content marketing, yet we still don’t produce enough inquiries.” They’re baffled…and frustrated. And understandably so. If you’re putting in a considerable amount of time and effort (read: money), and your content marketing initiatives aren’t driving the levels of engagement you want, you have a right to be concerned.
Here’s a key point, though: If you want the healthcare consumer to engage with your brand, you can’t leave it to random chance. You must guide them to take a specified action by using well-crafted CTAs.
What is a CTA?
CTA is marketer shorthand for “call to action.” The CTA must be a primary component of every content asset you develop, from web pages to blog posts to ebooks – everything. Prospects don’t move down the marketing funnel (also called the buyer’s journey) by random chance. You must guide them every step of the way.
My version of this journey, in the context of content marketing for healthcare businesses, goes like this:
- Awareness – the client experiences a problem to be solved or an opportunity to be fulfilled
- Interest – the prospective client encounters your brand during her initial research into the problem or opportunity and sees the potential for a customer relationship
- Connection – your content evokes a visceral response in the prospective client that induces her to investigate your brand further
- Engagement – the prospective client interacts with your brand
- Decision – the prospective client has gathered enough information to choose your brand as the solution to her problem or opportunity
- Loyalty – the client continues to connect and engage with your brand over a lifetime
CTAs play a pivotal role in moving buyers from Point 3 to Point 4, and again in other steps down the line. Well-crafted CTAs can drive more engagement and shorten the buyer’s journey.
The 3 principles of writing well-crafted CTAs
Exceptional calls to action hold three characteristics in common. They are:
“Specific” means the CTA uses a verb that spells out exactly what action you want the reader to take:
“Clear” dovetails with “specific” and means you don’t embellish the CTA’s verb with flowery prose that confuses the reader. A lack of clarity can undermine the specificity of your CTA. Don’t do that. In other words:
- NOT: “We can accommodate most appointment requests. Just let us know when you’d like to schedule” BUT: “Call us today for an appointment”
- NOT: “Discover how you can get healthy by using our products” BUT: “Order a free sample”
- NOT: “If you’re also interested in finding out about our facial peels, you can click here” BUT: “Read more about our facial peels”
“Compelling” means you do use creativity to make your CTA irresistible to the reader. A few examples:
- “Download this free ebook with insomnia solutions that will have you sleeping better and feeling more rested by tomorrow morning”
- “Join our exclusive members-only club to receive free product samples and private event invitations”
- “Call today for a complimentary tour of our birthing suites to discover just how exceptional your delivery experience can be”
These examples all are specific, clear and compelling. They prompt the prospective client to take a particular action, and they do it using enticing language.
Content not fostering engagement? Examine your CTAs
If, like those prospective clients I cited at the top, you feel your content isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped, take some time to examine your CTAs. First, are you including them with every content asset? Second, do they exhibit the three characteristics outline above? If your answer to those questions is “yes,” give me a call. I can conduct a content review to identify other potential problems that may be turning off prospective clients and stopping them from engaging with your brand.
And for more information about healthcare CTAs (including a list of CTA types to include with various types of assets) download the free ebook 7 Deadly Sins of Healthcare Content Writing that Kill SEO and Turn Off Prospective Clients.