calls to action

Creating Blog Content: Why "Contact Us" is a Horrible Call to Action

creating blog contentAt the End of Your Blog Posts, That Is

One thing that we see on a lot of business to business blogs (and on B2C blogs) is a call-to-action to contact the company or to visit other pages on the website for more information. It's great that these businesses understand the benefit of putting a call-to-action at the end of the blog post, but the "contact us" is a horrible one to use, maybe even the worst one to use. Here's why, when you're creating blog content, that you don't ask readers to contact you at the end of it:

It's Rarely the Next Logical Step

A call-to-action is simply the next logical step that you want the web visitor to take. When someone visits your website home page, what's the next step for that person? When someone take a look at a product page, what the next step for that person? It differs between those two pages, and it would differ on your blog, and with each individual blog post as well. Because of this, contacting your company directly is very rarely the next logical step with a blog post.

If you write a blog post about how to unclog your sink drain, for example, the next logical step for that blog reader isn't to call your company about your plumbing services. If that person just needed help with the sink drain, then there's no need for your services. Therefore, the better logical step is to offer a tip sheet or a white paper about maintaining your sink drain, or how to keep all drains unclogged in the house. No, this doesn't generate any sales, but it does position the company as one who understands its audience and its pain points. When they do need plumbing services, who are they doing to think of? Probably you, the one who offered great advice and provided something valuable.

Your Business to Business Blog Should Generate Leads, Not Sales

Here is the definition of a business to business blog, in case you aren't already aware:

A collection of articles that provide helpful, valuable, educational, and remarkable content to your target audience. By providing this value, blog can easily and effectively draw prospects to your website.

According to this definition, the purpose of a corporate blog is to draw prospects i.e. generate leads. The point of a corporate blog is to engage those who need information, but may not  necessarily know about your company and what you specifically have to offer. You need leads before you can get customers. Blogs are better for generating leads and aren't so great at making sales. If you honestly expect that people are going to read one blog post, and then buy from you right away, then that's a misunderstanding of the buying process and what readers are doing when they visit your blog.

Yes, it is possible to acquire a customer through your blog. Yes, blog posts can have a significant impact on purchasing decisions. But, don't expect prospects to make a purchasing decision right then and there.

You Don't Necessarily Get the Information You Need to Make the Sale

Let's say that someone actually does read a blog post and then contacts you. Depending on your contact form, you might not get the information you need to make the sale or to convert that prospect appropriately. If your contact form is just name, email, and a comment box, then you probably won't know if the person who contacted you is the decision maker for the company, or even if the company would be a good fit for your business, or why they have an interest in the product or service that you offer. This could mean that your spending time on a prospect who could have been disqualified earlier the process with a different call-to-action.  It could also mean that you have to spend a lot more time getting to know the lead, and figuring out which product or service would be best for them, when that information can be gathered with a different call-to-action and allow you to make a better first impression when you do call them back.

Overall, if you're creating blog content, you ought to have call-to-actions that are the next logical step for that reader on that topic. Oftentimes, that next logical step isn't a purchase or a sales call. It's additional information. It's further qualification in the leads funnel and the buying process. It's another way to engage with your brand that doesn't involve speaking to a salesperson.

Related Links:

How to Capture Leads from Your Business Blog

How Business Blogging Generates Better Qualified Leads

How to Create a Resource Center and Visibility for Your Brand