We understand that the most important CTA (call to action) on your site is your primary call to action and for business to business (B2B) that will always be “contact, ” i.e. fill in a form, call us or receive a call back.
But the inherent difficulty for a B2B site comes down to two things:
- A joint decision. Using your services is at the very least a joint decision between the “researcher” (the person tasked with creating a short list) and the “purse strings” (the final decision maker).
- Time lag to conversion. Your conversions will seem to be immediate (as the contact is direct – call/form) but, there is a time-lag to conversion based on the needs and the research phase of the process.
This is the reason why soft (or secondary CTAs) are so powerful for B2B sites. So, let’s explore them:
What is a Soft CTA and why are they important?
A soft CTA (call to action) can be defined by an action (or area of engagement) on the site which does not relate to the primary CTA.
Understanding soft CTAs really comes down to understanding “commitment” and “risk”. When an individual contacts you – they have “committed” to contact and have intent, i.e. they know what they want and think you are the correct service provider for their needs. The risk associated with this action is diminished.
However, they may not be ready to take this step – and might have the following doubts:
- Match: I don’t know if you are the right service provider? Or if your product is right for me?
- Information: I don’t have all the information I need to make the decision
- Browsing: We don’t need this service (yet)
Having soft CTAs on your site removes the risk associated which contact and help to respond to those doubts.
This is due to this one fact: The individual does not have to be “committed” before they engage with soft CTAs.
Using soft CTAs (of value to your visitors) can increase engagement and act as areas of interest (and we all know that a movement away from heavy text based pages is a good thing!)
Top 5 Soft CTAs to use
1) Embedded Video
The key point here is the video is embedded on the site – it doesn’t take the visitor away from the page. You don’t want to remove the visitor from your conversion process and primary CTA. When it comes to video strategy, we find that most B2B sites don’t have a real plan in place. One intro video doesn’t make a full video strategy (although it is better than nothing!)
A video strategy could include:
- Short frequently updated snippets of industry knowledge
- Sector-specific videos
- Products application/benefits in different areas
- Topic centred
- New products
- Company history
- Introduction to teams
- Fun videos too!
There’s a lot you can do to inform and entertain your audience via video CTAs. Sharing the video helps to respond to the joint decision-making need.
You also need a “mop up” action from the video, i.e. now you’ve watched the video click here to get an infographic which includes the information in the video (acting as data capture and extra value response).
2) Snap Shot Stats
While white papers are brilliant in terms of download (and then give you the ability to ask for data capture too), they can be massively labour intense from your perspective. For a quicker fix: “snap shot stats, ” i.e. graphs and tables you can provide to you visitors (in exchange for their email and name). You can also embed a citation and reference point in the charts – so when they are using your data (in front of key stake holders), your name is referenced.
3) Sector specific brochures
While a general brochure is excellent, an industry specific brochure means you can feature messages and statistics which speak directly to that target market – and have more significant impact vs broader / generic messages.
Plus, you can immediately categorise the visitor, i.e. you know which sector they are interested in from the download- which can inform your sales follow up and retargeting efforts.
4) Polls and Surveys
Polls and surveys are part of a push and pull strategy. Asking a visitor to take part in a short anonymous survey about the future of the industry/areas of concerns about the industry creates engagement and participation (they are now actively contributing to your business and feel a sense of ownership in relation to the information.)
This means that when you release this information (the full survey), they will want to read it and open your emails and return to the site to do so.
5) Meet and Greet
If you’re going to an industry event, why not talk about it? Don’t wait until after you’ve attended. The soft CTA in this instance is “let us know if you’re going too” – this could simply be a radio button and email data capture. In response to this, you could offer a free product trial or promotional pack or complimentary voucher at the event.
The Meet and Greet soft CTA helps to expand upon your email database and also actively encourages attendees to meet you at the events and have face to face contact.