Eyeballs and Call-to-Action Advertising Tips

Posted by John Park on Oct 22nd, 2008
Oct 22

call to action advertising

Having many choices presented to you is often a good thing.  However, there is a specific situation when choice should be limited.  When creating an advertisement, one of the biggest mistakes made by businesses is to cram everything and anything they can on the ad.  This need to fill every corner and crevice creates a scenario where it is almost impossible for the perspective buyer to determine what the true CTA (Call to Action) is.
Upon first glance of an advertisement, the primary CTA should be readily identifiable.  CTA is what you want the perspective buyer to do.  Tell them exactly what you want them to do.  Be clear and be concise.  It’s true that some advertisements can have more than one CTA.  Nevertheless, the primary CTA should be found quickly and without hesitation by the perspective customer.
So, what is your CALL TO ACTION?  When defining your CTA for an ad, be sure to seek the optimal end result.  For example, would you define Barrack Obama’s CTA as his goal of having you vote?  This is incorrect and a common mistake of stopping short of the finish line.  His actual CTA would be for you to vote for him—not just vote.  In the business world, an advertisement might ask you to visit a web site or call a phone number.  Again, this is an example of stopping short.  Visit the web site or call a phone number to do what?  The desired end result should be stated clearly.
Once the primary CTA has been defined, you must now construct your advertisement in a certain way to draw the eyes to it.  In the marketing and advertising business, this is called directing the “eyeballs.”  It’s somewhat crude but it’s straight to the point.  If correctly configured, the primary CTA should be the last thing the perspective buyer sees or reads.  The challenge is to get them to follow a certain path with their ‘eyeballs” until they have arrived at the primary CTA.  Below is an example of how your “eyeballs” might follow a directional path.
( Correct Example:  How eyeballs might follow a advertisement path )
View 1:  Attention getting photo or phrase
View 2:  The secondary attention getting item that ties in with View 1—SALE
View 3:  More detail about the item or items on SALE
View 4:  CTA – purchase now by doing…
( Incorrect Example:  How eyeballs might get distracted )
View 1:  Various large photos or titles
View 2:  Trying to tie one of the large photos or phrases to determine path
View 3:  Not enough information about the chosen path (little of everything, not enough about one thing)
View 4:  CTA – learn more, call, stopping short
View 5:  GIVE UP!  Buyer doesn’t know what they are seeking.  Too much effort and too much time.
This is a complex advertising topic, which I’ve tried to summarize in a single blog post.  Next time you’re creating an advertisement for your business, try the formula above.  If the ad has been developed with the CTA EYEBALL PATH in mind, your perspective customers should follow with their eyes to the primary CALL TO ACTION.

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