Marketers Continue to Lose Viewers by Disregarding Actionable CTAs

Otherwise your ad or post fades from memory

Including a call to action in your spots can only help with your product or service. - Credit by iStock
Headshot of Kevin Hill

How often do you see a digital ad or social post for a show that you like, then forget to watch or record it? The ad or post you saw likely has a high-res image and includes the date and time of the airing, but that’s it. Very rarely do you even see a CTA button of any sorts, and if you do, it either sends you to a generic destination or isn’t even clickable.

Given that our attention spans are shorter than that of a goldfish, the impulse to act is gone once the ad is gone. Why are you leaving your digital advertising and marketing up to fate? In the age of micro-moments, snaps and stories, the concept of digital ads and marketing sans action in your call-to-action is frankly a bad move.

Viewers watch their video content in a disparate number of places, and that’s causing major pains for TV. According to Nielsen’s second-quarter Total Audience Report, the percentage of U.S. TV households with traditional cable declined by 5 percent in 2018. From large digital buys to massive offline activations, TV marketers have invested tons of time and money trying to capture their viewers’ attention at every turn. However, many marketers are struggling to go beyond the initial “gotcha” moment. With OTTs and vMPVDs now competing with the broadcast and cable networks, harnessing that attention to drive ratings is more important than ever.

Here’s the harsh reality: If TV marketers don’t begin implementing actionable CTAs into their digital campaigns, their share and viewership are going to drop quicker than you can say Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

If TV marketers don’t begin implementing actionable CTAs into their digital campaigns, their share and viewership are going to drop.

Unlike radio or OOH, digital has the uncanny ability to inspire action instantly. A recent IAB study shows interactive CTAs are more effective at capturing user attention and generating brand lift. It just isn’t done enough to boost tune-in. The simple application of making your CTAs truly actionable across your digital touchpoints will bring your viewers back into the fold.

Make your viewers active participants again

Your social accounts may have plenty of followers, but social has lost its conversational touch. You’re often broadcasting a message to your audience rather than encouraging engagement. This trend is leading to inactivity and a disengaged audience, not a good fit for driving live and delayed ratings.

By natively including actionable CTAs into some combination of the image, video and text of your posts, you’re clearly alerting your followers to watch, record or catch up with the programming that they love.

Break through the clutter

Publishers continue to expand their monetization strategies, which further turns the digital experience into Times Square on steroids. All of that clutter only reinforces the need to improve the consumer journey from impression to live or delayed viewing.

Including a CTA of “Set your DVR” or “Watch now” within your display, video and rich media will immediately encourage viewers to queue up their favorite shows. Giving those clear actions to viewers will also strengthen brand currency and improve their customer experience in a way that very few are doing across digital.

Connect the digital dots

I’ve signed up for dozens of network newsletters, most of which focus on tune-in efforts. However, rarely do I see any CTAs that signify an obvious way to watch or record. This same use case applies to many network websites. The barrier of entry to watch doesn’t just need to be lowered but completely knocked down.

Dropping these actionable CTAs into all of your digital marketing efforts puts your audience directly on the page where they can convert. Your digital marketing team will also have more analytics to analyze.

The gap between TV and streaming continues to widen, making it paramount that TV marketers empower their viewers to become active participants along the way. Rather than sticking with the adage of “reach and frequency will yield me ratings,” it’s time to adapt. Leveraging actionable CTAs immediately helps you close that gap.


@khillville Kevin Hill is founder and CEO of VuPulse.