Announcing Call to Action Conference 2018: A Revolution for Today’s Marketing Evolution

Webster’s Dictionary defines a ‘conference’ as, “An event at which industry professionals talk at other industry professionals who’ve stockpiled seven complimentary croissants in their bag to eat later. See also: Room temperature orange juice.”   

Whether it’s to learn some new tricks, make some new connections or drum up some new business, conferences are a necessary (and sometimes cool) part of being a marketer—but not all of them are worth your time. While your typical marketing conference has morphed from weak coffee and dry PowerPoints to free t-shirts and celebrity thought leaders, it can be tough to leave feeling like you’ve really gotten something out of the event.

We saw a need to change the conference experience. Because the experience of being a marketer has changed. 

Marketing now is harder than ever— it’s hyper-competitive, oversaturated and comprised of tired tactics that used to work. We need new solutions to old problems and actionable solutions to new problems. Especially when we’re forking out hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a conference ticket (money we could’ve sacrificed to the AdWords gods).

Enter Call to Action Conference.

Now in its fifth year (only 55 more ’til we get that diamond!), CTAConf 2018 is going to be more exciting, more targeted and more committed to your future success than ever.

Already sold on joining us? Get 10% off Early Bird tickets by using the promo code “CTAConfRevolution” at checkout.

Why this conference is different (we promise)

CTAConf merges carefully curated, usable content with…well, having a great time. It’s single track, allergic to fluff and ensures you’ll walk away with leading-edge tactics, all wrapped up in an amazing experience you’ll truly enjoy.

“CTAConf has set the bar for what a marketing event should be: fun, engaging and insightful. No matter the experience level or skill set, every attendee left with a new set of philosophies and tactics to apply in their marketing practice”

Ray Silva, Strategy Lead at Apply Digital and CTAConf 2017 attendee.

We’re talking hands-on workshops, a concert atmosphere, all-you-can-eat snacks and gourmet food trucks, organic networking, a genuinely friendly team and fun parties in the beautiful setting of Vancouver, B.C. (Credit to Mother Nature for that one.)

Even the sessions themselves, held in the historic and fully immersive Queen Elizabeth Theatre, will make you feel less like you’re at a “work event” and more like you’re at a Broadway show about email marketing called Don’t Spamalot. 

Most importantly, it’s designed to deliver practical know-how and future-proofing strategies from true experts covering every facet of digital marketing.

A glimpse at who’s talking and what you’ll learn

April Dunford, Wind at Your Back: Making your Market Category Work for You

April has spent her career launching innovative tech products and is a seasoned expert at getting traction in increasingly noisy markets. Prior to founding Rocket Launch Marketing, where she works with companies on market strategy and positioning, she was VP of Marketing at a series of successful high-growth startups and an executive at global companies including IBM, Nortel and Siebel Systems. She was also the top-rated speaker at last year’s CTAConf (she happens to be equal parts genius and hilarious).

In her talk, you’ll learn :

  • How to shift to a favourable market category to give your marketing programs added velocity
  • How to completely change the way customers think about your offering to remove friction in your funnel
  • The three steps for shifting market categories, from isolating your differentiators to finding your downstream customers and picking the best market current to ride
Rob Bucci, What Google Serves Up For Local Searches

Rob is the founder and CEO of STAT Search Analytics, a rank tracking and SERP analytics service for SEO experts. A developer and entrepreneur in the SEO space since 2005, Rob especially loves tackling big-data challenges in data mining and analytics.

He’ll be bringing his SEO expertise to the stage to teach us:

  • How Google interprets different levels of local intent and what searchers are seeing most often
  • How to refine your SEO keyword lists by comparing SERPs
  • How to better tailor your content to build more targeted ad campaigns that achieve better results
Hana Abaza, Product Marketing: Inside and Out

Hana is the Head of Marketing for Shopify Plus, a division of Shopify that powers some of the world’s fastest growing and most iconic brands (Rebecca Minkoff, Nestle, The New York Times and FAO Schwartz, to name a few). Prior to joining Shopify, Hana led marketing and growth in a variety of industries and has a proven track record for scaling teams, revenue and customers.

You’ll leave her talk knowing:

  • The guidelines for how and when to invest in product marketing
  • How to develop a go-to-market framework for your company
  • How to set up product marketing as a cross-functional powerhouse
Ross Simmonds, Beyond Google: How To Attract Relevant Traffic Through Diverse Channels

Ross is the founder of Foundation Marketing and creator and co-founder of content curation tool, Crate, and Hustle & Grind, an online store for entrepreneurs.

Over the last several years, he’s worked to help some of the fastest-growing startups and a variety of Fortune 500 brands succeed in their digital marketing efforts. His talk focuses on typically under-used and ignored channels as missed opportunities for quality traffic.

During his talk, you’ll learn:

  • What brands can do to spread their story beyond SEO & SEM
  • How brands can leverage communities and other networks to drive consistent traffic
  • Research and data on the importance of diverse channels
  • Examples of what happens when you embrace a more diverse content approach
Krista Seiden, Measurement for Growth

Currently a Product Manager and Analytics Evangelist for the Google Analytics team, Krista is a leader in the digital analytics industry and co-chair for the San Francisco chapter of the Digital Analytics Association. She has nearly a decade of experience in digital marketing, analytics, and product management, having led analytics and optimization at Adobe and The Apollo Group prior to joining Google.

Her talk will cover:

  • What growth marketing really is, beyond the buzzwords
  • How effective growth marketing is rooted in analytics, experimentation, and product development
  • How to strategically measure and use data for targeted growth
Cyrus Shepard, SEO Success: The One Engagement Metric to Rule Them All

Former Head of SEO and Content Development at Moz, Cyrus now runs Zyppy, a fast-growing SEO company. When he’s not consulting with companies big and small on how to improve their rankings, traffic and profits, he travels the world as a speaker, making complex SEO equations easy to understand.

This August Cyrus will take the stage to teach us:

  • How much speed and rankings matter and steps to improve the right areas
  • What “fuzzy” engagement metrics like bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit really mean and what you need to focus on
  • How to use SEO data to improve conversions
Oli Gardner, Content Marketing is Broken and Only Your M.O.M. Can Save You

Oli is not only an Unbounce co-founder, he’s an expert and international speaker on conversion optimization, data-driven design and landing pages (he claims to have seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet).

He’s often the highest-rated speaker at events around the world, including previous Call to Action Conferences. This year, he’ll be talking:

  • Data and lessons learned from his biggest ever content marketing experiment, and how those lessons have changed his approach to content
  • A context-to-content-to-conversion strategy for big content that converts, based on designing for your customer’s “aha!” moments
  • Advanced methods for creating “choose your own adventure” navigational experiences to build event-based behavioural profiles of your visitors 
  • Innovative ways to productize and market the technology you already have, with use cases your customers had never considered

What’s happening off stage

Learn by doing with Unbounce workshops

Get your hands proverbially dirty with interactive workshops on A/B testing, landing page optimization, PPC, analytics and mastering Unbounce for more conversions across every type of digital campaign. A full-day event prior to the conference, the workshops are a chance to work directly with seasoned pros on solutions to real marketing problems. Workshops have been so popular in previous years they were standing room only.

Make your first (or hundredth!) landing page, popup or sticky bar with us at the workshops, and learn all the insider tips you can take home to your team.  

Eat to your stomach’s content, on us

Call to Action Conference food trucks
When we say free food, we don’t mean “Enjoy these sweaty muffins! If you want lunch, there’s a Chipotle two blocks away.” We mean constantly replenished drinks, foodie-approved snacks and a lunchtime convoy of the city’s finest food trucks delivering everything from truly tasty salads to life-changing mac ‘n’ cheese. All included.

Meet, connect and party with great people

Call to Action Conference hovers around 1,200 attendees for a refreshingly intimate experience with the buzzing energy of a big-time event. Meet fellow passionate marketers from cities all over the world, mingle with industry leaders and see just how stereotypically Canadian the friendly Unbounce crew is.

“CTAConf was amazing! My favourite part? The caliber of attendees and the energy they brought. Met so many remarkable marketers!”

—Jes Kirkwood, Head of Content Marketing at ProsperWorks and 2017 attendee.

Soak up Vancouver at the best time of year

Business and pleasure do mix! Especially in summer. CTAConf 2018 is happening August 27-29, smack dab in the middle of Vancouver’s sunshine season. Take a seawall stroll between sessions, taste-test your way through a diverse food scene, hone your craft beer palate at one of many world-renowned breweries or tack on an extra day and get outside the city to those calling mountains. We turn into human prunes waiting out months of rain for a Vancouver summer and it’s totally worth it. Come see for yourself.

Enjoy champagne hotels at boxed-wine prices

We’ve secured 40-50% discounts on rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Delta Hotels Vancouver Downtown Suites, exclusive to CTAConf 2018 attendees and just steps away from the conference venue. Rooms are at first come, first serve and book up fast so grab yours ASAP and prepare your senses for the fluffiest of robes.

Join the revolution

Call to Action Conference 2018 is coming up fast and early bird prices are ending soon. Get your single, group or customer ticket before May 31, 2018 and come hold us to our promise. You’ll leave feeling inspired, energized and ready for marketing victory with tactics and strategies you can put into action the very next day. In other words, you’ll really get something out of this.

Don’t forget to sweeten that Early Bird deal. Use the promo code “CTAConfRevolution” at checkout to get 10% off all ticket rates. See you in August!

P.S. If you’re joining us from the United States, you’re in luck. Ticket prices are in Canadian dollars. Your boss basically can’t say no (and if you happen to be the boss, you can take your whole team). You’re welcome, eh.


Work Trip Meets Mini Getaway: A Marketer’s Guide to Vancouver for Call to Action Conference

Conferences, conferences everywhere. SearchLove here, INBOUND there. There’s no shortage of great marketing conferences to choose from, but you’ve likely got a finite budget your marketing department can put toward them. How are you supposed to know which Martech events are the best bang for your buck?

We’ll make it easy for you. I mean, sure, we’re biased, but hear us out. This August’s fifth annual Call to Action Conference is not only:

  • Less expensive than most conferences of its caliber (tickets range from $ 749—$ 999 CAD), it’s also
  • designed for high-impact learning: you walk away with leading-edge tactics you can actually use when you get back to the office.

But the cherry atop the already awesome two days? The conference is held in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, Vancouver, BC.

Image: Tourism Vancouver/ Barbershop Films

And not in an “it’s our hometown so we have to say it’s beautiful (lest we be Game of Thrones-style shamed in the streets)” way, either. It really is amazing: the ocean, the mountains, the diverse food scene, the beer-snob-approved breweries, and awe-inspiring wilderness that makes you forget about your inbox. There’s a reason tourists flock here in droves and I willingly pay a crazy amount in rent.

CTAConf 2018 also takes place in peak sunshine season, August 27-29th. So why not mix business with pleasure?

Many past attendees and speakers have added a few extra days on to their CTAConf excursion to enjoy this city. And if you’d like to do the same, we’ve created a visitor’s guide to CTAConf 2018 sourced from local influencers, this year’s speakers, past attendees, and our own favourite to-dos. See the pro’s suggestions below for turning this August’s work trip into a well-deserved getaway.

Wanna attend CTAConf for free? Scroll down to tweet this post for a chance to win a complementary ticket to CTAConf 2018, $ 500 toward your travel, and a “Destination Experience Pass” for free access to all local and many out-of-town attractions valued at $ 2000, courtesy of Tourism Vancouver.

If you’ll be around a couple extra days…

The Call to Action Conference, insofar as the speaker’s talks, takes place August 28—29th at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. There’s also an optional day of hands-on marketing workshops on August 27th at Unbounce HQ. If you tack on the weekend days before to your trip, or an extra few days at the end of the conference, here are some itinerary options to fill up your stay:

See the sea, walk the wall

Hands down, a walk, bike or run along the seawall is a must-do for every Vancouver visitor. Flanked by the Pacific Ocean and Stanley Park, it’s easily accessible from anywhere downtown and the simplest route to absorbing Vancouver’s natural beauty.

No need to bring the gear—rent a bike at Yes Cycle or Cycle City Tours, two of many rental shops.

Image: Tourism Vancouver/ Cycle City Tours.

Tour Granville Island: the island that’s not an island

Granville Island is like a tiny world unto itself, small in square footage but big on things to see and do. Peruse an art gallery, watch a play, go on a whimsical shopping spree at the many artisanal shops, and—most importantly—eat your heart out. There are tons of restaurants to hit, and be sure to poke around the Granville Island Public Market, an overwhelming smorgasbord of local fare.

Image: Tourism Vancouver/ Clayton Perry

Have a BBQ…on a boat!

While you’re at the Granville Island Public Market, load up a picnic basket and hop on Joe’s BBQ Boat—no explanation needed. Because what’s better than floating around on the open water and soaking up the sunshine? Doing so while working up a good meat sweat. Find fellow BBQ buffs to join you in the CTAConf Facebook group and fill that boat up! Conference networking at its finest.

Me, in the BBQ boat, living my best life.

Visit an East Van brewery (or two)

With fantastic breweries boasting some of the finest craft beers in the world, a good old fashioned crawl beckons any beer lover who visits. East Vancouver is your best bet for variety and walkability. You can check out: Strange Fellows Brewing, Andina Brewing Company, Parallel 49 Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Doan’s Craft Brewing, Callister Brewing Company, and Strathcona Beer Company.

Have your best brunch

It’s no accident that I’ve placed the brunch options after the brewery crawl. Whether you’re in dire need of a greasy spoon or looking to brunch in style, we’ve got you covered. Yolks showed up on everyone’s list when we asked around for favourite brunch spots, as did Chambar, Medina Cafe, and Fable Restaurant. Jam Cafe, Wildebeest, Catch 122, and The Distillery are guaranteed to please as well. As is Canadian brunch custom, you’re required to order a Caesar. Don’t ask what’s in it.

Yolks brunch

Image via

Hit the Aquarium

If it does rain, your indoor options are covered. Conveniently tucked away in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is a must-do. See giant sea lions and playful seals, watch penguins toddle and slide around (aw!), touch a starfish or manta ray (weird!) and try to find the octopus (you can’t, he’s too sneaky) as you journey through B.C. and beyond’s underwater world.

Oh canyon, my canyon

As past speaker Wil Reynold’s knows, the Capilano Canyon suspension bridge and cliff walk is worth a few anxious moments. Just a quick jaunt across the Lions Gate Bridge (an attraction on its own!), this otherworldly spot makes it hard to believe you’re so close to the city. Not too far away is another canyon and yes, another suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon Park—a little less crowded, 100% free, and as beautiful as ever.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Image via Tourism Vancouver

Lightning round recos for day trips and more:

  • Go to Queen Elizabeth Park at sunset. It has a beautiful view of the North Shore mountains and the city from west to east. The gardens are so beautiful in full bloom in August.  – Jaclyn Cummings
  • Head up to the Sea-to-Sky Gondola! You won’t regret it. It’s very accessible for most people and the views are incredible. – Rob Bucci
  • Stay in Kitsilano. It was a beautiful area! I would probably stay there every time I visit. I’d recommend bringing the fam—it was a great city to have the kid and felt really walkable, so take advantage of that. – Wil Reynolds
  • Go to Bowen Island and spend the day exploring. It has something for everyone from hiking and biking to eating and drinking. Check out my favourite store, Branch and People. Then go eat seafood and drink a good old Canadian Caesar. – Kathleen Reid
  • Drive up to Squamish via the Sea-to-Sky Highway, stop for a burger lunch at the Watershed Grill, then head up to Whistler for dinner and drinks. The drive itself is breathtaking. It’s the journey, not the destination.-  Sandy Pell
  • I feel like the Grouse Grind is a rite of passage. But for something more mellow, I think Prospect Point at sunset is a must see! – Sunny Lenarduzzi
  • Check out Stanley Park. It is truly a unique aspect of Vancouver – the park is huge (840 acres) and wilder than one would expect. Among other things, it has a record-breaking Big Leaf Maple tree that is over 800 years old. – Michael Aagaard

If you’re here for workshop and conference days only…

Depending on whether you’ve signed up for the August 27th workshops, Monday through Wednesday will be jam-packed with marketing learning. Monday’s workshops are optional and on a first-come, first-served basis after registration is sent out to ticket holders.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday are busy with talks starting at 9am sharp. These days you likely won’t want to miss anything in the theatre (save for trips to the food trucks outside). There’s a stellar lineup gracing our stage, after all.

But, if you fancy grabbing your own breakfast or want to meet up with fellow conference-goers for dinner or drinks, there are plenty of local places to do so. Even if you aren’t tacking extra days onto your trip beyond the actual conference, you can hit up some local spots before and after Tuesday (remembering that both Monday and Wednesday evenings are the reception and after party nights respectively).

Here are some suggestions for excellent pre-and-post conference free time:

  • I loved the food at Maenam, it was so good I went twice! I also liked all the breweries in the Mount Pleasant area. – Wil Reynolds
  • Elysian Coffee bakes their own chocolate chip cookies in-house and they are incredible. They also have great coffee. – Rob Bucci
  • One of my favorite places is Forage. They have an incredible brunch menu and their dinner as absolutely amazing too. Another spot that is worth checking out for dinner/drinks is Vancouver Urban Winery – yum! – Michael Aagaard

A chance to enjoy it all for free

In partnership with the fine folks at Tourism Vancouver, we’re excited to offer the chance at a Call to Action Conference Vancouver getaway worth $ 3,500 CAD! This includes one ticket to CTAConf, $ 500 toward your travel expenses, and a “Destination Experience Pass” that gives you free access to the attractions listed here—plus many, many, many more. All you have to do is click below and tweet.

Share this post via the button provided to enter for your chance at the ultimate work trip. The contest period runs until June 28th at 11:59pm PT and one entry per person is counted.

Or—if you’re not feelin’ lucky and simply can’t miss out—grab your tickets now with an additional 15% off using the code “CTAConfVancouverat checkout. Good luck and we hope to see you in August!

*Terms and conditions apply.


Call to Action Conference 2017 – Recap and Recordings

It’s a wrap!

Unbounce just hosted its 4th annual Call to Action Conference, with 1,200+ of the brightest marketers from brands like MEC, Adobe and Vimeo in attendance. On stage, our roster of marketing experts (Rand Fishkin, Mitch Joel, Mari Smith and Scott Stratten to name-drop a few) shared marketing predictions and loads of actionable advice.

During her presentation, Mari Smith went live on Facebook to say “hi” to her followers.

And then there were the workshops, after parties, after-after parties, pub crawls, food tours and a live band to top it all off.

If you’re feeling like you missed out (or you were there and wanna relive every moment), you can access all the slides, notes and recordings over here:

On my flight back to Montreal, in a bit of a post-conference daze, I reflected on the event and realized that many of the talks touched on a theme I think is more important than ever in marketing: empathy.

I thought this message was especially timely alongside discussions of marketers using tools like AI and Machine Learning to gain unprecedented access to data. That is – this tech may make us better at our jobs, but not without a cost.

Too much of a reliance on analytics and data can be dangerous if you lose sight of the people who interact with your marketing and drive your business. Blindly altering your strategy because of what the numbers say can strip your marketing of its voice, of what makes it unique.

This is why empathy must take a front seat in all the work you do as a marketer. I thought Mitch Joel put it beautifully in his talk:

Think about making an impression over impressions.

Below I’ve rounded up a few talks that really drive this point home. If you like these ones, be sure to check out all the recordings.

Joel Klettke: Read your customers’ minds

Joel Klettke of Business Casual Copywriting accused marketers of writing dry copy in his talk, Read Your Customers’ Minds.

Can you guess his explanation for bland copy? A lack of empathy. In his words:

We get stuck behind our screens and start writing about synergies and features and things people don’t actually care about.

His talk dove into how marketers can “read their customers’ minds” and steal their words instead of pulling copy out of thin air.

He shared frameworks for learning your customers’ pain points and anxieties and transforming them into more compelling copy that will actually resonate with them.

Andy Crestodina: Content optimized for social is filled with people

Andy Crestodina is the co-founder of digital agency Orbit Media and one of the most personable marketers you will ever meet. In many of his talks, he underlines the importance of cultivating genuine relationships in marketing: with your customers, prospects, peers and literally everyone you encounter online.

His talk at CTAConf, Super Advanced Content Marketing, was no exception. He rapid-fire shared eight pretty advanced content marketing tips pulled straight from his own arsenal.

Here’s one of them (spoiler: it relates to empathy):

Never publish an article without a quote from an influencer. Reach out to people, build relationships, and soon you’ll have a built-in network of influencers. When it comes time to publish, they’ll happily share with their audience.

Learn from one of my personal favorite content marketers by watching the recording of his talk here.

Claire Suellentrop: Drop personas and think jobs to be done instead

Claire Suellentrop

Founder of Love Your Customers, Claire Suellentrop spends her days helping brands discover what’s really going on in people’s heads. And, based on her incredible talk, she’s an advocate for doing away with the classic persona.

As Claire shared, personas only uncover characteristics, but don’t reveal true motivations behind a purchase.

For example, why does Melanie, a marketer in her late 20s with five years’ experience in SaaS purchase a grey backpack from Everlane? A persona alone won’t ever really tell you. So the marketer at Everlane must empathize and gather research on the jobs Melanie’s hiring the backpack to help her do.

Spoiler: turns out Melanie needed a functional yet stylish looking backpack to take her from work to networking events after work. Just imagine how specific your marketing can get once you know the precise job your product has been hired to do.

See Claire’s awesome talk and the questions she suggests you ask to discover the core job of your product.

Wil Reynolds: People aren’t keywords

Wil Reynolds of digital agency Seer Interactive is on a mission to “help people find stuff on the internet.” In his talk Breaking the Silo Between CRO and SEO To Make BIG Wins, he set out to help CTAConf attendees do the same.

Wil warned of the danger of losing touch of the “human element” when doing SEO. As he explained, blindly optimizing for keywords often results in landing pages that lack empathy:

He contrasted the above example with that of a competitor (below), who is doing a good job of actually understanding people’s motivations for getting knee surgery.

As Wil explained, people don’t get knee surgery because they like it or because of medical keywords peppered thorughout a landing page. They get knee surgery so they can get back to the activities they love (which were completely missing on landing page one). Image source.

Wil advocated for pushing past keyword research and actually talking to people to truly find out the motivations behind their purchasing decisions. In other words:

Learn more about how being an empathetic SEO will get you more customers by watching the recording here.

Being empathetic gets you better results

Many of the talks at Call to Action Conference 2017 indicated that being a good marketer really just comes down to caring about the people you’re speaking to — genuinely getting to know them, their anxieties and their frustrations.

The best part? When you really listen to your prospects, you’re uniquely equipped to deliver exactly what they need at exactly the right moment. And that’s good for business.

Rand Fiskin touched on this in his talk Why We Can’t Do SEO without CRO when he explained that solving the user’s query needs to be every SEO’s priority.

This slide from Rand’s deck beautifully sums up how being a more empathetic marketer is mutually beneficial:

Kind of beautiful, isn’t it? 💖

Had another favorite talk or looking for a specific slide you loved? Go check out the recap site:


All the Recordings, Slides and Notes from Call to Action Conference 2016

Aaaaaaand that’s a wrap.


Call to Action Conference 2016 may be over, but our heads are still spinning from all the enlightening things we learned and the boss people we met. With nearly 1K attendees and 21 speakers filling Vancouver’s most prestigious theater, I think we all left feeling a little overwhelmed.

… In a good way, of course. Like a food coma, but instead we’re filled with marketing learnings.

Here’s what some of the attendees had to say:

And then there was the networking, pub crawls, parties, human inflatable foosball, gondola tour, axe throwing (seriously), super cute swag…

And so much more. Actually, you can watch a quick recap here:

But enough with the FOMO-inducing brag. Here’s the real reason for this post.

Regardless of whether you were able to make it or not, we have some presents for you.

That’s right! Because you’re worth it.


We’ve got a bundle of resources for you: all the presentation recordings, slides and comprehensive notes (thanks Campaign Monitor!). Completely free.

Happy binge watching/reading. Hopefully you’ve already made it through the latest season of Orange is the New Black…


Action Content: Turn Fans into Customers [Plus a Free Bonus for You]

4 Essential Content Types - Action Content

This article is part of our series on the 4 Essential Types of Content Every Marketing Strategy Needs. Make sure to get your special free bonus at the end of the article.

So far, we’ve covered Attraction, Authority, and Affinity content. Now it’s time to turn your fans into customers with Action content.

And this is where all the work you’ve done as a content marketer starts translating into revenue for yourself, your clients, or your organization.

The good news is that Action content is probably the easiest type of content to understand. But the bad news is that it can also be some of the most difficult to produce.

We’ll dig into the reasons why shortly, but since we are in the habit of defining each term before we get started, let’s do that here for Action content:

Action content is content designed to get somebody to take an action.

How about that for easy?

The marriage of copywriting and content marketing

Content marketing is a new kid on the block in some ways, surging in popularity in the last five years.

In other ways, content marketing has been paired with advertising for quite some time. Take John Deere’s 118-year-old magazine, The Furrow, as an example.

The Michelin Guide, first published in 1900, is another great example of classic content marketing.

However, what I’m talking about here is the marriage between copywriting and content marketing.

A marriage between copywriting and content marketing helps you attract attention, increase engagement, and then ultimately, persuade someone to take action.

Types of actions

When you create content, you should have an action in mind that you’d like the reader to take. Actions could include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Asking your readers to comment on a blog post
  • Asking your readers to share an article or podcast
  • Asking people to participate in a poll or survey
  • Encouraging people to download a free video training course
  • Persuading people to subscribe to your email newsletter
  • Convincing people to follow you on social media
  • Enticing people to hire you
  • Getting people to buy your product

Naturally, you’ll want to start off with small requests. Get people used to taking your advice and following your instructions.

You first want people to say, “Hey, I want to pay attention to this person (or this company, or this brand) because it’s really relevant to my current challenge and the journey I’m on.”

You get people to warm up to you and trust you — step by step — until the sale, and then the repeat sale or the recurring sale.

Let’s look at some successful pieces of Action content.

Examples of Action content

The most obvious piece of Action content you will create is promotional — sales copy that you publish and run for the duration of the offer. After the sale is over, we recommend you remove the post from your site.

Action content also includes landing pages, like this one on content marketing that encourages visitors to register for Copyblogger’s content library.

In addition to those two cases, your best content will combine all four types of “A” content. Here’s a stellar example: What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?

What makes it so great?

  • It’s useful. The headline suggests you are about to learn something important. The question-style headline also helps attract attention. People wonder whether or not they do indeed know the answer. They think, “This might be too important to miss.”
  • It’s authoritative. Sonia Simone’s years of working in the copywriting and content marketing world turned what could have been a shallow answer into an extended clinic in effective writing.
  • It takes a stand. The content exposes people to one of our core philosophies at Copyblogger: Really good content is unsurpassed at building rapport, delivering a sales message without feeling “salesy,” and getting potential customers to stick around.
  • It’s laced with action. You might not see it at first blush, but this piece of content motivates readers to check out the educational resources Copyblogger has to offer — from the My.Copyblogger free membership site to the paid offers like Authority and Content Marketing Certification.

The success of this content wasn’t accidental. There was a plan: the content primes people for when we actually do make an offer.

How to write Action content

Writing something interesting to fill space and keep people reading won’t cut it here.

You need to pair your content with a business goal.

That’s not as complicated as it might seem, because all you have to do is ask yourself this simple question before you write each piece of content:

What is the action I want my audience to take?

Now, getting people to actually take that action requires some skill. Like I said above, this is the hardest type of content to master. It takes time to learn copywriting skills, and it also takes time to master them.

The following resources can help you:

Once you’ve worked through that list, the next best thing you can do is to practice. Write. Then write some more.

And on that note, let me close with a little encouragement.

Keep your chin up

When I first got into copywriting, I threw myself into it whole hog.

I devoured every book I could get my hands on. Tore through successful promotional pieces. Listened to a legion of cassette tapes on the art of direct response copywriting, human psychology, and negotiations — yeah, this was way before podcasts. Wrote a mountain of sales letters, emails, and text ads (and then watched mentors tear them apart).

This went on for years. I thought I knew my stuff. However, it wasn’t until about Year Five when things clicked … when I turned the corner and all that head knowledge became heart knowledge.

The moral of this short story is that if I can learn how to write Action content, so can you. But it’s going to take time. Don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. Just start learning, publishing content, measuring results, adjusting, asking for feedback, and so on.

You can do it.

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Over to you …

What’s your favorite example of Action content?

Drop us a note in the comments section below to share your thoughts.

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