When it comes to creating calls-to-action, big brands have the luxury of full-time designers and -- the magical word -- budgets. But for us mere mortals of the marketing world, we have a lot more on our plate. We need to update our social media accounts, publish blog posts, and create lead generating content. Could you even imagine a world in which all you did for a full day was design CTAs? What a dreamland that would be.
So, let's figure out how to do that CTA design work ourselves, and have it still look amazing. This post will show you how to make CTAs that are just as hot as the ones you see from big brands -- all in PowerPoint. We'll take examples from five brands, and build our own versions. That should set you up with enough tools and inspiration to go channel your inner big brand ;-)
And if you're really limited on time, don't fret. We've already built 50 pre-designed, totally customizable CTAs in PowerPoint for you! Simply adjust the text and colors to meet your brand style. In the PowerPoint we'll show you exactly how to save them and implement them onto your own website.
With that, let's get started.
Note: We are not suggesting that your design strategy should be to simply copy other brands. Rather, that it's possible to create professional CTAs that are just as good-looking as ones from big brands ... with just PowerPoint as a tool.
Let's start with Coca-Cola. Coke was running a contest to win 5,000 buckaroos. Here's the CTA they had on their website.
Let's create the same design for our own CTA -- let's say, for giving away unicorns. Because, you know, that's way more realistic than finding $5,000.
First, let's add a red base for our image by going to Insert --> Shapes --> Rounded Rectangle. I'm going to change the fill color to red.
Now I'm going to insert a picture. In order to have it fit in the rounded rectangle, I need to make the image a rounded rectangle, as well. You can do this by clicking on the image, then going to Format --> Crop --> Crop to Shape --> Rounded Rectangle. I also want to give it the same sort of essence the Coco-Cola image has with the picture fading on the left. To do so, I'll go to Format --> Picture Effects --> Soft Edges. Now I have a picture that is "soft" and formatted the same way as the main shape.
Now I'm going to add a CTA title and CTA copy by going to Insert --> Text Box. You can use your normal font options to change size and colors.
Now it's time to add the official "call-to-action" on this call-to-action button -- so meta. We're going to use the Shapes tool once more to add it in. To give it the same shadow as the "Nominate Now" button on the Coke CTA, we'll go to Format --> Shape Effects --> Shadow --> Offset Center.
The last thing we're going to do is add a logo to the bottom left corner. Simply go to Insert --> Picture, where you'll insert a saved image file of your logo. Then adjust the size and move to the corner. Now you're done! All you have to do to save is click "Control" (or "Command" for Mac users) and the "A" key at the same time to select all the elements -- all the shapes, text, and pictures. With all the elements selected, right click on your mouse and select "Save as Picture."
Voila! Your CTA is saved and ready to be put on your website. Let's see how our final version came out, compared to Coca-Cola's version:
Pretty sweet, huh? Thanks PowerPoint!
Now let's look at Apple -- the masters of simplicity in design. Apple rarely uses extravagant designs or colors; instead, they embrace the concept of "less is more." Let's try giving this CTA from their homepage a whirl.
With this CTA, you could promote any product or service. I'm going to promote HubSpot's mobile app because it was the first thing to pop in my mind when I saw this photo ... for obvious reasons.
First I'm going to go to Insert --> Picture.
Next, I'm going to add the main title for this CTA -- copy that will grab the user's attention. With such a minimalist CTA, you need to focus on powerful words. You can do this by going to Insert --> Text Box.
Next, I'm going to add another visual that represents someone talking about this product. To do that, I'm going to place an image that links to a product page about our mobile app. I'll do this by going to Insert --> Picture, and then reducing the size and placing it in the middle of the current white space under the CTA title "Marketing. To Go."
I'm going to add a little CTA copy below this image that calls on the visitor to "learn more." I'll also add a few words under the main title to add more clarity to the message.
And that's it! Boy that one was fast. Let's look at how the two came out -- one professionally designed by the designers at Apple, and one by an inbound marketer in PowerPoint.
Next, let's take a look at Oreo, who currently has a poll running on their website for your favorite Oreo cookie. While at first glance it appears they are just trying to engage with fans and their cookies, it's clear from a marketer's eye that they're actually collecting research on which of their products is best! As an Oreo enthusiast, may I posit ... all of them?
First, I'm going to create my base. In this instance, I'm going to add a dark rectangle as the background, and then add a smaller, lighter, rounded rectangle inside it. Just like the Oreo example, I'm going to add a border by going to Format --> Shape Outline --> Weight. I picked 6pt as my border weight, using another shade of blue.
Now I'm going to add the headline text by going to Insert --> Text Box, and typing. To give the text a slight border, as shown in the Oreo version, I'm going to go to Format --> Text Outline --> Colors.
For my CTA, I'm going to poll what social network is people's favorite rather than which cookie.
Next, I'm going to add icons for each social network, which I'll do by simply going to Insert --> Picture for every icon, and reducing their size each time to make them all the same size. Just click on the icon, and use one of the circular buttons at the four corners of each object to make the image smaller.
Now I'm going to use the Shape tool to add small, rounded rectangles under each social media icon to write the respective icon's name. I made these boxes' fill color a light gray. The text is pretty teeny tiny, but it was added in by going to Insert --> Text Box, and then clicking on the rounded gray rectangle to type directly in it. Then simply copy and paste that same shape over and over, until one is under each icon, and change the text.
Now I'm going to replicate the little poll flag on the Oreo CTA. To do so, I'll use the wavy flag shape in PowerPoint shapes by going to Insert --> Shapes. I'm going to make the fill color red. Then, I'm going to insert a line next to the flag. This line will be the flag's pole. I'm going to make the line color gray, and make the end points circles by going to Format --> Lines --> Arrows. Then, just move the line around until it lines up with the flag. Last, I'll go to Insert --> Text Box, and then click on the red flag to add text right in it. Here I'll write "Poll," and make the text white.
Now, just like the other images, we just have to select all the elements and save it as a picture! Here's what we end up with.
Pretty cool, huh?
Now that we've built three CTAs together, step-by-step, I think you've got the basics down. Building CTAs in PowerPoint is pretty much just about using the Shapes and Text Box tools to their fullest advantage!
To keep you inspired, here are a few other mockup CTAs that show you how you can make CTAs that look just as good as the big brands, but on small budgets.
Walmart posted this social CTA on Facebook. Here's our version -- and yes, those are our wonderful HubSpot co-founders.
5) Wells Fargo
Here's a CTA from the Wells Fargo homepage to learn more about their business. I created the same concept for a belief near and dear to our CPO David Cancel -- you have to work with swagger to succeed.
6) American International Group
Here's another homepage CTA, this time from American International Group (AIG). Here I recreated the same idea for our Inbound Conference.
7) Home Depot
Home Depot cleans carpets? HubSpot plants footballs! (Hopefully by now you realize most of my PowerPoint are not real CTAs, but rather illustrating all you can do with PowerPoint.
Boy, wasn't that fun? Perhaps we've secretly unveiled that big brands are actually using PowerPoint! Okay, probably not.
Hopefully this has inspired you to start building CTAs in PowerPoint. And if not building -- at least customizing! Click here to download 50 pre-designed CTAs in PowerPoint. All you have to do is change the copy and colors, and boom! You have 50 CTAs ready to be used. Once you get the hang of it, start creating your own from scratch. Good luck!
What PowerPoint tips do you have for marketers looking to design amazing marketing assets?