If you've ever seen my "graphic design" work, you'd know why I'm putting it in quotes.
Tis no bueno.
But as a business blogger and an inbound marketer, I still have to do graphic-designey things sometimes -- like create calls-to-action.
Again, no bueno. Except for the fact that I work with a bunch of smart, creative people who are really good at making things easier for folks like me. So now, I'd like to round up all their knowledge and pass it on to you. Here's the stuff that makes creating CTA buttons way easier. (For me, at least.)
5 Resources That'll Make Call-to-Action Creation Way Easier
I'm going to keep this short and sweet so you don't think I'm sales-pitching you, but when I need a simple CTA, I use HubSpot's tools. For instance, if you've ever seen the subscribe CTAs we use at the bottom of our blog posts, those are created using HubSpot's CTA tools. It's easier to just choose some basic design elements -- color, shape, font -- and get a button created in about 10 seconds flat.
If I want something with more intricate design elements, I design outside of our software and bring it in later using that "Custom image" button. Here are the tools I use to do that.
What does PowerPoint have to do with call-to-action button creation? Well, until about a month ago, I didn't even have Photoshop on my computer, so most of my "design work" was done in PowerPoint. This post helped me understand the basics of using PowerPoint as a design tool -- not just a presentation tool.
So if you're unsure of how PowerPoint could ever be used to create CTA buttons, check this piece out. If that's old news to you, keep reading for more detailed stuff.
(Make-Your-Life-Easier Tip: If you're trying to keep your calls-to-action on-brand, but you're not sure which colors to use, this "Quick Tip" post will teach you how to nail down your brand's colors in PowerPoint.)
If you're like me, you "get" that PowerPoint can help you create marketing visuals, but you don't feel like figuring out how to turn those random tools into an actual CTA button. Luckily, someone else figured it out for us.
This post will walk you through, step-by-step, how to use tools in PowerPoint to actually get to a completed call-to-action button. This is perfect for the marketer who isn't interested in fiddling around and just needs a button stat.
So you've got some calls-to-action that are somewhere between bare bones and sexy. How do you get it to the sexy end of the spectrum if you don't have a designer, their software, or their skills?
Of all the things on this list, these templates are by far my favorite. They provide me with a wide array of design and style options and make it easy for me to see how I could customize them for my needs. In short, they help me be creative when I ain't got no creativity left.
To give you an idea of the array available, here's a snapshot of a few of the templates. (There are 50 in total, all in PowerPoint.)
Of course, it's not just about creating something that looks nice -- our CTAs should have some killer copy to go with them, too. As a writer, I tend to focus on this more ... because I'm better at it. Heh.
Anyway, I found this post very helpful -- a mix of research-based CTA copy advice and plain ol' best practices. No matter how pretty your call-to-action button, confusing copy can ruin it. So don't neglect the copy just because you're having fun with design now ;-)
I hope you've found these resources helpful. I seriously use them all the time when I have to create CTAs. And for the sake of clarity: These are resources for people who don't have the resources to hire a designer -- or learn how to be one.
These are resources for agile marketers who have a backlogged designer and need a CTA in a snap or small business owners who can't get a designer or agency on their payroll just yet. If you can get your CTAs created by someone fluent in the entire Adobe Creative suite and more, go for it!
Originally published Nov 25, 2013 11:04:00 AM, updated July 28 2017