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14 Real-Life Examples of CTA Copy YOU Should Copy

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14 Real-Life Examples of CTA Copy YOU Should Copy

Moving people to act is a challenging task. With just a few words, CTA copy needs to show that you see where your audience is coming from and empathize with their issues. That CTA (call-to-action) must also motivate them to move toward a solution.

If the CTA copy you craft doesn’t keep your visitors’ attention, it can hurt your click-through rate, lead conversions, and ultimately, sales.

Download Now: 28 Free CTA Templates

So, a CTA needs to inspire, encourage, and coax a person into action, but not bore, scold, or distract. Clearly, writing CTAs is a tricky balance of skill, influence, and awareness. But how can you write the perfect CTA copy on your own?

Keep reading or skip to a section to learn:

When marketers think about call-to-action (CTA) creation, the first thing many of them tend to focus on is design. And while CTA design is critical to initially drawing the attention of your visitors, it’s CTA copy that has to be compelling enough to get them clicking.

Bring your calls-to-action to life with HubSpot’s 28 Free CTA Templates. Simply add your own copy, adjust designs as needed, save as an image, and upload to your CMS.

Call-to-action templates, HubSpot

Looking at CTA examples can also help when you’re writing. The following examples can inspire you and compel your visitors to click and convert.

Real-Life Examples of CTA Copy YOU Should Copy

1. HubSpot

CTA copy example: HubSpot

HubSpot is all about growing better, and visitors quickly get that message from the call-to-action at the top of the page. Then, the copy outlines how HubSpot can help your business grow better.

The next CTA is highlighted with a button, “Start free or get a demo.” This gives you two different choices with a single click, meeting the needs of many different users with a single action.

2. Kate Spade

CTA copy example: Kate Spade

This compelling CTA asks readers to “treat yourself” and “shop self-gifting.” The contrast of traditional Valentine’s day terms like “romancing” and “heart” with a unique statement makes this CTA stand out. It also highlights a specific audience that’s often ignored on this holiday, inviting them to flip through and “make the moment all about you.”

3. KLM

CTA copy example: KLM

The language of this call-to-action (“50,000 Bonus Miles online offer”) is written in a way that gives visitors context even if they skim over the copy listed below it. The bottom line of text uses punctuation and uppercase letters to emphasize urgency. It’s effective because it’s both specific and action-oriented.

4. Duolingo

CTA copy example: Duolingo

The copy of the call-to-action button here is so descriptive that visitors can move immediately into action, either getting started or continuing to use the app. This straightforward CTA tells you exactly what this app does and why you want to use it. Remember — sometimes being to the point is all you need to drive conversions.

5. Eventbrite

CTA copy example: Eventbrite

The text outside the call-to-action button here serves to create an incentive. The best time to find an event is now, so there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t just go ahead and find one. While this app is best known for creating events online, this CTA shows that Eventbrite also invests in promoting events posted on the app, creating more reasons to use the platform.

6. American Red Cross

CTA copy example: American Red Cross

This is an inspirational CTA example. It starts by reminding each individual who visits the site of their potential impact with one phrase — “You Can Make a Difference.” Then, it outlines how a financial gift can help. This framework creates an experience that feels more inspiring and less transactional, while still supporting the goal of collecting donations.

7. AWS

CTA copy example: AWS

In this example, the text above the call-to-action — “Start Building on AWS Today” — gives specific details about the action visitors will be taking if they click. It reveals the ‘how’ of “Get Started for Free” too, with detailed sections for builders and decision makers. This copy clearly sets expectations before conversion so visitors know exactly what they’ll get in return for their click.

8. GoTo

CTA copy example: GoTo

This CTA starts with “One solution. So many ways to stay connected.” It goes on to describe the value of their cloud phone system. Then GoTo uses CTA buttons to clarify exactly what visitors will get after their click(s): either “See Plans and Pricing” or “Get a Demo.” The lesson is simple, if your button text is short and simple, clarifying copy can give visitors an extra boost to click.

9. Fitbit

CTA copy example: Fitbit

In this example, the CTA copy tackles the problem of decision overload. Some companies use a CTA to compare their products to a competitor, then offer their best product as the best choice. Instead, this CTA assumes that the issue isn’t whether to purchase from Fitbit, but which Fitbit product to buy.

The CTA copy calls out a problem in a friendly way — “Trouble choosing? We’ve got you covered.” Then, it offers an immediate solution — “Start the quiz.” While some customers have complicated problems, you can simplify by looking at your ideas from your customers’ perspective.

10. Turbo Tax

CTA copy example: Turbo Tax

When a web page offers many different choices, you may need to display more than one CTA. Each CTA needs to be powerful by itself, conveying a compelling and targeted offer through both visuals and copy. In this example, the language of the calls-to-action here gives readers solid context around three distinct offers.

11. Secureworks

CTA copy example: Secureworks

This call-to-action gives visitors enough information to take the next step without needing to give away much background information. This text is a teaser that tempts people to keep reading, making a subject that can sometimes seem boring (cybersecurity) more enticing.

12. On24

CTA copy example: On24

The main call-to-action in this example urges action. Then, the text above each follow-up CTA highlights details about each offer. This language offers clarity and sets expectations for the visitor, eliminating any guesswork.

13. Upwork

CTA copy example: Upwork

This CTA starts with a motivational message — “How work should work” — then shifts the focus to direct action. The CTA buttons offer two different ways to engage. First, a CTA that asks visitors to start using the platform for hiring. Next, a CTA for people who aren’t sure how to hire and may have a longer buyer journey before they start using the platform.

14. Citizen Group

CTA copy example: Citizen Group

Simple doesn’t mean boring. This example offers creative CTA copy that aligns with the voice of the organization. CTAs like “Building Citizen Brands,” “Connecting Through Culture,” and “Let the Work Speak” offer a clear idea of what visitors will find after clicking. At the same time, the tone and voice of each CTA feels unique to this brand and makes the act of clicking more exciting.

Check out this post for more clickable call-to-action examples.

CTA copy is often the shortest copy on the page, so to some, it can be mystifying that it’s often the copy that takes the longest to write. A call-to-action is like a bumblebee, with its big body and tiny wings. It carries a heavy load with just a few carefully chosen words.

To create a CTA that makes the most of every blog, landing page, email, and button, check out these tips.

1. Use active language.

Using active voice puts the reader in the center of the action. It also helps cut down on wordiness. An example of active voice is, “Jack eats cherries to stay fit.”

In contrast, passive voice talks about action in a more roundabout way. For example, “The cherries were eaten by Jack for fitness.”

A writing tool like Hemingway Editor can help you test your copy for active voice.

2. Make your message specific.

CTA copy needs to be original, eye-catching, and drive action. That is a lot of work for a small number of words. So, to meet conversion goals with your CTAs, be specific.

Specific copy focuses on a single focused topic. Then, it uses language that makes it easy to visualize both the problem at hand and how the CTA offer can help.

If you’re not sure whether your language is specific enough, ask a few friends or colleagues to quickly scan your copy. If they all come up with the same meaning, chances are your CTA copy is specific enough. But if your proofreaders come back with different ideas about your offer and meaning, you probably want to rewrite your CTA.

3. Short and simple copy is best.

CTA copy should be easy to scan and understand. People tend to scan when they read online, and CTAs should draw their eye and be quick to take in.

Positive language with simple word choices can also help you create more effective CTAs. Check out this post for more tips on how to write clickable copy.

4. Avoid cliches and trends.

If you’re not sure what to write for your CTA it can be tempting to mimic what competitors are doing or to add a familiar cliche. It’s easy to understand why you’d do this, but it may impact your conversions.

Cliches are easy to remember because you’ve heard them so many times. Jumping on what competitors are doing might make readers think your business lacks creativity.

These approaches to writing copy may give your CTAs meanings that you don’t intend. They’re also something your reader has seen or heard before, so they’re likely to skim over and ignore your call to action.

Instead, use your CTA to tell an authentic story or make an interesting point. This will spark curiosity, and make your reader more likely to engage.

5. Focus on practical value.

Online readers are often searching to solve a problem. And the most effective CTAs make it quick and easy to see that you are offering a solution to that problem.

There are many ways to entice a reader to take a desired action. But being direct can be surprisingly effective. You can often get readers to do what you want them to do by offering a practical solution to a specific problem.

More resources:

6. Connect your CTA to your other copy.

Context is essential when you’re building trust with a customer. For example, say you’re at a dog show. If you’re selling dog food, you have a good chance of making a sale. But if you sell cat food, you may not have as much luck. You might even draw negative attention.

CTA copy needs to align with its context too. If you’re writing a landing page for a product, the action you want users to take needs to match the intention that brought that person to the page. Then the CTA copy you write needs to combine the content of the landing page with that offer.

To do this, use phrases and emotional words that match the two pieces of content that you’re connecting with your CTA. Then, edit your copy to emphasize why that connection is useful to your reader.

This post offers more dos and don’ts for CTA copy.

7. Target a specific audience.

You might have a broad target audience. But CTA copy needs to connect with that audience at a particular moment in their journey to drive conversions.

It’s important to know who you’re speaking to. Is it a new visitor to your site arriving from a referral page? Is it a current customer who’s looking for answers? Or a lead hoping to take the next step toward a purchase?

Take some time to look at your content and offer from a target user’s perspective, then write a CTA that will connect to them at the right moment.

8. Test your CTAs for results.

While you can jump into a new CTA and gauge your results by looking at your conversion data, there’s a less risky way to try out new calls to action.

The most popular way to test CTA copy is with A/B testing. You can test CTA performance on different landing pages, with unique designs, or test different versions of CTA copy.

This testing approach isolates one variable at a time so that you can see how the copy of your CTA is impacting performance. Then you can make changes to optimize your CTAs.

Write Copy That Inspires People to Take Action

When it works a CTA can transform your buyer journey, drive conversions, and fuel business growth. But a lackluster CTA can damage your brand reputation, product sales, and more.

CTA copy is how you connect your marketing and sales content to the value your business offers. Writing this copy is both a craft and an art. It takes practice, research, and hours of effort to put together just the right message.

Use the tips and examples in this post to develop your CTA know-how. Then, track your results to refine your skills and keep learning.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

The bar has been set by the industry leaders in UX and Merchandising, and our customers have stated their claim clearly – “to grow our market share, we must have an enterprise search experience that drives conversions.

Optimizely offers baseline search experiences within our commerce platform, which are designed to help companies get started with organizing and delivering SKUs to customers. These experiences utilize out-of-the-box algorithms and methods for sorting, categorizing, and customizing.

While Optimizely provides a foundation for search experiences, we knew there were users ready to take their search capabilities to the next level. This is where the Xngage and HawkSearch partnership promises to redefine how you approach search-driven experiences within Optimizely Configured Commerce. Our highly experienced partner Xngage has developed a seamless integration connector, a best-in-class accelerator for harnessing the power of HawkSearch.

The powerful partner in search

HawkSearch is known for its expertise in search-driven engagement, AI-powered product discovery, and no-code customizations. With a strong history of serving B2B customers with enterprise-level search solutions, it was a perfect choice to make HawkSearch directly available within Optimizely’s platform.

The expertise of Xngage made this connector a reality enabling Optimizely’s Configured Commerce customers to:

  • Easily plug directly into the HawkSearch service to share your products and their relevant data.
  • Utilize powerful unit of measure conversions, ensuring your customers can find exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Customize sorting and facets to deliver highly relevant results to customers.
  • Craft a personalized user experience with features like auto-complete and the new ‘instant engage’.

Customers can further explore HawkSearch’s capabilities in this on demand webinar and recap, which highlights the benefits and use cases of the Xngage connector for HawkSearch.

A powerful partner in digital growth

Xngage complements Optimizely perfectly, as they deliver robust solutions in the realm of digital content and commerce experiences. The development of the Xngage connector to HawkSearch is a part of their broader mission to empower manufacturers and distributors to serve their customers digitally. This alignment seamlessly fits with Optimizely, making our partnership with Xngage an ideal choice. 

Furthering their goal of digital growth, Xngage offers a range of holistic and complementary professional services, including:

  • User research & user experience design (UX)
  • Enterprise architecture & ERP integration
  • Product information management (PIM)
  • Ecommerce Implementations, and digital growth services.

To learn more about this highly experienced digital commerce partner visit Xngage.com.

The future of the partnership

This partnership is just the beginning. Xngage and HawkSearch are committed to working hand in hand to empower you with the tools and insights you need to elevate your ecommerce site. Stay tuned for future blogs, webinars, and resources that will help you make the most of this transformative alliance.

The future of ecommerce search has never looked more promising, and we’re excited to have you on this journey with us.

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

With the advent of e-commerce, manufacturers have unprecedented opportunities to expand their reach, streamline their operations, and enhance profitability. Amidst this digital revolution, adopting Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is pivotal in optimizing production processes, quality control, and resource management.

As the lines between traditional brick-and-mortar sales and online commerce continue to blur, manufacturers increasingly realize the need to adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape. This article explores the top 3 strategies manufacturers can employ to succeed in e-commerce.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is specialized application software designed to solve the tasks of synchronization, coordination, analysis, and optimization of production output within any production. MES systems belong to the class of shop floor-level management systems but can also be used for integrated production management at the enterprise as a whole.

MES collects and analyzes production processes, product demand, and inventory data. This allows manufacturers to adapt more quickly to changes in the market, reconfigure production to meet current requirements, and closely monitor trends. As a result, manufacturers can more easily predict and meet customer needs, which helps increase online sales.

MES helps in maintaining accurate inventory records and managing inventory turnover. This avoids overstock or shortages, which can affect a company’s ability to meet online demand and maintain customer service levels.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) enhance transparency and automate operations, reducing human errors and operational costs. Integrating Manufacturing CRM streamlines customer data, allowing manufacturers to tailor products, respond to market changes, and offer competitive prices in online stores. The synergy between MES and CRM creates an agile manufacturing environment, optimizing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Content Marketing

Kapost’s research shows that companies in the B2B segment that blog get 67% more leads on average than companies that don’t. However, it’s worth remembering that content marketing requires a lot of resources to prepare and regularity in publishing it. This content can be, for example, brand identity and E-commerce logo, articles and videos, webinars, research, and interviews.

The content should help solve a specific problem to create the image of an expert and thus influence the decisions of potential customers. The topics discussed should not be chosen randomly. A little research in Google Trends will help select the main topic, discussion areas in the video, phrases, and words that should be included in the article. Publishing content based on such a prepared analysis allows you to achieve high positions in search engines. It provides a good user experience for customers looking for answers to product/service questions, comprehensively covering the subject matter.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are free traffic, increased user confidence, and the creation of an expert image.

Content marketing is a form of promotion that requires patience and time. Its effects will also depend on the quality of thecontent itself, its optimization, and promotion methods. No specific terms can be specified here.

YouTube channels as a form of content marketing

You can discuss your production process and show and test products on your YouTube channel. If someone is looking for information about a product and is unsure which brand to choose, they will likely find your video and maybe make a purchase. Remember to choose a title that matches the search query and prepare a video description with product links. You can send out an email to announce when new videos are released. Whenever you have particularly compelling videos, you could also promote them via texting notifications to drive even more traffic.

Utilize user-generated content and social media

Not utilizing the content that your users generate is a huge issue. This is because it’s not easy to refresh an e-commerce website and keep it alive. But photos and videos taken by real customers are great for this purpose.

Adding a “widget” that connects your online store’s website to its official social media accounts brings significant benefits. These include revitalizing your social media accounts, increasing your credibility as a manufacturer, inspiring other customers to buy, and encouraging repeat purchases.

Snapchat Planets

Snapchat’s “Planets” feature provides a unique and interactive way to engage with your e-commerce store’s audience. Here are some creative ideas on how to leverage Snapchat Planets to create engaging content:

  • Virtual Store Tours: Use the AR feature to create a virtual tour of your store. Each planet can represent different sections or categories of your store. For instance, one planet could showcase your latest collection, another could highlight bestsellers, and another could offer exclusive deals.
  • Product Launches: Announce new product launches by creating a cosmic journey. Users can travel from one planet to another, each unveiling a new product with engaging visuals and detailed descriptions. This creates a sense of excitement and discovery around new arrivals.
  • Interactive Shopping Experience: Create interactive shopping experiences where users can explore products in a fun and engaging way. For example, users can navigate through different planets to find hidden discounts or special offers, making shopping more interactive and rewarding.
  • Customer Rewards and Loyalty Programs: Develop a loyalty program where users earn points or rewards by exploring different planets. Each planet can offer unique rewards, such as discounts, free samples, or exclusive access to new collections. This gamifies the shopping experience and encourages repeat visits.
  • Themed Campaigns: Align your marketing campaigns with planetary themes. For instance, during holiday seasons, you can create a holiday-themed planet where users can find special holiday deals, gift ideas, and festive content.

By leveraging Snapchat Planets, you can transform your e-commerce store’s content into a captivating and interactive experience that keeps your audience engaged, entertained, and coming back for more.

Use newsletters to captivate your target audience

Newsletters can strengthen the connection with the consumer and demonstrate that shopping with you is safe and profitable. Remember that the more personalized the message, the more effective it will be. It should contain a call to action (CTA), such as a button that redirects to products.

Don’t forget to put a box to check for consent to process personal data when subscribing to the newsletter. Also, add an option to unsubscribe from the newsletter in each email.

A regular email account is not adapted for the newsletter, so do not use your everyday email address. This way, you risk being blacklisted by spam filters. The benefits of newsletters are optimizing advertising costs, increasing loyal audiences from different channels, and building mutually beneficial relationships with partners.

Print and PDF Channel

1716522964 432 Top 3 Strategies for Success

In the digital landscape, the significance of Print and PDF channels cannot be underestimated for manufacturers engaging in e- commerce. The tactile experience of print offers unique psychological advantages, enhancing comprehension and retention, which are vital for technical manuals and complex product details. PDFs merge this benefit with digital accessibility, ensuring wide reach while maintaining format integrity. This dual-channel approach not only caters to diverse consumer preferences but also bolsters marketing efforts, making technical content more engaging and understandable. Utilizing catalog software further streamlines the integration of Print and PDF channels into e-commerce strategies, enhancing product presentation and distribution efficiency.

Contextual advertising: Google Ads

1716522964 713 Top 3 Strategies for Success

If you want the advertising you invest in to have an immediate effect, it’s worth turning to Google Ads. Google displays paid ads in search results and on Google’s network of partners (on-site ads in the form of banners).

You bid when you search for a keyword for which advertisers have set up a campaign. The search engine determines who will appear in the search results and at what position. When assigning bids, the quality of the landing page, the quality of the ads, and the stated maximum bid per click are all considered.

To start setting up your campaign, simply login to your Google Ads account. Using the service is free, and you’ll find plenty of online tutorials on creating a campaign. However, you may find that it won’t generate valuable traffic if you don’t set it up optimally. Your budget will be wasted on clicks that won’t lead to conversions. This is why most companies resort to the help of agencies, including specialized agencies.

There is probably no industry in which Google Ads campaigns cannot be used. However, advertising can be moderately profitable if there is a lot of competition in the industry and margins are low.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are large audience reach, the ability to get the target audience as accurately as possible, and very detailed statistics on results.

The effect of launching a campaign should appear almost immediately. A properly set up campaign will increase traffic to the website. By systematically optimizing the campaign, you can achieve much better results.

You also can use paid Facebook Ads post promotion. It is important to pinpoint your target group, but how do you do it? A popular way is to draw up a customer portrait, that is, to make a collective image of your customer.

This considers age, gender, income level, location, interests and hobbies, and online behavior. Such a person will display a group interested in your services or goods.

Implement personalized product selections

Recommended product block and cross-selling are very powerful internet marketing strategies. In addition to the recommended product block, which shows the analogs of the product being viewed, it is worth paying attention to the website’s functionality.

As a rule, the products in the “You may also like” block are selected based on the pages previously viewed by the customer, his previous purchases on the website, as well as what was purchased by other customers with similar tastes. If this functionality is implemented technically sound, it can lead to additional items added to the shopping cart. “You may also like” block partly acts as an alternative to the advice of a specialist or consultant.

With blocks for cross-selling related products is a similar situation. Usually, in them are placed products from the same product line, collection, or simply those that perfectly match the product being viewed. You can use AI-powered live chats to proactively engage in customer conversations and suggest products based on their behavior.

Conclusion

E-commerce for manufacturers is a vast field, and in this article, we have presented the most popular and most effective forms of selling online. Remember, no effective e-commerce strategy exists. Each industry and business will have specifics. Try combining the above mentioned e-commerce strategies to maximize your chances of success and increase your profits.

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”

“Exactly!”

“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 



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