Video-CTAIf you put a video on your home page, should the same version also be on YouTube? The answer is absolutely not. Why? Well, because what you are asking the viewer to do at the end of the video is very different…or at least it should be.

A call to action or CTA is the action you want the viewer to take after watching your video. The goal of the CTA is ultimately to keep that anonymous viewer interacting with your brand. The general thought behind a CTA is if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Hopefully your video is designed to generate excitement for the viewer and if you don’t ask them what action to take next, you are losing them to the next cat video or shiny internet thingy they come across next. So you HAVE to ask.

The Off Site Call To Action

If the viewer comes across your video on YouTube, what should be their call to action? Ultimately you’re going to want them to come to your playground. So what does that mean? Your playground online are things that you can control like your website or at least sort of control like your Facebook page, Twitter interactions, etc. There are way too many shiny things on YouTube to distract them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Direct them to a landing page on your website – I know this seems pretty simple, but you’d be amazed how many companies forget this simple action. Make it a customized landing page that’s simple for the viewer to remember.
  • Ask a question – then invite viewers to “join the conversation” with your brand’s social channels.
  • Enter to win – As simple as it is, a structured giveaway on a dedicated landing page of your website or on a social channel is an easy way to generate response and interaction with your brand.

The On Your Website Call To Action

That’s off of your website, so what if the viewer is already on your website? Good! That means they are at least nominally interested in what you do and have watched the video. They are already moving through your sales funnel! So how do you engage them further? The call to action should be totally different.

For instance, directing the viewer to visit your website at the end of the video when they are already on your website doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. On your website your CTA can be far more impactful and direct than when they are viewing off site. Here are a few examples of great CTAs to include in videos being watched on your website:

  • Bring out the vote! – Ask viewers to vote on something they care about in a simple poll on your website.
  • Free trial – Do you offer a subscription based service? Let the viewer have a free trial to take your service for a test drive.
  • Sign up for a webinar – If you frequently give webinars to highlight key features of your product or service, asking a viewer to sign up for the next webinar is a great CTA to include at the end of your video.
  • Fill out a short form – This is very direct, but if the person is interested they will. Make it easy for them, build your video landing page so the form is right next to it.
  • Watch another video – After the viewer watches your short overview video, invite them to take a deeper dive with more directed snackable content about your product or service. What can this be? Well maybe there are different versions of what you do? Maybe there are specific technical aspects which would be interesting to the IT guy who uses it but not to the CEO who just wants to know it works?

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but ultimately you will need to develop and test a simple step that is practical for a yet to be customer and relative to your business.

Do you have examples of good video CTAs you’d like to share?

Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee. Read more of Eric’s posts