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Craft an Excellent Video CTA (Call To Action) In 7 Easy Steps

Like any marketing, video is only as effective as its call to action. The most interesting, engaging, and memorable video will still miss its goals if it doesn’t tell viewers what to do next. A well-written video CTA turns viewers into customers. 

A lot is riding on a few seconds of screen time. Follow these seven steps to craft an excellent video call to action.

Step 1: Choose a Goal for Your Video CTA

Your CTA should support the goal of your video. Start by identifying the one thing you want viewers to do next. You should be able to narrow this down to a single action word. Here’s a list to get you started:

Verbs for Your Call To Action:

  • Click
  • Buy
  • Order
  • Listen
  • Watch
  • Download
  • Share
  • Review
  • Subscribe
  • Contact
  • Try

Here’s an example: let’s say you’ve created a video to promote your software as a service offering. Your goal is to get people to sign up for a free trial. So your verb should be either “try” or “click.”

Avoid offering too many options. The average adult makes about 35,000 decisions per day. Most people aren’t excited about having to make one more. Give them a clear direction instead like “Download our ebook”

Tip: Avoid Asking for Too Much from One Video CTA

Remember that CTAs don’t always have to sell a product right away. People are more likely to take a small risk, like downloading an ebook, than they are to spend thousands of dollars on a service. But downloading the ebook is the first step on the journey. 

Don’t stifle interest and momentum with a CTA that asks for too much. Think about your video CTA as a way to invite viewers into your sales funnel. This is the beginning of the relationship, not a last-ditch effort.

For example, this video for Sabin Metal Corporation asks viewers to visit their website to see a presentation. They don’t tell viewers about recycling services or ask them to sign up for a mailing list. They make a specific request: “Visit our website to view a presentation.”

Step 2: Define a Problem, Then Offer a Solution

Your video CTA should always include both the what and the why. Usually, you’ll want to show a problem and set up your CTA as the solution.

For example: “Simplify your payroll processing without hiring an outside firm. Click to start your free trial.”

In the fewest words possible, tell them how you’ll fix their problem. Then, ask them to take action.

Tip: Set the Right Tone with Your video CTA

A video CTA that strikes the wrong tone can do more harm than good. If you’re overly aggressive or focused on the wrong problem, viewers might not trust you. If they feel pressured or misunderstood, they probably won’t do what you’ve asked.

CTAs should be honest and provide value to the potential lead. They should sell the benefits of doing business with you.

Staying laser-focused on the customer can help you here. Consider:

  • Is this a real problem the customer may face?
  • What other factors might influence the customer?
  • Are there political or social factors in play?
  • Have we built enough trust to make this ask?

For example, CRM software buyers in a booming industry might not need help with customer acquisition. Instead, highlight how your software automates some nurturing efforts so sales people can handle more customers in a day. 

Step 3: Create a Sense of Urgency

A good video call to action inspires viewers to act now. It should be something that can’t wait until later. If viewers watch your video and put it on their to-do list you’ll never hear from them again. So incite action by adding time frames to your offer.

  • A time driven use cycle: Double your revenue in 90 days
  • Scarcity: Limited spots available
  • Market shift: These conditions won’t last long

This style of CTA might feel a little heavy-handed, but it’s a tried and true method. People hate missing out. A three-day sale, limited time offer, or limited stock notice might be the lever you need to move them to act.

Tip: Make it, Don’t Fake it

Urgency and scarcity are valuable tactics, but customers can spot if you’re stretching the truth. Telling them you have limited stock of an ebook doesn’t make sense, and they know it. If your store is always having a “Going Out of Business Sale,” you’ll lose customer credibility. (Plus, your CTA tactic might become a self-fulfilling prophecy!)

You should be able to find urgency without manufacturing it. “Double your revenue in 90 days” is a bold claim that might tempt viewers to put it to the test. Just make sure you can deliver on that promise.

If overt timelines don’t work for what you’re selling, try including words like “today” or “now” instead. Notice how this video for Med-Stop doesn’t just invite viewers to try their service. The voiceover says, “Try Med-Stop today.” Just adding the word “today” makes CTA feel a little more urgent.

Step 4: Choose A CTA Format that Fits Your Video

Your CTA should match the style of your video. In some cases, a heartfelt voiceover from a trusted narrator might invite viewers to act. A different audience might respond better to a button surrounded by slick graphics. While video CTAs take many shapes and styles, the three most common video marketing CTAs are:

  • Visual
  • Voiceover
  • Interactive (Clickable)

You can test each of these to find which one works best for your audience. In some cases, you might want to combine them for an even bigger impact.

In the video clip below, PG&E uses the soothing voice of the narrator to confirm that they’re on your side.

Tip: Avoid These Common Video Call to Action Pitfalls

Keep in mind that many viewers routinely watch online videos without sound. If your call to action is voice only, your viewers might never hear it. You might want to include a visual CTA as well.

Fill the screen and make sure your visual CTA stands out from the rest of your video. Then leave it on the screen as long as you can. Use bold text in a legible font.

Keep in mind that clickable links won’t work everywhere. Remember to keep them updated. It’s easy to forget that today’s website redesign break the link on last year’s video.

Step 5: Choose the Right Moment

Wistia notes a drop-off in viewership in the last 15 seconds of a video. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that most videos present their CTA around that time. Avoid presenting to an empty room by mentioning your CTA earlier.

That being said, you can ask too early. Most viewers will need at least a few seconds to get to know you before they’re willing to take action. Make sure you’ve offered a convincing reason before you make the ask.

Notice how this video from MIT Sloan invites viewers to enroll within the first twenty seconds. Then they back that request with even more reasons.

Step 6: A/B Test to Find What Works

If you’re not sure which call to action is right for you, you can A/B test a few until you find one that works. For example, try “Download the guide” vs. “Click here to get the guide.” These sound similar, but one might appeal more to your specific audience.

 Step 7: Deliver On Your CTA Promise

This last step is simple but important: Make sure you deliver on your promise.

Find the balance between promotion and over-promising. You have to set the right expectations and then deliver on them.

Remember the power of social proof. If you waste someone’s time, they won’t be an ambassador for your brand. They’ll be the opposite. Make sure your service or product gives viewers something positive to talk about.

Animated Explainer Video CTA

You’ve enticed viewers to your site. You’ve engaged them with a great video. The next step is to direct them along the buyer journey with a video CTA. Get this right, and you’ll see results where it matters most, in your conversion rate.

Here’s one last CTA example for you: Download our free eBook to find out how to grow your business with animated explainer videos. You might be surprised at what animated video can do for you.

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