Content Marketing With Video Tip 10 – The Call To Action Part 1

In Tip 8 – Know Your Video’s Purpose – I talked about three different types of videos.  Those three different video types were:

  1. To attract people to your website (attraction videos).
  2. To persuade people to buy your products or services (conversion videos).
  3. To help people who’ve brought your products or services actually use them (consumptionvideos).

For those folks who are using video as a fundamental part of their content marketing strategy, attraction videos are the type of videos that you should be making the most of.

The job of the attraction video is simply to attract people to your website – and the mechanism that you use to direct people from your attraction video(s) to your website is the Call To Action.

So What Is A Call To Action?

A Call To Action is an explicit mention in your video directing the viewer to undertake a specific activity.

These viewer activities could be:

  • Go to your website and subscribe
  • Like on Facebook
  • Subscribe on Youtube
  • Tweet a link

And so on.

Why Do We Need To Give A Call To Action?

Without a Call To Action, the viewer is far less likely to undertake actions that are favourable to the future development of our businesses – the majority will simply watch the video you have spent hours creating, learn what you teach, and then go elsewhere.

The chances of them searching out your website and actually taking any action are slim.

So we have to guide them.

What Is The ‘Best’ Call To Action?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this action.  The ‘best’ Call To Action for you depends on the goals you have with your videos.

However, for most businesses employing video content marketing I think that the ideal response you want from your viewers is to head over to your website and start reading/watching/listening to content there.

Or even better, head over to your website and subscribe to your mailing list before they start reading/watching/listening to content on your website.

This is the response that I want viewers of my videos to take.  And consequently my Call To Action reflects this.

How Should We Deliver The Call To Action?

Assuming that you are using YouTube as the first level of your video content marketing efforts, there are four ways you can deliver a call to action:

  1. Put the call to action in your script and speak it
  2. Put the call to action in the description
  3. Put the call to action in an annotation
  4. Put the call to action on a ‘graphic’

All three methods work – but I prefer to put the call to action in my script.  Not everyone reads the description that you include when you upload your video into YouTube – and indeed by default only the first line is visible when someone lands on your video page – so it can get missed.

And if someone is listening to your video and not watching they could completely miss your call to action if you put it in an annotation.

If you put the call to action on a graphic, then you probably would do that at the end of the video and leave the graphic visible for 10 or 20 seconds.  And again, this works – but when we look at where to put the call to action you’ll see why this shouldn’t be your preferred method of delivering the call to action.

So Where In Our Video Do We Put The Call To Action?

I see a lot of so-called video ‘goo-roos’ telling you to put the Call to Action at the end of your video.

I think this is a bad idea.  Here’s why: when people watch videos on YouTube there is a lot of noise…there is a string of related videos on the right hand side, at any moment they could click on one of those videos and move away from your video.

YouTube has a great set of analytics that are well worth getting to grips with….here’s a screenshot from the analytics of my most popular video (151,000 views and counting…)

This screen shot shows the retention of the audience as the video progresses.  You’ll see that this video is around 8 minutes 20 long – and that by the end of the video we are down to just 10% of people who started watching the video.

So if we put the call to action at the end of the video, then we’d only get our call to action in front of 10% of the people who actually view the video.

I don’t like those odds…that’s why for attraction videos I put my call to action at the front of the video.

Now in the next tip we’ll look in more detail at what information you should include in your call to action, but I’ll just finish this particular tip with a validation I just found.

So last night I was listening to the latest Podcast episode from Copyblogger – which you can find here:

This episode is very interesting – but have a listen to the first few minutes and you’ll find this structure:

  1. The host – Robert Bruce – introduces the Podcast and tells you what the topics are going to be.
  2. Robert then asks Brian a couple of questions not related to the podcast. (30 second mark)
  3. Robert then starts the call to action at the 1.10 mark by saying: “This show is brought to you by Internet Marketing For Smart People…” and so on.

It obviously works for Copyblogger – as they have 70,000 plus subscribers to the Internet Marketing For Smart People newsletter.  And it works for me too – my videos send a continual flow of traffic and subscribers.

One Final Thought

One other thing – and this is important – although you should concentrate on making your attraction videos high quality, you should ultimately remember that the main purpose of those attraction videos is to deliver the call to action and get as many of your viewers as possible to do what you would like them to do.


The Call To Action is the mechanism by which you direct the viewer to take the action that you would like them to take (either go to your website, subscribe to your youtube channel, tweet a link, etc).

There are several methods of delivering this call to action – in my opinion including the call to action in your script is the best method of delivering it.

Lots of so-called ‘goo-roos’ mention putting the call to action at the end of your video.  I suggest having it at the top of your video – that way more people will see it and hopefully take the action you want.  We’ll look at what to put in the call to action in more detail later this week.

Your Shout

As always, feel free to shout up with questions/comments/disagreements etc etc.


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