The “Call to Action” or CTA is the part of a video that asks the audience to do something.
- “Sign up today!"
- “Start your free trial now!"
- “Click here to learn more!"
This part of the video is usually carefully planned and heavily scrutinized. But it takes more than a good wordsmith to drive real action. Here are 5 tips that will take the guesswork out of creating a great CTA.
1. Make it Interactive
Instead of just telling people, “sign up at xyz.com,” make it easier on them by providing a link to where you want them to go.
2. End It Quick
The longer your logo sits there at the end, the more likely your audience is to stop watching– which means they might not even witness your awesome CTA.
You probably do want your video to end on your logo, but make sure the ending is quick. If you're using Wistia, you can link to a page through an image. This allows you to keep your branding on the screen, while still allowing your audience to interact with your CTA.
Skip to the end of the video below to see how this can be done:
3. Skip The Unnecessary Steps
If a lot of people are seeing your video on your homepage in the first place, why would you ask them to visit your homepage? Totally redundant. Instead, direct them to the exact place you want them to go.
Here are some alternatives to the old "Homepage CTA":
- Landing page - design it specifically for people who have already watched your video.
- Click a button - if you want them to sign up or subscribe, tell them how to do it.
- Phone call - if phone calls are your thing, ask people to call you.
- Email - if emails are your thing, ask people to email you.
- Email collector - as I mentioned earlier, Wistia allows you to capture viewer's emails directly from the video player, like this:
Whatever you hope to accomplish with your explainer video, design your CTA to skip any unnecessary steps for your audience.
4. Tailor to Your Audience
There are a lot of places your audience can see your video:
- Your website
- YouTube, Facebook, Twitter
- Email blast
- In person
As I mentioned in the last step, if someone is watching your video on your homepage, you don't need to send them to your homepage again. Likewise, if someone is watching your video on YouTube, you don't want to tell them to "click the sign-up button" if they can't do that straight from where they're watching.
Instead, create different versions of the video with different CTAs, designed specifically for the audience you are reaching. Depending on the platform, you might want to experiment with adding different types of interaction to the video (see #1).
5. Don't Even Have One
If you can tell a great story, you can get people interested in your brand. And if people are interested in your brand, asking them to "sign up today" might not be the best decision for the long term. Maybe they're interested, but really aren't ready for your product today. Keeping the video 100% story-driven will help them remember you once they are ready for your product. In this case, ending the video with just your logo could work better than having a direct CTA.
This happened to me firsthand when I saw the Slack video from Sandwich Video. I wanted it, but it wasn't something we really needed at the time. A couple months later we did, and I didn't hesitate to go back and sign-up. There is no CTA, just the logo (and a great story).