Why are you in business? Most likely because of a big why and because you want to make money. Even if you goal is to donate it all to charity, you want to make the money to give away. How can video help you do this? By using a strong “call to action.”
The call to action is one of the most important parts of a YouTube video whose intention is to make money or generate traffic.
The call to action is essentially the part of the video when you tell someone to do something. For example, if you want them to click on a link and land on your site, that’s a call to action. If you want them to go to your facebook page, that is a call to action. If you want them to buy a product, that’s a call to action.
A YouTube video without a call to action is really just entertainment. You’re not getting people to go to your site; therefore you’re not really going to make any money. If you are in business, making money should be one of your goals!
Many businesses take the route of “branding” videos rather than “response” videos. That’s absolutely fine if you have a large budget and don’t mind waiting a long time until you’ve established mindshare and brand awareness to make sales.
On the other hand, if you’re a smaller business that needs to make sales now rather than later, then it’s essential that you start using “calls to action” to drive traffic to your website today.
In the last few years, calls to action on YouTube have really taken a leap forward. Previously, you could only embed links in the description tags, which severely limited the amount of traffic you could drive.
Now, you can create clickable annotations right in the video. You can create an attractive picture telling them to click on the picture, which then sends them to your website for more information.
To do this, use the edit video menu to add a clear annotation with a link. You can also use a text box or speech bubble annotations.
One great example of this is the Annoying Orange series. The Annoying Orange is one of the most popular comedic series on YouTube, some videos having more than 20 million views. At the end of every video, they show a big orange that you can click on.
Here is an example of one of their videos:
When you click on the orange, you’re taken to the Annoying Orange main site. There you can buy Annoying Orange cups, posters, DVDs, shirts and more. The creators of the Annoying Orange videos are doing very well financially because of this strategically placed call to action.
Your call to action should be crystal clear about what you want your users to do. It should be towards the end of the video, rather than in the middle. People who put annotations in the middle of the video tend to annoy users rather than inspire action.
The call to action should link to your site, while still looking classy in the video. YouTube also has a policy of removing videos that were created solely for commercial intent; so make sure your video is really contributing something educational or entertaining, rather than just selling your product.
Look classy – not spammy – with your call to actions.
The call to action should last several seconds, added on to the end of your video. So if someone watched your 3-minute video, at the end they’ll see your call to action and keep seeing it for 10 seconds, for example.
Your call to action should also have a text version on the screen. Instead of a clickable box, the screen should also have the URL. The reason for this is because there are still a lot of people who don’t realize that you can click on annotations in a YouTube video.
You can help people make their way to your site by having a link for them to go to as well.
The bottom line is this:
Follow these simple rules and your call to action should get immediate results.