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Engaging Viewers with Your Call-To-Action

Call now. Follow us on Twitter. Come inside to adopt this puppy.

The amount of call-to-actions (CTAs) we see every day is ever-growing. I actually took note of each call-to-action I came across during a normal work day last week and noticed roughly 32 of them. That’s more than the number of people I spoke to that day (Is that normal? Wait, don’t answer that) and that figure doesn’t include any CTAs that I came across online. Those 32 encounters were all IRL as the kids say these days.

This isn’t too surprising when you realize that whether it’s a billboard or an ad on the train, it’s very difficult for any marketing effort to be effective without giving people a next step to take. Unless you are just focused on branding (or chasing after awards) with your advertisement, suggesting a follow up action is make-or-break. In our social media driven society, there are even more outlets or platforms in which to steer people towards (i.e. like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel, etc).

So, what works best for videos?

We’ve discussed the importance of homepage video CTAs before and how to craft them for your sales funnel, but let’s take a deeper dive into how you can make sure they increase engagement- no matter where people are seeing your video.

Here are four ways to leverage creative and engaging CTAs to get the results your heart pines for.

1) Create Location Specific Messaging

Having your CTA tell someone to go to your website or listing your URL, when most of your audience is coming across the video on your homepage is redundant and a bit wasteful. You don’t need a “You Are Here” arrow on your video.

If viewers are already where you want them to be, move them down the sales pipeline and ask them to get in touch, which can be to submit a quote request, call, or email.

Speaking of email, the more tailored you can make the CTA the more response you’ll get. So if you include your video in email and the ending prompts the viewer to “Email us back to learn more” that’s going to get more of a response because it feels more intentional.

Of course, you may be using the video in a few different places, which is great, so try recording a few different versions of the CTA in the narration and create multiple versions of your video. This can make your campaign more effective and helps you get more miles out of a “single” video.

2) Offer Knowledge

Adding that little extra goes a long way, and there are a lot of offers attached to CTA’s all the time. A 30-Day Free Trial may be the extra nudge someone needs and lowers the perceived barrier of doing business with you.

However, try doing something a little outside of the box to drive the action of the viewer. Offer a free white page, access to weekly industry reports, or get them to subscribe to your newsletter. This may not get them instantly closer to becoming a customer, but it can help build your brand and establish you as a thought leader in the space.

Once you get on enough people’s radar you can start converting those on your subscriber list into customers.

3) Let People Know When To Act

Creating a sense of urgency is a sales technique that we’ve all heard from Uncle Glen(garry). But unlike him, we don’t want to feel like we’re overselling or coming across too pushy. So it’s important to find the right balance of nudging people to taking action quickly.

If you get an interested party it’s okay to give them that extra time-centric incentive with your CTA, prompting them to “call today!” or “sign up now.” Especially, if you decide to tie an offer to the CTA as suggested above, adding urgency to an offer is a great way to get more immediate results.

4) Make It Easy to Actually Click

If you’re using one video across multiple marketing outlets you may be able to leverage your video hosting platform to quickly craft specific CTA’s for each of those techniques.

You can create different iterations of the video in YouTube and customize annotations for the different uses. Don’t feel a need to wait until the end of the video either – try sprinkling a few in moderation throughout the video.

For example, Wistia allows you to add turnstiles to a few sections of your video. Check out the homepage video for our sister company Healthy Films below. The CTA in the turnstile at the end even ties into the CTA in the narration.

Given that adjusting these annotations can be done in seconds, it’s a great way to get the right message to the right people.


We realize that there are only so many ways to tell people to call, click, or email but if you can make sure that you’re making it as easy as possible for the viewer to take the proper next step the better results you’ll see.

As a viewer, what makes you most likely to take the next step? Feel free to share your thoughts or CTA video examples in the comments below.

Written by Colin Hogan
Colin is the Managing Director at Demo Duck, a Chicago-based video production company, who has a deep obsession with making videos as often as possible. Follow Demo Duck on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.