Video CTAs: Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices | Hacker Noon

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@nandhinibalajitsNandhini TS

I am a product marketing associate. I am passionate about creating, managing, and marketing content.

I recently came across an interesting analogy from Neil Patel between CTAs in marketing and the theory of classical conditioning. 

How are these two similar, you ask?

Pavlov, a Russian scientist discovered how an unconditioned stimulus and conditioned stimulus combined together can bring about the same response. 

This experiment began with the understanding that dogs salivate on seeing food and this happens as a reflex because they are wired that way. So, food is an unconditioned stimulus that creates an unconditioned response.

Source: Simplypsychology

Now, when you use a bell to alert the dog that food would be served, there will be no response because the dog is not conditioned to do so. But, when you ring the bell and have the food (unconditioned stimulus), the dog would now salivate (unconditioned response).

The dog is now conditioned to understand that if the bell rings then food will be served. So, even if you do not have the food now, the dog would still salivate because it is conditioned that way.

This can be closely associated with the response to CTA. People are conditioned to respond in a certain way to a certain stimulus. 

This can also hold true with operant conditioning because we get curious and move on to explore what’s behind the promises. If the CTA is compelling enough, we’d also be conditioned to take action.

we anticipate what would be the reward of the other side that we would get upon clicking the CTA.

Now, we understand that people are conditioned to take action. So, what are some other elements that evoke this response? 

How do we make the viewers of your video curious by using catalysts like colors, words, emotions, and more?

Let’s get to it right away.

What is a video CTA?

A video CTA is a call to your audience asking them to take an action after watching your video. It could be as simple as engaging with the video (like, share, and comment) or signing up for the product or being redirected to another destination where they can be further engaged with your content, and more.

Why do your videos need a CTA?

  1. Guide the audience to the desired action you want them to take
  2. Measure the success of your campaigns by analyzing the click-throughs
  3. Expose your audience to more facts your brand
  4. Analyze the interests and the likes/dislikes of your audience and further tailor your communication with them

What are the different types of CTAs?

For engagement

If your goal is to drive the audience to further engage with your videos and make them participate in contests or giveaways, then, there are certain CTAs that fit different scenarios for this type.

The purpose of this is to make your content more interactive and keep the audience coming back because they would feel like they are a part of the content you create. Engagement is also an important metric when it comes to social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These platforms recognize you as a good creator when more and more people engage with your videos.

Some popular CTAs to encourage more participation:

  1. Lucky draws or contest participation
  2. Share opinions and feedback in comments
  3. Engage with video through likes/shares
  4. Vote for questions on stories or “this/that” stories

To build your brand

Just like how you can build thought leadership content with well-researched, experimented, and original articles, videos can also go a long way in building your brand.

For instance, videos from top influencers in the marketing space like whiteboard Fridays, Neil knowledge content on Youtube, or Backlinko videos gave build authority over a topic in their industry! 

Brand building can be done through educational and informational videos, through snippets of your brand participating in social causes, etc.

What type of CTAs works for brand building?

  1. Sign up for the webinar
  2. Check out more videos
  3. Learn more in this blog post! (video teasers)
  4. Listen to the podcast
  5. Create further interest

Unless there are audiences who know your brand well and have engaged with your content for a good while, it is difficult to get every viewer clicking on your CTAs with complete excitement.

This is why it is important to map the video type to the kind of audience that engages with your content. You may have to nurture your audience and make them believe about your ideas, thoughts, and your authority over the subject. This is possible only by creating more information-rich videos that slowly nurture your audiences.

Here, certain CTAs that redirect the audiences to more good content from you would help. Let’s see some instances:

  1. Watch another video
  2. Subscribe to channel
  3. Ask the audience about what they want to learn
  4. Ask to stay notified
  5. Promise a video series (to watch the space would be the CTA)

Acquire leads

Videos are a great way to let potential customers know about your offerings at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Videos help in informing, educating, and directing customers towards the right solutions for the customers’ challenges. Explainer videos, promotional videos, how-to videos, etc are good examples of video types for acquiring leads.

Before we look into the terms (CTAs) that can be used for acquiring leads, let’s see what type of videos can be used for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

  1. Top of the funnel (Tofu) Explainer, educational, promotional, animated, etc
  2. Middle of the funnel ( Mofu) Tutorial, expert interviews, case studies, How-to’s, etc
  3. Bottom of the funnel (Bofu) Testimonial videos, Demos, etc

Some popular CTAs:

  1. Free
  2. Buy now
  3. Download
  4. Request a demo
  5. Try
  6. Sign up

Best practices of video CTAs

Make your CTAs clear and less ambiguous

It is common to find videos that try to direct audiences toward too many things. It is highly recommended to have only one clear CTA that defines what exactly you want the viewer to do. Now, this does not mean you have to use the CTA only once in the video. You can use it a few times, but the objective of the CTA must be to make the viewer take the same action.

Crafting clear CTAs also means making it actionable. Words like “now”, “you”, “today”, “soon”, “valid” etc are highly actionable suffixes that can be used in your CTAs.

Place your CTAs right

Placing the CTAs highly depends on the length of the videos you post. Now, if your videos are too long, you cannot reserve the CTA towards the end of the video because there is a good chance that audiences may bounce off halfway through. Likewise, if your videos have a minimal duration, placing the CTA in the middle of the video or towards the end would be wiser to improve the click-throughs by establishing solid reasons to take the action.

But, on channels like Youtube, CTAs can be added to multiple places like the cards, end screen, text overlays, and in the description.

A/B test your CTAs

When it comes to CTAs, there cannot be one size fits for all theory. Every brand and the content they create vary vastly from one another. This is why it is important to experiment with different words, placements, and objectives and A/B test your CTAs.

Now, when you are experimenting be mindful of the changes you make. Altering more than one variable will not lead you to solid insights. Once you understand what gets better traction, you can fixate on it for a brief period and jump over to further experiments. The takeaway here is do not attach yourself to something that works for you and be open to experiments as you do not know what may or may not work.

Utilize the descriptions to add CTAs

Videos are not the only space where you can add your CTAs. If your videos have splendid visuals and adding CTAs would interfere with a seamless viewing experience, you may want to add the CTA in the descriptions.

The description space offers scope to add detailed information and guide the audience through easily.

Conclusion

The color of the CTA also plays a major role in inducing a response. Wistia, through its experiment, found out that green was the dominant CTA color that had maximum conversions.

Source: Wistia

There are so many factors to consider while working with creating the right CTAs. I hope this has helped you understand how to create, experiment, and strategize CTAs for your videos. 

Wording your CTA in a manner that is rewarding for the visitor just like the classical conditioning theory we discussed, will also help you increase your click-throughs. 

Share your questions and experiences with CTAs in the comments, let’s chat!

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I am a product marketing associate. I am passionate about creating, managing, and marketing content.

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