Content Marketing

4 Ways to Include Calls to Action on Videos

Video has an important place in your overall content marketing strategy, and YouTube’s rise in popularity has taken a front seat in social media marketing news. I shared 4 Mistakes You Make When You Post Video on Your Blog in my last Convince & Convert post, with number four being neglecting to include a call-to-action (CTA). Here are four ways to address the lack of CTAs in your video marketing.

Edit CTAs Directly Into Your Video

One of the most basic and effective ways to include CTAs in your videos is to bake them right in. There are two ways I like to do this. The first is to include a screen, often at the end or during the video that indicates what the viewer should do next. The second is to, whenever possible, include an auditory request of the same nature. See an example below from my own video series.

Include Annotations

Like Pop Up Video for YouTube! Hardcore YouTubers and even the casual browser alike should be familiar with the annotations that “pop up” on YouTube videos from time to time. I’m not talking about ads here – I’m talking about the little bubbles of text reminding you to subscribe to the channel, comment, or view another video.

For a fancy example, at the end of every “This Week’s WOW” episode, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis uses some annotations to encourage viewers to watch other episodes in the series. Check out the end of one of their episodes below.

These CTAs can be very effective if your YouTube channel is an active hub of your marketing/communications plan. In other words, if you want your viewers to consume your content on YouTube, Annotations can work for you since they can only link to other content on YouTube rather than to content on your own site (unless you’re a Partner Provider). If you want your viewers to spend only enough time on YouTube to find out how to get to your site or landing page, then Annotations can present a challenge. In fact, since they only send viewers to destinations on YouTube, Annotations can work against you if your viewers are already on your site watching an embedded video with Annotations.

Don’t Forget YouTube Ad Overlays

This one is a bit tricky and the details should probably be left to a post of their own, but it’s definitely worth mentioning that if you have Google AdWords enabled for your YouTube channel, you can add an Ad Overlay to your videos that will link to anywhere on the web, unlike Annotations. The best part? There is currently no cost for Ad Overlays. You only pay for the views you buy when promoting your video with an AdWords campaign.

Check out an example from another of our clients, Thermo Scientific.

Check Out Viewbix

This tool offers some nifty integration options including CTAs, links to maps, photos, Twitter feeds and more that can be displayed right within the Viewbix video player. These feature may be a bit too robust for the general need, but check out some of their examples and see what you think.

How do you generate leads from your videos?

  • jaybaer

    @SallyHogshead Thanks Sally! I need to chat with you for 10 mins next week. Will DM.

    • SallyHogshead

      @jaybaer Bring it on.

  • RockyWalls

    @CindyKing thanks Cindy! Hope you liked the post.

  • RockyWalls

    @nancyjarial thanks Nancy! You guys have some good examples of calls too action baked right into your videos.

  • RockyWalls

    @aquarry thanks Alan. Glad you liked the post.

  • jaybaer

    @Mike_Stelzner Thanks for the RT, and good to see you! (you going to do an aff program for soc med world?)

    • Mike_Stelzner

      @jaybaer welcome and yes, coming soon

      • ArnieK

        @mike_stelzner Let me know too Mike. @jaybaer

        • jonwuebben

          @ArnieK @Mike_Stelzner @jaybaer ditto that here..

  • RockyWalls

    @jonathanscrowe best one for outbound is the overlays. Don’t neglect the link to landing page in the description.

  • SafeHarbourCdn

    Good to know, thanks! RT @zenaweist 4 Ways to Include Calls to Action on Videos … by @rockywalls via @jaybaer

  • JasonBoies

    RT @reedsmith 4 Ways to Include Calls to Action on Videos #hcmktg #hcsm #mccsm

  • startcut

    @rpragana Check out for a great and easy way to distribute your videos

  • Viewbix

    thanks for the shout out! Jon from Viewbix

    • RockyWalls

      Viewbix quite welcome Jon. Thx for the comment.

  • RockyWalls

    @callruby Thx! Hope you liked it.

  • 12StarsMedia

    @joshhumble thanks for the RT!

    • joshhumble

      @12StarsMedia You’re welcome!

  • IMAmerchant

    @brencournoyer Thanks for the RT!

  • Akos_Fintor

    Sweet tips, Rocky! Keep ‘em comin’! Akos

    • RockyWalls

      Akos_Fintor Thanks! Glad you liked the tips. Got any requests for future posts?

  • Videojuicer

    Hi Rocky, great article, just to mention that Videojuicer offers in-video calls to action that prove to increase viewer Click Thru Rates as well as having in-video shops and social integration. As one of your videos mentions, that your business video should help the business, and these tools do that.


    I’m so glad to have come across this Rocky, thanks for 411!