How to Perfect the Call to Action in a Video

Image courtesy of Henry

The main aim of any product video will be to have the customer, the viewer of the content to get back to your brand and bring in business. If your video goes viral, it will make the brand famous and a large chunk of the population will get to know your brand. That is a 'positive spill over' as known in economics and will make people interested in what they see and the company behind the video will be brought to the forefront. Among the best product videos of all time the 'Mint' explainer was a mere 1 and a half minutes long, but showed exactly what you got as a service, how it can be used, the various functions, how to sign up, all the platforms in which it can be used and most importantly, it had a perfect call to action right at the end. If you watch it once, you will be surely moved to at least check out the website once. 

Using call to action

Call to action is nothing but drawing attention to your product or service in the video. It should invoke an immediate response from the target audience and leave an impression that they should check it out later. If the video was engaging, funny, strikes a chord and beautifully made, but has no CTA, it will be enjoyed, even passed around, but there will be no point to it. Viewers will remember the video, but have no clue why it was made or even why they sat through the whole thing and that is why you need an effective CTA. Melty Cone is a professional video production company in NYC that makes effective CTA videos.

Here are a few pointers on how you can include the perfect call to action in your video content.  

Directly in the video

Place the CTA directly in the video, this is probably the best way to go about it. A CTA in the video itself makes it clear why it was made. The intent behind the production has to be in such a way that there is no room for misinterpretation. A good way to do it will be to have a line segued into the dialogue midway through the video. It need not be direct or in the viewer's face, a subtle hint, like, 'You should check out our website for more on this, linked in the description' and continue on with whatever it is you are saying. At the end, you can have a quick reminder like, 'do remember to check out the product, links below'. Another way to have a direct CTA will be to mention it, have a 10 or 15 second slot to encourage viewers to see the website or a link to a sales page. A slide or an animation with the CTA is also popular. 


If you have spent any time in YouTube at all, you are sure to know what annotations are. They work like pop-ups in a video. Unlike ads, they do not normally talk about an outside product. When used well, annotations can be of great help to you. If you want examples of how to use annotations in videos, visit the channel run by Jamie Oliver. He has videos with simple recipes and in between them, he throws out a lot of tips, he'd just point at one corner of the screen and say, click here for a quick recipe on how to make this next ingredient, and will continue with whatever he is doing. If you click there, it will take you on another tab, to that recipe. 

Annotations are great at the end where the whole screen can be used with various links. They can also be irritating to the viewer if they are opaque and occupy too much space or if they appear at the beginning of the product video. If that happens, the viewer is likely to turn off the annotations and the whole point of it will be lost. Annotations also are only allowed within YouTube. Links going to an outside website will have to be placed in the description. Using annotation, you can link people to other videos, making them spend more time in your channel looking at all your videos. 

Ad overlays 

The concept of Ad Overlays is not very complicated, all you need is AdWords for YouTube and it is possible to create overlays for the video. It can be programmed to appear at any point in the video and will have to be manually closed by the viewer. It is similar to the annotations and is a way to give a chance for the viewers to get a lot more information about what you say in the video. It can be used to place a link on the video screen, but unlike annotations, it can link to anywhere in the web. They are even called Call to Action overlay in the YouTube settings dashboard. It is free and can be used to great effect. 

Fine tune and optimize

YouTube has some great stuff on the analytics page and you should take time to go through them. As far as CTA's are concerned, there are ways to know where to place them, so that they get the most viewers to at least look at them. Audience retention is one such statistic, it shows when and at which point viewership drops off or when people just close or look away. If your CTA is at a point where a certain percentage of the population do not even wait till it gets there, it would do you good to place it before that point. If a drop off is close to or directly after a CTA or an annotation, it can denote that people are actually looking at or using the links, which is a good thing. 

There are no fixed rules when it comes to product videos going viral. However, using one or more of these guidelines can help you make the best of the video and place it in a platform that will give it the best possible viewership.

What is Melty Cone? Melty Cone is a full-service video production company in NYC. We make videos from start to finish; from creative idea conception to final video delivery.

Lucas Chu

Melty Cone is a full service video production company in NYC. We make commercials, corporate videos, branded content, brand videos and the best videos in New York!