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Effectively integrating CTA links into your videos

Sep 21, 2020 | Articles

A CTA (Call To Action) is just as important as the piece of content you’re using to promote yourself. If your CTAs are not on point, your marketing efforts will lag behind the objectives you set.

And we’re not just talking about choosing the right hover color for a button.

Sometimes CTAs even need to be specific, walking people through the process you want them to go through to buy from you.

The thing is…

That is just as important on YouTube as it is on any other platform.

If you work on your CTAs, I guarantee your Youtube videos will provide a higher conversion rate.

So let’s get into it.

The Power Of Good CTAs

Let’s talk about blog posts for a little bit.

In a blog post, you could have CTAs on the side of the actual content, like with a button or a form showing up in your face:

Or you could have in-text anchors that act as CTAs:

Which one do you think works better?

If you answered the latter, you’re correct.

That’s because in-text CTAs are natural. They’re a call to action that comes naturally, like recommending a product right after explaining the problem it can solve. 

In fact, Hubspot ran the numbers on this, and they found that in-text anchor CTAs increase conversion rate by 121%.

Again, that’s because the CTA is not artificially created – it comes right when a reader needs it.

And that’s a principle you should apply in your video CTAs as well.

But sometimes, that may be a bit tougher. 

Why CTAs on Youtube Are So Complicated

First, you can’t recommend anything you want on Youtube. The platform has some Community Guidelines you’ll have to respect, but for the most part they’re not a problem for honest businessmen.

What you’ll need to learn is how to navigate their cards and thumbnails system. First, you’ll need to join the Youtube Partner Program to insert links into your video, so from the get-go you need to accept some more terms and conditions.

Second, you can’t recommend external links on content made for kids.

And third, you need to learn their system and create your videos to match the cards and thumbnails you plan on adding.

It’s something you can get used to pretty quickly, but it’s definitely something a bit harder in the beginning.

If this still seems a bit confusing to you, feel free to read Google’s guidelines on adding links to youtube videos.

If you’re set-up for the Youtube Partners program and you’re comfortable adding cards all around the place, read on.

How To Use CTAs In Your Videos

As we said, the first thing you’ll need to learn is to record your videos with CTAs in mind. Whether you want to send people to other videos you have posted, or a product launch you’re doing, you’ll need to write the script with those elements in mind from the beginning.

If you’re comfortable with that, make sure you treat adding CTAs as you would any other marketing effort. It’s something that’s supposed to increase your conversion rate, so you need to keep in mind:

  • Your target audience, and what they want to hear in a CTA
  • How to create CTAs that grab people’s attention
  • What would best help your audience in a specific piece of content

If you can do that, let’s talk about specific calls to action that work great in Youtube Videos.

Suggesting Other Videos

Suggesting other relevant videos to the one your audience just watched is one of the best ways to create a CTA in your videos, and grow your Youtube channel at the same time.

Youtube cares a lot about watch time.


And they can tell when people binge your content. 

In fact, they even state that something like this is a very important factor in the Youtube ranking algorithm.

And yeah, you can get great results by simply suggesting related videos to your audience.

But if you want to take this a step further, plan your content in series.

For example let’s say you do showdowns of popular brands, like McDonald’s vs KFC, analyzing their business for aspiring entrepreneurs to get insights into successful brands.

You could do a series of episodes, basing each entry on historical periods of their competition. If people just watched how two giants battled in the ‘90s, they’ll likely want to get a scoop of how that competition developed through the early 2000s.

That’s a great moment for a related video CTA.

Get (at least some of) it out fast

Here’s something you need to be at peace with: a lot of people won’t watch your whole video.

In fact, if you take a look at the numbers Kissmetrics ran on this, you’ll find that 40% of viewers bounce at some point, even if the video is 2-3 minutes long.

Picture that bounce rate for videos that are over 20 minutes long.

What this means is that people won’t make it to the end of your video.

So if you crowd some CTAs when your actual content is over, you won’t see great results. Make sure you add CTAs naturally, while you’re talking about a topic, and try to get some of them out even before you hit the 1 minute mark.

Like And Subscribe

Chances are, you already said that header to yourself in your favorite Youtuber’s voice.

Asking your audience to like and subscribe may seem cliche, or overused, but that’s because it works. CTAs don’t necessarily have to be complicated, they need to work.

And since subscribing isn’t something people do with every video they watch, reminding them it helps can actually boost your numbers.

If you want to rise above your competition, you can take it a step further and be quirky with how you ask for a like and subscribe. I don’t mean making stuff up, like “subscribe now for good fortune”, but actually integrate CTAs that make sense with your style, voice, and what your audience appreciates.

If you want to stand out even more, treat this type of CTA like a normal offer. Promise something in return of a subscribe, in the tune of “We publish actionable tutorials about Illustrator every week, so if you want to hone your design skills, make sure you’re subscribed to our channel”.

Plug In Your Other Channels

Social media channels and websites are a great way to increase retention in your audience.

Think about it like this: if people liked your videos, they’ll probably like what you put out on Facebook too, and they’ll definitely enjoy reading your blog posts or finding out more about your company on its website.

But you need to pay closer attention to this.

We did say people that like your content, not just people that ended up on one of your videos in particular, and won’t ever subscribe.

So to thin out one-time watchers from people that truly like what you put out, we recommend plugging in your other channels when it’s natural (for example, while you’re talking about something you also have a stellar blog post on) or at the end of your videos.

Again, you can treat this with more care than just saying “hey, by the way, you can also follow me on instagram”.

For example, you can talk about the type of content you post on other channels, and specifically say “follow me on instagram if you do like this type of content”, so you create the idea that it’s an option, not something you’re shoving down the throat of your audience.

By the way, if you’re using Youtube to promote your blog, make sure you read about our tips on how to monetize your blog.

Use Your Description

CTAs are great, but like anything in life, you shouldn’t abuse Youtube cards.

If you feel like your videos get overcrowded with links to different resources online, try to optimize your description to include CTAs.

However, do keep in mind that not as many people will open your description, so prioritize your CTAs and only reference the less important links in your description.

You can even try to make a list of common things you call to action, like your social platforms, your course, or a landing page that’s already getting a lot of traffic, and create template paragraphs recommending those. You can then quickly personalize each description with this template.

In Conclusion

We hope this article shed some light on how to effectively integrate CTA links into your videos.

Remember that calls to action are fundamental for increasing conversion rate, so if your channel is working towards any marketing goal, you need to pay more attention to them.

And let us know in the comments below: how do you effectively integrate CTA links into your videos?

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By Gael Breton

PS: If you want to know more about CTAs, read this article!

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