Don’t Rush Your Call to Action

You’ve made a stellar video: it’s fun, entertaining, and informative. Most importantly, you’re racking up the hits and likes, people are sharing it on social media, and maybe it’s even gotten some buzz on one of the internet’s more renowned media sites. But that’s only the start. It’s most likely the case that your video is a means to an end.

call-to-action-buttons-on-e-commerce-site
Source: prestashop.com

People have sat back and passively watched, now you want to unleash the famous Call To Action, or CTA.

The Problem

Most CTAs follow a simple and direct formula. Here are some examples you’ve probably seen a hundred times:

  • Click here to find out more
  • Sign up today
  • Start shopping now
  • Buy!
Source: media.licdn.com
Source: media.licdn.com

There is one obvious problem with this approach to the CTA. You’ve shifted gears too quickly from bringing people towards your brand with great content, into pushing a sale on them.

One reason this fails is that many people might not have come straight to your videos on their own with the sole intention of spending money. Maybe they were doing research and a general word search brought up your video. Maybe a friend sent them a link, or they clicked a link somebody posted on social media. Perhaps your video came up at the end of another video they were watching.

The direct conversion from prospect to client misses an all-important step: generating interest in your brand through exposure to all you have to offer, not just your incredible “limited time offer deals.”

Before you push a CTA after one video, think about how you can increase the click count on your other videos. The more of your videos people watch, the more they are exposed to your style of branding, and not through forced advertisement (who doesn’t hate seeing the same commercial a dozen times a night?).

“Watch more of our videos” could be considered a CTA in the lightest sense of the word. Now you have the careful choice of how to lead people to new content without them leaving your page.

Here’s the trick: Complimentary Material—or, The Perfect Side dish:

  • You have a company that makes special cookery products. Just in time for Thanksgiving, you have a video about the perfect method for baking a turkey. So why not let the next video be about your crispy sweet potatoes? It’s not a whole new recipe, and it’s certainly not a missing ingredient that would frustrate viewers.
  • Or maybe you have a sponsored travel vlog site and you’ve done a special about things to do in Berlin in December. Maybe the follow-up video is about the Berlin’s legendary nightlife.
  • What if you’re a company that makes a series of video tutorials where you offer public speaking lessons. Watch this next video about the use of hand gestures when speaking.

The important thing here is you’re not tricking your viewer into watching more because your first video was incomplete. You’re not leaving out the crucial step or missing ingredient, and you’re not distracting from the original reason someone came to the video. Who wouldn’t be annoyed if they tuned into a tutorial on building a birdhouse, only to find out they need to subscribe before learning about adding a water feeder.

This is complementary content. It creates a path of interest in your particular skills and expertise as a company, and gives the viewer a sense that they are on a learning curve, rather than getting an information overload.

People don’t enjoy the pushy salesmen in real life, but even more so when they are surfing the web from the comfort of their own home. If you want to keep your viewer’s attention and build their interest, don’t worry so much about calling upon them to whip out their wallets. Let them browse what you have to offer by guiding them through the useful kind of content they came looking for in the first place.