Action-driven videos 101: how to craft a powerful video CTA

Research has shown that global users spend an average of nearly seven hours per week watching videos. Whether they are on YouTube, social media, or embedded on websites, videos have the unique ability to convey an audio and visual message to the viewer. In the world of digital marketing, this two-pronged attack can wield the power of persuasion. 


Many individuals and organisations will have diverse motivations for creating video content. The industry is full of imaginative content creators. Businesses like yours recruit these individuals to the best of their abilities. The payoff can be unique and entertaining content.

But despite your best efforts, you may find that your video content or video marketing campaign isn’t performing as well as you hoped. Or even worse, the actual ad spend doesn’t break even! Either way, you and your marketing team are up a creek with no paddle.

You can put together a fantastic and entertaining video, but if you’re not properly implementing calls to action (CTAs), then you are likely flushing money down the toilet. Not to mention wasting lots of people’s time, including that of your intended audience. The video sales funnel is no different than any other type of marketing.

What is the meaning of call to action or CTA?

A call to action is a marketing term that means basically what it describes. Whether text, video, or audio content, it is the words and phrases the marketer uses to urge the audience to take a specific action. This call could ask the viewer to fill out a form, visit a website, make a purchase, or just about anything.

What is a CTA in a video?

In a video, a CTA has the same intent and purpose as it would in any other form of promotional marketing. However, the main difference is that the call to action must occur either before, during, or after the viewer watches a video. 

The average person makes up to 35,000 decisions per day. So where and how you decide to place another one can have a huge impact on the results. Additionally, many other factors like the intended audience, the industry, and what action is being asked all affect video CTA placement.

What is a good CTA?

Unlike many other things in marketing, the process of making a strong CTA is simple. You only need to follow some basic steps.

  • Does the CTA fit with your brand and its image? Also, the CTA needs to fit with the marketing goals of any content-based campaign.
  • A good CTA needs to instil urgency in the viewer to take action. This may include the use of terms like: limited time only, while supplies last, seasonal or tied to current events
  • CTAs must always be clear. You don’t want potential leads to be confused by the self-service automation on how to take the next step on the customer journey.
  • Don’t overcomplicate the message. Keep it short and sweet.
  • Always be specific with your CTAs
  • If you want people to take action, then you need to use a vocabulary that shifts butts from seats (metaphorically speaking). Good examples of action verbs are: click, listen, watch, buy, order, subscribe, call, contact, download, complete

What are the types of video CTAs?

Several types of CTAs are normally associated with video content marketing. Each one of these will have specific types of content that work symbiotically with the related CTAs.

Informational or promoting brand awareness

These types of CTA videos typically ask the least of the viewer. The goal of the content is to entice the viewer to visit a landing page or view additional content. The commitment level is low, but it can be the one of first nudges for the consumer along the sales funnel.

Consideration or lead generation

These types of CTAs are asking the viewer to give a bit more to get to the next step. This may be filling out contact forms, subscribing to a newsletter, or even signing up for a free trial. At this point, the customer has moved a few tiers down the funnel and is being asked to take a small leap to the next level.

Transaction or conversion

This is your final chance to convince an interested viewer that has already come so far. These CTAs need to instil the ultimate urgency of action. If viewers are mostly convinced but add your CTA to their to-do list, the chances are the call will never be answered. “Buy Now”, ”Add to Cart”, and “Start Saving Now” are all good examples of transactional CTAs.

What are the styles of video CTAs?

When it comes to Video CTAs, it’s about substance over style. However, you also need to account for your brand and your target audience. This is where video style comes into play.


Always popular in TV ads, voiceover-style videos are becoming prominent on the web. This style is very common in what’s known as an explainer video. In this video, images and animations are narrated by a calm and soothing voice actor. Case in point, a company offering the usage and benefits of team communication tools with a remote team is explained to the viewer in clear terms.

Typically, the narrator speaks to the viewer as “you” or relates with “we” before asking the CTA. This video style is great for promoting brand or product information. It’s important to add subtitles because many viewers (especially on mobile) are likely to have their sound muted. 


This style of CTA involves text appearing at some point in the video. Text can be great for promoting a brand, product, website, or mobile app. And this type of CTA can be very effective by making what’s asked clear with visual cues. 

But it’s important to resist the temptation to make it too flashy or distracting. A bold and legible font is the key here. Hold the text in the video for as many seconds as necessary. It’s all about giving the viewer plenty of time to process the CTA and take action.


Clickable streamline the process. A custom API integration CTA button eliminates any technology or time obstacles that may distract interested customers. But while it makes life easy on the viewer, it can also come across as gimmicky or overly-aggressive. 

If you opt for a clickable CTA make sure it pops in at a convenient time and doesn’t infringe on any important video content like the brand logo. Of course, always make sure your buttons are optimised for mobile users. There’s no point in having them trying to click your tiny un-optimised button with their pinky!

Where should you include a CTA in your video?

Where you should place a CTA in your video depends on many factors including: 

  • What are you asking from the viewer? 
  • What are you offering in return? 
  • What type of content is in the video?
  • What style of CTA are you using?

With that being said you have three main options for CTA placement in your video content.

At the beginning

This involves triggering the call to action before the video starts. Or at least simultaneously as the video begins to roll. This is good because it means just about any viewer will get hit with the CTA. It can also help them focus their attention.

But it may be skipped or forgotten by the end of the video. And for some viewers, merely being asked to do something before they have heard your case may be enough for them to click that “back” button.

In the middle

This doesn’t necessarily mean in the exact middle of the video. But it doesn’t mean once the video has got going and clearly before the end of the promotion. This type of placement can help viewers keep something in mind after an introduction. And those that are keen will take immediate action.

At the end

Placing your CTA at the end of the video gives you the maximum time to present your argument. And by focusing on viewers that reach the end of the video, you will be targeting those with the most interest. However, this means that you will miss out on any viewers who leave early or mid-video. 

How to make a CTA video that converts

No matter what the specifics of your video content are, the aim should always be to gain conversions. Many aspects will depend on a wealth of factors. But there is a simple guide to follow that will ensure your video converts.

Choose a goal

Before you can decide on anything else, you need to know what it is you are asking of the viewer. Do you want them to sign up for an email newsletter? Or do you want them to contact your sales team to arrange a video chat? What part of the sales funnel the video will be used for affects how and when you call the viewer to action.

This will allow you to get the message just right. You don’t want to be over assertive for steps further along the customer journey. But you also want to maximise the number of viewers you can implore to take action.

For example, let’s say you offer a platform to implement AI in personalised customer service. If you want users to sign up for a free trial you may have better results by placing a CTA at the end of the video. This gives you a chance to explain your product and how AI can solve common issues with customer service.

Present a problem

Before you can even think about a CTA, you garner interest from the viewer. The simple way to do this is to present them with a problem. Depending on your industry, this one may be common or niche. You can even create a new problem that needs to be solved.

As an example, let’s say you offer a service contract management software. The viewer may already think they are optimised with their contracting process.  But instead, you could feature a stat about how much productivity is lost due to poor contract management. Now second-guessing turns into interest.

Solve the problem

In marketing, if you don't make it clear that your product or service solves a problem, then what is the point? Once you’ve carefully crafted the annoying or frustrating obstacle for the viewer, it’s time to smash it down. How specific or detailed you get depends on what you are asking the viewer to commit to.

Let’s say you are selling coffee beans and the conversion you want is to visit a landing page. The problem is that the viewer is drinking bland coffee. Your solution? Visit this website to discover tasty beans! 

But a monthly coffee subscription may require more detailed convincing. In general, it should correlate with what action you are asking the viewer to take.

Create the urgency to act

Now is the time to help nudge the viewer into the action. Use a CTA with strong action verbs. And add a timeframe to the video CTA to make sure consumers know that they need to take the next step right now.

Remember to point out if a promotion will run out or if supplies are limited. But also be honest and practical. If you’re selling audiobooks you can’t say it’s a limited supply. Or if a promotion is running for weeks don’t call it a “Flash Sale”.

Pick your spot

With video CTAs it can be easy to become focused on the what (product), why (problem), and how (CTA). But the when is just as crucial. When you choose to ask the viewer to take action can have as much effect on conversions as anything else. 

Use tact and practicality to place your CTA at the right time. But don’t be afraid to experiment and A/B test your placements. If you aren’t getting the results you want, move the action call to a different spot in the video.

Always deliver

It’s quite simple. No matter what you are offering to consumers, always deliver in full. This means links and websites that are functional and optimized. And newsletters and e-books that arrive promptly. Or even just “buy now” buttons that do what they say they do.

Marketing success is in the small details. You and your team put a lot of work into crafting your sales funnels. Don’t drop the ball right when it’s time to score. If things aren’t working optimally, look to CX analytics to dig deeper. This will help you collect and analyse a huge amount of information with the help of databricks hdfs from a wide range of data points, including conversation data, to discover what your customers think.

You can then use the words and phrases that resonate with your target audience in your CTAs to cut through the clutter and stand out for your customers.

Video CTAs get the job done

Video marketing is a major part of modern marketing. Businesses like yours benefit from using video CTAs in a variety of ways and channels. By using the best practices, you can communicate effectively with your target audience and expect improved conversion rates.