Marketing / Digital Marketing

A Marketer’s Ultimate Guide to Video Calls-to-Action

Updated: Dec 06, 2023 · 7 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

megaphone calling to action

When your company creates a video, what is the ultimate goal? Is it to drive more traffic to your website, collect emails, or generate buzz around news? Whatever the goal may be, including a call-to-action (CTA) can help you get the most out of your video and encourage viewers to take a particular course of action after watching your content. 

Just as there are many ways to create a company video, there are also many ways to implement a CTA in your video. If you’re a marketer, the following questions can help you incorporate successful calls-to-action in your next video. 

Which CTA style best fits my company’s needs? 

There are generally three types of CTAs you can include in a video: auditory, text, and buttons. The most popular style is a button, which can be bold, colorful, and easily catch the eye of a viewer.

In this GoPro video, you can see CTA buttons are displayed in the video’s final frame. The buttons are bold and guide the audience to subscribe to GoPro’s YouTube channel. 

An alternative to stationary CTA buttons, text-based CTAs can appear and disappear throughout a video. These types of CTAs are most common on YouTube and are known as annotations. Check out this promotional clip for Target’s Halloween Season, annotated with shoppable CTAs throughout the video.

Target made this video interactive through the use of annotations, which is an excellent way to not only tell a story but also make your video stand out in the sea of video content your audience encounters on a daily basis. These annotations are customizable and can direct your audience to click within the video for more information. Upon doing so, you can reveal a bevy of options from which to choose. 

Ultimately, text-based CTAs are a great way to subtly inspire viewers towards actions as opposed to the more prominent CTA buttons. 

Auditory CTAs don’t appear in any frame of your video, but are provided, through a video narration or a character’s line of dialogue. Though it can prove useful, this type of CTA is best accompanied by a button or annotations rather than alone. 

Your video viewers want the journey through the sale cycle to be as simple as possible and to ask them to memorize a website URL from an auditory CTA may be asking for too much. 

The Red Nose Day Charity provides a great example of pairing a vocal CTA with a button and an annotation. Chris Martin of Coldplay provides the auditory CTA (jump to 11:58 in the clip) in a casual, funny way. Then to reiterate his instruction, the next slide in the video offers the same information in annotation and button form. 

Adding auditory CTAs annotations or a button can be a great way to emphasis a course of action multiple times without seeming too overbearing. 

Where does my CTA belong within my video?

When deciding where your CTA belongs in your video, your options are the beginning, middle, or end. Placing your call to action at the beginning of a video can offer little information about your company. If the CTA is clicked, it could be out of boredom to escape the rest of the content, or it might have been clicked by mistake. Placing your CTA at the beginning of a video is not advised. 

Placing your call to action at the end of your video can prove very useful. Once clicked, it is a clear indication that the viewer is highly interested in your offering. The only negative is that you may lose some viewers who don’t have time to finish the video though they may have been interested in learning more about your product or service. 

This leads us to placing a CTA in the middle of the video content. This can neither be perceived as spammy nor wasteful. If a viewer has watched a minute and a half of a three-minute video, it can be a clear indicator of their interest in your brand’s offering. They may not want to finish the video, but they may still have an interest in visiting your site. By offering the CTA in the middle of your message, you provide them the flexibility to do so. 

Should I customize my CTA depending on where I place my video?

You can customize your videos’ CTAs depending on which platform they are placed on (i.e. website landing page, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc). After all, it’s important not to use the same CTA on all your videos. If a viewer has reached your site from a CTA on a Vimeo clip, you don’t want to waste that golden opportunity by then providing them with more CTAs about visiting your site. They’ve already made it to your website thanks to your previous CTA, and now it’s time to advise new courses of action such as downloading an e-book, or joining your mailing list, etc. Capitalize on where your viewers are in the buyers’ cycle and customize your CTAs to help push them further towards becoming a customer. 

Here is an example of a video on HealthCare Recruiters International “About Us” page. The CTA appears at the end of the video and asks viewers to fill out the form for more information.

healthcare recruiters.png


Since the viewer has reached this specific clip by searching through content on the site, this offer CTA is perfectly placed. It shows the company can be informative yet keep the viewer’s needs in mind. 

How can I customize my CTA based on my goals? 

You are implementing your CTA for a particular reason and it’s important to define clearly what that reason is to receive the best ROI possible. Referring to GoPro’s video that displays a well thought out CTA strategy, you can see a message immediately pops up with a button to subscribe. The viewer has to click consciously out of the popup message to avoid the subscription button. Before a new auto play or any other content can distract a viewer, GoPro provides the subscription button, front and center. 

The goal with including CTAs in your video is to make the journey through the sales funnel easier for those interested. When you implement a CTA, put your yourself in the mind of the viewer. Think about where they will be in the buyers’ cycle when they spot your CTA. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can anticipate the content that they would be most likely to click on and thus which part of your video would be most worthy of a CTA. Answer these four questions and your CTAs can become an integral component of the success of your video marketing strategy.


London-born entrepreneur Anish Patel started boutique production agency, Revolution Productions, in 2008, specializing in the production of animated explainer videos. Revolution Productions has since gained global recognition for helping businesses put their name into the spotlight with powerful and creative videos.

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