Remember those speech bubbles that used to pop up at the start of almost every YouTube video years ago? They would instantly cover your screen, screaming “Subscribe to my channel!” or “Watch my next video!”, forcing you scurry over to your mouse and click exit on every bubble before they completely ruined the beginning of the video you were trying to watch.
They knew how important CTAs were for channel managers to boost views, watch time, and subscriptions, so, over the years, they made a concerted effort to keep enhancing their call-to-action capabilities. Now, CTAs more seamlessly blend into videos, and provide a much better user experience.
YouTube CTAs can be a valuable way to drive viewers to your website and social media pages, so read on to learn about the eight types of YouTube CTAs that’ll not only boost your YouTube presence, but your entire presence online.
8 Types of CTAs you Should Be Using in Your YouTube Channel
1. Beginning of the Video CTA
According to KissMetrics, 20% of viewers bounce from videos that are only 1 minute long and 40% of viewers bounce from videos that are 2-3 minutes long. If a significant chunk of your viewers bounce from your video before they even reach the CTA, placing it at the beginning of the video and leaving it there until it ends could generate more clicks. People who usually bounce before your video ends will have a chance to click on it, and the people who watch the video all the way through, who are also most likely to complete your desired action, will have a chance to click on it too.
2. Suggest Another Video CTA
If your audience starts dedicating entire YouTube watch sessions to only your videos, your brand trust and affinity will skyrocket. This will also boost your videos’ watch time, which is significant factor in the YouTube ranking algorithm. To get your audience to keep watching your videos one after another, you should suggest related videos that they’re more likely to watch than the suggested videos YouTube’s autoplay function recommends.
Yes Theory does an excellent job of this. At the end of each of their videos, they prompt viewers to click on videos that are most relevant to the one they just watched, which has helped their channel garner over 128 million video views and 1.4 million subscribers.
3. Subscribe to Channel CTA
Subscribers are important to your channel because YouTube will send them notifications about your new videos and feature your videos on their homepage. This means they’ll see your videos more frequently, which will help you generate more views. Subscribers tend to watch your videos longer than non-subscribers too, so the more subscribers you have, the more watch time your videos will accumulate, and the more likely YouTube will rank them higher on search and feature them in the related section. YouTube also keeps track of the number of viewers who subscribe to your channel right after watching one of your videos. So if one of your videos attracts a lot of new subscribers, they’ll reward it with higher rankings and more features in the related section.
Business Insider does a great job of driving YouTube subscriptions by featuring an engaging CTA during their videos’ last 15 seconds, giving users ample time to subscribe.
4. Follow On Social Media CTA
If your audience likes watching your YouTube videos, they’ll probably enjoy consuming your content on social media too. By putting social media buttons in your videos, your most loyal YouTube subscribers could also turn into your most engaged social media followers.
Walt-Disney leveraged social media buttons by placing them at the end of Moana’s trailer on YouTube. This encouraged people to follow the movie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, allowing Walt-Disney to consistently push content about Moana to their new followers and generate more hype and awareness for the movie.
5. Lead Generation CTA
In addition to using blogs, social media, and email marketing to promote your top performing lead generation content, you can also attach them to your YouTube videos. These videos can either educate your viewers on the same subject matter as your lead generation content or they can preview it, like this HubSpot video below:
6. Drive to Website CTA
When college students are in the midst of a two hour YouTube binge fest, you can probably blame Jimmy Tatro for it. He’s built an incredibly loyal and engaged following by making hilarious videos that millennials everywhere can’t get enough of. One way he monetizes his channel’s popularity is by placing an end-of-video CTA that drives viewers to his clothing store, where he sells shirts that rep his YouTube channel, LifeAccordingToJimmy, and his YouTube show, The Real Bros of Simi Valley.
If you have a very loyal and engaged YouTube audience like Jimmy Tatro does, try guiding viewers to your product page after they watch your videos. When they’re hooked on them and love your brand, they’ll definitely be willing to support you.
7. Description CTA
If you don’t want to bombard your audience with pop-up CTAs during your video or if you run out of room to place CTAs on your end screen, you can use the description section of your videos to encourage viewers to take a desired action -- most people read descriptions before or after they watch a video.
Conor Maynard is a singer who uploads viral covers on YouTube, and he attracts subscribers, Spotify streams, and social followers by promoting his channel page, Spotify page, and social profiles in the description of his videos.
8. Auditory CTA
About a month ago, Backlinko analyzed 1.3 million YouTube search results and discovered a statistically significant correlation between comments and ranking. They also discovered when viewers share your videos on social media through YouTube’s own social buttons, they’ll boost your video rankings. Since YouTube uses video comments and social shares to gauge whether your video is high-quality, you should ask your viewers to share your video on social and spark debate in the comments by asking them to continue the conversation your video started.