Including a call-to-action in your videos can noticeably increase your audience engagement. While you may think viewers intuitively like or comment on videos they enjoy, the reality is that reminding them makes them much more likely to do so. Your call-to-action serves to increase your audience engagement.
These are the elements of an effective call to action.
Invite new viewers to join your community by subscribing.
A lot of creators struggle with getting a lot of views without gaining a lot of new subscribers. Oftentimes, viewers find a new channel through suggested videos or homepage recommendations. No matter how much they enjoyed your video, they may simply forget to subscribe as they jump to the next suggested video.
So, your first order of business in a call-to-action should be reminding new viewers to subscribe. Direct them towards your subscribe button. You could even include an animated subscribe button on screen.
To more effectively encourage viewers to subscribe, invite them to be a part of the community surrounding your channel. You might say something along the lines of, “Come join the family!” or “Welcome to our little corner of the internet!”.
Set a like goal.
Likes are an important metric for content creators on any online platform. Getting more likes on a video boosts your place in the YouTube algorithm because it demonstrates how many viewers are enjoying your content.
To increase the number of likes on your video, turn it into a game. Challenge your viewers to get your video to a reasonable number of likes. If they meet your goal, set a bigger challenge in the next video.
You might even incentivize your audience to help you reach your goal. For example, you might promise behind-the-scenes footage or a highly requested video if your video surpasses the number of likes set in your goal.
Remind subscribers to ding the notification bell.
The post notification bell is a relatively new but important feature on YouTube. Whenever someone presses the notification bell button on your channel, they’ll receive a push notification every time you upload a new video or make a community post.
Viewers may not understand what the notification bell is for, so your call-to-action should briefly explain that they should press it so they never miss an upload. Ask them to ding the notification bell and ensure they set it to receive all notifications.
If your viewers complain that their post notifications aren’t working, instruct them to turn their post notifications off then back on again. This should reset it so that they start receiving notifications properly.
Ask viewers to answer a specific question in the comments.
Comments function similar to likes in the YouTube video ranking algorithm. They’re an important measure of audience engagement. When a video gets more comments, the algorithm decides to recommend it to more potential viewers.
You can get more viewers to comment by getting the conversation started yourself. In your call-to-action, ask them to comment in response to a fun question. Be creative with your questions. It could be anything from what kind of video they’d like to see next to where they’d travel if they could go anywhere.
You can increase the number of comments by telling your viewers you’ll be replying for the first hour or so after your video goes live. Then, after the video is uploaded, spend some time liking and responding to comments.
Mention your upload schedule.
Your call-to-action is essentially your channel’s elevator pitch. Your content is the product, and your viewers are the target demographic. In order to “sell” your channel to viewers, you should advertise your upload schedule.
Viewers may be more likely to subscribe if they know they can expect scheduled uploads instead of irregular uploads. Let viewers know exactly when they should expect your next video. Mention any series you’re doing or special uploads you have coming.
You might also include the upload schedules for any other channels you run. You could say something along the lines of, “I upload new videos every Tuesday, and there’s a new vlog on my second channel every Friday!”.
Promo any outside projects.
Finally, briefly mention any projects you have outside of YouTube. This could be merch you’re selling, a movie you starred in, a song you released, or a blog you’re writing for. Keep the promo short and sweet so viewers don’t think you’re using your video as a commercial for an outside project.
In order to keep your call-to-action brief, tell your viewers that you’ll put more information about your outside projects in the description. You could also direct them to links in info cards or let them know you’ll put a link in the end screen.
You can also use your call-to-action to promote your other social media accounts. Put your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, or Snapchat usernames on screen so viewers can follow you. Alternatively, you might mention that your social media links will be in the video description.
A good call-to-action gives viewers a list of ways to engage with your content. To make it more effective, keep it quick and upbeat. You might even split the above elements between the beginning and the end of your video. Be sure to thank your audience for their support as well.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.