YouTube Calls to action that cut through the noise

Everyone uses the wrong calls to action on YouTube

Have you ever seen a YouTube video and been told to like and subscribe within the first minute of watching it? Did you actually do it? Or did you zone out for 3 seconds while the person said it?

The problem is lots of creators do this because they think they’re supposed to, and they don’t have a better call to action to use instead. These days, people on YouTube are numb to hearing the good ol’ “L&S” because every video uses it.

Use Better calls to action:

For Leads:

  • “Fill out this form” (linked in description)
  • “Sign up for this email list” (linked in description)
  • “Send me an email at: … “
  • “Send me a DM on [platform] at [username]”
  • “Send me a text at: … “

For Engagement:

  • “What do you think about [x]? Comment below”
  • “What did I forget to mention in this video? Comment below”
  • “What questions do you still have about [x]? Let me know in the comments”
  • “If you enjoy videos like this, subscribe to the channel”

For awareness:

  • “Follow me on [platform] at [username]”
  • “If you like this video, send it to a friend/colleague who might like it”
  • “Go check out our website for [x]”
  • “Go watch my other video on [x]” (use a card for this)
  • “Go watch my playlist on [x]” (use a playlist card for this)

Give value before expecting it

Asking someone to do something early in a video is like asking a 6 year old to go clean their room. They’re gonna ask why should they?

If someone is watching a video on a channel they’ve never seen before and being told in the first 60 seconds by a stranger on the internet to like and subscribe, do they know if they actually like the video? Or if the channel is worth subscribing to?

It’s too early to tell.

When people don’t know you yet, they need to answer an internal question of whether they should trust you. Getting them to answer yes is a key step in growing your audience.

Give people a reason to like you before you ask them to do something. The more they trust and like you, the more you can theoretically ask for as long as you provide enough value.

Use personality to your advantage. One of the best advantages of YouTube for lead generation as opposed to Google is that personality can be your point of differentiation.

Choosing your call to action

Your call to action should vary depending on the type of value in the video and where it is in your content strategy. Does it make sense for every video to ask the same thing of the viewer? Or should you say something different depending on the audience you’re trying to reach in that particular video?

Top, middle, and bottom of funnel videos serve different purposes. Have different calls to action for each step. You don’t want your call to action to be too big of a commitment for someone who is just discovering your channel for the first time. Make the CTA relevant to the video. Do not make the CTA the same for every video.

One CTA at a time

People are simple. Don’t complicate your message. And don’t throw multiple CTA’s at the same time, otherwise people will get confused and ultimately do neither of the things you’re asking for. If you want someone to get in touch, then say that and tell them exactly how they should do it (e.g email, website form, call, text).

But don’t tell someone to contact you and also sign up for your newsletter and also go read an article on your website. If you’re gonna do it, it has to be sprinkled throughout the video, and if you’re gonna sprinkle, the video has to be long enough for you to spread it out in a way that it’s not annoying.

Make your CTA as easy to follow as possible.

The modern day sales pitch

Whatever your call to action is, whether it’s asking someone to buy a product or service, give you their information, or subscribe to the channel, it’s a sales pitch. You’re pitching yourself.

How can you make your pitch good? Make it funny, relatable, interesting, or unique.

Be upfront about it. Especially if you’re asking for business. Asking for someone’s business requires a level of trust, and asking for it poorly is a good way to lose that trust. Be casual, and don’t force it.

Strategic calls to action can be effective at getting sales on YouTube, but don’t forget to provide value first and make your sales pitch compelling.

Fix your calls to action in future videos

If you’ve read this far, go take a look at your channel or your video outlines and highlight the calls to action. Anytime you tell the audience to do something is a call to action.

  • Was it a meaningful, relevant call to action? Or a basic “like and subscribe?”
  • What did you say before and after the CTA?
  • Did it make sense to have the CTA right there?
  • What else could you ask for that would contextually make sense?
  • If you only had one CTA, where would you add a second?
  • How would the second CTA be different?

If you currently don’t have calls to action, what CTA makes the most sense to include in the next video? It should serve a purpose both for your channel objective that also helps the viewer.

Your Homework Assignment:

Make your next video and think about the CTA that makes most sense based on the context of the video, where it fits in with other videos that came before it, and the type of person you expect to watch it. Happy filming!