How To Get Clicks From YouTube9 min read

by | Blog Post

An ad is only as good as it’s ability to contribute to the bottom line. In digital, the bridge from ads to sales is an offer, introduced with the Call-to-Action (CTA).

YouTube videos have several options for Calls-to-Action:

Of these, the CTA Overlay is arguably the most effective Call-To-Action unit available for YouTube videos.

If you are not familiar with the CTA Overlay, it looks like this:

Using TrueView CTAs to get Clicks on YouTube example

GoPro uses this image slot to show their product, right in the CTA – Smart Move!

They have a fixed position in the video and they appear to be more sophisticated (an expandable button) in comparison to annotations. Unlike the “Cards” call-to-action, the CTA Overlay is colorful and includes a small image. It uses black for the background and really stands out in its placement near the play/pause button.

The CTA Overlay displays from the start of the video and collapses after 15 seconds, leaving only the image. On hover, the full CTA Overlay will pop back out.

The CTA overlay, like Cards, also appears on mobile YouTube, where “annotations” did not, which is why they are now defunct.

How To Set a CTA Up

You may have seen these interactive units on YouTube videos as you browse. However, don’t go searching the YouTube interface, you won’t find it there. CTA Overlays are an available feature with AdWords – meaning they need to be set up in the AdWords interface. But even if you do not intend to promote your video, you can and should set up CTA overlay’s on your videos.

To set up a CTA overlay, you need to create a video campaign in Adwords and connect the video to your campaign.

If you don’t have an AdWords account, you’ll need to set one up first.

If you just want the CTA overlay, without spending on media, set the daily budget to $1 and the max CPV to $.01.

This will allow you to attach the video to a “campaign” but you will not spend any budget (If you want to run a full campaign, you can certainly do that too with increased budgets.)

Now go into your new campaign and select the “videos” tab.

Find your video and click the dropdown next to “analytics.”

Click “edit Call to Action” and you’ll get a pop-up dialogue where, at long last, you can add/edit the CTA overlay.

You’ll have 25 characters for the Headline, 20 for the Display URL, and basically as many as you need for the Destination URL.

Now upload an image icon – 74 x 74 pixels.  If you resize a bigger one, try to maintain crisp resolution.

Also be sure to check “Enabled on mobile” unless for some reason you don’t want to show to mobile users.

Competitive Advantage

This has to be one of the most unintuitive interfaces in all of the ad world, but now, that is your advantage.

Because the CTA Overlay is hidden, not every marketer is aware of the capability, which makes you stand out when you do.

We’ve run a lot of campaigns for Brite Content users and the CTA overlay consistently returns the best click-through metrics of all YouTube formats. This secret won’t last forever, but take advantage of this hidden gem while you can.

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