YouTube Call To Action: Make People Take Action On Your Videos

Written by Nick Leffler | Comments Off on YouTube Call To Action: Make People Take Action On Your Videos | 7 min read

There is a purpose behind all this social media stuff and content development you do. It’s no different for a YouTube call to action.

The YouTube call to action is your calling for driving people to where you want them to go.

Your responsibility is deciding who your audience is and what would interest them so you can point them there.

YouTube gives you several ways to provide viewers with calls to action.

I cover some of the channel calls to action in my set up your YouTube channel post which you should have already done. I will cover them again here but more briefly.

Understanding what a YouTube call to action is and how you should be doing it is the first step.

What’s A Call to Action

You’ll have to do a YouTube call to action a bit differently than you would other calls to action.

Before you do that though you have to understand what a call to action is.

A call to action is a command or direction on what someone should do next.

You see them every day.

  • Download the eBook Now
  • Sign Up For Free
  • Call For A Free Consultation
  • Get My Free Quote

Every one of those tells you what action you should take and what you’ll get from that action.

Your call to action is what tells people what they should do next. Share on X

Whether they’re downloading an eBook or getting free software there is a direction and a reason people will want to do it.

YouTube is no different in this regard.

They’re watching your video and you want them to do something more than just watch and move on to another video.

So, your YouTube call to action is a way to give your videos a purpose in driving watchers to a place you want them to be.

Before we get to all the options YouTube gives you to set up calls to action, there is an old YouTube call to action you should stay away from.

The Old Way (Don’t Do This)

The old way of doing YouTube calls to action in videos is still supported by YouTube but it’s not going to be very effective for you.

Annotations used to be a very common feature where you could place notes, text, and buttons over the top of any video and at any point during the video.

There were tons of options and it was great in its heyday when YouTube was watched on computers only.

Things change though and how the overall YouTube audience is primarily on mobile devices.

Annotations aren’t supported on mobile devices.

If that’s not reason enough for you to skip annotations there’s an even more important reason.

Do Not Use YouTube Annotations YouTube now gives you the option to either use end screens or annotations but not both.

End screens as a YouTube call to action are far superior. We’ll get to that later though.

All you need to know is that you should stay away from annotations.

There are lots of great ways you can provide a YouTube call to action that will be successful at pointing visitors to where you want them to go.

Let’s dig in.

CTA Options On Your Channel

There are calls to action for your channel and there are calls to action for your videos.

We’ll start with the channel calls to action so you can drive regular viewers onward to your website.

Channel Links

If someone visits your YouTube channel page there are places where you can include links to your website, social profiles, or wherever else you want.

This can even be used as a call to action.

Exprance YouTube Channel Art

You can put a number of different links in this section but only one will be emphasized.

Above you can see the emphasized link with an icon and text that I chose. All other links will only be an icon.

That first link is a great opportunity for you to put in a call to action.

To edit these links just hover the mouse over the channel art and click the pencil icon in the top right. Edit the links and you’re all set with whatever you want in here.

I’ve used this link to drive action to subscribe to the channel but you could also use it to provide a one-word brief YouTube call to action.

Channel About Page

Your about page lets you customize many different things about your channel.

One of those options is the description which you’re allowed to type a lot of content into.

You’re also allowed to put links in there.

Exprance YouTube Channel Description

These links aren’t clickable but they are at least there and available to those visitors who are truly interested.

Other Channels

If you have other YouTube channels you can put links to them in a special section. Not only that but you can title the section whatever you want.

When you’re on your channel you can add a section in the right column that lets you link to other channels.

If you don’t have this option enabled you’ll have to first enable the option to customize your YouTube channel.

CTA Options In Your Videos

That’s it for the channel calls to action but those are not the most important.

Most people who see your videos will never make it to your channel.

Instead, they’ll watch your videos and read your description (maybe).

Your Description

Below each video YouTube gives you two visible lines of text before it’s hidden behind a link.

Those two lines can include a link also.

That’s the perfect opportunity for you to include a brief description, a YouTube call to action, and a link to wherever you want.

YouTube Videl Description Call To Action

Everything below the first two lines is hidden behind the ‘show more’ link so be sure you’re brief and that you test out how it looks.


Cards and end screens are the most useful YouTube calls to action and they should not be left out.

On YouTube, you’re allowed to link to your own website in cards as long as it’s verified.

Make sure after you publish your video you go through the settings again and add up to five cards to your video.

Cards show up at a time you get to determine with pop out text that comes out of the information icon (below) at the time you’ve specified.

When someone clicks that information icon the card drawer pops out and they can see all your cards with calls to action on them.

YouTube Video Card Expansion Icon

You can create cards with a relevant link to more material or perhaps a link to a landing page where they can download something related to the video.

If your offer is relevant and timely then there’s a great chance the viewer will click through.

I use cards all the time to promote eBooks, blog articles, or even a free consultation.

If you sell a product then using cards to hard sell it is possible but not easy. It’s best to show something free or interesting at first to get subscribers to your email list.

End Screens

I saved this YouTube call to action for last because it’s one of the best as far as people actually following through with the call to action.

You can put multiple different elements on an end screen which can lead to actions the viewer takes.

For a YouTube call to action, the most important option is the link.

End screens provide a solid next step after someone watches your YouTube video. Share on X

If your website is approved then you can put a link to it on the end screen.

You can edit end screens in each video’s settings screen by clicking on the end screen & annotation tab. Just remember, stay away from annotations.

That’s it!

You have lots of options for YouTube calls to action and now it’s time to use YouTube to promote your content and build your audience.

Promote Your Content

If you take advantage of all the opportunities there are to put calls to action in your content then your content will help promote your business.

Being out there with a good message that matches your target audience will ensure you bring new leads to your business.

With a YouTube call to action in every place you can put them on your YouTube videos, people are more likely to take the action you want them to on YouTube.

You also need a good place to capture those leads and a good online presence will ensure you have that.

Request a free online presence report to see how your business online presence is doing and if some improvements will help you.

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