Marketing Videos: The Importance of a Call to Action

The script is just right, the set looks great, and the actors are ready to go. But something’s missing and you can’t quite put your finger on it. As you shoot your marketing video, you begin to relax as the actors and the video crew do their jobs spectacularly. Looking over the director’s shoulder, you see that the close up shots of your product are fabulous. The video’s going to be a smashing success!

However, when the marketing video goes live, nothing happens. Your phones don’t start ringing off the hook as expected and orders come in at a trickle at best. That nagging feeling you had on the set was real, and it was right. Something’s missing – something important and all too easy to overlook: the call to action.

A call to action can be as simple as putting a toll free phone number or website address on the screen. It can be as easy as having the talent say, “Take a short survey and tell us what you think” or “Order by midnight tonight and receive free shipping.”

While your audience may be sophisticated and understand without prompting that your product is great, without a call to action, your viewers may simply do nothing. Using a simple call to action, not only can you prompt viewers to act, you can prompt them to do exactly what you want them to do! With just a few simple words, you can direct the entire viewing audience of your marketing videos to: sign up for a newsletter, order a product, try a free demo, download a whitepaper or information sheet, or tell a friend about your service.

Here’s a simple video marketing formula:

  • Present a problem or need
  • Position your product or service as the solution
  • Discuss the benefits of your product or service (in other words, how will viewers benefit personally?)
  • Tell viewers what you want them to do (call to action)

No matter what form your marketing video script takes, these four factors progressively lead your viewers to take a specific action. If the problem doesn’t resonate, if the product or service doesn’t solve the problem, if the benefits aren’t great enough, and if there’s no clear call to action, your marketing video will fall flat no matter how nice the set looks and how well the actors performed.

Before you tackle your next marketing video, pay attention to the marketing campaigns you encounter. Can you identify the problem? Solution? Benefits? Call to action? Which campaigns compelled you to do something? Which ones didn’t? Can you spot any that lack a call to action? Get in the habit of critiquing other marketing videos based on these factors and you’ll be less likely to overlook the ever important call to action on your own videos, blogs, and websites.

Have you ever seen an ad that left out a call to action? Share your experiences and thoughts below: