Back in early 2018, I was looking to do some video content related to my Google G Suite service offerings. Since I had not done much video in the past, I went into learning and experiment mode for a couple of months. I had several goals I wanted to achieve from my video marketing test, including learning best practices around video titles, thumbnail testing, and keyword placement. I also used a service called TubeBuddy, which was a tremendous help to me for properly optimizing my videos. By the time my experiment was complete, I had posted 10 videos during the months of April and May.
Besides learning about how to produce and publish videos, I had metric goals I was striving to achieve as well. I was interested in measuring subscribers, watch time, views, and most importantly, clicks back to my website. I consider my website the hub of all my online activities, so making sure I had all the proper calls-to-action (CTA) setup in my videos was an important element.
In almost all my videos, I did setup annotations, end cards, and links in the video description box, all in order to get clicks back to my website. For the most part, all my CTAs were at either the beginning of my video (during my introduction) or at the very end via an end card. That strategy worked okay, as I did get some traffic to my site, but I think there might be a new way to approach CTAs in video content.
When looking at my video analytics in YouTube Creator Studio, I noticed that on almost all of my videos, audience retention fell dramatically leading up to the last few minutes of each of my videos, meaning most of my viewers never even saw or heard my CTA to visit my website. So then I examined each video to try and find a common point in all my videos where my retention was highest, and the result was my highest retention point was in the middle third of my videos. Since most of my videos were on average about 10 minutes long, the highest retention level was between the 3:00 and 6:00 minute time markers.
Knowing this, as I begin my next video project soon, I am going to intentionally move all my CTAs to the middle of my videos to see if that results in more traffic to my site. I will definitely report back my findings here on the blog.
It feels natural to end your video with your CTA, as opposed to in the middle of your content. However, when you have your greatest momentum and strong viewer attention is perhaps when you should strike with your most impactful CTA!