Make stuff, sell stuff

Have a Call to Action and Web Address in the Actual Video

One of the main reasons for doing a promotional video is to promote something, and to do this you need to tell someone what to do, where to go, how to reach you. This is called a call to action, and to be effective you need to have it spelled out very clearly in your video. This is often done with some kind of text on the screen.

If you have access to some kind of editing software such as Apple iMovie, MS MovieMaker-both of which come free on the Mac or PC-or you are using FinalCut, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier, PowerPoint or almost any other editing software, then you have the ability to add text on the screen. Even YouTube has editing software now: If possible, drop in some kind of call-to-action or contact info as the video plays and at the end of the video.

Most videos are played no more than 20 seconds, so you have a very short amount of time to capture and keep your viewer. One of the best ways is to put what is called a lower third or a block of text along the bottom of your video. This block of text doesn’t have to be on the bottom of the video. It can really be anywhere on the screen but is often located here. But now that YouTube and other video hosting platforms are often dropping in ads along the bottom you might want to place them along the top. This message also doesn’t have to be the same all the way through. You can alternate it with: “For more info visit” or “We Have Free Samples” or “See the Free or Discount Offer at the End of the Video.”

At the end of the video repeat your call to action, drop in your contact info and website address or “we have more videos that you can watch.” Videos should work whether the sound is on or off, so adding a text overlay is one of the best ways to connect with your viewer.

If you don’t have access to editing software and are just shooting straight from the camera to YouTube, then how about having your web address on the wall behind you; on your shirt; or just hold up a sign saying “go here for more info.” Let viewers know how they can reach you.

YouTube also has an Annotation Feature that allows you to add text boxes on the front of your video after you have uploaded it. It is easy to do.

If you have access to editing software you can also drop in a cover of your book or CD, or maybe a picture of your store or product, with a caption that says “For More Information,” or “To Buy,” or “To Learn More.”

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