How to Add A Video CTA To Increase Conversion

Learn how to add a Call to Action to videos and how to optimize for conversion rates.

Austin Canary


Lisa Marinelli


Have you created great marketing videos that get views, but don’t create a sense of urgency for your viewers to take the next step? Maybe your videos aren’t driving ROI the way you were expecting? Well, you need to include a Call to Action in your video!

To help you set up the most successful video Calls to Action, we’ve analyzed over half a million CTAs in Wistia-hosted videos to see exactly how people are using them today and how placement on the timeline can impact conversion rates.

What is a video CTA?

A Call to Action (CTA) in a video is clickable text, an image, or an HTML script linking to another web page that appears during playback. It lets your viewers know what desired action you want them to take next and directs them to that page from your video.

How to add a CTA to a video

First things first: Let’s discuss how to add a Call to Action to your video. In Wistia, all the magic happens in the Customize panel.

When you select “Call to Action,” you can see the available customization options. These can vary based on which type of CTA you choose. The first thing you want to do is enter the time where you want your CTA to appear in the video. Next, select the type of CTA and then fill in the rest of the fields.

Easy enough, right? Now you just need to make sure to find the sweet spot so it can get the most clicks.

Where to put a Call to Action on videos

You can place a Call to Action anywhere in your video! We think of placement for timeline actions as:

  • Pre-roll: at the very beginning of the video
  • Mid-roll: somewhere in the middle of the video
  • Post-roll: at the very end of the video

Once the viewer reaches the CTA in the timeline, the video pauses and prompts the viewer to click (or skip) the link.

Don’t want your video to stop? Use annotation links instead.

In our State of Video Report, you can see where folks are placing CTAs and how they are converting. CTAs have an average conversion rate of 13%.

Most CTAs are placed around the end of a video, with 93% at the very end and 5% in the final quarter of the video. Less than 2% of CTAs are placed in the first 75% of the video.

Pre-roll CTA

A pre-roll CTA appears at the very start of the video. While it gets the highest visibility, it has the lowest conversion rate on average.

Without being presented with any information beforehand, the audience may not know why they should follow your CTA. This makes them more likely to skip the CTA, or worse, not continue watching the video.

We don’t recommend placing your CTA at the very beginning of a video that’s longer than a minute.

Mid-roll CTA

A mid-roll CTA can appear anywhere between the very start and the very end of your video. They are designed to target viewers when they are most engaged.

A mid-roll CTA can be effective when you want to be surgical with your timing. For example, if you have a long educational video, you can place a CTA mid-roll if you want people to stop and have the opportunity to explore another big concept on a different page. As long as you get the timing right — immediately after the video covers a crucial piece of information, for instance — you could get a good number of clicks.

Placing your CTA somewhere in the middle of your video will likely yield the highest conversion rate. Find a place on the timeline where it won’t upset the flow of your video and detract from the viewing experience.

Post-roll CTA

A post-roll CTA appears at the very end of the video. They’re visible to the fewest viewers — but these viewers are the most engaged because they’ve already watched your video and they’re likely super interested in the topic. Most CTAs are placed in the post-roll.

Placing CTAs at the end tends to perform better for videos over 5 minutes long.

If you want your viewers to watch the entire video before seeing a CTA, a post-roll CTA is your best bet. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect that the longer a viewer sticks around, the more likely they are to be a strong lead.

Optimize video CTAs for conversion

Overall, video CTAs have an average conversion rate of 13% across the Wistia platform. Using video statistics we gathered, you can optimize CTAs on your video to get the most clicks.

So, how does conversion rate change depending on the type of video content and length of your video? Let’s take a closer look at that.

Conversion rates by video type

When we look at various video types, we can see a range of conversion rates.

CTAs tend to have higher conversion rates with sales videos, on-demand webinar recordings, and original series (like shows and podcasts).

Conversion rates by video length

When we look at conversion rates by video length, we can really start to see how placement will affect when your audience is more likely to click a CTA.

From the data, we can see the best CTA placement for video lengths:

  • Under a minute: within the first quarter of video.
  • 1–3 minutes: last quarter of the video.
  • 3–5 minutes: around the halfway mark.
  • 5–30 minutes: CTA at the end.
  • 30–60 minutes: within the second half of the video.
  • 60 minutes: anywhere after the halfway point.

Use these benchmarks as guidelines for where to place your next video CTA.

Conversion rates by CTA type

In Wistia, you have three types of CTAs: text, images, or custom HTML to place on your videos.

Over three quarters (80%) of customized videos contain text Calls to Action. Another 15% have image CTAs, and HTML only accounts for 5% of CTAs.

Text CTAs are the easiest to implement, so it makes sense that they’re the most popular option. All you need are a few words and a link, and boom, your videos are instantly converting better than before.

Image CTAs, however, tend to convert slightly higher than text. Our advice? Make the image Call to Action fit the video, and use contrasting colors to make the main copy stand out.

Image CTAs are clickable, so if you want to use a CTA button, include it in the image you’re using for the CTA.

Conversion rates by CTA copy

Regardless of what type of Call to Action you use and where you place it, you’ll need to use persuasive copy to get clicks. Given that most of our customers use text CTAs, it’s even more imperative to create succinct and interesting CTA copy.

Our analysis confirmed that the best CTAs are made up of power words and action words. Here’s a look at each.

Power words for your CTA:

  • You
  • Free
  • Now
  • New

Action words for your CTA:

  • Click
  • Download
  • Register
  • Sign up
  • Buy
  • Try

Start converting more viewers with video CTAs

When you combine a persuasive Call to Action with a great video, you can give your audience value and help them figure out what to do next — and you’ll be seeing your conversion rates improve in no time.

With Wistia, you can customize your video with interactive lead generation tools like Calls to Action, a email capture forms, or annotation links. These simple additions to your video can help you convert viewers into customers, create opportunities for deep engagement, and collect all kinds of interesting data.

Use these tips when adding a CTA to your marketing videos in your Wistia account. Don’t be afraid to try it out and tweak it until you hit the sweet spot!

Austin Canary


Lisa Marinelli


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