Where to put your Call to Action
You have three choices of where to put your Call to Action: pre-, mid-, or post-roll.
Unlike Annotation Links, Calls to Action stop the video entirely to show your text, image, or HTML. (If you don't want to stop your video, try adding an Annotation Link instead.)
Each position — pre, mid, and post — has its strong points:
Pre-roll Calls to Action
at the very start of the video ensure that every viewer sees them and has an opportunity to click.
Mid-roll Calls to Action
can be anywhere between the very start and the very end. They are designed to target viewers when they are most engaged.
Post-roll Calls to Action
appear at the very end of the video to ensure the viewer is highly interested before being presented with a CTA.
But there are also drawbacks to each position, depending on your use case and goals:
- When the conversion opportunity is at the start, the audience doesn't know why they should click and is more likely to skip the Call to Action, or worse, not watch the video.
- When it's in the middle, you can upset the natural rhythm and flow of your video. This interruption can take away from the user experience.
- When it's at the end, the fewest (but most engaged) viewers will see it.
It's important to balance user experience with conversion goals. If, for example, you embed a video on your homepage, you'll likely want to avoid a pre-roll Call to Action since most people will want information before they take action.
In our analysis, we found that nearly all customers using a Call to Action are choosing the post-roll option:
The overwhelming majority —
are placing their Call to Action at the end of the video. Only
choose the mid-roll option, and a tiny
(the gray, invisible "Other" in the above graph) go for the Call to Action up front, pre-roll.
While there are scenarios where it makes sense to stray from the post-roll Call to Action, this is a classic conversion strategy. Assuming your content delivers, you can prompt action without degrading the experience.
There are plenty of use cases where a mid-roll Call to Action makes sense, too. If, for example, you are launching a new feature, you can offer viewers the opportunity to leave the video and try it out, rather than making them wait until the end.
It turns out mid-roll Calls to Action convert the best. Keep in mind, of course, that mid-roll CTAs can be anywhere in the video besides the beginning or end, so it covers a wide range.
Though only a fraction of the total Calls to Action were mid-roll (4%), these had an average conversion rate of
compared with a post-roll conversion rate of
The pre-roll Calls to Action at the start fared more poorly, with an average conversion rate of just
Clicks on pre-roll Calls to Action tend to be the result of curiosity rather than interest. They are more likely to have lower conversions because without seeing the content, the viewer doesn't understand
they should take the action you're asking of them. Because of this, you won't just see a lower conversion rate: it's possible that the leads you generate will be lower in quality.
Once your audience is watching and interested, identify places where a Call to Action would be
Use natural breaks in the content to present a Call to Action instead of assigning them to random places in the video.
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.
Consider talking about where you might include a Call to Action before beginning production, so you can incorporate these stops when you're scripting, and help improve your conversion rates.
a mobile application management and security company, uses a post-roll Call to Action in their product overview video to send their audience through to another, more specific video.
In this case, the first video is a general marketing video, showing what Apperian is all about. The second video is a far more in-depth look at the platform.
If viewers have made it through to the end of the first video, then they are likely interested in learning more, so that's exactly what Apperian gives them. The transition is natural.
A mid-roll Call to Action works because you can be surgical with your timing. You've piqued your audience's curiosity, and their attention hasn't yet started to fade. As long as you get the timing right—immediately after a crucial piece of information—you are going to get great conversions.
Jason Lee uses a mid-roll Call to Action 35 seconds into his four-minute marketing video to encourage viewers to click through and sign up for his email newsletter. We recommend watching the video to see it in action.
- Mid-roll Calls to Action have the highest conversion rates.
- Using a mid-roll Call to Action allows you to draw your audience into the content and promote action at just the right moment.
- Post-roll Calls to Action are the most used, but that doesn't mean they are always best. Keep Calls to Action in mind during pre-production for the best possible conversion rates.