Though most video creators call YouTube their home, most brands still rely on their own websites to communicate and fulfill their brand promises. But viewers on YouTube are very easily distracted, so how can you get them to click through from your brand’s video to your website?
A clear and targeted call to action (CTA) is a must: viewers need to know exactly what they’ll get if they click away from the video they’re watching. Annotations are a great way to convey that information. Issuing a clear, simple CTA in the hyperlinked annotation informs your viewer of the value they’ll get if they click away from YouTube to your website.
Keep in mind, though, that you can add annotations that link to an external website only if you’ve successfully linked that associated website domain to your brand’s YouTube account. Also, annotations don’t work on mobile devices—so if your brand’s YouTube viewership occurs predominantly on mobile, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on annotations. Instead, try using descriptions.
Your YouTube video description should always include links that are relevant both to the video and to your brand as a whole. A concise CTA with an external link as close to the top as possible is essential to redirecting traffic to your website. Never leave a viewer guessing where they’re going or why they’re going there.
Some brands excel at using descriptions: for example, Sephora’s tutorial videos always include links to purchase the products featured in the video, while GoPro clearly identifies which camera model was used in production and links directly to the product page in the description.
The only caveat: descriptions aren’t visible on an embedded player (i.e., a frame that displays a YouTube video on another site). If most of your video views are occurring on embedded player, make sure to have a robust and dynamic end card.
End cards are powerful design tools that appear at the end a video, giving viewers an opportunity to interact further with your brand. Most end cards include annotations to be truly interactive, but simply providing your brand’s web address is valuable.
Even though the New York Times has invested heavily in their own native video player, they know that a YouTube strategy is still essential to remain competitive and drive new traffic to their dot com. With a sleek end card, consistent annotations, and robust descriptions, the Times gives viewers many ways to engage further with a news story or the Times brand more broadly.
Above all, consumers love good content—so take advantage of any chance for on-screen talent to call out your website on the end card or in the video itself. Your brand can collaborate with an influential YouTuber to communicate and authenticate your offering. Shoppers look to YouTube for inspiration in the form of product reviews, unboxing videos, haul videos, and more.
Schick, for example, used talent endorsement to smooth the path to purchase in their summer 2014 campaign with Fullscreen star Brittani Louise Taylor. In this example, BLT provided links in her video description and on screen, as well as an annotation to a coupon.
Spikes in viewership are sharp during the holiday season, so consider all four of these strategies to tap into these seasonal traffic flows. For more on how Fullscreen can help your brand develop its online video presence and reach customers, contact us.