We all know the stats. Video marketing is not only essential to marketing, it’s becoming the cornerstone of all sales content on the Internet. That’s a problem for many businesses. Here’s why.

Every John and Jane Doe in a marketing role is now spending money on video. This enthusiasm creates a flood of, well let’s face it, terrible video content. It will take effort to surf the waves of poor marketing and junk.

One of the most valuable ways to rise above is the ability to create winning calls-to-action (CTAs). Here are four keys to help you hone in your own CTA skill.

Key Number One: Give Them Just Enough

A great call-to-action isn’t just the last few seconds of your video. Many-a-video is rendered ineffective by just popping on a “click here to find out more” at the end of their bland video describing their product.

Like a crescendo in an orchestral ballad or the climax of an action movie — the entire video has to work together toward your end goal.

And then, hide it. Not clickbait style, but in a way that makes your audience want to find out more.

Key Number Two: Make It Clear and Easy

Look, big brands and car manufacturers can put out videos that seemingly don’t have a CTA. If you can just throw Matthew McConaughey into a Lincoln and not really talk about anything pertinent about what you do — more power to you.

For the rest of us, we have to be clear in our reason for taking people’s time.

If you’ve spent several minutes giving them what they came for, it would be a travesty if they couldn’t vividly understand how you wanted them to respond.

There’s really only one necessary question to ask yourself. What are you selling in the video? If it’s a feature you’re trying to show off, give them a chance to see how it applies to them.

Example Time

For instance, CrazyEgg is a heatmap tool to show where people hover and click on any given webpage. If their video highlights the use of heatmaps, but the CTA is “Click here to learn more” — it’s a fail.

There go-to CTA (last I checked) was something like “See Your Heatmap” on a button that takes you through the quick steps to see a page’s map.

Key Number Three: Literally Call Viewers to Action

So many quick-produced marketing videos end with their logo, and maybe a button to “learn more”. Even if it’s pertinent to the video (like our examples), it may not be enough to stand out from the crowd.

Or, more importantly, it’s not enough to urge viewers to act.

The brain learns via audio as much as it does via visuals. Too much of both isn’t a good thing, but using both together is powerful. Let’s keep with the heatmap example and see how this could help.

Example Time

Here’s a script-style look at what’s going on in a hypothetical video about a heat mapping tool.

[You’ve just shown the awesome tool and how you can use it to change elements on a page to increase conversions. Relevant prospects watching are pumped. Then the CTA comes on the screen with a button that says “See Your Heatmap”]

Now, with the stage set, here’s the voice over literally calling people to respond.

Narrator: If you’re ready to see exactly how to use [tool name] to massively improve conversions, click the link to see a real heatmap from a page of your website.”

Use your script to create a more compelling video (why viewers stay). But also use the script to help urge them to convert (why you made the video).

Key Number Four: Make Sure the Video is Good

“Seriously, this one’s on here?”

You bet it is. The flooded market of videos being mass-produced is creating a stream of constant crud that makes it all the more important to make good videos. Not just good sound, quality animation, etc. etc..

All of that is important, but it’s also becoming easier to come by. To stand out, you’ll have to have a winning equation of clarity + storytelling.

You can tell a great story without being clear (and vice versa). Watching McConaughey stare down a bull in that Lincoln commercial was fun to watch, but it wasn’t clear.

On the other hand, you can be incredibly clear about the value of your product/service while being about as dry as an over-cooked turkey.

Make better video. Use stronger CTAs. Best of luck!

Guest Post written for PinkSquare

Guest Bio:

Eric Hinson

Eric Hinson is the Founder and CEO of Explainify, which makes short, animated explainer videos that tell stories, engage customers, and drive sales. Oh, and he has a free storytelling guide for small business owners called Cut the Crap and Close More Deals. Get it now!