Many people are beginning to appreciate how professional whiteboard videos can help them get their message out to a huge audience.

Here’s the thing… no matter how awesome your whiteboard video is, it’s not going to have a huge impact on your sales unless it inspires your viewers to DO something, to take action.

That’s where a having a killer call-to-action comes in.  Just come right out and TELL your viewers what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it!

YouTube, the world’s largest video hub, allows you to embed clickable calls-to-action right in your whiteboard and cartoon animation videos.  By following the instructions below, you can give your viewers a compelling reason to visit your website and take action—increasing your list and/or your sales in the process.

The best part?  It takes less than five minutes to do and costs a maximum of 1 cent a day to set it up!

Here’s a video we made for Tim Ferris, best-selling author of The Four-Hour Work Week.  The video features a clickable call-to-action at the beginning of the video. Hint: you’ll see it in the lower left corner of the video:

As you can see, the text box with the words, “Want Your Own Awesome Whiteboard Video?” is  the clickable call-to-action.  A click on this will take  you to our main website,, to learn more about our services.

In YouTube speak, this is called a call-to-action overlay” and is available to anyone who is a YouTube advertiser, e.g., runs Google AdWords campaigns for their YouTube videos.  This is something we encourage you to be doing anyway, as it’s a great way to drive more traffic to your whiteboard videos.

Here’s how you create a wicked awesome call-to-action overlay that gets your YouTube viewers to take action.

1. Decide, what is your call-to-action?

What is the ultimate purpose of your whiteboard video?  What do you want it to accomplish?  If it’s an explainer video that educates people about one of your amazing products, maybe your main goal is to encourage viewers to buy that product.  In that case, a good call-to-action would send people directly to the sales page for that product.

Maybe your video is focused on relationship building and showcases your company and all the ridiculously great free information you provide.  For this,  you may want to use your call to action to send people to a page that encourages them to sign up for your mailing list, so they can receive that great content as well.

Or maybe, at this stage of the game, your purpose is primarily entertainment for the sake of branding.  In this case, you might want to encourage people to subscribe to your YouTube channel so they receive notifications whenever some of your new hilarity makes an appearance.

2. Make it crazy compelling.

Once you know what your whiteboard video’s call to action will be, it’s time to decide on the words  you’ll use to compel said action.  YouTube only allows you a maximum of 25 characters for the headline and 35 characters per two lines of text, so you’ll need to be concise and specific.  Keep it short and punchy and make sure it presents a clear benefit.

For example, which of the following is more compelling:

Visit Our Website!

Learn More about Our Products and
Services. Great Deals Every Day!

–       or –

Yes, You Can Retire at 50!

Discover How to Make Your Dreams
of Leisure and Travel a Reality!

Notice how the second example does a better job of conveying the benefits of clicking on the link to learn more?

You also have the option of including an image.  This can be a great way to improve your click-through rate as it draws more visual attention to your call to action overlay.  Beware the Huge Image!  As the allowed image can only be 56 x 56 pixels in size, make sure it’s something that still “pops” when it’s a really small size.


3. Choose when you want your call-to-action to appear in the video.

YouTube gives you the option of adding your call to action overlay at the beginning, middle, or end of your video.  Where you add it depends on what kind of video you have and what kind of action you want people to take.

If your video is quite long (e.g., longer than 90 seconds), we generally recommend you place your call to action at the beginning – otherwise people might not stick around long enough to see it.  Putting it at the beginning is also a good idea for videos that are likely to get a lot of repeat viewings, as when people watch it for a second or third time they’re more likely to pay attention to the call-to-action overlay and be inspired to click on it.

If, on the other hand, your whiteboard video is only 30-90 seconds long, we recommend putting it at the end. Some video watchers get annoyed by anything that distracts them from the main video message and will turn off your call-to-action overlay without reading it simply because they want to focus on the video itself.  If you put it at the end along with an end slide that points to it as well as adds even more compelling information, you give them strong motivation to click through and learn more about the topic of the video.

So, when do you put it in the middle of the video?  That can be a tricky one.  We suggest using that approach if, in the middle of the video, you spend time focusing on a particular product or idea people will want to learn more about.  A call-to-action will give viewers the option of drilling down into topics that really interest them before the video moves on to explore another product or topic.

 4. Activate Your Overlay.

Ok, now it’s time for the techie stuff.  Thankfully, YouTube makes this process super easy.  Here’s what you do:

  1. Sign up for Google AdWords for Video
  2. Create an ad campaign for one of your videos (it doesn’t even have to be the one you add the overlay to)
  3. Set a reasonable and affordable daily budget for your ad campaign.  If you’re not interested in investing in Adwords at this time, you can set the budget for as little as 1 cent a day.  Your ads will likely not appear at that low bid price (which means the ads effectively cost you nothing as they won’t get any clicks) but the call-to-action overlay WILL still appear on your video.
  4. While logged into your YouTube account, click on the Videos tab and select the whiteboard video to which you want to add your call-to-action overlay.
  5. Click on the “Add call-to-action overlay” link, fill in the blanks with the copy you’ve written, add an image, and you’re done!  The overlay will appear for as long as you have your AdWords video campaign running.


There you have it, people.  Decide on your call-to-action, have amazing words that give them NO CHOICE but to do what you ask,  and finally, put it in the right place in your marketing video.  Then, just sit back and wait for the people to flood your site… that’s realistic, right?  Flooding of people?  I think so.

The point is, by telling people what you want them to do, then making it easy by providing a link for them to click, you’ll take advantage of this tool to dramatically increase the level of engagement and the website traffic your whiteboard videos generate.




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