By Andrew Angus on August 19, 2014

Know-When-To-Use-Hard-vs-Soft-CTAs

As a marketing professional, we can all agree that videos need to include a call to action, but which CTA is best for your video? Hard or soft? You can actually use either one, but sometimes softer is better – especially in today’s world where consumers are in charge of their own buying decisions.

Defining Hard and Soft CTA

A hard CTA asks the viewer to perform a specific action, like filling out a form to receive an e-book, signing up for a demo, or purchasing your product or service. This actionable request is generally presented during  a specific point in the buyer’s cycle.

Soft CTA’s ask for an action that demands less of the buyer, such as following the brand on a social media account or signing up for a newsletter.

Why a Hard CTA Isn’t Enough

According to Reel SEO, digital marketing and the use of the Internet in general have changed a buyer’s journey fundamentally, which means researching basic facts is fast and easy for leads and prospects. Today, the power is in the hands of the buyer and these individuals often don’t want the hard sell.

They may have given you their contact information after watching a webinar trailer, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to purchase. A hard CTA isn’t going to help them make a decision and it isn’t going to make them more interested in your company.

But don’t eliminate the hard sell altogether, just make sure you integrate other ways for prospects to engage with you throughout the sales cycle. With a soft CTA you can continue to influence them through social media or other means. As long as they stay engaged with your brand they will know to contact you later on when they’re ready to purchase or have questions. Create a unique explainer video and your prospects won’t leave empty handed, your goal is to give them something to think about.

Use Video as a Soft CTA

Customers today will often come to you when they are interested in your services, not the other way around. Companies are moving more toward content marketing. This is why video is growing increasingly important for marketing purposes.

You can’t control when the customer will contact you, but you can still provide lots of content to help them with their decision. Video is a good tool for soft CTA’s as they provide a lot of vital information quickly and in a digestible yet fun format. Video is one of the best ways to give prospects an idea of what it is like to work with you.

Watch this video we made for the World Food Program. They mention donations and how your “potential” contributions are greatly appreciated – but they didn’t directly tell you to “donate now”. Instead, their CTA and goal at the end of the video was to the get viewers to visit their website.

Because videos themselves can be used as a soft CTA by asking viewers to click the play button, they should walk away from the video with more knowledge about your brand. Let your viewers have an idea of what your company is about and the services you can offer to them. Including soft CTA’s at the end of your video should be interactive – following you on social media, watching the next video in your series, or simply visiting your website. Getting your viewers familiar with your brand will help create future customers down the road.

Want to know other ways you can use video? Check out our blog post here to see 3 different ways you can use explainer videos for marketing.

 

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