We hear about calls to action all the time, but what does that actually mean? Why are businesses, political members, and medication companies always talking about a call to action?
A call to action is a phrase, word, or button that encourages people to buy or do something as soon as they see it. YouTubers often use a call to action to encourage viewers to do things like buy merchandise, click on links, like the video, donate to charities, and subscribe to their channel.
The people of YouTube also use this call to action all the time, but how do they use it and how effective can it be? Keep reading to learn more!
How YouTubers Use CTAs
Many YouTubers use their channels for good entertainment for their viewers, but while doing this, they are also often using CTAs. As you watch your favorite YouTuber, they will, at times, advertise their merchandise with phrases like, “Buy my merchandise in the next two days and you will get an extra shirt as well.” Or, “Click the link below to get my exclusive and limited-time T-shirt.”
By doing this, they prompt people to go to the link in the description and buy the product of their choice right then and there. The money could go to a charity organization of the YouTuber’s choice, making more videos, or even paying the YouTuber for making the content.
YouTubers also advertise their sponsor’s products and try to convince you to buy the product. By using a Youtuber to advertise their product, the sponsors get a lot more business. If you are watching a more politically focused YouTuber, they may also ask you to vote for a certain person.
When a YouTuber uses a call to action, there is usually a button somewhere close by for you to click and have easy access to products or services offered by the YouTuber or their sponsor. This can be very nice, as it can be difficult to find some of the obscure products that YouTubers advertise.
YouTubers will put CTAs at any point in their videos, and sometimes randomly say something about it so that they remind you that whatever it is is available. They will also use a time constraint to convince you to get the product sooner. They will say, “Order in the next 24 hours and we will also send you an Amazon gift card.” By doing this, they hope to have more people buy their product right at the beginning of a new merchandise collection.
When using the CTA tactic, a YouTuber may tell you about someone they know that needs help, or about a charity that needs donations. Many times these are viable needs, and the people of YouTube will use their channels to help raise money for these organizations. Molly Burke, a blind YouTuber, uses funds from her merchandise collections to raise money for the Mira Foundation, which trains guide dogs for blind children. She herself just got her third guide dog from this foundation.
A Minecraft YouTuber named Technoblade was diagnosed with cancer, so he held an online Minecraft tournament to help raise money for The Sarcoma Foundation of America, which funds research for a cure for the disease. YouTubers tend to get a bad rap for being YouTubers, but many of them do amazing work. Technoblade raised over $250,000 and donated it to the aforementioned charity. (Source)
They use these types of stories to create a want-to-help feeling in their viewers. They tell their own stories and use the worst parts of their lives to help fund the people who are doing amazing work. Many of them donate to people who can improve their own quality of life.
Social Media Calls
Almost all social media platforms use this type of advertising. YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook are just a few.
For example, there is a person on TikTok whose young daughter has cancer. He has become a spokesman for childhood cancer awareness and uses TikTok to make people more aware of what childhood cancer is like. He uses CTAs as a way to get funding to find a cure for his daughter.
Facebook is full of CTAs. Facebook uses an algorithm to know what interests you and what you watch or look at the most. By doing this, they can personalize ads to you and make it more likely for you to buy something that they advertise. They then use the ads you look at and send them through the algorithm again. They can tailor the ads to your interests so that you are more invested in the ads so that you will buy something.
Negatives of CTA
While all of this can be good to help people get what they need, it can also become very bad as well. When it comes to CTAs, they can cause more and more people to impulse buy. When impulse buying, we rarely consider the cost, just that we want the item. CTAs cause more impulse buying, which can contribute to credit card debt if we don’t have the cash for it.
Along with regular advertisements to make you buy items, some people may also use CTAs to influence how you will vote. By using CTAs to advertise for political candidates, some people using CTAs may only advertise for one candidate, showing you everything good about that person and completely ignoring the other candidates.
It can tip the scales if people begin depending on CTAs for their information or even opinions on certain social issues. CTAs can influence many different social problems, but we need to be careful, as each ad is created by a human with an opinion of their own.
CTAs can be very helpful on YouTube when you are looking for something fun to buy, or if you are looking to donate your money to a worthy cause. CTAs can help you find almost anything, but they can become a problem when they are advertising too many products or one certain person or place.