YouTube is known for its ability to generate massive amounts of internal links through annotations, video responses, etc. But thanks to YouTube's Clickable Call To Action (CTA), users can now drive traffic from their video to the external URL of their choice for as cheap as $5 set-up.
This semitransparent lower-thirds, 15-second ad is a golden opportunity to create a strong CTA and in turn increase your site's traffic for minimal cost, making it imperative to understand exactly how to setup YouTube's Clickable CTA.
Step 1: Set up the Promotion
Before you can create your YouTube CTA you must set up a promotion for your video through YouTube's Promotion Program. The promotion program works like Google Adwords as it allows you to bid on specific keyword phrases on a Cost-Per View basis, so the more you pay the more your video will show up in the Promoted Video section for the specific keyword(s).
Note: The promotion is only a formality to unlock the CTA option, however. If you're looking to pay to promote your video, great, this promotion is a solid option.
But if you simply want to set up your lower-thirds CTA overlay ad, you can underbid on the promotion ($0.01 CPV) and use the CTA to send traffic from your video to your website free of charge after the initial $5 it costs to set up the promotion.
With that said, to create your promotion simply open the video you're looking to promote/add the lower thirds to and click the "Promote" link on the upper right hand corner of the screen.
After clicking "Promote" YouTube is going to send you to the billing page (unless you've already signed up) where you pay your up-front cost of $5 to set up your promotion account. Assuming you're only interested in the Clickable CTA, this will be your only cost. Simply fill out your credit card information, click "Add Billing!" and then set your maximum daily bid ($0.01).
After paying the $5, YouTube will take you to the first step in creating your promotion, which is writing your promotion title and description, as seen below. Again, this is nothing more than a requirement to get to the CTA so if you have no interest in the promotion program, it doesn't matter what you use as your title and description, as the CTA copy comes later.
The next step is to choose your keywords. For those only interested in the lower thirds Clickable CTA, it's best to choose keywords that no one searches or keywords with such high competition that your bid of $0.01 will never even come into play.
After selecting the keywords you want to target (or don't want to get picked up), the last step in creating your promotion is setting your Cost-Per-View maximum bid. YouTube defines the CPV max bid as the "highest price you're willing to pay each time a user clicks on your video and views your promotion.”
The higher you bid the more likely it is your video will be promoted to those who search your target keywords, so keep the bid at $0.01 if all you want is the Clickable CTA.
After setting your max CPV bid, click "Next" and if everything looks good on the confirmation page, click "Okay, run my promotion!" Once the promotion is created, you can set up your lower thirds overlay ad.
Step 2: Create the Clickable Call To Action Ad
Finally you're all set to build your YouTube CTA. Head over to "My Channel" → "Videos" and click "Edit" on the video you set up the promotion for.
Since the promotion has been created for the video, a section titled "Call-To-Action Overlay" is added in the "Edit" section below the video. This is where you develop the Title and Body of the ad as well the Image, Display URL and External URL.
After you fill in the above fields, you've created your first YouTube Clickable Call To Action lower thirds ad! Thanks to this opportunity, views can turn into website visitors with one simple click.
By setting your max CPV bid extremely low you can drive traffic to your site for only $5! So now that you know exactly how to setup YouTube Clickable Call To Action (CTA) lower thirds ads, translate your video views to page views on your website and watch your traffic increase.