Defining Desired Actions for Your YouTube Channel

By Rob Ciampa, Theresa Moore, John Carucci, Stan Muller, Adam Wescott

Your YouTube channel‐planning blueprint must spell out the type of action you want your audience to take. That’s activation. You need clarity around the type of action you want because it influences the type of content you create and the steps you want your audience to take. You should identify these actions during the planning phase.

No matter how intelligent and independent your fan base, you need to guide them through the experience with your channel and its contents. Believe it or not, your viewers want you to tell them what to do. Some of that supervision may be as explicit as a Subscribe button, or more implicit with the automated viewing of a playlist.

This is an area where many people and organizations struggle. Define what you want the viewer to do and determine how you’ll help them do it. If your audience is aligned with your mission, they’ll entrust you to guide them through your channel and give them a call to action (CTA, for short). Look at the following CTA options and determine which one sums up what you want your viewers to do:

  • Subscribe to your channel. Subscribers are much more valuable viewers because they statistically consume more content and engage more on YouTube and social media.

    Don’t be shy! Make sure to ask viewers to subscribe.

  • Watch more of your videos. Content is often related. If a viewer has just watched a video of yours on house painting, chances are good that they’ll watch a video on paint options or brush selection if you ask them to.

  • Do something. What do you want your viewers to do? Vote? Volunteer? Run marathons? Cook Thai food from your recipes? Video is a strong motivator, so use that factor to drive your viewers to take action.

  • Make a purchase. YouTube is now one of the places that people go to make buying decisions. If you’re selling something, ask them to buy what you’re selling, and be sure to let them know where they can close the sale — whether it’s a physical location or a “virtual” store on the web.

  • Share their experience. If a viewer enjoyed your channel or content, help them tell others about it. It’s another helpful way to attract subscribers and views.