Hotspots (CTA buttons)


Video experiences drive customer engagement. Frequently, this is done by calling the user to perform an action, such as pay their bill, sign up for paperless billing, download a mobile app, or anything else - by clicking a button. In other cases, an image or an area or an entire scene in the video may be interactive - not just a button. The interactive area - whether it defines a button or anything else - is called a hotspot.


The CTA Scene in the Sky Real Estate program I'm working on is quite simple. It has some text, a logo of the agency, and up to three CTA buttons depending on the data (see Image 1). Clicking on the CTA buttons will redirect the user to different locations. In addition, clicking on the agency logo will redirect the user to the agency website.


Image 1


Creating a Simple Hotspot

I start by creating the text placeholder, and then the logo image-placeholder. I want the logo to be interactive - I want to define a hotspot around the logo. So after creating the image placeholder, I create a hotspot placeholder around the logo (image 2). I call it logoBehavior because what I'm actually defining here is how the logo is going to behave when clicked. You'll notice that when I draw the hotspot placeholder, it is automatically being sent to the background, so feel free to draw it slightly larger than the image placeholder or the button it is supposed to represent.


Image 2

Destination URL

In the destination URL, you enter the URL you wish to direct the viewer to when they click on the hotspot. Generally, there are two types of URLs - Relative and Absolute:

  • Absolute - Use absolute destination URLs if you want to direct a user to an absolute destination when he or she clicks on the hotspot. An absolute web address must contain the protocol (http:// or https://). For example - or We typically use absolute destination URLs. 
  • Relative - Use relative destination URLs when you want to drive the viewer to a webpage within the same website where the viewer is currently watching the video-powered experience. We use relative destination URLs less often. 

I want this hotspot to be very straight forward, without any logic; I simply want it to go to So in the logic panel, I fill this in under Destination URL. The next three fields are used mainly for analytics, and a SundaySky Business Intelligence or the Project Manager will tell me how to define them.

ADA Label

The ADA Label is used for two purposes: First, it's like the "alt" tag in HTML that is displayed as a tool-tip if you hover on a picture long enough. As such, it is also used by screen readers (part of ADA compatibility). Second, it finds its way magically to the reports, so it will possible to know what was the label of the hotspot that was clicked. It does not appear on screen. If I want something to appear on screen, I should open a text placeholder for it. However, 99% of the time, if there is a text placeholder for the hotspot, it should have exactly the same logic and values as this field.

However, now in this case. Here I don't want to display anything on screen. I do want to help those who need screen-readers to know what happens when they click on this area, so I set the label to be "Go to"

Analytics Fields

The last two items are strictly for reporting. My Project Manager or someone from the Business Intelligence team should tell me what to put there. These fields should uniquely identify the action taken when clicking the button. Unlike URLs and labels, these values should rarely change.  They will only change if the action itself is essentially changed (like, from "pay bill" to "download app"), or if there was a mistake in their configuration.

Report Operation

This field should express the essence of the action, and, as mentioned above, should be built in a way it will not change often. The values it usually gets are written in smaller-case, without spaces, like "paybill" or "downloadapp" or "paperless" - just like the field "action" was used in the far past. This field is usually used to track which hotspots were displayed and clicked in the Summary Reports.

In this case, the action is to get to the agency website. The URL of the site (and so, the label above) may change in the future, so calling it something like "gotoskyrealstatecom" is not recommended. Understanding that the Business Intelligence defined this field to be "agencywebsite" so this is the value I type in.

If in the future if the URL changes this value will not be changed. However, if we change the logo to be a large icon of an envelop and the hotspot will be used to send an email to the agent - then the Report operation will be changed accordingly (to emailagent, for example).

Report Code

This field is also a unique, immutable identifier, but its value should change even less frequently. Even the essence of the button was replaced (like in the example above - from agency website to email agent), the report code usually wouldn't change. The values are usually "cta1", "cta2", "cta3", etc.,  just the like the field "action" was used until very recently. This field is usually used to track which hotspots were displayed and clicked in the Raw Data Reports.

I'm going to define this button as cta1, and so the definition of the hot-spot is complete (image 3).


Image 3

Using Hotspots in a List of Grouped Placeholders ("CTA Buttons")

In this case, I only have four possible buttons: contact agent, virtual tour, schedule tour, and learn more. Each button is a group of three placeholders: a text, an icon, and a hotspot. I'm going to use a list because the ‘virtual tour’ is not available for all the listings, and when it’s not available I want the ‘schedule’ button to appear instead as the second button and ‘learn more’ as the third.

First, I create the placeholders: buttonText text placeholder (the text that will appear on screen), buttonIcon image placeholder, and buttonBehaviour hotspot placeholder (that defines what happens when clicking on the button) (image 4).


Image 4

I group all three placeholders, call the group "button" and make a list out of them (that is automatically called "buttonList" which I like, so I keep the name) (image 5).


Image 5

The logic is pretty simple. I fill in the candidate names, "when" conditions, buttonTexts and buttonIcons as I would normally.

Next, I configure the hotspot fields. I got the URLs from the Project Manager. They are made of a base string to which I add a data element. For the label, I use the same values as buttonText. I got the report operation values from BI (and I used them also as the candidate names, because why not) and also the report code (cta2, cta3, cta4, and cta5 - cta1 is already being used for the logo hotspot) (image 6). 


Image 6

That's it,  I'm done! The Animator will connect the hotspot placeholder to a layer in After Effects using the Designer, just like they connect a text placeholder to a text layer. The rendering engine will know in real-time that a click inside the area defined by the animator should result in whatever I defined in the Builder.

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