10 Ways To Use YouTube Annotations

10+ Ways To Use YouTube Annotations

10 Ways To Use YouTube AnnotationsYouTube annotations can really help get your viewers to take action or understand what you are saying. Use them to your advantage. Don’t go all willy-nilly and just garbage up your video with them. Think about your annotation call to actions!

Let’s look at “How and Why” to use annotations on your YouTube videos.

List of Ways to Use Annotations

Use one to point out text you forgot to say or that you said wrong

Maybe you have made a How-To video and said upper left and should have said upper right, instead of taking the video down, make a LARGE annotation pointing out the correct place.If you have mentioned a book, herb, website…and you know it will be hard for your viewers to spell or understand what you said, then write it out in an annotation so they can write it down themselves.Place this type of annotation at the point when you say the words.Oops annotation

Make a menu to different times/topics/questions in the video

If you have a long video, you can place an “annotations menu bar” across the top and link to other parts of the video that may be the question or topic they want.To do this, you will make an annotation and link to the same video and set the start time to the place in the video that has that topic or question. You can make a few small annotations with an entire list that will run the same during the entire video. Or just skip to a part and from there an annotation to the next section and so on. This saves them from watching 20 minutes of stuff they don’t need and lessens the chance of them just getting frustrated waiting and end up leaving.

Lead to the next or previous video in a series

Maybe you have made short videos showing how to do something with several steps and you have broken the steps into separate videos. You can use a “Next” or “Previous” annotations in an upper corner so the viewers can go back a step or skip ahead.Next and Previous annotations can run the duration of the video.

Lead to a similar video of your own

If you have one or more videos that are very similar you can make a card at the end of your videos and give the viewer a chance to click directly to it.As an example – This picture is from our Animal Quiz videos. I use my editing program to make a card and after each quiz the viewer has the option to click on another quiz. I have about 70 quizzes, at this time, and due to the age of the viewers, I use the image of 3 animals and annotate to their quiz. Each video will have different animal choices.Depending on your editing tool, you may be able to insert a small video and the viewer can see it playing and be interested in clicking the annotation.There are so many ways to do this, just do what you can with the editing tools you do (or don’t) have. My Bonus Tip:€“ If the video you are linking to is in a playlist, Open the Playlist, click on the video you will be annotating to, copy the very long link that includes the word “LIST“. Insert that link as a Video Annotation!Now when they click that annotation, not only will they see the single video, they will also have the entire playlist to the side. You can get MASSIVE views this way.Click for another annotations

Lead them to anyone’s video that you feel is important or that you mention

If you are doing a video response or maybe you got the idea for your video from someone else. You can make an annotation leading the viewers to it.This will show in the “Referral” section of their YouTube analytics. If you send enough views, they may take note and return the favor. It also means that if your video is viewed away from YouTube, the viewer may still have the link handy. As most people just link in the description, but the description rarely travels with embeds.

Lead them to a playlist

As with any annotation, you can use an image, text card or just say visit the Playlist. If they have enjoyed this video they may want to see all of them you have on the same topic.Hint – Keep clean playlist! One topic ONLY per playlist. Do NOT send them to a list of jumbled up things. They will not like that. If your playlist is very narrow, they may watch several of them. Playlist annotations

Make subscribing easy

We all want YouTube subscribers, so make it easy for them. Say the words, show them text or a button and remind them to click! Click to subscribe or visit annotation

Lead to your site with a link

(if you are a partner with an associated website). Since this automatically opens in a new window, you can place it at any time during the video. I would suggest that you get the viewer interested in visiting your site before you have the Associated Website link, otherwise it could be distracting and look spammy. Having a button or text at the end of the video saying to visit your site is always a fine choice.My Hint – I do not just link to the home page. I link to a particular product or article page that is directly related to the video.

Use the text to give a web address that you cannot link to

If you are not a YouTube Partner, you can still use a text annotation to show them your site name. You can write out the domain name in full or write something like “Visit Fuzzy Wuzzy Anipals“. They will need to search it and it is not as handy as a clickable link, but it is better than nothing. Give a coupon code

Give a coupon code

If you are using video to describe a product, an annotation is an awesome way to give out a coupon code to the viewer as a “bonus” for watching the video. I would personally, NOT mention the coupon in the video. Just use an annotation to tell them. This way you can take the coupon off or change it at any time. If you mention (with spoken words) it in the video…what happens in a year when you no longer offer that special?
*** Here is my added tip to think about with any type of annotation that leads the viewer away from the current video.

If you see a big drop in your retention at a certain point, you may want to toss in an annotation, before the majority of viewers are clicking off. This means you have a chance to get them to watch another video as they are going to leave anyway, may as well try to get them to stay on your channel

I have some old videos that are no longer relevant, but still get traffic; I put in annotations to another video that is more current or similar. Yes, people will click it if they think the next video will cover their query.

Ok, that should get you started with ideas as to how and when to use YouTube Annotations!

About Sheryl Loch

I am always learning new and improved ways to better our blogs, forum, and e-commerce sites. You can find me at The Internet Marketers Guild and +Sheryl Loch.
I tend to be a bit straight forward and sarcastic at times so ask for an honest opinion and you shall receive...even if it is not what you want to hear.