How to Use YouTube Annotations

YouTube annotations

While watching videos on YouTube, you might have wondered what those clickable buttons are that show up and disappear randomly when a video is playing, right? These are known as YouTube Annotations that prompt viewers such as you to “Subscribe” to a certain channel or follow and like their social media channels.

It is a fun way to engage a viewer so that you interact with their content.

You must be wondering how to use YouTube annotations for your own channel. Well, the entire process is pretty easy once you go through the steps listed below.

How to Annotate a Video on YouTube

Once you have uploaded a video on YouTube, the annotation tool makes it easy for you to layer various links and text.

Step 1

Log in to your YouTube channel page and head over to Video Manager located under the “My Channel” tab.

Step 2

Locate the video that you want to annotate and click the arrow sign situated beside “Edit”. The drop-down menu will have an option called “Annotations”. Click on it.

Step 3

Click on “Add Annotation” to add a new annotation and then select any one of the five annotation types presented in the pull-down menu. The default options are speech bubble, Title, Note, Spotlight and Label. Depending on your requirement you may choose either one of those options. While choosing speech bubbles make sure to move the “point” to make it face the direction you want. Similarly notes are pop-up boxes that are filled with informative text. You can customize the text in any way you want to. Titles are text overlays that are used to title the video, it is useful in scenarios when a video does not contain a title. Spotlights help you highlight specific sections of a video while labels are similar in nature with a slightly different look.

Step 4

Add the text that you want to include in the annotations and choose all the little details like font, size, background, transparency etc. Then select the exact start and end times for your annotations and if you want to add links, you can select the check box next to the “Link” option to add the link of your choice.

Step 5

You have to drag the annotation accordingly and re size it because they can cover 30% of your screen.

Step 6

You can use the timeline to shift the annotation to a specific time in your video and change that whenever you want by dragging it with your mouse. Click publish when you’re done adding annotations and voila, you just added annotations to your YouTube video for the first time!

Benefits of Adding Annotations to Your YouTube videos

You must be wondering as to how adding annotations might help your cause:

  • It makes the entire video viewing experience interactive for the visitor.
  • By adding links to annotations you can drive traffic to your website from your YouTube channel. You could also link them to other videos on your channel.
  • Annotations help viewers to save time and skip to the portion they want to see.
  • Annotations are an easy and effective way to increase the number of subscribers.
  • By including CTAs you can also make your viewers follow your channel and increase engagements over time.

Innovative Ways of Using YouTube Annotations

1. Viewers can skip ahead to their point of interest in a video with help of annotations.

2. With the help of annotations you can show related videos on your channel to your viewers throughout the  play-through.

3. You can create suggested videos at the end of any video from your own list of uploaded videos.

4. With annotations, you can ask your subscribers to “sign-up” to your channel and also use it to link to your opt-in contact form and turn viewers into leads.

5. You should allow users to choose their own adventure by putting them in control of the outcome of the video. By using annotations appropriately you can totally do that.

Let us know your YouTube annotation adventures by leaving a comment below!

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