How To Use YouTube Annotations To Maximize Your Subscribers, Views & Overall YouTube Success

YouTube Annotations are one of the most invaluable tools offered by the video site and, interestingly enough, are also one of the most overlooked by online video content creators. If you aren’t using Annotations in your YouTube videos you are missing out on some great opportunities for maximizing your subscribers, your views, and the overall success of your YouTube videos and channel. Read on to learn how to use YouTube Annotations to maximize your YouTube success.

Getting To Know YouTube Annotations

Before we get into the different ways you can use YouTube to maximize your subscriptions, views and overall success I want to give a brief overview of how to add annotations to your videos. After you’ve uploaded a video to YouTube, head over to view the video on its YouTube page and click ‘Edit annotations’ at the top of the page.

When you click on ‘Edit Annotations’, you will be directed to the YouTube Annotations Editor. From this page, you can add all types of annotations, including speech bubbles, notes, spotlights and pause annotations. Click the icon with the plus sign in the lower left corner of the video to begin adding annotations. You can then click and drag things around in the time bar below the video to specify when you want your annotations to show, and for how long.

Annotations can be used to add text to your videos to let your viewers know about updates and other information about your video, to create interactive YouTube campaigns and to link to other videos, channels, subscription pages and more on the YouTube site.

Encourage Viewers To Subscribe With An Annotated Subscribe Button

You can use annotations to encourage viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel by adding a subscribe button. You can do this in a couple of different ways. The first is to make your own subscribe button in a design program and add it to your video where you want it to appear before you export from your editing program and upload to YouTube. Once your video is uploaded you can add a Spotlight Annotation in the Annotations editor. Drag the spotlight around the button you created in your video and then click on the link icon. In the ‘Link Type’ dropdown menu, choose ‘Subscribe’ and enter your YouTube user name. When users click on your annotated subscribe button they will be directed to a page where they can subscribe to your channel.

If you haven’t incorporated a subscribe video into the design of your video, not to worry! You can add a Note, Spotlight or Speech Bubble Annotation, type the word ‘Subscribe’ into the text field, and link to the Subscribe page in the same way we illustrated above. You can check out the video below from Rocket Boom NYC to see how a subscribe button works. It looks like they created their subscribe button using a Spotlight Annotation with text field. When you scroll over the rectangular area in the bottom right of the screen you’ll see the word “Subscribe” appear.

Use Annotations To Link To Videos, Playlists, Channels & More

We’ve seen how annotations can help you to increase your subscribers. However, annotations are also great for increasing the number of views on your videos. How can you do this? You can use annotations to link from the video that is playing to other videos on YouTube, to your personal YouTube channel, to playlists you have put together and more.

If you didn’t use annotations to link to other videos that you have created then viewers might just leave the YouTube video page when your video stops playing and move on to the next thing that catches their attention. However, if you give viewers the option to click and watch your content from within the video itself then you are increasing the likelihood that they will move on to watch another one of your videos. It’s always a good idea to keep these sorts of links for the end of your video, so that users don’t click away to watch another video before the original one finishes playing.

Publish date: September 3, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT