YouTube is an extremely useful tool in marketing, and like any other platform, it’s always necessary to have a call-to-action so your audience knows how you want them to act. YouTube Annotations are a great feature that allow you to do just that. In this week’s Magnet Minute, Amy talks about the different types of annotations available for you to use and what they are capable of doing to help you encourage your audience to act.

The first annotation is a Note. This looks like a box with whatever text you would like to insert. Very useful for including details of something you forgot to mention in the video. You can also use the Speech Bubble, which is just like the note with the additional “tail” insinuating what you type into it was said by someone in the video. You can also add a Title-specific annotation, which is great if you need to break up a section or introduce a subject and didn’t remember or have the ability to edit in your own graphics before uploading.

The Spotlight is a great annotation to make it seem like something in the video is clickable. It’s a soft encircling of anything in the video that you’d like to call attention to. Often on the Magnet Minute, we will use the spotlight to call attention to our logo watermark to help you subscribe to the channel or a video from the previous week that you might like to check out. The Label is like if you combined the spotlight and the note in one. Kind of polaroid-esque.

The last annotation is the ability to pause your video. This is useful if you couldn’t edit in an extended period of time to call attention to something in the video that happens fairly quickly. You can even add a note on top of the pause and use text to explain why you’ve paused.

In terms of the Title and the Pause, they aren’t actual calls-to-action as much as they are just additional features to your video, but the Note, Speech Bubble, Spotlight, and Label all have the ability to take you to other places on YouTube. You can link an annotation to another video anywhere on the network, a playlist of videos, a channel page, and of course a ‘subscribe’ option to retain viewers who enjoyed your content. If you want to link to something outside of YouTube, that is what the description area is for. YouTube annotations are strictly for sites within the platform, except for the newer feature of collaborating with fundraising efforts. If you are using a site like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or, etc., you now have the ability to link to your cause in an annotation.

Don’t forget to measure and make sure your CTA’s are effective! YouTube finally rolled out a Beta area of analytics to help you measure how annotations are working on your videos, so definitely use that area to measure and adjust accordingly.

How do you use annotations? Think they could be useful to your digital marketing campaign?

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