Are you looking to increase you subscribers base on YouTube? Have you curated a series of videos for a target customer audience? YouTube annotations allow brands can create more engaging and interactive videos. Whether it’s a YouTube channel link, or a request to share, annotations help brands add clear calls to action to their video content. In this post, we’ll walk you through the different types of YouTube annotations available and provide a step-by-step guide on how to enhance your YouTube videos.

Types of YouTube annotations

Speech Bubble

The speech bubble annotation is an on-screen overlay that allows you to add in extra context to your video or link to another video, playlist, or YouTube channel. You can choose when the annotation appears in the video and for how long. The speech bubble can also be customized by colour, size, and font.


The note annotation is similar to the speech bubble in the way that you can customize the font, colour, and duration it appears in the video. Notes can be used to link back to more videos, your YouTube channel, a playlist, or a subscription page.


The title annotation is pretty self-explanatory. This is used mainly as a title for your video, usually placed at the top of the screen. Unlike speech bubbles and notes, titles cannot be linked.


The spotlight annotation (shown in the video above) is a transparent text box that helps make your video more interactive and engaging. Adding a spotlight annotation allows you to highlight a certain part of your video and create a call to action for viewers with the text outside of the frame. The spotlight annotation is linkable to other videos, playlists, or YouTube channels.


The label annotation is similar to the spotlight annotation except the text appears inside instead of outside the frame. The label annotation can also be linked to other videos, playlists, or YouTube channels.

How to add YouTube annotations

1. Go to the Video Manager on your YouTube channel.

YouTube Annotations

2. Find the video you wish to add annotations to and click the dropdown arrow next to the edit button.

YouTube annotations

3. Select Annotations from the dropdown menu.

YouTube annotations

4. Click the Add Annotations button and choose which annotation you would like to use. You can edit the font, text colour, and background to your liking (just keep in mind YouTube’s advice that vibrant fill colours like red, yellow, and blue can be distracting and clutter your video).

YouTube annotations

5. Add in appropriate links to other videos, your YouTube Channel, Google+ page, or subscription page.

YouTube annotations

6. Press Publish once you are satisfied with your annotations.

YouTube annotations

Things to keep in mind

YouTube annotations DO NOT appear on custom “chromeless” players, or on mobile, tablet, and TV devices. If you expect higher mobile open rates for your video content, be aware that this will lower your YouTube annotation CTR (click through rate). There is a special YouTube annotation for mobile viewing called InVideo annotations, but this will promote a channel, playlist, or video across all of your YouTube videos, so choose wisely.

For more information on YouTube annotation best practices and examples, check out this post.