YouTube gave marketers a great gift with the annotations feature. However, the challenge with this feature is that it does not work on mobile devices. This is a problem because half of YouTube views are on mobile devices, and this percentage grows daily.
YouTube cards are a new way to make your videos more interactive by adding extra information or by linking to other websites and videos. They are basically a pop-up window that viewers can click on which allow the viewers to take the defined action in the card. The 4 different card types enable you to link to an associated website (such as your company website), a fundraising website, a product on a merchandise site, or a YouTube video or playlist. A short teaser for each card enables viewers to see the cards as they are placed throughout the video. There’s also a button that viewers can click at any point to scroll through all of a video’s cards in a sidebar while the video is still playing.
YouTube cards allow people to fully experience your company video anytime and from anywhere. Another important difference is that YouTube cards include photos, which are more eye-grabbing than text. You can also use YouTube Analytics to assess the performance of your cards and adjust your strategy accordingly.
YouTube cards are particularly good tool for marketing videos because they maximize what your video can accomplish in a short time frame and allow you to have multiple calls to action.
Annotations and cards can both direct viewers to a specific page on your company’s website.
Want to add 1 (or 2, or 3) more selling points that just didn’t fit into the final video? A YouTube card can do that, too.
YouTube cards are user-friendly and fairly easy to create. To be effective, however, it’s not just about making cards – it’s about making cards that successfully achieve your goals. Despite their excellent marketing potential, YouTube cards are easy for people to skip or ignore if the teasers aren’t enticing enough. Even if people do open the cards out of curiosity, they won’t place an order, open a new video, or go to a new webpage if the words and images on the cards don’t compel them to.
We recommend planning how you will use cards before you record your video. This will ensure that your cards and annotations are not after thoughts and that they actually help your video reach the goals you set for it.
The first step is deciding how many cards you want and what kind of cards you want to make. Using too many cards will clutter your video, making it unlikely that any of the cards will be useful. Because of this, it’s important to determine how to make the most out of a few YouTube cards placed strategically throughout the video.
Depending on the type of video, you’ll want to use YouTube cards to do specific things. If your company already has a series of YouTube videos, you may want to use a card to direct viewers to those other videos. Maybe there’s a specific page on your company website that will be of special interest to people watching the video. Directing viewers to an online merchandise page can help you generate sales if your video is promoting a certain product. In any given video, some of these strategies may be more appropriate than others, so it’s essential to carefully pick the most effective types.
Once you have identified the goals you want the cards to accomplish, the next step is to create wording that will effectively accomplish those goals. YouTube cards, which display alongside the main video, don’t take up that much space and can fit only a small amount of writing. With limited space for words, it is even harder to make those few words count. In a small space, you must not only encapsulate the gist of the video, webpage, etc. you are linking to, but convince viewers that it is worth their time to go there. Make sure to space your cards out as you don’t want to clump them all in one spot.
There are rumors that YouTube cards will eventually replace annotations altogether, but for now, they are both valuable ways to help people take action when watching your videos on YouTube. The annotations feature has some great tools that I hope come to mobile devices soon one way or another. How will your company leverage YouTube cards to get the most out of your videos?