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VLOG LIKE A PRO
Video shooting & production tips and tricks for Vloggers, Youtubers and more.
YouTube Cards are a great way to get more interaction from your viewers. Using cards you can link to your previous videos, which is a great way to generate more views. You can also direct traffic to your website, or make people aware of your fundraising efforts.
Cards are a fairly new feature on YouTube. They have not replaced annotations, but they are in many situations a better alternative to them. Annotations are a good way to add a small note into a video, but when they are too large viewers find them irritating and disable them.
Go to Video Manager and choose a video you want to add cards to, then select ‘Edit’.
Select ‘Cards’ and then find the place in your video where you want the card to pop up. Click the blue ‘add card’ button, then choose the purpose of your card. Your options are linking to a separate website, a previous video, merchandise your viewers can purchase, or a cause they can donate to.
Add the url of the page you want to link to. An image will pop up to represent that page. If you do not like the image YouTube chooses you can upload a different one.
The next thing you will input is a ‘call to action’. This is a short statement that invites your viewers to take action like ‘Check it out!’ or ‘Get one today!’.
1. You might be used to pointing to the part of your screen where you intend to put an annotation, but when you use YouTube Cards they might switch locations depending on what device a viewer is watching on.
2. Use three or less cards per video. Viewers are more likely to click your cards if there are fewer of them, and more likely to start ignoring them if it seems like they’re always popping up. Also, do not have all three of these cards appear at once and make people choose between them. Stagger them throughout your video.
3. Your cards should be related to what you are saying in your vlog. Avoid posting completely random links in the middle of your video because a viewer who clicks on them will get confused. You can post any type of link you want at the very end of your video, though.
4. The end of your video is always a great place to link viewers to another of your videos, whether you use a card or an annotation. If somebody liked your video enough to watch until the end they’ll probably welcome a chance to consume similar content.
Of course, there are also times when large annotations are the best way to get your point across. Never use a huge annotation just to link to one of your other videos, but if you are trying to raise funds for an important cause or promote a product it can be effective. If you do decide to go this route then make sure not to put your annotation at the very beginning of your video. Users will either disable annotations or click away immediately. Wait until far enough in that your viewers will be invested in what they are watching.
YouTube Cards are small and unobtrusive, unless a viewer chooses to click on them, which is why they are the better option when you are trying to get views on other videos. Irritating a few people with a big annotation might be worth it if you also draw other people’s attention to your cause or website, but it is not a good way to endear yourself to people you are trying to get views and subscriptions from. When a card is clicked a thumbnail will appear with a link to your additional content. YouTube Cards are often better than annotations for adding links to your videos because they look much tidier. Also, unlike annotations, cards will be visible to people watching your videos on their mobile devices.
You cannot use Cards just to insert notes into your videos, though, and you cannot adjust their size like you can with annotations. So, if you do need a link to be large and extremely noticeable, annotations might still be your best option. Cards and annotations can even be used in combination sometimes.
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