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Videos can quickly grab a customer’s attention and stay in their mind longer than a photo or even the written word. But how can you make your videos more interactive? Allow users to not only view your videos, but become immersed with them.
Annotations are a trusted, but under-utilized YouTube tool that can boost both page views and subscribers for a channel. A video’s power can be enhanced by using this simple (and free) tool.
Two examples of annotation creativity:
Annotations can be a fun way to promote products. Instead of a video showcasing a new line of toys, Hot Wheels used annotations and turned their YouTube videos into an online game. Users can choose both the type of car and add-ons to race. While it takes a lot of planning and video production, the end product is a seamless use of YouTube Annotations.
‘Choose Your Own Adventure’
Many adults remember growing up with ‘choose your own adventure’ stories. The digital versions of these use YouTube annotations to create a fun story. Fun and interactive, they can be a nice way to promote products or services in story-form. And, unlike their hard-copy predecessor, you can’t skip ahead and change your mind!
More Practical Uses
While creativity is key to utilizing annotations, this tool can also be used to increase the number of subscribers.
Where to begin?
Start by mapping out your annotations. Whether they are simple links to other videos, words of wisdom, or interactive elements, planning is key. Try to create a virtual path where users will be compelled to spend more time on your channel.
The actual creation of new annotations is relatively easy. Be sure to keep in mind both the placement and type of annotation.
Like anything, however, annotations can get out of hand. It is important to remember what makes videos great is the actual viewing experience. Annotations should be used to enhance and not detract from the experience. By having timely call-outs it can help increase the amount of time users both spend on your channel as well as the amount they share your content with others.
Here are a few great resources for getting started on a YouTube annotations project:
How To: Use Annotations to Promote Your Brand on YouTube – A great step-by-step guide on YouTube annotations.
YouTube Help Guide - A simplified guide that can be used as a resource when getting started.