How to Use YouTube Cards to Create Interactive Calls to Action
YouTube knows that video publishers want to make their videos more interactive; hence, the video-sharing giant recently released a new feature called “Cards”. Cards are an attempt to create a uniform cross-platform experience for desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Before the launch of YouTube Cards, video publishers had annotations. However, annotations did not work on mobile devices, such as smartphones. Annotations are clickable text overlays that can be found on YouTube videos. You may have seen the clickable text “subscribe here” on your favorite YouTube video. That is one example of a YouTube annotation.
YouTube Cards are a step up from annotations because they allow you to use images and text. Plus, you can add a specific call to action, and Cards don’t disappear once they’ve been seen. YouTube Cards stack neatly under each other. A white circle with an “i” on the top right-hand side of your video screen indicates a YouTube Card.
How to Create YouTube Cards
- Go to your creator studio by clicking on the “Creator Studio” button under your name at the top right of your browser when you are signed in to YouTube.
- From there, look at the CREATOR STUDIO menu on your left, and click on “VIDEO MANAGER.”
- In the VIDEO MANAGER menu, select a video and click the “Edit” button.
- On the Edit menu, click on the word “Cards” next to the black circle with an “i” in it.
- Pick a time location on your video where you want the Card to appear using the blue bar, then click on the button “Add card”.
- Select the type of card you want and follow the instructions on the screen.
Strategies for Using YouTube Cards
Add an Associated Webpage
One of the YouTube Card options is to have a link to your webpage. YouTube allows you to create links to the webpage “associated” with your YouTube page. (See the video for an example.) Once you have an associated webpage, you can add links to your webpage on any of your videos.
If you’re using photos from a blog, you may want to create a landing page with a list of locations to find those photos. (A landing page is a webpage with a single, specific purpose.) Use these links to point to specific pages on your blog or webpage that enhance the video experience for your viewer. Please do not abuse these links by spamming your viewers, or YouTube could shut down your account.
Use Interesting Graphics
YouTube Cards are more visual than annotations, so use it to your advantage. Use the custom image upload to upload an exciting image. If you’ve screen captured a video or your own webpage, make sure the video thumbnail or featured image is interesting enough to encourage your viewer to click on it. Use bright colors or text to catch their attention.
Be Creative When Referencing Cards
Think of ways to encourage your viewers to click on your YouTube Cards. You may want to give your cards names. Since the video shows an “i” on the screen, why not use the “i”? In the video you may say something like, “Click on the incredibly interesting i card to watch an incredibly interesting playlist.”
Make sure what you say fits your branding and communication style. If your brand is about business growth, you may encourage your readers to click on your “Business Growth Video Card.”
The key is to give your YouTube audience a unique way to refer to your Cards. Setting yourself apart from other YouTubers will help you build a loyal following and increase brand awareness.
Have a Specific Call to Action
Every video you create should have some kind of call to action, so use this feature to your advantage. These words will show up directly on your video when the Card is activated.
Think of tactics that will convince your viewers to take a desired course of action, and be specific about what you want them to do. If you want them to go to your blog, your call to action may be “Click here to learn more,” or “Visit my blog now”. Moreover, creating a branded call to action will help you develop your YouTube audience.
Using the example about business growth, your call to action could be, “Click here for 3 Business Growth Strategies,” or “Learn how to dominate in your business”. The words and images should communicate these ideas to your audience and enhance your branding.
Your call to action statement should represent the culture and “feel” of your brand. Be as specific as possible, but make it interesting enough to encourage your viewers to click on your link.
Use your YouTube Cards strategically to get your audience to engage with your videos and interact with your brand. Follow the example shown in the video and create your first YouTube Card today.
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