How To Use Annotations on YouTube To Enhance Engagement

Annotations add an interactive commentary to your YouTube videos. They help you have an on-going dialogue with viewers. Annotations encourage viewers to perform an action while watching a video. Therefore, annotations can enhance engagement and help you grow your audience.

To create an annotation, go to your channel Video Manager. Next, choose the video you wish to edit. Click the down arrow beside the edit button and select Annotations. Then, click the add annotation button. Finally, click apply changes after creating your annotations.

Below are 5 types of annotations you can use to enhance engagement:

1. Speech Bubble

Speech bubbles are pop-up bubbles with text. They are used to convey unspoken information. You can set the speech bubble to appear at a designated time for a set duration.


2. Spotlight

Spotlight annotations are transparent boxes with text. They are used to highlight specific areas of a video. The related text within the box appears only when a viewer hovers his mouse over the annotation. For instance, if you make a video on your shoe collection, you can use spotlight annotations to highlight the price of each pair.

The video below has created a subscribe button using a Spotlight annotation

3. Note

Note annotations are like speech bubbles, except the text appears in a box. Note annotations can also be used to link other videos, playlists or channels. Use a note to highlight important information in the video.


4. Title

A Title annotation is used as a text overlay to highlight the title of your video. These annotations are handy when you haven’t mentioned the title in your video before uploading it.


5. Label

Label annotations work like spotlight annotations. The only difference is viewers don’t have to hover over the frame to view the text. Instead, the text appears beneath the frame. Labels are usually used to convey additional information on a specific area of the video.


Useful Tips

  • Use annotations to link a video that is playing to other videos, to your YouTube channel and to customised playlists. Annotations are a great way to enhance views.
  • Use annotations to create a subscribe button and encourage new viewers to subscribe to your channel.
  • Use annotations to generate feedback from viewers. Create a note, speech bubble, spotlight or label to ask viewers a question and encourage them to answer in the comments.
  • Do not cover your video footage with annotations. Use them sparingly.
  • Make the annotations visible long enough to allow viewers to perform an action. Ideally, leave the annotations visible for 10-15 seconds at the end of your video.

In conclusion, annotations that ask viewers to follow your channel or like and comment on your video, can increase engagement. Use any of the above annotations to make your video more interactive and fun to watch.

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Manasa Boggaram is a writer and has a strong passion for music, positive news and constructive journalism. When she is not researching story ideas or writing blog posts, she spends her time reading books, discovering new music and eating lots of street food.

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