YouTube has just released a tool called cards, and marketers are going to want to jump on this. If you’re familiar with YouTube annotations, you know that they’re a useful way to add calls-to-action to videos, but they’re limited: they don’t work on mobile devices and you can’t do much to customize the look. Cards solves these problems.
Cards display on the right side of a video, and show a picture and some text with a link. They start as small teasers, perhaps inviting the viewer to click for more information, then expand when clicked to show the full card. They’re not as obtrusive as annotations, since the viewer is in charge of how they display.
YouTube offers six card types:
- Associated Website
- Fan Funding
If your video promotes a product, use the merchandise card to show people where to buy it. If you’re running an awareness campaign, direct people to a related video or playlist.
Cards are perfectly simple to set up. Go into the Video Manager on your YouTube channel, edit the video that’s getting a card, then select Cards from the top tab. Click to add a card, and then click Create to open the dialog box for the type of card you want. You’ll have to click Enable if this is your first time using merchandise or associated website annotations. Next, enter your destination URL for the call-to-action, upload an image, and create a title. When you’re done, click Create Card.
A few notes on Cards:
- You can adjust the start and stop time for each card, and add up to five cards per video.
- You can edit previously created cards anytime you want.
- Don’t point to the card from within the video. Cards might display in different places on different devices.
- Links to iTunes won’t show on Android devices.
- YouTube Analytics lets you keep an eye on Cards performance.
For more Cards help, watch YouTube’s own overview video: