10 Tips to Make Your YouTube Annotations Likable

annotations_top-vfl7cCzW5YouTube annotations have the potential to be a video creator’s best friend and a viewer’s worst annoyance. We’ve all sat down at one point or another and watched a YouTube video with those strange little boxes of text popping up.

More than likely, unless those annotations were optimized, you probably found them annoying as well. So how exactly can we make those annotations more likable and useful for our marketing efforts?

Advanced Annotations Tips for Video Creators

When used correctly, YouTube annotations are an effective way to engage, interact, entertain, and inform viewers. For example, you can encourage CTAs or link to other videos!

The focus of creating successful and likable annotations is to enhance the viewer’s experience, not distract from it. Viewers enjoy annotations that aren’t overly invasive, yet are still able to supplement the video if the viewer decides to interact with it. Here’s a handy chart that shows the key differences:

ISM - Adv Annotations

Suggestions for Annotation Formation

When making YouTube annotations likable, consider these tips:

Youtube Annotations Screenshot

1. Keep Annotations on Screen for Only 5-7 Seconds

This is long enough to allow the viewer to read the text, but short enough so it doesn’t distract from the video.

2. Keep Text Short

One sentence per annotation will suffice. Aside from helping readability, this helps you keep the annotation box smaller on the screen.

3. Use Color to Get Noticed

If you want to catch the viewer’s attention, feel free to use a color such as red or blue. However, if these colors don’t mesh with the color palette of the video, the annotations will be distracting. Your best bet is to make the annotation transparent. This way, the color of the box won’t distract the viewer, but the text will still be noticeable on the screen.


4. Try to Only Use Two Annotations at a Time

Using more than two will clutter the screen. However, using more than two allows you to offer interactive content such as quizzes.

5. Keep Multiple Annotations for the End of the Video

If you have to use more than two annotations for promotions or CTAs, wait until the very end of the video to promote your channel and other videos you’ve created.

You can also use the annotations to create quizzes where the viewer can select and click on an answer on the screen. Just be sure that the annotation they click on links to another video on YouTube.


6. Place Annotations in Optimized Locations

Keep annotations on the upper left or right hand corners of the screen. These are the most optimized locations. However, they can also fit along any of the borders as well.

ISM - Adv Annotations2

7. Use CTAs

By allowing annotations to make CTAs related to YouTube, you can help grow your video’s popularity. For instance, use an annotation to ask viewers to leave a comment or Like your video.

Aside from increased Likes, all of this interaction from viewers will appear on the home feeds of any YouTube users in their network, thereby giving your brand more visibility.

8. Consider Adding a “Video-in-Video” Promotion

You can make the thumbnail of that image or video clickable with an annotation such as spotlight. You’re guaranteed higher click through rates using this method versus tradition text.

Video-in-Video Promotion on YouTube

9. Create Chapters and Story-Lines by Linking Videos Together Through Annotations

If you have a video related to the one that the viewer is watching, go ahead and link to it – the viewer is already engaged in your content.

10. Add a Subscription Link

Having a solid subscriber base on YouTube is the easiest ways to guarantee views and grow your video brand online. Remember, subscribers get notified every time that you upload a video. Be sure to take advantage of having viewers on your video and add a subscription link so they can watch future ones.

Continuity With Annotations

Remember that annotations themselves are content. Be sure that this short form content matches your brand and the tone of the story you’re trying to promote.

Keep these annotations as enhancers to the video, and viewers will thank you. And ideally, you’ll be thanking yourself once you see an improved rate of return because of these annotation optimization techniques.

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  • Liza
    Posted at 06:33h, 03 April

    I find many useful things herewith. It is really amazing for us.

  • deema
    Posted at 12:46h, 04 February

    Hello, there. I have created a new way to use annotations that can be seen in the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSVYx3fqmlg

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