Monetizing YouTube Content With Merchandise Annotations
YouTube is one of the most pervasive social media outlets for
both music discovery and fan engagement. As one of the world’s leading online
video services, YouTube provides artists with tools to effectively market their
brand on the network. Many of these tools are made available through the
YouTube Partner Program, a program that allows content creators to improve
their marketing and creative skills, reach larger audiences, and monetize their
The YouTube Partner Program most notably assists artists in
monetizing video content through advertising. YouTube recently launched the
Merchandise Annotations Tool, which aims to provide artists with a new means of
monetizing video content. Artists can now promote the sale of licensed
merchandise directly in their videos. Merchandise annotations can link to
pre-approved external sales sites.
So far, YouTube has approved Google Play, Shopify, District Lines,
Cafepress, Spreadshirt, Topspin, Jinx, Songkick, and iTunes (additional
retailers are said to be approved soon). With Merchandise Annotations enabled,
fans can now link to purchase sites from within the video without having to
look for links to storefronts elsewhere. Before adding this feature, videos
were mostly monetized by adding advertisements – an experience that isn’t
exactly engaging for fans. By adding the Merchandise Annotations feature,
YouTube makes shopping convenient for fans on the platform while giving artists
an engaging means of monetization.
When using Merchandise Annotations, it’s important to keep some basic
practices in mind. The length of time that people watch your video is important
when it comes to view counts and SEO. Annotations would be more effective if
they appeared near the end of the video, or at a time where it wouldn’t take
away from the viewing experience. Viewers should be encouraged to watch the
entire video, and should not be driven away by an annotation that appears at
the wrong time.
Annotations should also be entered at an optimal time where view
time is not disrupted and purchasing is encouraged. They should contain
captivating copy and stand out as a purchasing message, while not being overly
annoying or distracting to the viewer. The messaging should also be clear so
that the audience does not mistake it for advertising.
Creating videos showcasing your merchandise is an engaging way
to not only promote your merchandise, but also showcase and test your
Merchandise Annotations. Getting creative with your video content and
showcasing your annotations in an engaging, meaningful way can make a big
difference in the monetization of your YouTube content.