Guest Post from Fiona Z on Fionzwieb.com
This past week, I took on a project for a client who was interested in exploring the uses for Youtube Cards, the advanced annotations, as a call of action on her most viewed videos.
This feature is a great way to enhance your videos, add a sense of classy professionalism and create a call of action – whether it be for building your mailing list or promoting your latest album – to your Youtube viewers.
Here’s what you need to know to build your very own!
Start out by going to one of your videos to edit, click the Cards icon, and let’s walk through it together.
First thing to know – You can’t just share any link you desire. There are rules!
Here are the four approved links for Youtube Cards:
1. Associated website (Feature your website) – This means you can share your homepage so fans can sign up for your newsletter list, or maybe a blog post to get votes for a contest.
Pro Tip – Make sure your website is associated with you Youtube Account otherwise this will not work. Go to Advanced Settings under Channel Settings to set that up.
2. Fundraising (Encourage viewers to contribute to your projects on supported fundraising sites) – This includes Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, Pledgemusic! Link away.
3. Merchandise (Feature a product on supported merchandise sites – iTunes, etc.) – Most commonly used to feature latest album, single or EP.
4. Video or Playlist (Promote a video or playlist) – If you are trying to get views up on a certain video or playlist, link it on a Youtube Card to your viewers. This could be useful if you have a Album Press Video and in the card, you can link to your playlist of the album’s music videos or single.
2. Now it’s time to craft a beautiful card
With a Youtube Card, you have four components:
URL – link to what you want people to go to when they click on your card.
Description – brief description of what you are sharing. 50 Character MAX.
Call to Action Text – the text that links to your URL, shown below the description. 30 Character MAX.
Teaser Text – the text that pops up that will entice people to click on your card. 30 Character MAX. Most important in my opinion!
Here are some snapshots so you can see exactly how it shows after you enter the information.
Download This Song! (Teaser Text)
In this video (generated by Youtube, you cannot edit this text)
Album Cover / Image (Generated from URL via iTunes)
New Album – Now Ain’t a Time for Tears (Description Text)
Buy Now (Call to Action Text)
3. Place your card in the video
Consider what you are promoting when timing your Youtube Card placement in your video.
If you are promoting a fundraising site, wait until you mention it in the video.
For promoting a new album or single, wait 15-30 seconds into the video. With the short attention span in today’s world, if a viewer watches 15-30 seconds into your video, good chances they will click to learn more about you and your music!
An important thing to note also is that the Youtube Cards can’t be edited to show for a certain number of minutes or seconds. Unlike annotations where you can make them pop up for a minute or even the full video, the Cards Teaser Text shows for approximately 5-6 seconds before going away to hide behind the icon.
Pro tip: You can place up to five cards in a video, but be careful with this, especially if you are placing the same card five times throughout the video. If the viewer clicks on the teaser text, all of your cards will show at the same time, feeling very spammy!
I love the way Youtube Cards look on videos and I cannot wait to use them more for promoting merch, newsletter sign ups and projects to generate fans and exposure. People respond well to easy-to-use call to actions so it will be exciting to watch how this will help build support for musicians. Start building followers, customers and most importantly fans with a Youtube Card today!
Here is a link to Kristen Graves, the artist featured in this article: