Increase the Interactivity of Videos with YouTube Cards

April 13, 2015

YouTube's New Interactive Cards

As video marketers, we have been helping our clients use annotations in their YouTube videos for years.

Annotations are unique to YouTube and have been a great way of driving viewers to increase viewership, engagement and subscribers. They help the viewer feel more involved with the content and allows them to interact with elements on the screen.

Here’s what YouTube’s old annotations look like:

Introducing YouTube ‘Cards’

YouTube have newly released ‘Interactive Cards’ which allow creators and brands to add an extra layer of interactivity to their videos. YouTube states that the “cards will eventually replace traditional annotations” but only once they’re confidence they can do everything annotations currently can.

Mobile friendly feature

In the age of smartphones and tablets, the major downside to annotations is that they can’t be seen on any mobile device. We find it strange that video sharing platform never optimised annotations for mobile users as YouTube reports that 50% of all their traffic now comes from mobile users.

YouTube’s newest ‘cards’ feature works across mobile and desktop, and can also be accessed by the viewer at any point during the video. Cards also look a lot more stylish, sleek and modern compared to annotations.

Cards can suit your individual needs

Everyone has different goals and aims when it comes to video marketing, and we’re glad that YouTube recognises this.

There are currently 5 different types of cards to choose from, depending on what action you want the viewer to take:

1. Merchandise

The merchandise card can be used to promote your licensed merchandise straight from your video. There are a select number of approved destination URLs for you to choose from and the card will display a top-level URL.

2. Fundraising

The fundraising card is great for charities and crowdfunding videos. They can direct interested viewers directly to projects listed on YouTube approved fundraising sites, including Kickstarter and Indiegogo. This allows the viewer to make a financial contribution directly to your project’s page.

3. Video or Playlist

Keep the viewer watching your content and direct them to a specific YouTube video or playlist. This offers more value to the viewer as you can lead them to content they may find interesting. It can also significantly impact the watch time of your channel.

4. Associated Website

The associated website card allows you to directly link to your website from your video. If your website is officially associated with your YouTube channel you can guide viewers to your home page, or particular landing page, to encourage them to engage further with your brand.

5. Fan Funding

The fan funding card is a little bit different. It allows the viewer to make a financial contribution directly to your video’s page. YouTube introduced this as a way of allowing subscribers and supports of YouTube creators to make a one-off donation via Google Wallet. Fan funding needs to be enabled on your channel before you can use this feature.

Any other these options can be accessed from YouTube’s ‘Video Editor’ page.

Annotation Evolution

YouTube reports that the aim of their latest feature is to eventually replace all annotations. The Interactive Cards have been a long time coming, but we think that they will help video creators and viewers alike.

What do you think of the new feature?

If you’d like some advice on adding cards to your own videos, get in touch and find out how they can revolutionise your videos!


To find out more about youtube check out our blog on  YouTubes End Card Feature 

Written by Jo Ginger

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