Don’t make the mistake of believing videos are a one way street of you giving and the audience taking!

You already know videos are the perfect way to talk to your target audience, but did you know that these people can talk back?

While television has always been a passive medium, in that viewers watch what a brand gives them with no voice or control over what they view, online videos allow people to communicate their own thoughts and opinions, but not just through the comments section!

Give your YouTube videos a boost by making them more interactive with annotations.

Sure, adding interactive video elements such as video annotations can come with a cost, but if executed correctly, can exponentially increase customer engagement, website views, and in the end, higher sales.

Read on to uncover the multitude of benefits that come with adding annotations on YouTube videos.

What Are YouTube Annotations?

YouTube annotations are a list of video features that have been around since 2008. Annotations just may be the most effective YouTube feature you’ve never heard of.

Video annotations are view-able by the audience, and more often than not are clickable messages layered right on top of the video.

You can add things like text, side notes, and links to videos, all of which gives the viewer a much more interactive and engaging experience.


Styles Of YouTube Annotations

YouTube offers six different styles of annotations: Note, speech bubble, Spotlight, title, label and pause.

Note – The note annotation style is used to communicate to viewers through text. The size and color of notes can be easily customized, but unfortunately the color of the actual font is limited to just black and white. Notes can be view-able on a video for as long as you want, and can even be linked to your other YouTube videos or social media sites.

Speech Bubble – A speech bubble is exactly what its name implies. Add a speech bubble to your YouTube video’s timeline and you add a cartoonish bubble of text that gives the effect that someone is speaking. Speech bubbles can also be linked to your other YouTube videos and social media sites. They are also excellent ways to link to exclusive content or issue a call-to-action.

Spotlight – A spotlight style annotation is the same as the other styles with one unique difference. Like the other styles, a spotlight displays text on the video, but only shows up when a viewer hovers their mouse over a particular area of a video. The spotlight annotation is the perfect style of text for communicating with viewers without interrupting their viewing experience with obtuse boxes of text.

Title – Forgot to create an intro or title for your Youtube video? No problem, use the title style annotation to show viewers the specifics of the video they’re about to watch. Unfortunately, the title annotation is not clickable.

Label – The label annotation works in the same way as the spotlight style, except that the text is displayed below the area you designated it to appear on the video. In short, labels are more a unique form of pop-up text. Though the configuration options differ from spotlight’s, so it’s a good idea to do some testing and figure out which style is more suited to your video.

Pause – The pause annotation pauses a video for a specified amount of time. Use pause when you believe the viewers need a little extra time to take in the content, such as with a video replay of a seminar or a calculus tutorial.

Here is an excellent video showing each of these annotation styles in action, just in case you need a more in-depth demonstration.

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Interactions Come With Annotations

Implementing the above annotations provides your audience with an interactive experience that gives them more power over how they view a video.

Video annotations can also drastically improve customer engagement, increase the amount of time they spend watching your videos, and encourages positive interactions between your brand and audience.

It’s important to remember that there is not a single correct way to interact with customers. Through videos or a digital marketing strategy in general, customer interaction is crucial to a brand’s online success.

Not sure your company’s videos are correctly implementing annotations? Need a bump in video interactions? No problem! Feel free to contact us right away for more information.


Sean Bollinger

6619 N. Scottsdale Rd Ste D

Scottsdale, AZ 85250
United States