How to Add Annotations on YouTube Videos

 Add Clickable Annotations on YouTube VideosYouTube Clickable Annotations are powerful free tools that can help you get more subscribers, increase engagement, grow your audience and encourage viewers to take certain actions like clicking over to your website.

CLICK HERE to learn more about how YouTube Annotations can help you grow your channel.

In this video I will show you how to add clickable annotations to your YouTube video. I included other information in this blog post to provide references and resources.

Adding Clickable Annotations to YouTube Videos


Here’s one way to access YouTube annotations:

  1. Go to your channel Video Manager.
  2. Next to the video you wish to edit, click the down arrow to the right of the Edit button and select Annotations.
  3. Click the Add annotation button on the right.
  4. Click Apply changes when you’ve finished creating your annotations.

There are five different types of YouTube annotations to choose from (in the video I focus on Note and Spotlight):

  • Speech bubble: for creating pop-up speech bubbles with text.
  • Spotlight: for highlighting areas in a video; when the user moves the mouse over these areas the text you enter will appear. Typically used for YouTube Endcards.
  • Note: for creating pop-up boxes containing text.
  • Title: for creating a text overlay to title your video.
  • Label: for creating a label to call out and name a specific part of your video.

About Associated Websites and YouTube Annotations

You can add a clickable annotation link to your associated website. I did not cover this in the video. YouTube does a great job of explaining it. Click here to visit the YouTube Associated Websites FAQ page.

Are you using clickable YouTube annotations on your videos ? What type of results are you getting and what are your most commonly used annotation types?

Use YouTube Annotations to Grow Your Channel

YouTube annotations are powerful tools that can help grow your channel and increase audience engagement.

These clickable text overlays are unique to YouTube and can be used for a variety of information or actions on your video.

Use YouTube Annotations to Grow Your Channel

Keep in mind that YouTube annotations do not work when viewing from a smart phone. For certain types of calls-to-action, you can use a YouTube card instead which is usable on smart phones.

Today I have 5 tips for you to use YouTube annotations to grow your channel and YouTube audience.

Video – How to Use YouTube Annotations to Grow Your Channel

YouTube Annotations to Help Get More Views and Subscribers

When used correctly YouTube annotations can help you get more views and subscribers. Be sure that you don’t distract your audience with too many annotations on your video!

Here are 5 tips when using annotations on YouTube.

  1. Timing. Displaying an annotation on your YouTube video for 5 to 7 seconds is enough time for a viewer to engage. It can be distracting if you show the annotation for a longer time frame. Don’t distract from your video message.
  2. Add a YouTube subscribe annotation link. Add a subscription annotation link to your video makes it easy for viewers to subscribe if they like what they see. Add it towards the end of the video. Be sure to ask viewers to subscribe. The annotation helps viewers to click on the video instead of hunting around for a subscribe button on the YouTube video page. You can also encourage viewers to give you a thumbs up or comment on your YouTube video.
  3. Link to other videos or playlist with YouTube annotations. A great way to introduce viewers to other videos is to add a YouTube annotation to the end of the video with a link to other related content on your channel (or another channel). This is a good method to cross-promote video content and keep your viewers on YouTube. As an added bonus, when you keep viewers on YouTube via your links, it’s adds to your YouTube SEO in a positive manner.
  4. Create video interaction. If you create videos that tell a story or chapters of a how-to, create YouTube annotations to take the viewer to the next chapter of your story.
  5. Turn viewers into customers or leads. Use YouTube annotations to take your viewers to an associated website (your website) where they can make a purchase, opt-in to your list, contact you, or some other call to action.

How do you use YouTube annotations to grow your audience? Share your tips in the comments below.

If you are struggling to get traffic to your YouTube channel, CLICK HERE TO check out this free recording on video marketing.