The Death of Annotations on YouTube
YouTube is a wonderful source. A library of visual media to find out more about history. See what it is like to take a walk through a zoo in another country (caution: extreme cuteness). Find out how to repair a blender. And keep up to date on current movie trailers. Sometimes this is flawless and the focus can be on the content. Videos will pop up a small bubble with a useful link to subscribe to that user’s channel. Once in awhile, there are so many pop-ups that it makes it almost impossible to view the programming. YouTube calls these “pop-ups” annotations. YouTube has somewhat removed annotations for future videos but is now using end cards which work in a similar manner
They can be a huge distraction. Yet, they can also be used as useful advertising tools. Let’s take a walk through the use of these. Hopefully, you can find a happy medium for their use in the corporate videos you post. Annotations on YouTube have the tendency to look like spam. Clicking on them seems a bit untrustworthy in a skeptical world.
Using Annotations Wisely
Try to avoid overdoing it and make sure no annotation blocks the content you are trying to show. When selecting a size for your annotations, keep them small but legible. Post them to a corner that does not interfere from the video. Viewers will turn off annotations immediately if they are too big. This can waste all your efforts. A good idea is to wait until towards the end of the video to have the annotations appear. Perhaps just adding one so the user can find more information on your products before autoplay begins. Give the viewer just enough time to click on it. A thoughtful notion is to leave a few seconds of blank screen. Perhaps black and post two to four “label” annotations that look clean and professional. This way the annotations do not interfere with your video content in any way. Plus, you get a free mini advertising spot in between videos.
The Potential of End Screen
Making the best use of the technology to gain exposure is an ongoing quest. YouTube has improved this feature in recent years. It has made it easier but it is up to the uploader to make sure they look professional. So double check spelling and grammar and keep placement streamlined with the screen. For more on using YouTube annotations as a translating tool read here.