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YouTube Annotations

You can record a video and put it on YouTube in a single afternoon if you really wanted to. But this next topic is a more serious approach to online marketing.

YouTube gives you the ability to add annotations into your video and to create interactive experiences between your video and the viewer.

Specifically, the annotations can be used to add pop-up information, provide links to related videos, create quick subtitles and to spotlight areas of a video. We're not going to specifically tell you how to add annotations; you would have to read through the YouTube directions for that. Although, to get to the Annotations tab you first need to go into the edit setting for the video, then simply click the word Annotations in the top list of available tabs.

YouTube has several ways to add pop-up information and links to a video. They call them "Speech bubbles," "Notes," and "Titles." They are all similar.

The Speech Bubble is good to use when you need to call attention very specifically to what someone is saying. You can even create a hyperlink in the bubble, although the hyperlinks are limited to linking to other YouTube features like videos, Playlists or your Channel. The Speech Bubbles have a cute quality to them and are used effectively for humorous reasons, but you could also use them to point to something in the video.

If you're doing a demonstration of a diamond and you mention "hearts and arrows" on the video, but didn't explain it, you could use the Note feature to put a quick written description in the video.

Another good use of the Note feature is to do a quick subtitle when the audio is too noisy or if someone's words are difficult to understand for a few seconds. Don't use Notes to subtitle your entire video, instead use the Captions and Subtitles feature we will explain tomorrow.

Notes also have the ability to link to another video. This feature is very useful to tell the user to watch your next or previous video in a series.

The Title pop-up is what you use to put an opening title on your video if you didn't already include it during the editing process. The Title font sizes can be set to 36, 44 or 56, which is rather large compared to the smaller 12, 15 and 18 for the Notes.

The Spotlight feature provides a slightly different type of note and linking feature. With it you can call attention to items in your video by drawing boxes around to them. The boxes can be set in a variety of light colors that brighten up when you hover the mouse over it.

You can also include a note with the Spotlight feature that will appear on the video while hovering. You can even link it to another video. If you were doing a demonstration of a diamond ring and you wanted to link to a video about the 4C's you could Spotlight the largest RB on the ring. When the viewer hovers over it the note could appear saying "Learn more about the 4C's of Diamonds" and link to your 4C's educational video.

The last trick we should share with you is the Pause annotation. You use this in conjunction with the other annotations in order to either give the user time to read, or tell them to click one of the links to continue.

We think one of the best features is to lead the viewer to the next video. Here's how:

Normally at the end of your video, YouTube will give suggestions of other videos to watch. Instead of giving YouTube the control, we want you to take it back by first including 10 to 30 seconds of black at the end of your video. At second 1 or 2 of the black you would add the Pause feature for 5 minutes and then 2 or 3 other Notes with links to your other videos or even back to your full Channel.

Test this out for yourself. YouTube always suggests new topics or competitive videos, so why not use the Annotations to control what your captured audience sees next?
AT: 05/12/2011 01:16:41 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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