Keeping to their word, YouTube has now launched associated website annotations. A short while ago, the social video sharing platform has announced this new update, and users have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. After a few weeks in pilot mode, the program is up and running now.
With these new annotations, brands can direct users directly to a website or URL of your choosing, right in the video. This option is so far, only available to channels that officially represent a brand. Imagine all the possibilities. Now brands can create videos that showcase products, services or advertise a special promotion to viewers. The calls to action in the video can be followed up with direct links, driving traffic to your website, or a specific URL. If your hat company shares a video about a new line of hats, you can send viewers right to the page wherein they can purchase a hat.
Sales, leads, website visits, brand exposure, and direct engagement are some really valuable marketing.
Reel SEO published these easy steps explaining how to set up these annotations:
- First, you need to make sure that you’ve associated your website with your YouTube channel. here’s how to do that.
- Go to the annotations area in your video manager.
- Click on “add annotation” and then under “link”, choose the category Associated Website.
- Put your associated domain link in the link area, save, publish, done.
Another change to keep in mind is the “time watched” metric that’s part of YouTube’s tracking system. A click on a video is no longer the sole definer of reach and exposure; now the amount of a video that the user actually watches is considered. The upside is more explicit analysis that give brands a fuller understanding of a video’s social success. The downside is that if viewers don’t stick around and watch the entire video, your stats will be low and it will reflect a poor level of interest.
Brands posting videos with annotation links have a tough balancing act to sort out. The ideal is getting viewers to watch as much of a video as possible AND to click the link that routes users directly to your site. If they see a link early on a click away – your “time watched” numbers will be low. While a clear solution seems to be posting your more important links towards the end, brands have to be careful. If viewers don’t watch that far in, you may end up missing the click through opportunity altogether.
High quality content, well timed link annotations, and effective calls to action must all come together to make the most out of this new feature. As the power and connectivity of YouTube enhances with updates such as this, the branding opportunities for official channels is increasing as well.
YouTube’s support page about the new annotations does mention the Terms of Service affiliated with associated website annotations:
“Links to Associated Websites must not be used to redirect to unauthorized sites and must comply with our Community Guidelines,Terms of Service, and other policies for this feature. Violations can result in your videos being removed, strikes against your account, and/or termination of your YouTube account. You can find more information onYouTube’s policies.”