Ultimate Guide to Making Your YouTube Videos Interactive

Ultimate Guide to Making Your YouTube Videos Interactive

YouTube let’s you get in touch with people– 1 billion of them to be specific.

That’s how numerous people visit YouTube each month. The site’s extreme appeal is why we have actually highlighted YouTube in the past with posts like The best ways to Go Viral on YouTube and The Leading 10 YouTube Channels.

However we have actually never discussed YouTube annotations – – and how they can significantly enhance your videos by adding an interactive aspect. This post is everything about diving into interactivity on YouTube: why to do it, ways to do it, and exactly what you can doing when you master it.

Why Make Your YouTube Videos Interactive?

More Views to More of Your Videos

The most basic factor of all — — who doesn’t want more views?

YouTube annotations enable you to develop links from one video to another or to a playlist. The right link will turn a one-time viewer into a serial audience. And given that YouTube enables you to make a connect to your subscribe page right in the video, interactivity can increase your subscription rate also.

Up-to-Date Messaging

After you release a post, you can return to it and edit it whenever you want. A YouTube video isn’t so malleable: once it’s up there, it’s up – – and if you desire to make considerable changes you’ll need to take it back down and re-upload it (losing all of your views and comments at the same time).

That’s an issue because the world keeps spinning therefore too will your message.

That’s where annotations come in. Since they’re tacked on after you’re video is published, they’re simple to change in just a minute or 2. That means you can keep your YouTube videos with whatever is brand-new with you — — whether that’s a list of upcoming occasions, your newest products, or your newest article.

A good YouTube video will remain to amass thousands of views for many years and years after it’s posted. Design a video with YouTube interactivity in mind and it can still be working for you years from now.

Easier to Browse Videos

Have you ever been seeing a tutorial video and needed to avoid around for minutes attempting to find the one part you have to discover? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to skip ideal to the part you require?

With YouTube annotations, it’s possible. You can set up a series links in your video with titles referring to its various “chapters” — — similar to a table of contents. Your audience will be able to read through the list, click their preferred chapter, and — — poof — the video avoids ahead to that specific location on the video.

Begin with YouTube Interactivity in 3 Steps

(1) Access Your Video Manager

YouTube Interactivity Walk-Thru 1Log in to YouTube and click on the gray arrow alongside your name in the upper right corner.

From there click on Video Manager in the ‘‘ YouTube’Column.

(2) Access Annotations Location

YouTube Interactivity Walk-Thru 2From the list of videos you have actually submitted, choose one to include interactivity and click on down arrow alongside edit. Select Annotations from the drop-down menu.

(3) Add Annotations to Your Video

YouTube Interactivity Walk-Thru 4Click on the Add Annotation button to the right of your video, then begin working down the list. You’ll have the alternative to add text, change its positioning within the video, and make it connect to other pages or videos.

I’ll dive into these functions in the next section.

Making and Changing YouTube Annotations

There are 5 kinds of YouTube annotations. In the example above, we’re utilizing the Spotlight style of annotation. A spotlight is a simply thin summary of a box, so they work when you wish to utilize an existing part of the video and turn it into an interactive element. In this case, we have actually integrated a brief clip of another Income Diary video and put a spotlight around it’s edges, basically turning the video into a link to the complete video.

I have actually made an image with an example of the remaining four types of annotations:

types of youtube annotations

Titles allow for the largest typeface size; the Speech Bubble develops a playful animation speech box; Notes make an easy, helpful rectangular shape; and Labels look a lot like spotlights, but they expose text when you hover over them with your mouse.

Including Text and Color

text area on YouTubeMake use of the white box to compose in the text you desire to appear with the annotation. You have a selection between 4 font style sizes (11, 13, 16, and 28) unless you’re making use of a Title (48, 72, and 100). If you increase the font size but you do not notice a modification on the video, then you most likely requirement to make the annotation box larger.

Text have to be either white or black, however you have an array of 34 colors to select from for your annotations — — including transparent. Your very first top priority here should be clearness, so see to it that there is a high amount of contrast in between the text and the background color. You might likewise wish to consider making use of colors related to your brand or using attention-grabbing colors (e.g. red, orange, yellow) when making a call-to-action.

You also have the selection in between two designs, Typical and Effect. I like the simplicity of Regular.

Placing Annotations

When you make a new annotation, it will appear over your video. You can adjust it’s position by placing your mouse over the middle of the annotation, clicking, and dragging. It’s normally a smart idea to place annotations on the periphery of the screen so that they don’t sidetrack from the video, but in many cases you might want the annotation to be the focal point – – front and center.

You can adjust the size of an annotation by clicking and dragging any of the black rectangles that are on each corner. YouTube limits the size of the annotation so that it can not take up more than 30 % of the screen.

Annotations in Time
moving annotations in timeOnce you’ve added your annotation, it will appear in the dark gray location beneath the video. By putting your mouse on either side of the annotation, you can extend it longer or make it much shorter. By putting your mouse in the center of the annotation, you can move the whole thing forward and backward in time. You can likewise make these change with the Start and End time fields to the right.

Choosing the best period for your annotations is very important. Too short and the audience might not have time to read your message or click on your link. Too long and the annotation might sidetrack from the video and overstay its welcome. Offer your best guess at for how long an annotation must stay up (most likely about 5-7 seconds) then watch the video from the beginning with the annotation. That will give you the best idea of whether or not you have actually chosen a suitable length.

If you’re having trouble fine-tuning, you can use the magnify bar in the bottom right to get a closer look.

Turning Your Annotation into a Link

youtube linkHere’s where we finally get to add interactivity: YouTube permits annotations to connect to other Videos, Playlists, Channels, Google+ Profiles/Pages, Subscribe Pages, and Fundraising Projects.

Types of Interactive YouTube Hyperlinks and their Makes use of


This enables you to connect to other video on YouTube. This is the type of link that we use in the example video (Will Smith Describes How to Bend the Universe). Utilize it to link to one more associated videos.

Because you can start the linked video at a second-marker of your picking, you can pick extremely certain portions of videos or perhaps connect to various parts within the same video. That’s how you make a table of contents for your video: a series of video links to different times in the exact same video.

Another usage might be to allow the viewer to get back and re-watch an especially difficult part of the video: “That last part about SEO was quite technical, so click the button in the bottom right to get back and hear it one more time.”

Subscribe Pages

This is one of the most effective links, since every customer you get is another long-term audience. When someone clicks a subscribe link, it takes them to a special landing page for your channel with a huge button saying ‘‘ subscribe

‘. I see no reason you should not put a subscribe button in every video you post on YouTube. It’s as easy as putting a note in the bottom left corner that says ‘‘ Subscribe ‘in 13 pt text.


Your channel page resembles the home page for your YouTube channel. This is a great stepping-stone for viewers who want learning more about you and your videos but who may not yet be all set to subscribe.

Google+ Profiles/Pages

You cannot link a YouTube video to your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram — — however you can link straight to your Google+ page. If you have an active YouTube channel and a social networks presence, then this is an amazing chance to start constructing a relationship with your audiences.


For audiences, a playlist can suggest more entertainment/information marked time for them without them having to trouble with browsing for the next one. For you and your videos, it can suggest the difference in between getting one view or 10 views. If you have a series of videos that make sense being seen in a certain order, you make a playlist and put a link to it in each one of those videos.

Fundraising Tasks

YouTube just recently started permitting users to link to their fundraising jobs on 18 authorized websites, consisting of Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. This makes YouTube a fantastic location to promote your campaign

If you’re thinking about crowd funding, you can inspect out our Ultimate Overview of an Effective Kickstarter Project.

Can I Connect from a YouTube Video to My Website?

This is the one interactive aspects that my video clients ask for the majority of — — and the answer is yes: but you must initially link your site to your channel making use of YouTube’s Web designer Tools.

Once this process is total, your site is officially an Associated Website of your channel and can be connected to with annotations. For a thorough tutorial, click on this link.

Ways to Design Your Video from the ground up for Interactivity

template for youtube interactivity
When I set out to make interactive videos for Earnings Journal, I made an unique 1920 x 1080 px background in Photoshop comprised of branding aspects taken directly from Income Diary’s site (above).

The focal point of the design is the area in the center for a previous Income Journal video. When I finish each brand-new video, I import the above template and the previous video file. Then I reduce the previous video so that it fits in the box and speed it up so that there’s more movement. After the video’s uploaded, it’s as easy as putting a spotlight around the mini video and linking it up.

Another aspect of the above design template is that there’s room in the bottom center for another annotation. That’s a prime spot for a note that states ‘‘ Subscribe’.

The best ways to Add Interactivity to an Already Uploaded YouTube Video

If you wish to add interactivity to videos after the reality, do not fret. You don’t require a fancy design template and you do not require to have actually planned anything in advance.

I advise keeping it basic. Attempt putting a note in the bottom left that states, “Previous Video” and a note in the bottom right that states “Next Video”. Or just put a note in the bottom center that says “Subscribe” and links to your subscription page.

Most of the times, the bulk of the action will be in the center of the screen so it won’t be specifically sidetracking if there are notes discreetly put at the bottom. Nonetheless, I do not suggest putting these connect till the last 30 seconds approximately of your video.


Do you have any questions about interactivity? I would be pleased to answer them in the comment area.

Additionally, if you have any insight into utilizing YouTube annotations please share with our neighborhood below.

Finally, if you wish to learn more about the best ways to be successful on YouTube have a look at our 21 methods to Control YouTube.

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