This video will show you how to use Youtube Annotations to put a link to your website on any of your Youtube videos.

Originally Published on Feb 19, 2013

A couple of days back YouTube officially launched its External Link Annotations feature which means you can now link to any page on your website directly from an annotation on your YouTube video.

Even though “annotations” have been here for a while, until now all they could do was just point to another video hosted on YouTube or to a Youtube channel. Now on top of that you can put annotations with a link to your website. This is a major boost to online marketers.

There is no doubt that this new feature is an excellent tool to drive traffic to your website as you can connect with your audience in real time, while they are watching the video and are still under its influence.

Our first try was to put an annotation on the new WebVideos show reel video. The annotation is a marketing message to viewers to download our “Guide to video for Business”.

It is a very new feature and at the time of writing we don’t have yet any statistics to boast with!

How to link your website to your YouTube channel:

Before starting to add any annotation or link you need to check all the appropriate boxes and be very very patient: it took us 9 days to finally get access to the external linking within the “Annotations” menu

First of all, you need to have your website officially linked to your YouTube Channel.

To do so, you will be asked to become a Youtube official partner. Go to your channel settings, choose “Monetization” and accept to be a partner. You don’t have to enable advert display on your videos if you don’t want to.

Then in the setting menu choose “associated website”. Paste your website URL here. The website ownership needs to be checked by Youtube. You will be asked to copy and paste a code into the header of your website. Nothing unusual here.

How to use the YouTube Annotations tool

Once you have created the link between your Youtube Channel and your website, go to your video manager and click on the little arrow next to Youtube annotations featurethe Edit button. You can then choose “Annotations” in the drop down menu.

In the Annotation dashboard, simply choose ihe type of annotation you want to add: Speech bubble Spotlight (to highlight a specific part of the video) Note Pause (to pause the video for a specific time) Text (to create an overlay tittle) Label (to show and name a specific part of the video)

You can move the annotation to any part of your video, change its the size, choose the time scale you want it to appear on.

Then, after having checked the box “Link” you would be able to link the annotation either to another Youtube video, a Youtube channel or an external link.

As easy as that !

We are very excited with this feature…. When we started WebVideos we used to show our videos through a flash player that meant we could put all sorts of links on and within the video. Unfortunately these became less relevant with the proliferation of the iphone and iPad neither of which can see Flash videos,Youtube annotations feature with link to external website

Imagine you are advertising clothes in a fashion video — everytine a new artiucle came on screen you could have a direct link to a BUY NOW page — so in effect you are getting the viewer at their point of interest. Powerful, and the same principle by which Google Ads has been so effective.

We’ll continue to post our experiences with this feature. If you’re doing the same, do tell us how you all got on.

Read More: Embedding or self-hosting a video : pros and cons

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