Have you ever watched a YouTube video and saw a gray bar popping up at the corner of the screen? Sometimes the YouTubers even point at it and tell you to click on it. That’s a YouTube video card. Yes, we’re well aware that you might already know this. But did you know that this little element is actually a powerful tool that you should be using in your videos?
In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about YouTube cards and how to use them in the most effective way possible.
What Are YouTube Video Cards?
YouTube video cards are interactive elements that you can add to YouTube videos. With YouTube video cards, you can promote videos, playlists, merchandise, websites, and channels. Cards appear both on desktop and on mobile, making them super effective. Using YouTube video cards, you can keep your viewers tuned into your channel by directing them to playlists and other videos.
How To Add YouTube Video Cards To Your YouTube Videos
- Log in to your YouTube Studio and click on “Videos”.
- Choose the video you want to add cards to and hover over it with your mouse. Then, click on the pencil icon.
- Scroll down and click on “Cards”.
- Then, choose the video location where you’d like to add the card and click on the element you’d like to add.
- When you’re done adding YouTube video cards, click on “Save” in the upper right corner.
Using YouTube Video Cards – Best Practices
Promote New Videos
If you just posted a new video, your subscribers will get a heads up. You probably used social media to promote it, as well. But did you know that you can get even more people to watch your new video by promoting it in the cards? Here’s how you can do it:
- First, find a group of related videos to the one you just posted. For example, if your video is about relieving anxiety in cats, related videos could include bathing cats and introducing a new cat into the family.
- Then, add a card to those related videos. The card should link to your new video.
- Do this every time you release a new video.
Direct Your Audience’s Attention To Your Cards Using Verbal Cues
The truth is that cards are sometimes easy to miss out on. To maximize the chances of people clicking on your cards, tell people – using your words, obviously – to click on the cards as they appear in the video.
Of course, for this to work you’ll need to plan and script your video in advance and insert this CTA. However, it’s worth it. With a little planning and prepping, you can maximize the number of people that will click on your cards.
Show Cards Where People “Drop Off”
The best time to show a card is where people drop off in your video. To find out when that happens, have a look at your video analytics page.
Go to your Audience Retention Report (under the Engagement tab) and look at the graph.
Take note of the “valley” – where people started to drop off. In most cases, this happens when the audience gets bored with your video and moves on to another channel’s video – which is not good for you at all!
What you can do, though, is add a card in the exact moment where people drop off to direct them to other videos you’ve created or to a related playlist.
Use Compelling “Teaser Texts” And “Custom Messages” In Your Cards
YouTube doesn’t give you too many customization options on your cards. However, they do allow you to add “teaser texts” or custom messages to your cards.
The Teaser Text is the text that appears on your card before someone clicks on it. The custom message is the text that appears after someone clicks on your card and expands it. The right teaser text and custom messages can increase your cards’ CTR, here are some tips:
- Use “Benefit Driven” Teaser Text. Instead of writing “check out this video”, focus on the benefit that the viewer will get from watching it. For example, use “get better weight loss results” or “Want to make your website load faster?”
- Include a CTA in your custom message. For example: “Check out my product!” or “Click here to watch!”
- If you’re sending your viewers to another video from your channel, make sure you let them know that it’s closely related to the one they’re watching at that moment. Use terms like “up next” or “related: …” to make it clear to your viewers that they’re going to watch a video on the same topic.
Add Cards To The Last 20% Of Your Video
YouTube themselves recommend adding cards to the last 20% of the video. This is because you don’t want your cards to distract people from the message that you’re trying to send. Use them towards the end of your video – because that is generally where people tend to drop off.
Track Card Performance
Your YouTube Studio has a lot of information about your cards’ performances. Among other things, your card analytics will show you:
- How many people click on your cards.
- What type of card is performing the best (and worst).
- Which videos from your channel have the highest-performing cards.
This data will help you understand how your cards are performing in terms of time, placement, and types. Learning what works best will help you do more of it, thus making your cards more successful.