Annotations are a way to add a layer of clickable text, links, and hotspots over your video. Annotations allow you to add information that let’s your audience engage interactively with you.
How to add annotations:
- In the Video Manager, click down arrow edit button next to the video you want to edit.
- Choose Annotations.
- Click the add Annotation button.
- When finished adding annotations, click publish.
As you can see you can choose from five different types of annotations:
Speech bubble: for creating a typical pop-up speech bubble that includes text. Use speech bubbles to add whimsy to your videos or as thoughts for characters. Speech bubbles can be used to call out specific areas.
Note is for pop-up boxes containing text.
Title is for a text overlay so you can title your video. These are used for headings, captions and any other large text notes. Use them at the beginning of your video or in individual sections of your video. These should only appear briefly and kept away from the center of your video.
Spotlight lets you highlight areas in a video. The text appears when the viewer moves their mouse over those areas you’ve highlighted. Use the spotlight annotation to make eye-catching graphics the encourage viewers to comment, share or subscribe.
Label is for creating a call out and name a specific part of the video.
Change font, colors, size and position:
When choosing your font colors, consider contrast with the background color. For example white letters on a dark or black background.
- Position the annotation on the video by dragging and dropping it within the video player. Resize to make it bigger or smaller.
- When you want your annotation to temporarily stand out like a link menu, quiz or game, you can change the color, duration and size of the annotation. Otherwise make the annotations secondary and less intrusive.
- Set the start and end times so that the annotation displays for just the amount of time needed to read it, about 5 to 7 seconds.
- The size of your annotation should be small so they don’t block the video too much.
- Don’t use bright colors like red, yellow, blue, orange and pink. They are distracting and feel cluttered. Instead use muted colors that are transparent, semi-transparent, gray, black or white.
- Place your annotations along the outside borders of your video in the top third of your video.
- Keep the number of annotations to a minimum. Don’t show more than two at a time if possible.
- Keep the text annotation short so viewers can easily read them at a glance.
- Do Not Write in ALL CAPS. Writing in all capital letters is considered rude or loud by many viewers.
- Annotations should be kept relevant to the video content. They should add value to the viewer’s experience.
- Minimize the number of calls to action and promotional messages. Place them towards the end of your video if possible.
- Annotations will appear on a standard YouTube player and in embedded players but won’t appear on custom YouTube chromeless players or on mobile, tablet or TV devices.