The last eighteen months has seen a huge rise in the importance of video in any social content strategy. With Facebook and Twitter offering various native video formats and live streaming, you might have thought that YouTube was in decline.
YouTube though has seen its own audiences grow, with 5 billion YouTube videos being viewed every day by its 1.3 billion users. And with a 50% increase in the time spent on viewing videos each year, how do you make sure audiences are viewing your videos?
Launched in 2015, YouTube Cards are a great tool to use as any part of your social video strategy.
To use the YouTube Card feature, you need to be editing a video within your channel. Simply login to your YouTube channel, open Video Manager and edit the video you want the card to appear on. So how can you use it and how can it benefit your business?
Get YouTubers watching more of your videos
YouTube Cards allows you to feature another of your videos within the video currently being watched. This is a great way for keeping your audience captive and watching other videos from your channel.
The Card appears at the top right hand corner of the screen.
and then once clicked and expanded reveals a preview screen of the next video.
It’s a fantastic feature if you have a series of videos such as “How To’s” or client testimonials and want to alert you viewers to the next video in the series.
Lead them to your playlists and other channels
Playlists are a great way of grouping your videos on a particular subject or series. Cards can also be used to alert your viewer of their existence. Once again the Card reveals the playlist as “Suggested” and clicking provides further information about the playlist.
The playlist doesn’t have to be in the channel your video is located in, which means that you can easily link to playlists on your other YouTube channels.
If you just want to promote your other channels via YouTube Cards, then there’s also a function for that as well.
Land them on your website
Your social strategy might be focused around harder metrics than just views and likes, such as leads and sales.
In this case you can use YouTube Cards to link to your website (once verified) and also to third party merchandise sites such as Shopify and Etsy and crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
If you’re aiming to bring viewers back to your website, don’t forget that it should be to a specific and hopefully specially crafted landing page rather than just your homepage.
What’s coming next?
For charities, it’s worth noting that YouTube recently launched Donation Cards for US-based non-profits. This provides a great way to link your campaign or appeal video directly to your fundraising efforts. Charities can also partner with other YouTube channels, with their videos displaying Donate Cards on behalf of the charity. Hopefully this feature will be expanded to charities based outside of the USA soon.
YouTube Cards offer a great range of engagement options, from within your videos, to keep your audience watching, encourage clicks to your website or even increase sales.
Have you used YouTube’s Cards and how have you got on?