Making video content count

February 8, 2013
Andy Murphy

Did you know you can now add a link to your website from within a video on YouTube?

This means you can allow viewers of your latest stunt, viral or PR created promotional video to click through to an external website.

We could do that already couldn’t we?

Previously, channel owners could add an annotation pop-up to their video to allow viewers to click through to another YouTube page only.

Fine if you wanted viewers to watch a series of videos, but what if you want them to do something useful or productive for your brand such as booking a test drive or downloading a brochure? Nope, YouTube wanted to keep that traffic.

The only workaround was to put a link in the description area and hope users see it and click through to the website.

Not now though. Now if you can prove that you control the website and the YouTube Channel, you can link from within video direct to your website.

Why should I care?

Consumers – and media – are hungry for video content, visual storytelling.

Previously, there was no easy way to track how effective it was. Yes, views are a nice measure but you had no way of knowing whether it actually prompted the consumer to enquire, buy or engage.

This new functionality changes everything. You can now track the impact watching your video really has on your brand.

What’s the catch?

Well…there isn’t. Surprisingly, YouTube has rolled this out for everyone, regardless of whether you advertise through them. The only limitations are you need to be able to prove you own the website using the Google Webmaster tools and the YouTube channel.

A couple of words of caution though… annotations wont show up on mobile devices which is something to bear in mind if you are making this part of a campaign.

Secondly, once a user clicks a link, the video will stop playing and the link will open in a new web page. This means unless the viewer comes back and watches the rest of the video your “Time Watched” numbers will be low. Fine you say, move the link to the end of the video…Then you run the risk of the user not playing to the end and missing the link altogether. It will be a balancing act.

Sounds good, where can I find out more?

Well there’s a help page here:

Associated Website Annotations

This page includes instructions of how to get the annotations up and running.

If the thought of getting involved in Webmaster tools and associated accounts seems too daunting, feel free to give us a call.

We can help you strike the right balance of engaging content, well-timed annotation links and strong calls to action to deliver great measurable results.

If you’d like more information or to talk about your digital strategy, drop me an email on or call me today on 0208 541 3434

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *