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Tutorial: How to Add Interactivity to Your YouTube Videos

This tutorial will take a look at how we can add clickable calls-to-action to the YouTube platform.

Adapting End Screens to Your Video (and Vice Versa)

Those are just some of the options when it comes to end screens. One piece of advice is to test and see how these objects look in your actual video. You can use the preview toggle to test (Figure 6, below). It's important to not block out any actual important items that are in your video. Knowing where these objects appear can also help you frame your composition for future YouTube videos.

Figure 6. Use the Preview toggle to test that your End Screens work visually in your video


The other option on YouTube is inserting Cards into your video (Figure 7, below). I like to think of these as short callouts you can have appear during your video. You can also link to other videos, channels, and even websites with cards. One of my favorite ways to use these is when referring to a past video or a topic covered. These are nice ways to send your audience directly to a video or a playlist on YouTube.

Figure 7. Cards

To add a Card to a video, navigate to the video settings in Creator Studio and select the Cards tab (Figure 8, below). In this area, YouTube will show you a preview of your video, and how adding a Card will look. You're allowed to add five different Cards to a video, but I suggest taking a "less is more" approach and adding only one to two Cards with your average two- to three-minute video.

Figure 8. Creating a Card in the Cards tab of Creator Studio

When you select the Add Card button, you will see a list of different types of options for your card (Figure 8). For our videos, we like to use the Add Video or Playlist option, but some of the other choices might make more sense for your brand. For now, we'll press the Create button, and here in Figure 9 (below) we can select a video from our library, or you can enter the URL of another YouTube video.

Figure 9. Choose a video to link to with your Card.

Down below, you can customize the text for your card (Figure 9). Once you're done, select the Create Card button. The active cards will appear in this section of the Cards tab. You can always go back and edit and remove any Cards.

In the bottom section, you have the ability to edit when the Card appears with this timeline (Figure 10, below). You can select each Card and move them ahead or back in the timeline. YouTube will automatically save your changes when editing these features.

Figure 10. Using this timeline, you’ll decide when your Card should appear during video playback.

So, there are two ways in which you can have your YouTube videos become more interactive. This will help create a better experience for your viewers, and it can actually give you call-to-actions that you can track and analyze.

I recommend experimenting with both Cards and End Screens to see how they work for your videos and your audience. Thank you for watching, and be sure to check out Part 2 of this tutorial on adding interactions in Vimeo.

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This tutorial will take a look at how to add clickable watermarks, links, and calls-to-action to the Vimeo platform.