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How (and why) small businesses should use YouTube cards

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Now that you’ve created a YouTube channel and filmed a few videos, it’s time to add cards to each one before you click ‘Upload’. YouTube cards can encourage viewers to take an actionable next step… and will ideally turn them into a customer for your small business.

YouTube takes the length of time viewers spend watching your videos into account, so it’s important to keep viewers engaged for as long as possible – and cards can potentially extend watch time on your channel.

There are three different types of cards that play various roles in YouTube videos:

  • Title cards
  • Pop-up cards
  • End cards

Here, we’ll go over why each type is important and how you can use all three for your small business YouTube channel.

Title cards

The title card sets the tone for the rest of your video, so it should be eye-catching, engaging and draw the viewer in so they keep watching. It should also include a basic explanation of what’s going to happen in your video.

For example, if you’re doing a series of tutorials for your flower shop, give each video an episode name/number: Flower Arrangement with Flora, Episode 6. (And don’t forget to link to related episodes on your end card!)

Video Tip

When it comes to branding your small business, consistency is key – in your YouTube videos, you can demonstrate this consistency with on-brand title cards.

Pop-up cards

There are six kinds of ‘pop up’ cards (or annotations) you can insert throughout your YouTube video:

  1. Merchandise. If you have licensed merchandise, you can use a card to link viewers to a product page on your website so they can purchase any item featured in your video.
  2. Associated website. Whether you’re offering a special promotion or encouraging customers to learn more about your business, insert a card that takes viewers to your website.
  3. Video. Insert a pop-up card featuring a related video to encourage potential customers to spend more time watching your content.
  4. Playlist. The same idea applies to this feature. If you’re publishing a tutorial video about how to make a floral arrangement, add a card that takes viewers to your full tutorial playlist.
  5. Fundraising. Raising money for a cause or for your start-up? Use this type of card to link to your Indiegogo or Kickstarter page.
  6. Fan funding. This function raises money to go directly to your YouTube channel.

Once you’ve set up one of these cards, it will appear in the top right corner of your video as a small rectangular box. When a viewer taps on this teaser, the box will expand into the full card – from there, they can click to navigate to your website, a related video, your online shop, a full playlist or something else.

Video Tip

End cards only appear in the last 20 seconds of your video, but you can use pop-up cards throughout.

End cards

End screens work on desktop and mobile and you can link up to four different elements that encourage engagement with your audience on each one.

  • A link to your website. Whether you link to your online shop, your brand website or your small business’ Instagram page, use this function to convert viewers to customers.
  • Cross-promote another channel. This is a great way to collaborate with like-minded content creators! For example, if you’re a florist showing a behind-the-scenes video of your work at a recent wedding, add a link on your end card to the videographer’s full-length wedding video – and ask them to do the same for you.
  • A ‘subscribe’ button. Encourage potential customers to subscribe to your channel with a voiced-over or written call to action.
  • Other videos on your channel.
  • Related YouTube playlists

In addition to extending watch time on your channel, end screens are a great way to promote relevant content to viewers and reinforce your brand. Think about creating a template to use as the end card for all of your videos that matches your brand look and includes your preferred linked elements.

Video Tip

Reinforce the message on your end card with a voiceover or a written call to action that encourages viewers to click.

How to add cards to your YouTube video

It’s easy! Follow these steps to add title, end or pop-up cards to any of your YouTube videos.

  1. Navigate to your Creator Studio and select ‘Video Manager’.
  2. Select the video you want to add cards to.
  3. Click ‘Edit’, then ‘Cards’.
  4. Select ‘Add cards’, then choose the type of card you want to add to your video.
  5. Click ‘Create’, then customise the teaser text and message – this can act as your call to action. For example, “Click here to order a bouquet online!”
  6. You can insert a card anywhere in your video – just drag the timer to when you want the card to appear.

Video Tip

Add your brand logo to the corners of title and end cards.