Cards on YouTube, as well as ending screens, are an effective way to keep people watching your videos by suggesting them other videos they could be interested in.
You could also promote an external website but remember you want people to stay on YouTube and keep watching your videos as YouTube will promote content that gets people to keep spending time on YouTube (which is, therefore, more profitable for them). And ideally, you want people to watch YOUR videos.
Cards are like dynamic notifications in the top right corner of your video and you can choose the exact moment it should pop up. Cards can include images, outside links (let’s avoid these) and even content that is downloaded when viewers click (an eBook for instance). You can add up to five cards per video and each card can:
o Promote another video or playlist of your channel
o Promote another channel on YouTube
o Ask for a donation for a nonprofit cause of your choice
o Ask a poll
o Link to an approved website off to of YouTube
Figure: to add a card, go to VIDEO MANAGER | Videos | (select your video) | Cards | Add card
The process in then intuitive, simply add your text, your link and when should the card pop up and you’re set! Indeed make sure the card is relevant to the moment it appears. For example, if in the video someone if referring to an external source or a previous videos, it could be wise to suggest this source or video when the person mentions it.
Figure: a card is discreet but could add relevant content
Cards work on desktop and mobile version too!
You can also add an end screen in the last 20 seconds of your video which is a perfect CTA to end a video! End screens help to avoid viewers to go away by suggesting them more content to watch. The idea remains similar to cards: displaying a CTA to your viewers so they can watch more of your content. End screens tend to work better (viewers can decide to ignore cards to keep watching the video which is okay as it still increases session time), as viewers are now done with your video and need to look for another video to watch. Hold their hand by promoting up to four elements which can be:
o Another video or playlist
o A subscribe button
o Another channel
o A link to an approved website
Figure: to add a card, go to VIDEO MANAGER | Videos | (select your video) | End screens and Annotations | Add element
Keep in mind end screens MUST include AT LEAST one video or playlist element (you can’t just display a subscribe button on its own for example).
Your end screen shouldn’t overlap actual content in your video so it could be useful to leave up to 20 seconds (the maximum duration of an end screen) at the end of your video with a background or something not really useful (people living the room in case of a conference, yourself eating a cake after presenting a recipe, etc.).
Figure: an example of an end screen featuring a subscribe button and a playlist (which the video is from).