In case you don’t know already, YouTube has added a new feature called YouTube Cards, which will eventually replace the interactive annotations you see pop up on some videos.

Think of cards as a more refined form of annotations replacing the rambunctious current iteration, which can disrupt and obfuscate the videos viewers are watching with pop-up windows and speech bubbles.

YouTube Cards can inform your viewers about other videos, merchandise offerings, playlists, websites and more. And, the big bonus for savvy local marketers is because you can edit and change cards any time you can promote a range of special offers over time, all using the same video. 


Right now, you can choose from six types of cards: Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding. You’ll find a new “Cards” tab in your Video Editor to create and edit them at any time.


So, why is this so important?

This announcement promises to deliver a very powerful marketing tool for marketers, product developers, local businesses … and even those doing entertainment videos.

If you are a veteran YouTube marketer you probably have been using annotations to engage with your viewers for years. But one of the challenges you have been facing is the need for more flexibility when you share info via annotations.

Even more important it has not been possible to display annotations across all of types and sizes of screens, especially on mobile devices. With 50% of views to YouTube coming from mobile devices, the lack of access to annotations for these viewers has been a nagging issue for creators and users of the site.

YouTube Cards promises to solve those issues and likely much more as it evolves and adapts to the intense competition from Facebook, Twitter and other platforms competing for advertising revenue.

Follow these steps to create a card for a video

  1. Go the Video Manager page and choose one of your videos to edit.
  2. Then click Cards from the top menu bar.
  3. Click the blue Add card button.
  4. Choose the type of card you’d like to add and click the Create button next to it.
  5. In the dialog box, enter a URL for the site you’d like to point your viewers to or choose a related video to which you’d like to link and then click the Create card button.
  6. Using the slider along the bottom of the screen, you can adjust the start time of the card teaser. A teaser flashes the title of your card next to the static “i” button for a few seconds.

You can add up to five cards per video. You can edit or delete a card you added by clicking on the pencil icon next to a card in the Cards tab.

Check out these Help Center articles if you want to find out more.