Driving traffic to your video is key to high view count. Metadata, annotations and cards are key for viewer discovery.
Though your video title and thumbnail are imperative to your search and discovery on youtube, the unsung hero is metadata. Metadata is the textual information that let’s youtube and google know what your video is about, so it knows how to categorize it in search. Its what the viewer never knew was there, but without it, might not have discovered your video it at all.
Video tags are essentially the keywords of your video. Upon uploading your video you will see this section where you can fill in your tags.
You can fill in words and phrase that are associated with your video being placed properly within google’s algorithm. These tag words can be as simple as the words in your title. Youtube will also suggest keywords based on your title and description. Keep adding keywords till you can’t think of anymore and have depleted all the relevant youtube suggestions .Even though video tags are unseen by the viewer they are very helpful in the placing of your video.
Youtube states: “ annotations are unique to youtube. They can drive viewers to more content, increase community actions on videos, and attract new subscribers.”
There are 5 types of annotations: speech bubble, note, title, spotlight and label.
annotations allow you to create a note, a title a speech bubble or links to other videos, associated websites, and the subscription button. They’ll allow your audience to click on the highlighted part of the screen and go to another one of your related videos. This helps people stay engaged which creates more watch time.
Most annotations don’t need explanation. However, spotlight annotations are different, they can be purposely built for a given clickable area on the screen. The newly built button appears when you mouse over it.
Here are a few reasons you would use a annotation according to youtube:
Ask a specific question to enhance viewers to like, favorite or share a video viewer engagement. Make it easy for viewers to subscribe right from your videos. Create a table of contents for long-form videos. Link to related videos or content you reference in the video. Link to other videos in the series. Link to other videos, playlists, channels or full versions of shorter video clips. Make areas of your video clickable and interactive. Highlight your dot com or merchandise store. Link to your social media presence. Direct viewers of older videos to newly uploaded content. Place hidden “easter eggs” or interactive games in your videos. Add text clarification to a specific part of the video.
Cards are very similar to annotations, however unlike annotations, cards work on all devices, not just desktops and laptops. They allow for custom thumbnails and are more attractive than youtube's annotations. Its important to know though, that cards do not replace annotations, not yet, so keep using annotations till google replaces them completely. Cards are just another tool to use.
Lets take a look at what a card looks like.
Cards are less intrusive, to show your thumbnail, the viewer needs to hover over the I icon on the top left corner of the video, it then reveals the card. You can put up to 5 cards on each of your videos.
They can contain just about anything you want, so try them out.
Your video description is the text that allows your viewers to know what the video is about. If your video title and thumbnail compelling and interesting, the video description seals the deal and let’s your viewer know that this video is for them.
If you are a video editor and you wanted to do a stylized film title, you’re going to click on this video because it’s showing you exactly what you want to see. That is the same experience you want to create for your audience.
Your description is another place where youtube, google and other search engines use to find your video. Its important, just like with your tags, where the keywords in your description work to direct traffic to your video. Making a keyword rich description will help your video gain views, so dont overlook this “key” need.
Another function that your description can provide is the ability to add links to your website, social media, and products in your description. Due note, it’s recommended that you place that below your initial description.
Spending the time to produce a video, create a brand and post it to youtube and not add metadata would make your effort almost worthless. Dont underestimate the power of putting your effort into something the public doesn't see. It will help drive traffic, it will tell the search engines what your video is about and lastly it will drive viewers to watch your other content as well.