Tips & TricksTypes of YouTube Annotation, their use cases & best practices

What is YouTube Annotation?

YouTube annotations are the call to action (CTA) buttons on your video that drive more engagement & watch time. They allow viewers to complete tasks such as subscribing to your channel, watching other videos, clicking to go to your website, following you on social media and much more. These CTA buttons play an important role in improving your search rank as well


Read More: YouTube Cards – Make way for the new ‘Annotations’

Best use cases of Annotations:

Here are some best ways to use them on your video

  • Ask users to Subscribe to your YouTube channel
  • Navigation on video such as to watch next or previous
  • Re-direct viewers of older videos or to newly uploaded content
  • Put annotation & back-link to your website or store address to drive sales or traffic
  • Encourage viewers to like, comment & share your video
  • Put the link of your Social media page

Discovery  such as to watch other videos, playlists

Types of Annotations:

There are total 5 types of annotation features provided by YouTube to drive engagement & watch time on the video. Earlier there was one more annotation called “Pause annotation”, but back February, 2013 YouTube removed it from the feature. Here are the details, why they removed.annotation-1

Here are the lists of 5 annotations.

  • Speech Bubble
  • Note
  • Title
  • Spotlight
  • Label

You can customize the annotations with different colors based on your theme. Best looking annotation drives more click rates & hence more conversion.

Speech Bubble Annotation:

This annotation gives a feeling to your viewers that someone is talking during the video so that one can click on it to know. This type of annotation can be used to add a link to any YouTube video, playlist or channel. You can also put subscribe to channel link on this annotation.

Note Annotation:

This is one of the most commonly used annotations by content creators. It looks like a simple square rectangular shape box & you can enter any text & back-link into to subscribe channel or any video page similar to speed bubble annotation. Note annotation looks very professional & is commonly used by many video marketers to divert the traffic to social media pages or web stores. TVF-annotation

Title Annotation:

Title annotation normally used for branding purposes & allows you to customize the color, font & size of a box.


The spotlight annotation allows you to add the link on any aspect area of your YouTube video & it highlights the section. In general, most of the content creators create an aspect of a video while producing & then use this Spotlight annotation to back-link.


This is new to YouTube content creators & has a combined feature of spotlight and note annotation.


Best Practices to use Annotation:

  • Avoid annotations in the lower third of the video; the advertisement overlay can obscure them.
  • Also avoid annotations along the very top of the frame.
  • Don’t obstruct the actual content. Make sure annotations add value and do not get in the way of the viewing experience.
  • Don’t bombard the viewer. This can feel “spammy” and may have an adverse effect.
  • When appropriate, set annotations to open a new window when clicked. Be careful! Don’t take viewers away from a video too soon.
  • Repeat “subscribe” solicitations and other CTAs at the end of the episode.
  • Annotations at the end of a video should open in the same window.

Be creative! The annotation is a flexible feature that’s unique to YouTube – and there are still many uses yet to be discovered.

We at Vidooly help YouTube content creators to optimize their annotation through intelligent testing. Drop us an email if you need any assistance to optimize your annotation.

Follow us on twitter @vidoolydotcom

Note: Image & content credit: YouTube

Vidooly Team

The content marketing team at Vidooly publishes articles and blogs on current and relevant online video industry related news.


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