Let cards do the work
Use cards and end screens to encourage your viewers to take an action.
Introduction to cards
Cards are preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel. You can choose from a variety of card types like: merchandise, fundraising, video, and more. Once they’re set up, a small rectangular box, or teaser, will appear in the top right corner of the video to give your fans a preview of the message. If viewers tap or click the teaser, the card associated with the video appears along the right side of your video (or below the player on mobile in portrait mode).
Cards work well when they are placed in conjunction with scripted calls to action or when they are relevant to your video content. For example, if you mention a specific video or a piece of merchandise, you could try adding a card at that exact moment. Cards are convenient because they give the viewer an option to click, and if they don’t, it disappears from their view. Note: there may be cases when the card may not show up, for example, if your video has been claimed by Content ID and the content owner has set up a campaign.
- You can use cards and scripted calls to action to link to other videos, playlists, associated websites or to prompt your audience to buy merchandise or support your crowdfunding campaign.
- You can also use cards in older videos to highlight your most recent uploads, or to promote merchandise or fundraising campaigns.
Introduction to end screens
End screens are a powerful tool which can help extend watch time on your channel by directing viewers to something next at the end of your videos. You can add them to the last 5-20 seconds of a video and they appear on both desktop and mobile.
End screens allow you to promote up to four elements. They can point viewers to other videos, playlists or channels on YouTube; to call for subscriptions to your channel; and to promote your website, merchandise, and crowdfunding campaigns. Note: There are times when end screens may be skipped, such as when your video is playing in background mode. Also, end screen size and placement can vary based on the dimensions of the screen so try to avoid pointing to an exact place on-screen.
- Use end screens to promote up to four different elements: a video or playlist, encourage viewers to subscribe, cross-promote another channel and link to approved websites.
- Consider leaving space at the end of your video for your end screen elements to sit.
- Card teasers, featured content and branding watermarks are suppressed during an end screen, so make sure you do not use both during an end screen.
Promote the most relevant content to your viewers
End screens and cards are most successful when they give your viewers something relevant to watch or do. When you add a card or end screen, ensure it points or gives context to the thing that your viewer may want to do next. Both let you:
- Feature other relevant videos on your channel or another video you like on YouTube in both video cards and end screens. You can select a video you want to feature manually, or, with end screens, YouTube can do this for you by selecting either the latest upload or the best option for your viewer.
- Direct viewers to more information like content on your associated website, your merchandise or crowdfunding campaign, or other websites important for your channel. Learn more about associated websites.
- Highlight collaborators by adding channel cards.
- Ask questions or get feedback using poll cards.
- Check out our pre-approved merch and crowdfunding sites.
- Read up on merchandise best practices to get started.
See it in action
Encourage your viewers to click
You can boost your chances of success with end screens and cards by making sure that your viewers are aware they’re there. Try combining these with a call-to-action in your videos so that your audience pays attention.
- When you are shooting a video, consider where you will place your end screen elements and leave space in the shot. However, try not to point to an exact spot in the frame because the location of end screen elements (and cards) may appear in different places based on device.
- Think carefully about what teaser text you can use to supplement your link cards.
- You can include a verbal call-to-action such as “hit the ‘i’ button” or “check out this playlist” in your scripts when filming.
- Consider editing in a visual graphic element that draws your viewers’ eyes to the card or end screen they can click on.
See it in action
Cards used for a fun Easter egg huntStampylonghead sends his audience on an interactive egg hunting adventure, powered by video cards.
End screens suggest what viewers could watch nextThis video’s end screen gives viewers several options for what to view next--including Rihanna’s acceptance speech and other highlights from the award show.
Make sure your cards and end screens appear at the right time
End screens only appear in the last 20 seconds of your videos, but you can use cards throughout.
Consider the context of the viewer when adding end screens. If your video is part of a series or playlist, it might not make sense to add an end screen if you’re leading them to the next video via a playlist.
Make the most of cards by setting them up to appear at a relevant time in your video. For example, you could promote something to watch next, or another channel you think your viewers might like to watch, but try to make sure you’re not asking them to leave at the most exciting part of your video! Cards work best if they appear later in your video when your viewers are looking for somewhere to go next. You can try these tips for animation at the perfect moment:
- Set video cards to animate in the last 20% of your video, just before you are wrapping up, so that viewers see them before they move on to the next video. Note: cards won’t animate if used at the same time as an end screen.
- Set merchandise link cards to appear when your merch appears in the video.
- If you are using multiple cards, space them out.
Common Creator Questions
Measure your success
- Review your Cards report to see which of your cards have the best success.
- Use your Audience retention report to help you gauge when your cards should appear.
See it in action
Microwave tips and tricksAfter wrapping up the main content, this channel uses cards to give viewers a video to head to next and encourages them to watch in-video. (Video in Turkish)
Running with Casey NeistatIn this vlog all about recovery and running, Casey Neistat talks about an old movie he made about running four years previously.