social media how toIs YouTube a part of your social media marketing?

Or do you only post videos occasionally?

YouTube Cards let you add interactive cards to your videos. They provide excellent motivation for viewers to act on your calls to action.

In this article, I’ll explain how to use YouTube cards to promote your business, products and services.

use youtube cards

Discover how to use YouTube Cards to promote your business.

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Why YouTube Cards?

YouTube cards are a powerful way to maximize your results.

When your audience watches your YouTube videos, you no longer need to hope they remember the website address you mentioned or look in the video description for a link. Just create a visual card they can instantly click on for that important information.

YouTube cards include an image, title, link and a call to action.

youtube card gif

This YouTube video uses the cards feature.

There are six types of cards from which to choose: merchandise, fundraising, video, playlist, associated website and fan funding. It just takes a few minutes to set up YouTube cards. Make sure whichever card you use aligns with the goals of your video.

Here are five ways to use YouTube’s card feature.

#1: Drive Traffic to Your Website

YouTube cards are an excellent opportunity to send viewers to other content on your website. Keep in mind, you need to do more than just drive your audience to your homepage. You need to let them know where to go or what you want them to do once they get there.

Each video should have a particular goal. This is on top of watching your video and engaging by liking or leaving a comment. This is where the call to action is really important.

youtube card example

Musician Chris Robley adds YouTube cards to his music videos. Add a link to relevant content on your website to YouTube video cards.

If your video is a how-to and your goal is to inform, then use a card to send your audience to discover more tips on your website. Include the link to the “how to” category on your blog.

If your video is a keynote and the goal is get hired to speak, then include a card to send your audience to the speaker page on your site.

Chris doesn’t just add a link and expect fans to find their way around. He includes a video card with the call-to-action to visit his website for news and tour dates related to his music.

#2: Grow Your Email List

YouTube allows up to five cards per video. One of them can be an incentive to sign up for your emails.

An email list is essential for relationship development in any business. Stay in touch with your audience, while doing ongoing lead generation for your sales funnel. This is more eventual than immediate sales. Warm up the people on your list, and promote your products and services to them over time.

youtube card example

Add up to five cards in one video. Musician Chris Robley has a second card that asks people to join his email list.

Musician Chris Robley from the previous example shows multiple cards in his videos. Early in the video he promotes tour dates. Towards the end of it, there’s a second card, which asks viewers to join his email list and get three free songs in the process.

When you use a card to offer free content in exchange for an email signup, it helps potential customers learn more about you and what you have to offer, whether it’s music, education or something else.

#3: Promote Related Material

Videos are great for building your status as an authority.

Develop a video to showcase your expertise or further educate your viewers, then include a YouTube card that leads your audience to related material. This can be a transcription, checklist, infographic, SlideShare or downloadable PDF with detailed instructions or additional ideas relating to the subject of the video.

In the “What Colour Is This Dress?” video, AsapSCIENCE’s video card features the About page for their book, along with links to purchase it.

youtube card example

Add a video card that leads your audience to more iformation.

A card that promotes related material, whether free or paid, is an effective incentive that drives viewers back to your website for more detailed content.

#4: Get New Clients

If you don’t have a physical or digital product to sell, use YouTube videos to showcase your knowledge and personality. Then use YouTube cards to promote consulting or coaching sessions to those who need further guidance.

Topics that are more complex will have viewers commenting with additional questions for your business. While you may be able to answer many of them through YouTube comments, some could require additional insights.

Create a follow-up video answering common questions. The accompanying YouTube card should lead them back to a page on your website with information on how to hire you.

To sweeten the deal, include a unique discount code in the text of your card. That way, you’ll be able to identify the origin those referrals.

#5: Sell Your Products

In addition to educational and entertainment content for your audience, share YouTube videos with cards that directly promote your products.

One way to do this is to create and publish a series of short videos that give your viewers a sample of who you are. You can also create videos that explain what you are selling, whether it’s snippets of a book, how to use your product (infomercial-style) videos or portions of a training program. Then, include a YouTube card that promotes the full product, as well as the link and call to action to buy it.

youtube card example

Directly promote your products with YouTube cards.

For example, Jeff Walker uses YouTube cards to promote his business. Jeff’s card drives viewers back to his website to learn about the product. In order to get more information, however, readers have to opt into his email list. This gives him an opportunity to educate new viewers and also upsell other offerings.

YouTube cards can be used to directly or indirectly promote your business, while educating and entertaining your audience. Spend enough time perfecting them, and it’s possible you can do all of the above.

Over to you

Creating YouTube videos is a fun and easy way to connect with your audience. YouTube cards can help you maintain that connection, grow your audience and eventually increase sales.

They’re a less obtrusive way to promote your products and services, along with your related video content. Experiment with different types of YouTube cards to promote your business, products and services until you find the ones that work for you.

When used properly, YouTube cards can have a profound impact across every aspect of your business.

What do you think? Do you use YouTube cards? What do you use them for? Which types of cards do you find are the most effective? Please share your ideas in the comments.

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  • So?…. Nu???? Where are the comments? Who uses this on their……….. Blawwwwwwwwwwgggzah? Or do people really get traffic on their YouTube channels? Eh?
    That’s what I thought, your kids AREN’T going to your channel, just those Let’s Play videos and related post millennial content where they might post their videos that they create using various trendy video centric iPhone apps like Dubsmash or worse, they watch YouTuber
    On the other hand, content marketing b2b whatever reasons video is being made, where I ask you, WHERE are you watching the videos for making, twitter,fb,LinkedIn links to your YT channel or. Do. You. Have. A. Blog?

  • Hi Christian, thanks for the great post! Quick question… is this a free service or do we have to pay to use Youtube cards? Thanks.

  • They’re free @disqus_cqUgHAfC7T:disqus.

  • Good Inklings

    Hi Christian. I have a question. In the past I know that YouTube did not allow you to add a link to an exterior site, such as your website. Has this changed with the use of cards? When I was a YouTube newbie I did not know that you couldn’t add your website to an annotation and my YouTube account was shut down. At the time I only had a couple of videos on that account, On the account that I now use, I have a lot and I can’t risk being shut down again. Thanks for your help.

  • Great article Christian.

    I’ve been finding success with Youtube cards. I haven’t used them for merchandising or fundraising but am using cards to drive more traffic to sites and driving more traffic to playlists. I think they are great and not too worried about cards replacing annotations.

    – Lance

  • @goodinklings:disqus, when you link to a website, they want you to use the one you’ve setup inside your account. If you have something you want to link to that is on another domain you can setup a redirect through your hosting company or use the WordPress plugin, prettylinks. This way it comes from the URL you have in your account.

  • Luc Beaudoin

    Useful article. Thanks.

  • Thanks @disqus_xG7wHB26uy:disqus! I hope you took away some ideas on how you can use YouTube cards in your business. If I can help answer any questions you have let me know.

  • Luc Beaudoin

    cool Christian Karasiewicz Just a little comment. You need to valdate and associate your website before being able to add a card. Validating could be a little tricky… 😉

  • @disqus_xG7wHB26uy:disqus, thanks for the feedback. That was touched on in the setup process so I didn’t cover it again as most users will have already done this if they’ve filled out their YouTube profile. What part was tricky about validating for you?

  • Luc Beaudoin

    I manage a YouTube account for an IT company. I do not have full acces to their website or WordPress account. They’re security freaks so I tried a few things to get a work around but I could not get the html file or HTML tag on the site so I’m stuck and not able to add cards to their own videos… 🙁

  • @disqus_xG7wHB26uy:disqus, you might want to show them this post and walk them through what is involved. This isn’t really any different from Pinterest verification. I think once they see the value, you should be able to get the access you’ll need to add your website and start running cards.

  • Luc Beaudoin

    Done. I referred them to this article this morning. It’s in their hands. Not much I can do about it 😉

  • Nice job. Now it’s just a waiting game. If I can help answer any questions they have, let me know.

  • Wauw, thanks for sharing! I will try this for shure!

  • You’re very welcome @DIanaJacobs3:disqus. If you get stuck or have additional question, feel free to reach out. Happy to help!

  • Carla5689


  • That’s a superb guide about Youtube cards Christian, unfortunately Youtube is not available in our region, so we have to compensate this with Vimeo and other websites, which do not offer this great feature. Can you please share any useful tool for videos that can help us achieving the same goal, I know it wont be click-able but still it would be visible to the audience.

  • Pawan Mandav

    @Christian Thompson- It is really very informative article for Youtube video promotion.

  • Luc Beaudoin

    Yes sir, waiting game ! Still waiting. I always wonder why marketing dept. in companies give you the mandate to manage their social medias but they do not have the support of their IT department… ???

  • Thanks @pawanmandav:disqus. If you have any other questions or want to run ideas by me on how you’re thinking about using them let me know!

  • @imsalmansharif:disqus, I’ll have to look into that. Can you reach out to me with some more specifics when you mention tools. Are you looking for something like cards or more tools for editing video? Thanks!

  • @disqus_xG7wHB26uy:disqus, every organization works a bit differently. There definitely should be a little more freedom. Social media has kind of blurred the lines between marketing and IT.

  • I am looking for a tool that can display card within the video during the playback

  • We do have these on selected videos but some of the text in the above examples seem much longer than what I can put in ours (there’s a limit on the number of characters permitted).

    For example, Jeff Walker has put – How to Launch Your Product of business. Where exactly has he placed this text? Call To Action box, Teaser text box or the first box in the card? I’m intruigued..

  • @imsalmansharif:disqus, right now there isn’t anything that compares to YouTube cards. I think we should see something soon though on other video platforms.

  • @disqus_gm4S2MYbNj:disqus, he could be pulling the text from the page he is linking to. Or you can customize the text with your own. That goes in the first box. Then at the bottom, you can include a call to action on what you want viewers to do.

  • Awesome new feature. This will really help with links that will be mentioned in the video. Never new youtube have this feature all a long.

  • @cyphermp:disqus, yes it will! It’s a new feature. You may have used annotations. It’s similar, but better.

  • Such a powerful feature. Much better than annotations, which I quite frankly never liked.

  • These are all advanced options of youtube right? Well , Thanks for giving us in depth knowledge on everything . Keep this going everyday :3

  • Hey Christian… is there a trick to linking to individual pages (blog posts, etc) of our associated website? I’m putting the correct permalink in to send people to certain pages of my site, but when I test them, they all go to the home page. What am I doing wrong? I definitely don’t want to send people to my home page. 🙂 Thanks for your help!

  • @satrujitmishra:disqus, sort of. They’re advanced beyond just uploading a video. I recommend adding them though if they fit with your video if you want to build deeper engagement with your viewers and potentially bring them back to related content to what they are watching.

  • @disqusis4ever:disqus, there shouldn’t be. I just tested it with one of my YouTube videos and I was able to link to the homepage as well as to individual blog posts without any issues. Is your URL the same? i.e. www vs http://www? Feel free to reach out to me directly and we can explore how you have your account setup.

  • @Sandraiuvoomegalimited:disqus, I agree! Cards are a nice improvement over annotations.

  • There you go! I look away for five minutes and BOOM! – another great community marketing tool. Thanks Christian for the post…