Recently we talked about an announcement from YouTube where creators could use off-site annotation links, which would allow viewers to go straight to a website from links in the video. Another announcement came in the form of Merch Annotations, in which creators could merchandise and sell their stuff directly in the video through links. Announced today, verified partners in good standing can now use Merch Annotations to link to licensed merchandise. It can only be your merch, though. How does it all work? Let's give it a look.
YouTube Merch Annotations: How They Work
First off, you can use Merch Annotations to link to the following retailers:
- Google Play, Shopify, District Lines, CafePress, Spreadshirt, Topspin, Jinx, Songkick, iTunes
And apparently, more are on the way.
How to Set Up YouTube's Merchant Annotations
Here are the instructions for how to use the new Merch Annotations (from YouTube Help):
- You must be a partner in good standing
- Go to Video Manager
- Click down arrow next to Edit button on the video you want to change, then select Annotations Options
- At the top of the menu, you will see "Enable your account for Merch and Related Links" and an Enable button. Click Enable and accept the Terms & Conditions. Remember, you can only sell your merchandise, and if you get led astray, this feature can be removed as well as your account.
- Click Add Annotation to create a new annotation or edit an existing one.
- Select Link checkbox in order to be able to add a retail URL. Select Merch.
So now, you have the ability to hock your website and your merchandise within the video, not worrying about whether someone goes down in the description to find all your links.
Tip - Consider Search Implications & Viewing Times:
However, YouTube stresses that you want to keep people watching your videos, especially since the length of time they watch your video is important now when it comes to views and SEO. So you might want to make those annotations appear at the end of the video, or encourage people to wait until the end of the video. Whatever works best for view time and getting people to buy your stuff. If you can get both, everyone wins!