As promised, over the next few weeks, we’re excited to feature a series of blog posts with advice and actionable suggestions regarding what has helped partners be successful on YouTube. You can search the 'tips for partners' label to find the full series. As always, we want your feedback. If there are things we are missing, or other optimization tips you want us to cover, let us know via the comments section in this post.

We kicked off our series with information on everyone’s favorite topic: metadata. Our second post is on how to use playlists and annotations to easily direct viewers to your other videos.

Make it Easy to Watch More
Keep in mind this isn’t a first date. If users liked your video, they most likely want to see more, but they may not know where to go or what to do next. Keep them on the right path by making it easy for them to watch more of your videos without having to do any work.

To do:
  • Annotations are notes, or call-outs you can use to direct viewers to take a specific action. Use them to link your videos together or create a menu so users can easily watch your videos without having to move to another tab. 
  • Annotations also give you the freedom to be creative and interact with your viewers on a deeper level. Let viewers “choose their own adventure”, ask for subscribers, tell users what to watch next, or encourage feedback at the end of a video. 
  • Create playlists. Playlists allow you to group your videos and they provide a simple way for users to be introduced to your content and re-watch classic videos. Playlists will also increase discoverability because they are indexed separately from search.
An example of an indexed playlist
  • When you create playlists, organize them by specific themes to help viewers find the videos they are most interested in watching. Also, keep in mind that you can embed your playlists on a web page to further capture (and keep) viewers' attention. 
  • Finally, if you remember our metadata post, when creating or editing a playlist, make sure to add appropriate tags and use all of the character limits as this will help users find your content. 
To avoid:
  • Though annotations are a great way to link your videos and make call to action statements, don’t go too crazy. You can add as many annotations as you like, but when starting out, 3-5 annotations per video is a good rule of thumb to follow. 
  • Avoid being spammy. For example, if a user expects to be taken to an official music video, don’t take them to your second channel instead. Don’t mislead the viewer. 
Now is a great time to log into your account and optimize your playlists if you already have them and create your first 3 annotations for your latest video. Tune in this Thursday to hear from one of our partners who’ll discuss first-hand how he uses playlists and annotations to increase views.

Julie Kikla and Mahin Ibrahim, Account Managers, YouTube Partnerships recently watched “Valentine - Kina Graniis (Official Music Video)"