Get More YouTube Subscribers: How to Setup Mobile-Friendly End Screen Annotations

We're all familiar with YouTube end cards - static banners placed at the end of a video - a way for content creators to plug other videos, prompt viewers to subscribe, etc. Combined with clickable annotations, they are a decent way to drive engagement. There's just one problem, traditional annotation's don't work on mobile devices.

To solve this problem, YouTube has developed End Screens - a tool to build customised, clickable end cards that offer all the same features as traditional annotations but, crucially, they are mobile-friendly.  Here's everything you need to know about the new circular floating subscribe button (and other elements) including some tips and best practices to get the most out of them.

Read More

How to Use YouTube Annotations to Increase Subscribers and Watch Time (VICE Case Study)

Do you want to increase the length of time that people watch your YouTube videos, or encourage new viewers to subscribe? YouTube annotations are an effective way to help make this happen, and VICE magazine does a great job of it. Here are 8 examples of its use of annotations on YouTube...

Read More

5 Examples of Top YouTube End Screens | How to Make A Great YouTube End Card


End cards or end screens are a technique that allows YouTube creators to finish a clip with a few seconds in which they can direct viewers to act - asking them to subscribe, click to view more content, visit their website, and plenty of other stuff. The possibilities are huge, and they are a simple and effective way to garner more engagement from your viewers. Here are five examples of really great end cards:

1. Food For Louis

I like the design and simplicity of Food for Louis' end screen. Viewers are encouraged to subscribe, visit his Facebook Page, and given not one, but three options for clicking through to see more stomach-churning eating challenges. 

2. Daily Grace

At the end of each of her daily vlogs, Grace includes an end card to encourage viewers to view her previous day's video, 'guess' what will happen next (with a spotlight annotation added to that upcoming video retrospectively), and encourages subscribers with a big, yellow button. Grace's success is earned through the people who subscribe to watch her every single day, so this end screen design works well to encourage extended viewing times, as well as continuity.

3. Chuggaconroy


Chuggaconroy is one of YouTube's most popular Let's Players (i.e. he records himself playing and commentating over videogames), and his channel and end screen designs are some of the best in the LP'ing community.Many Let's Players have more than one project ongoing at a time, so 'next', 'previous' and 'playlist' buttons (brought to life with spotlight annotations) are essential additions. Another impressive touch is the branding of the end screen, which always reflects the game in question, is neatly done, and helps to project a greater sense of professionalism.

4. Epic Meal Time


In this example, not only does Epic Meal Time use its end screen as a way to tease more of its videos, but also as a a way to drive home a promotional message, encouraging viewers to visit their shop to buy merchandise. 

5. Today I Learned

Last up is this colourful example of an end screen from Today I learned, featuring two clear call to actions - "Watch more Today I Learned" and "subscribe for new videos every week - and a choice of three new videos thumbnails to choose from.


How do you use your YouTube end screens to encourage more engagement from viewers? Let me know in the comments below! 


Andrew Macarthy is the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, available for Kindle and in paperback.

Buy 500 Social Media Marketing Tips
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Follow Me

5 Ways to Use YouTube Annotations Like A Pro | Use YouTube Annotations Effectively

5 Ways to Use YouTube Annotations Like A Pro #youtube #socialmedia

5 Ways to Use YouTube Annotations Like A Pro #youtube #socialmedia

YouTube Annotations can be a great way improve your video content on the site, whether that be to add an extra layer of detail, to entertain, or to add a clickable call to action. Not all annotations, however, are created equal. Here are five ways to optimise the use of yours, in a way that will enhance your viewers' enjoyment of your videos, instead of turning them away. 

Note: The annotation examples below are demonstrated on top of some of my 'home video' content, but the principles easily apply to business and marketing content.

1. Annotation Duration


Annotations can be displayed on top of a video for as long a time as you choose, and while they can be manually closed by the viewer, you don't want to have to make them resort to this as it will disrupt their viewing experience. Therefore, aim to have your annotations appear onscreen for only as long as it takes to read them. In most cases, this will be no longer than 5-7 seconds.

2. Annotation Size


By dragging the edges of your annotation in the editor, you can make them as big or as small as you like. Just because you can make an annotation cover the whole of the screen, however, doesn't mean you should! While you'll want it to be seen, the mere action of it popping up onscreen is enough for the majority of people to notice it. Try to keep your annotations as small and unobtrusive as possible, and also refrain from typing their content in ALL CAPS, as this approach can be considered rude and "shouty" online.

3. Annotation Colour


YouTube allows you to set the background and text colour of your annotations, but unless the content of the message is absolutely critical to the video (like explaining a detail you forgot to include during recording), their hues are best left subtle. Bright colours like red, yellow, and green are attention-grabbing, but pale and transparent colours are much classier and are much less likely to spoil a viewer's enjoyment of your video. In short, annotations do not always have to take centre stage.

4. Annotation Placement


As in some of the points above, annotation placement is all about them being as unobtrusive as possible - not like the example above, which completely ruins a cute shot of Jenny the cat! The best placement for annotations is at the left and right sides of the video, near the top of the bottom. Avoid placing annotations in the lower third of the video, as there is a chance that they will be obscured by overlay adverts. 

5. Annotation Numbers


In short, the fewer annotations your video needs, the better. If your video ends up looking like the example above, it is bound to be a turn-off for your viewers - displaying multiple annotations at once can be distracting and confusing. There's one exception to this rule, however, and it's one I employ on the "end screen" of my videos. Here, I give viewers to either click a Subscribe button, or to click through to my previous video. 

Conclusion And Over to You

So there you have it, five simple tips for YouTube annotations that won't only enhance your videos, but also ensure that the viewing pleasure of your audience is kept at as high a level as possible. Do you have any other tactics for the optimum use of annotations? Let me know in the comments below! 


Andrew Macarthy is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.

Buy 500 Social Media Marketing Tips (Kindle or Paperback)
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Follow Me: