The Dos & Don’ts of YouTube Annotations

Marissa Mele - January 9, 2014

Adding annotations to your YouTube videos is a great way to highlight certain sections of your video and to display calls-to-action so people can watch your other videos, view your branded YouTube channel or video playlist and/or subscribe to your channel.

It’s important to remember to not overuse annotations and to ensure they fit seamlessly with the video. YouTube suggests the following advanced tips when using annotations:


  • Create annotations the viewers like
  • Keep annotations relevant
  • Use annotations that supplement and enrich your video
  • Make sure your annotations are contextually relevant and give value to the viewer
  • Keep your annotation length to 5-7 seconds
  • Make your annotations small enough so as to not take over the whole screen
  • Use muted colors for your annotations like white, black, gray and transparent or semi-transparent shades
  • Position your annotations on the borders of the video
  • Use spotlight links over text links
  • Put video link annotations at the end of your video


  • Don’t use overly invasive annotations
  • Don’t use annotations that distract & reduce the quality of the video
  • Don’t use annotations that take over the video and only serve the video creator
  • Keep your annotations away from the center of the video screen
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS when writing text for annotations
  • And lastly, don’t use too many annotations

Test out annotations and let us know how they work for you and your brand. Also feel free to share your annotated videos in our comments section so we can see how you implemented these annotation suggestions.

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