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A Guide to Using YouTube Cards

End screens aren’t the only tool you can add to a YouTube video to guide the viewer to discover more of your channel’s content. Join us as we share what YouTube cards are and explain how to add them to your YouTube clips.

What Cards Are and Why to Use Them?

YouTube cards are similar to end screens in that they’re short messages that appear during a YouTube video to encourage the viewer to click on more of your channel’s content. The key difference is that end screens appear during the last seconds of a YouTube clip, while cards can appear at set intervals throughout the clip. You can use cards to link to videos, channels, or playlists. Note that it’s also possible to use cards for external links, but you must join the YouTube Partner Program, which has extensive eligibility requirements, so for the purposes of this blog, we’re focusing on the features available to all content creators: videos, channels, and playlists.

The main reason to use cards is to increase the time that a viewer spends on your YouTube channel watching more of your videos. Another advantage that cards have is their unobtrusive style compared with more intrusive prompts like ads. A card will appear as a small pop-up at the top right corner of the video with a short caption followed by an “i” symbol that you can click on to expand the notification and view a preview of the suggested video to watch next. (Though, sometimes the card appears with just the “i” symbol and no caption so that the viewer isn’t too distracted from the video itself.)

When adding cards to a YouTube video, one effective strategy is to link a video, playlist, or channel on a similar topic that your viewer may want to learn more about.

Steps for Adding Cards to a YouTube Video

  1. From your YouTube studio dashboard, navigate to the video that you want to add cards to. Click on the “details” icon then select the “cards” option by clicking on the pencil icon next to it.
  2. Select a card type — playlist, channel, or video — then click on the content you want the card to link to. You can put custom message and teaser text in the designated fields to describe the content you’re linking to. (Note that you have to put text in the custom message field if the card links to a channel rather than a playlist or video.)
  3. Next, drag the blue vertical bar at the bottom of the screen to the timestamp of the video where you want the card to appear.
  4. If you want to add additional cards, click on the “+card” text at the top of the screen to create more and repeat step 3.
  5. Once you’re done making a card (or cards), click the save button.
  6. Preview the video to confirm that the cards appear when and how they’re supposed to, in case you need to adjust where in the video they appear or what custom message a card has.

Cards work well when you place them in tandem with a call-to-action.

Want to Learn More?

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office