If you have a YouTube channel to which you’ve given some attention, you’ve probably gotten a taste for how it can improve your website AssociatedWebsiteAnnotation1marketing. A good YouTube channel might bring you traffic from YouTube surfers, and well titled and tagged videos maximize your chance of appearing high on Google searches. Also, many website platforms let you and others embed videos stored on your YouTube Channel, thereby providing additional power for website marketing. But there’s a feature you may not know about yet that makes your YouTube channel that much more valuable than it was before.

Website marketing with a direct link from YouTube videos

Channel Settings FeaturesIn the past, businesses and many nonprofits could only use annotations on their videos to link within YouTube—not to their own websites. Only nonprofits that had joined the YouTube Nonprofit Program could directly link to their website from an overlay on a YouTube video. Now, if your YouTube account is in good standing, you can link any of your videos to an Associated Website within your Google account. Accounts have good standing unless you give YouTube a reason to restrict you, so most are. Once logged into Google, you can check here to find an accounting like the one on the left. If the top three items say you’re a member in good standing, you’re good to go. A direct link from your YouTube videos to your website will kick up your website marketing by connecting the videos that show up high in a search directly to your website, where you can provide much more information as well as the opportunity for a business transaction to take place. Anytime viewers are on your YouTube Channel—whether they are potential customers or donors—your hold on them is a little tentative. There’s always the chance they will end up watching somebody else’s YouTube videos, possibly without even meaning to. By contrast, once you take a viewer interactively and directly from your video to your website, you have a much better chance of keeping their eyeballs and gaining the ultimate sale or donation you want.

Setting up an Associated Website is worth it to your website marketing

So how do you start the process of getting your website verified by Google as an Associated Website? You’ll need to have access to updating your own company website, and know how to add an  verifybuttonhtml file to the root directory, but if you’ve got that it’s easy. Once logged in to Google, go to www.youtube.com/verify and follow the directions that appear on the screen to download an html file. Once you’ve uploaded the file to your root directory—a file sharing program like Filezilla might be helpful here—click the link to check that it worked, and click verify.

Linking your video directly to your website will enhance your website marketing

Enable external annotationsThe next step is to add an annotation to your video to use for linking to your website.  To do this, go to the Video Manager (again, you have to be logged into Google). You’ll a see a list of your videos. If you click the little triangle next to the video you want to annotate, a dropdown menu will appear; the options include annotations. Whether you add a speech bubble, a spotlight, a note, or a label, you can add a link to the annotation. You can also specify the time that will have elapsed when the link should appear. addlinktoannotation Now that your website is an Associated Website, you can enhance your website marketing by adding a link to your website instead of just having to link within YouTube. Depending on the type of video you’re annotating, you may have different ideas for which part of our website you should link. Since we were annotating a basic animated video that pitches our services, it was obvious to us to link the end of the video to our website’s homepage. The video we linked to our website gives a tiny introduction to our services; prospective clients will probably want to get more information before getting in touch. But you might want to link a landing page with a direct call to action, such as a click-to-buy spot, or click-to-donate, or click-for-an-estimate, instead. YouTube seems to be always innovating; we can safely say that this is one of our favorite marketing innovations in a long time. If MiniMatters can help you with business video, fundraising video, association video, or other video production needs, we’d love to provide an estimate through our online form, talk with you at 301-339-0339, or communicate via email at [email protected]. We serve associations, foundations, nonprofits, and businesses primarily in Washington, DC, Maryland, and northern Virginia.