How to use YouTube Cards and End Screens

Learn how to use YouTube Cards and End Screens to engage with your audience and to increase their session watch time.

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Learn how to use YouTube Cards and End Screens to engage with your audience and to increase their session watch time.


Whenever you want to engage with your audience during the video it’s best to use Cards. They show up in the upper right corner for 5 seconds and propose a value for your viewer. What I really like about Cards is non-destructive viewing experience they provide. It’s visible, but not too overwhelming. If you see a value in given card, it’s easy to click it both on desktop and mobile.












There are 4 different types of Cards you can use in your videos. Let’s take a look how they work and what is the purpose for each of them.


1. Video or Playlist
You can link to another video or even playlist. It doesn’t have to be your own video though it’s most common scenario creators use. However, you should always try to link to content that is relevant to the viewer. If you don’t have this kind of content on your channel, it may be a good idea to link to someone else’s content. YouTube likes long watch sessions and actually if someone watches a video linked from your video, it partially counts as watch time for your channel.
By the way, if you edit videos for YouTube we have the article about 10 Premiere Pro tutorials every video editor need to watch.

















2. Channel
Obviously, it lets you link to other channels. It’s great if you collaborate with another creator, but even if it’s not the case, it lets you acknowledge and support channels that are related to the topic you’re talking about. The rule is simple – always try to deliver value to the viewer!













3. Poll

You can ask your audience a question. In my experience though, it ought to be a specific question. Preferably closed multichoice question related to the topic of the video.  















4. Link

This one is most complicated and if you’re new to YouTube, it won’t be available to you. You need to be in YouTube Partner Program before it activates. However, when you do, you can redirect people outside of YouTube, for example to your personal webpage (it needs to be verified with your account).

Right now rules for being in YouTube Partner Program are pretty tough to accomplish, but it is feasible and when you do you can take the Cards game to the next level 🙂 Just remember that keeping people on YouTube always helps your channel so don’t link outside of YouTube all the time.


End Screens

The last 20 seconds of your video can be used for End Screen elements. And although the list of possible options here is similar to cards, the way you should use it is different.












First of all, not all of the viewers will get to this point. So if you want to up your chances that they click on any End Screen element, you need to deliver the content in a very engaging way. Then, use first 5 seconds of 20 seconds window to still deliver the content and last 15 seconds for your calls to action and so on.

I encourage you to watch what Tim Schmoyer talks about using End Screens. Tim from Video Creators is, in my opinion, the best YouTube expert you can find out there. Definitely worth following.


1. Video or Playlist
There are three options here.
– most recent upload
– best for viewer
– choose a video or playlist










I find the “best for viewer” option very interesting. Basically, it means that YouTube will choose the video from your channel that best suits the specific viewer (based on the data YouTube has about the viewer). I use this option very often.


2. Subscribe

Use it to display your profile picture that helps people to subscribe to your channel directly from the video.


3. Channel

Give credits to other channels. It’s designed for collaboration between creators.


4. Link

Once again you can redirect the viewer to the external website. Available only if you are in YouTube Partner Program (you need to have at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time during the last 12 months).


Annotations are no longer possible. Also, you cannot add end screen elements if you already have annotations used in one of your old videos. So be aware of that. Personally, I’m glad YouTube has ended with annotations, cause many creators used them all over the frame which led to unwanted redirects and just bad viewing experience. Good for us!


By the way, if you’re into YouTube, check out my video about fast editing for youtube with keyboard shortcuts.

Let me know if you like it! If you do check out how to best organize your projects in Premiere Pro as well.

And if you need more detailed information about cards, visit YouTube Help page and the lesson from YouTube Creator Academy.

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