September 1, 2016

Annotation Links: A Polite Marketer’s Best Friend

Meryl Ayres

Creative

Quick note: If you’re watching these videos on an iPhone, the annotation links will not appear.

Wistia annotation links are the quieter, more subtle cousins of calls to action. They don’t interrupt the video at all – they just pop in, deliver their useful message, then pop right out. The best part is, the timing is completely within your control, so you can decide when it makes sense to include a link in your video.

As marketers, we always want to help guide our audience to the next thing, and by using annotation links, we can politely offer up useful information.

Want to link to your calendar, so a customer can easily set up a call? Use an annotation link. Want to give your audience an opportunity to explore a topic further? Link it up! What about promoting your product a bit within an educational video? You guessed it.

Here at Wistia, we use annotation links in all sorts of videos to guide our viewers toward relevant pages.

Promoting registrations and signups

Video is an effective tool for motivating people to register or sign up for an event, and annotation links make the process short and simple.

Margot, a success coach here at Wistia, used the following video to promote an upcoming event she was speaking at in Minneapolis. After delivering all the relevant details, Margot points up to a link where people can register. With an 11% click-through rate, this annotation link made it easy for several viewers to register.

Encouraging product usage

For the better half of a year, we’ve been producing monthly product update videos that we link to from the login page on our website.

Within these updates, we include multiple annotation links to encourage folks to visit useful pages on our website. In the following video, Jeff briefly introduces our new player, then the annotation link appears in the frame at just the right moment – when our audience’s interest is piqued.

While this annotation link only has a 2% click-through rate, the total number of people diving into the product page to learn more about Vulcan—our new player—is enough to celebrate.

Guiding prospects down the funnel

Our sales team regularly makes one-to-one videos to communicate with highly-qualified prospects. With an in-house studio all set up to make videos on the fly, professional-looking production takes very little time at all.

Mat Cronin, a member of the sales team at Wistia, made this video to reach out to a potential customer interested in our integration with Pardot.

With multiple annotation links, Mat’s able to point to two different resources that cater to different audiences. Plus, if viewers aren’t interested in navigating to a resource at all, they can just keep watching the video, uninterrupted.

Use real-time stats and adjust

As always, stats are your best friend when it comes to Timeline Actions. Track the click-through rates in real-time, learn how your links perform, then make adjustments as you see fit. You might even end up using a Call to Action instead of an annotation link! It all depends on your goals for the content.

It’s important to note that annotation links, unlike CTAs and Turnstiles, don’t show up in iOS, so if the link in the video is a vital part of the content, rather than just a supplementary link, make sure to include it elsewhere.

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