You may have noticed recently that some YouTube videos have end screens on them. This is a new feature that’s been in beta for a few months and just officially rolled out this week, and it allows content creators to add a slate at the end of their videos that includes links to other YouTube content and external websites. It may not seem like a big deal, since for several years, YouTube users have been able to put in links using the annotations feature, and it’s always possible to link to sites in a video’s description. However, end screens offer several advantages over these older tools, and when they’re used properly, they can be a fantastic marketing tool.


Why End Screens?

YouTube has been toying with how to make their videos more interactive for a while. First, they tried annotations, which were good if you were using a computer, but were completely useless for mobile users. Then they moved to cards, which were mobile friendly, but were still intrusive: when you’re watching a video, do you really want to be interrupted with a link? It’s an annoyance more than anything.


End screens are the next step in this evolution, and based on limited use, they seem to be a good one. They make videos more interactive without getting in the way of a clean viewing experience, and they work perfectly on any device: computer, tablet, smartphone, whatever. They also give the content creator more control over what viewers do once they’re done watching. If you insert an end screen on one of your YouTube videos, you give viewers a limited choice once they’re done watching and can help guide them in a favorable direction. If you have an online shop, for example, you might prominently link to it, or link to the page of a specific product featured in a video. Essentially, end screens keep your channel and your brand sticky: they keep the viewer engaged with you and you alone for as long as possible.


Creating Your Own

It’s remarkably easy to create your own end screen. In your YouTube video manager, click the edit button on the video you want to modify, and then choose End Screens & Annotations. You’ll be able to pull a frame or clip from one of the last 20 seconds of your video, use a template, or import a new clip to use as your background. Then, you can create up to four links to other YouTube videos or external sites, including online storefronts. You can also prompt viewers to subscribe to your channel. They’re not only a great tool for driving traffic to your other video content, but end screens can bring customers right to your shop.


The best part of YouTube’s editor for end screens is that it’s all drag and drop. You don’t need any video editing or coding skills to make an end screen that looks great and will direct viewers to the right place. While you’ll want to spend some time planning out what your links will be and the layout of the screen itself, the actual work involved in creating an end screen is, thankfully, fairly minimal.


Make Your Video Content Work Harder!

It’s been just a few weeks since YouTube’s end screens feature has been available for all users, so if you haven’t used it yet or haven’t even heard of it, don’t fret. However, now is the time to start adding end screens to your YouTube content to improve your views, improve your subscriber numbers, and most importantly, boost your sales. End screens are a great new marketing tool, and you’ll want to start using them as soon as possible.