Add Links, Captions And Subscribe Buttons To YouTube Videos

You may have seen videos on YouTube with buttons and wondered if you need extra software for this. Adding links, captions and subscribe buttons to your YouTube videos can be done directly on their site, using the video manager.

Add Links To YouTube Videos

Check out this video, 10 seconds in to see a subscription button with a link:

You don’t need to use After Effects, Motion or iMovie to do this – it all takes place in the YouTube video manager. Once you login to your YouTube account you can use the video manager to select a video you want to edit.

1. Look at the navigation across the top and click the Annotations button.

add links and buttons with youtube annotations

2. Clicking the + Add annotation drop-menu gives you some options:

add note to youtube video


3. Select the Note item and you can either enter a note, with some styling options below the note field, or click the box to include a link in your video:

add a link to youtube videos

The link does not let you include an external URL, but you can always put that onto your video as an overlay. (If you want to include a link to a website in your video description, make sure you start with http:// and not www. or the link won’t be active.)

4. Once you have added your link, button, title, note or whatever to your YouTube video, you will see a box appear in a timeline below the video. It has grab handles so you can drag the caption or button to reposition it and move the start and end points manually/visually along with the video. There is a magnifying glass where you can zoom on the timeline to make it easier to be more precise too.

youtube video timeline

5. When you are done creating your button, title or note then it’s time to press the Publish button. That’s it – simple!

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