Back in October YouTube quietly announced Merch Store annotations for all partners looking to promote their merchandise straight from their videos. Since the launch in mid October, there haven’t been too many creators enabling merch annotations within their videos. Possibly looking to combat the lethargic performance of Merch Store annotations, YouTube just released a widespread announcement regarding the merch update.
Now, like I said, YouTube rolled out this info last month, so if this is old news to you read no further. However, for those of you just finding this out, here is some info you should probably know.
Basically, merch annotations work like any other video annotation. You can set up links within your video that will direct your beloved fan base to whatever digital marketplace your merch is being sold through. Musicians can link straight to iTunes where their fans can pick up singles and branded clothing can be linked to storefronts like Cafepress and Spreadshirt.
Setting up Merch Store annotations is fairly simple:
Next, head over to the Video Manager menu and click the down arrow of the video you want to add an annotation to, and then select Annotations options.
There should be a banner that reads, “Enable your account for Merch and Related links.” Once that is selected, you can simply click the “Add annotation” button, and then select the link checkbox to add a retail site. Finally, select “Merch” from the drop down menu, and you should be all set.
Merch Store annotations are just another way to help creators turn making YouTube videos into a full-time career. In their original post though, YouTube does warn that merch annotations will pause a video when clicked and may have negative effects on time watched metrics, so use with caution.
Are you using merch annotations? Are they helpful? Let us know in the comments below.