This community question comes from Leek Rarebit who is starting out some channels in a very interesting niche.
Is there a reliable method to copy annotations from one video to another?
The short and not so sweet answer to the question is unfortunately no.
That is apart from having all of your details such as text and links in an external document that you can copy and paste, but the placement and sizing is still a very manual process.
The only exception is for bulk annotations in the form of InVideo Programming.
These annotations can be programmed in your channel settings just go to your Creator Studio > Channel > InVideo Programming:
These are annotations that you programme but are served by YouTube. They look much cleaner and more professional than the options we can add ourselves and unlike “traditional” annotations these are also shown on mobile devices.
They also play across all videos on your channel so you do not have to implement them individually.
There are currently 3 options with regards to InVideo annotations (number 4 is coming soon):
1) A channel branding watermark
This is a channel icon that stays visible throughout the entire playout of the video. When hovered over, a subscribe button becomes available to click (or touch if on mobile).
2) A single video or playlist call to action
This shows the thumbnail of a specific video or playlist along with its title and there’s space for a small custom message. I’d advise using the custom message so the annotation seems less automated.
3) Channel Branding Intro
Here you can programme a short 3-second sting that plays before the start of your video. I would advise against using these as I think they go against best practice of having an optimized start to your videos.
4) Info Cards (coming soon)
Only just announced at the VidCon Update (June 2014), these will also be programmable against all videos. Exactly what they will be able to display and how they will appear has yet to be made public but anything that gives a clean professional look is a bonus.
I think that InVideo annotations are much more effective than traditional annotations not only because of their look but also because they work across the growing mobile market.The announcement of Info Cards probably means that InVideo is going to be the focus of YouTube’s attention going forward and less so on traditional annotations.
Being able to apply InVideo annotations to all videos at once also means that they are more efficient and your message is likely to have more impact. On the flip side you do lose some of the more bespoke messaging that you should be applying to individual videos, so I wouldn’t abandon old-school annotations just yet.
If you have something that you are struggling with on YouTube at the moment, why not reach out to me at the link below: