13 February 2023

Enhance Viewer Engagement with Strategic YouTube Cards

The Strategic Use of YouTube Cards for Enhanced Viewer Engagement

Table of Contents:


In the ever-evolving landscape of YouTube, where creators and marketers strive for increased engagement, there is an indispensable tool called ‘YouTube Cards’. These interactive elements, introduced by YouTube, have the power to promote videos, playlists, websites, merchandise, and channels. The best part? They work seamlessly on both desktop and mobile interfaces, making them a versatile tool for content creators.

Promotion Potential

One notable advantage of YouTube Cards is their promotion potential for newly released videos. After spending countless hours meticulously creating an excellent video, it’s only natural to want it to reach as many people as possible. To extend the reach beyond your subscribers and social media followers, the creative use of cards can be instrumental.

Here’s how it works: Identify a group of videos that are related to your new creation. For example, if your latest video is about jogging, you can find related videos about stretching techniques or tips for recovery. Add a card to these related videos, linking back to your new video. This creates a cross-promotional web that drives additional traffic to your latest content.

However, it’s important to remember that cards can be easily overlooked. To counter this, consider using verbal cues in your videos to draw attention to your card. This may require some planning or scripting in advance, but the boost in click-through rates can make it well worth the effort.

Boosting Audience Retention

A successful YouTube strategy doesn’t stop at mere promotion. The platform uses dozens of ranking signals in its algorithm, with one of the most critical being Audience Retention—the percentage of your video that viewers actually watch. Higher Audience Retention means better ranking in YouTube search results. But even with high Audience Retention, you still need a critical mass of viewers to watch and engage with your video to achieve a high ranking. This is where cards can be the perfect solution.

Cards allow you to direct viewers towards videos with high SEO potential—those with high Audience Retention scores. Utilize YouTube Analytics to find such a video from your channel, and then use cards to direct traffic to it. This strategic use of cards can help boost the visibility and ranking of your videos.

Viewer Drop-off Points

Another strategic use of cards is during points of viewer drop-off. By analyzing Audience Retention reports, you can identify ‘valleys’—points where viewers often stop watching—and introduce a card at that exact moment. Instead of losing the viewer, you have a chance to redirect them towards another one of your videos or a related playlist, keeping them engaged with your content.

Customization and Timing

While customization options for cards may be limited, YouTube does allow you to add your own Teaser Text and Custom Message—essentially the text that appears on your card before and after someone clicks on it. Use this opportunity wisely: create compelling teaser text that highlights the benefits viewers will get from clicking on your card, and include a strong call-to-action in your custom message. This will entice viewers to click on the card and continue engaging with your content.

Timing is also crucial when it comes to adding cards. YouTube suggests including cards in the last 20% of your video length. Why? To avoid distracting viewers from the main content and only introduce them when they are more likely to drop off. By strategically placing cards towards the end of your videos, you can capture the attention of viewers who are already invested in your content.

Tracking Performance

Last but not least, remember to track your card performance. YouTube offers robust reporting features that allow you to understand helpful metrics such as the number of clicks on your cards, the best performing card types, and which videos have the most effective cards. By analyzing this data, you can make informed decisions about optimizing your card strategy for maximum engagement.


In conclusion, YouTube Cards present an exciting opportunity for increased viewer engagement and enhanced video marketing strategy. By using them strategically—for promotion of new videos, directing traffic to high SEO potential videos, retaining viewers at drop-off points, and tracking performance—you can significantly raise click-through rates and overall viewer engagement on your channel. Incorporate YouTube Cards into your content creation process and watch as your audience grows and engages with your videos like never before.

Content Cannon is a powerful tool that can help you streamline your content creation process. Check out our pricing plans to find the perfect fit for your needs.