Video Editing

How to add text to YouTube video easily

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

  • hello text text
  • hello two

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

YouTube remains the 800-pound gorilla of the content creation and video sharing space, and its influence is not going to wane anytime soon. The platform enables you to experiment with different types of video content, increase your reach, and build an engaged following.

However, these benefits won't automatically fall into your hands, you have to ensure you're putting out top-notch content. One way to improve your content quality and attract and retain viewers is to incorporate texts into your videos.

Texts like subtitles, closed captions, and annotations make it easy for people—especially those who speak a different language or are hard of hearing—to follow what's going on in your video.

They can expand your audience reach, increase visibility, and allow people to enjoy your content even when they're in noisy environments or experiencing audio issues. Also, adding text to videos you share on YouTube can help search engines like Google crawl your content better and display them in relevant search results.

In this post, we'll walk you through the process of adding texts, annotations, and intros to YouTube to make your content more accessible and effective, and keep viewers watching for longer.

How to add text to videos using YouTube Editor

When you post a new video to YouTube, it will use its speech recognition technology to automatically generate text like captions/subtitles for the video. The problem with these auto-generated texts is that they don't always appear, and when they do, they're usually filled with errors that make your videos look tacky and unprofessional. 

The good news is that YouTube has provided tools for you to put text on videos by yourself and it can be done in a few minutes depending on the amount of text you want to add.

Here's how to add words to videos you've already published or uploaded with the YouTube Editor:

Step 1: Sign in to your YouTube account, tap your Profile icon or avatar, then scroll down the menu and select YouTube Studio.

Step 2: On the Studio page, select Subtitles from the menu on the left and scroll through the list of videos you've uploaded. When you find the video you want to add subtitle text to, click on it.

Step 3: Scroll to the bottom right corner of the screen and select Subtitles.

Step 4: You'll be taken to the Subtitles page for the video. If you haven't added any subtitles in the past, you'll be prompted to choose the language you want to use. If you have added subtitles in another language before and you want to choose a different one, just click the Add Language button.

Step 5: After selecting a language click on ADD. If you already have a caption file containing the text you want to add, select Upload File. Otherwise, select Type Manually to begin adding words to your video.

Step 6: Click the Play icon in the video window and start typing your text. Tap your Enter key or the + Caption button to add a new caption line. To edit the timing, tap the time indicator box on the right. Make sure to add punctuation and words indicating non-verbal sounds like "laughter" or "claps" where necessary.

Step 7: Alternatively, you can click Edit As Text to type out the words in text format and let YouTube automatically sync them to your video. When you're done, click Publish to make the texts live.

For new videos, you can add text before you upload them. Just click on Dashboard in YouTube Studio, then click Upload Videos, and follow the prompts.

What to keep in mind when adding text to videos

As you add text to videos it's important to make sure that the text actually serves its purpose and isn't ruining the overall video experience. Here are some tips you should take into consideration while putting text on a YouTube video.

  • Choose the right font size — The size of your text needs to be bold enough to capture attention and convey your message easily, but not too big that it overshadows parts of your video and prevents people from seeing what's happening. Always use a regular size font. People usually opt for size 20 fonts for adding text to videos.
  • Don't overuse — Avoid loading your video with too much text or it'll end up overwhelming your viewers and overpowering the visuals and message of the clip.
  • Consider your placement very carefully — The best position to place text captions or subtitles is at the center of the bottom of your video frame because it helps viewers to view the video screen and read the text at the same time easily. You can use the central and upper areas for highlights or calls to action.

Boost your channel’s recognition with intros

An introduction or intro is a short video sequence that sets the tone for the rest of your content. It's like a visual signature that lets people know that the content they're about to watch belongs to you.

When done right, your intro will be instantly recognizable. Think of the opening sequence to Family Guy, Friends, The Simpsons or any of your favorite shows. The moment you see or hear them, you immediately get excited for what's coming next.

In 2014, YouTube added a new feature that allowed creators to add intros to their videos with YouTube Studio. You could simply upload a short intro clip to the platform and choose whether you wanted to apply it to all your videos or only the videos you share after a specified date. YouTube, however, discontinued this feature so you can no longer add intros to videos with YouTube Studio.

The only options left for branding your video using YouTube Studio are by adding a profile picture, video watermark, or banner image.

If you're looking for how to add an intro to your YouTube video that hasn't been uploaded yet, the best solution right now is to use a video editing tool.

With the tool, you can merge your intro sequence with your main video and make sure the transition is smooth, then save the combined video and upload it as you normally would to YouTube. 

How to add intro to YouTube video

Adding an intro to YouTube videos can help build a more consistent identity for your channel. It can draw viewer's attention, increase subscriber count, and set you apart from your competitors.

For Existing YouTube videos

As for the videos you've already published on YouTube, the only way to add an intro to them is to:

  1. Download each of the videos you want to update with an intro.
  2. Use a video editing software to merge the downloaded video with your intro clip.
  3. Re-upload the video on YouTube.

Adding intros to your old YouTube videos might take a while because you have to edit them one after the other and there's no way to apply the intro to all of them at once.

We recommend >>> You might be better off just leaving your existing videos as is, especially if they've already racked up a significant amount of viewers. Focus on adding intros to new videos instead.

Checklist for an effective YouTube video intro

An effective intro is consistent, memorable, and unique. It needs to make a good impression from the first moment that your audience sees it. As your channel grows, your intro is going to become like a logo or trademark—people will think of your brand and content whenever they see it.

Whether you've created an intro for your YouTube videos or you're planning on making one, use this checklist of important intro components as a guide to maximize the impact of your introduction. 

1. Branding

Treat your YouTube channel like a business and create a brand around it. It doesn't matter whether you're just starting out. The goal is to create a brand that people will come to recognize so your intro has to include key branding elements such as the name of your channel, your brand colors, and a logo.

When choosing your colors and designing your logo, think of what your content and channel is about and choose what best represents them. Choose something that can stand the test of time. Even if you decide to switch to a different intro later on, try building on the previous elements rather than changing them completely.

2. Text

Your intro is one of the first things people will see when they click on your video, so you need to present it properly. Any text in your intro needs to be well-positioned and displayed using an attractive font. 

To spice things up, you can animate your texts to give them a playful, entertaining quality and grab viewer's attention.

3. Music

You can probably hum or recite the theme song for dozens of TV shows word for word. And if you watch a lot of content on YouTube, chances are you can recall the tunes that your favorite influencers and YouTube use in their intros.

Take a cue from them and make your intro more arresting by adding music to it. You don't have to hire a professional composer to write an original for you, a simple, catchy melody that sounds good to the ears will do.

If you can't come up with an original track, there are millions of royalty-free songs at your disposal. Just pick a tune that doesn't sound generic and isn't being used by many other content creators.

4. Duration

Your intro needs to last long enough to capture attention, but not too long that it causes viewers to lose interest before the main show begins. You need to get to the content that they came for as quickly as possible. 

If you let your intro run for 25 seconds or longer, your viewer retention will suffer. The optimal duration for a YouTube intro is between 5-15 seconds. That's enough time to fit in your channel name, logo, music, animations, and the title of the video. Brevity is your friend. Remember that.

5. Quality

The quality of an intro has to do with more than the aesthetics. You have to consider the intro and how it aligns with the rest of the video's content. Your intro needs to hold the attention of both old and new audiences. It's style and tone has to fit in with your overall content and the transition from intro to main event needs to be seamless.

 6. Call to action

A lot of Youtubers wait till the end of their videos to tell viewers to subscribe to their channel. However, it is better and more effective to place a call to action in your intro because some people won't watch your video till the very end. You can still add another reminder at the end asking your viewers to subscribe to your channel.

Using YouTube annotations and cards to grow your brand

Annotations and Cards are other types of text that you can add to your YouTube videos. They help boost engagement by sharing branded messages with the audience or encouraging them to take a specific action like watch another video, visit your website, follow you on Instagram, or subscribe to your channel.

What are annotations?

YouTube annotations or end screens are tiny pop-up screens that show up on your video for the purpose of sharing a relevant message to your audience. They can help suggest additional or related videos to viewers, boost channel subscriptions, and drive conversions/traffic to your site or other social accounts.

What are cards?

YouTube cards are little, unobtrusive reformatted notifications that you can add to your videos to share additional content or direct them to other external pages. The main difference between cards and annotations is the former leans towards graphics, while the latter is text based. 

Cards also occupy less screen real estate than annotations, their size cannot be changed like their counterpart, and they cannot be used to add text notes/messages to your videos, only images and links. Cards appear as a small box, but it expands when viewers click on it.

How to add annotations to YouTube video

Adding annotations to videos you've uploaded on YouTube is a simple task. All it involves is inserting interactive links, text layers, or spotlights over your video. Follow this step by step guide to begin annotating your YouTube videos.

1. Log into your YouTube account, click on your profile icon at the top right of the page, and select YouTube Studio from the drop down menu.

2. From your Studio home screen, select Content, scroll through your channel content, and click on the video you want to add annotations to.

3. Scroll to the bottom right corner of the page and click on End screen. Keep in mind that if the video is made for kids, you won't be able to add annotations to it unless you change the audience.

4. You'll be taken to a new screen. Click on the Play icon to start playing your video or and pause it when you get to the point where you want to place your annotation or just fast-forward to that point, then click on the add Element button.

5. Select the annotation you want from the options listed to add it to your video. You won't be able to use the Link option to link to your website unless you've garnered at least 10,000 views on your channel. Also, one of the elements you choose must be a playlist or video.

6. After choosing your element, you'll have to select how long you want the annotation to last. As the name suggests, most end screens show up at the end of the video, but you can adjust the time frame so it shows up earlier.

7. You can add up to four end screens to your video, so feel free to mix them up however you like. When you're satisfied, click Save to confirm the change. You can go view the newly annotated video in your channel and come back to make corrections if necessary.

How to add YouTube cards

Here's how to go about inserting cards into your YouTube videos:

1. Go to your YouTube account and click your profile icon to reveal a menu. Choose YouTube Studio to proceed.

2. Click on Content and select the video you want to add cards to, then scroll to the bottom left of the screen and select Cards.

3. Choose the type of card you want to add from the options and enter the relevant information required.

4. Fast-forward your video or slide the play head in the timeline to the point where you want the card to appear. Click Save to implement the changes.

Get more out of your YouTube videos

If you aren’t adding text to your YouTube videos, you are being unfair to your channel. You are losing out on  reach, visibility, engagement, audience growth, viewer retention, and more.

Start leveraging captions, subtitles, annotations, cards, and other types of text to make your videos stand out and maximize results.

Hammad Akbar
Hammad Akbar
September 8, 2021