Videos can help tell a story, introduce a product, and create more immersive experiences. For video creators and brands, clickable links can add an important layer of interactivity to deepen engagement.
An in-video link differs from a typical in-description link found on most video platforms. Clickable links in video exists in the video itself and can take the form of a traditional text link, hotspot, overlay, or chapter title as well.
Clickable links multiply the video content’s value for the viewer and, by extension, for your business.
Below, we’ll share how to add links to both Vimeo videos and YouTube videos — complete with steps to make more interactive videos.
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How to add clickable links to Vimeo videos
Vimeo gives you several ways to create interactive video experiences. Choose from adding a contact form, cards, end screens, hotspots, and overlays to grab your viewer’s attention.
1. Add a contact form
As its name suggests, a contact form helps capture your viewers’ contact information. Depending on what you specify, a contact form can surface before, during, or after a video ends.
You have the option to display the form at any time of the video. You can gate content behind the contact form to collect user info as part of a lead generation strategy.
Bonus tip: You can consider allowing viewers to skip the contact form — after all, there’s no point forcing them to share their contact details unless you’ve gated the content.
To add contact form in your Vimeo video:
- Head to the Interaction tools tab in your video settings and scroll down to select Contact Form.
- Choose when you want to enable the contact form.
- Connect the form directly to one or more of your partner email marketing platforms using the Connect button under the Email providers section.
- Agree to the terms and conditions that show up next. Now log in to your email program to connect it to Vimeo.
- Select at least one mailing list to sync the collected information with and hit Apply to save changes.
2. Add cards
Another in-video link flavor is cards. Cards are notification-style links that appear for a short amount of time, typically six seconds. You can keep these cards simple by including a headline or flesh them out with a description, link, and thumbnail as in the example.
To add cards to your Vimeo video:
- Go to the Interaction tools tab in your video settings and scroll down to select Card from the During video dropdown menu.
- Fill in the fields to flesh out the card. You need a title and timestamp for when to show the card at minimum.
- Hit Add button when you’re done and press Save.
Remember: you can add up to one card per second.
3. Add end screens
End screens appear at the end of your video. You can choose from several options to customize these links in video:
- Include clickable background images
- Add social share icons
- Present a contact form
- Slip in a CTA button
- Lead viewers to another video
To add an end screen to your Vimeo video:
- Go to the Interaction tools tab in your video settings and scroll down to select After video
- Select the End screen dropdown menu now.
- Select your end screen type and choose Add, followed by Save.
4. Add chapters
Chapters are perfect for long videos. They allow you to segment video content, making it easier to navigate and jump to different sections, skim content, and rewatch important moments.
To add chapters to your Vimeo video:
- Go to the Interaction tools tab in your video settings, scroll down to the Chapters section, and click +New to create a new chapter.
- Enter the new chapter’s title (up to 50 characters) with the timestamp for when it’ll show in the video.
- Hit Save after you’re done adding and editing chapters.
As with cards, you can add one chapter per second of your video. Any video can feature up to 100 chapters.
5. Add video hotspots
An interactive video hotspot is a clickable point or call to action in your video that leads viewers to another page, segment in the video, or a new video. In a shoppable video, for example, this could be a hotspot to a product page.
Choose from creating static hotspots that occupy a determined position in the video or sticky hotspots that move with people or objects in the video.
To add a hotspot to your video:
- Play your video to select the object or person you want to add a hotspot to.
- Under the Hotspot section, click the (+) icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen once you’ve identified where to add the hotspot.
- Select your hotspot design from Vimeo’s ready-to-use template gallery or create your custom design.
- Adjust the hotspot’s position relative to the object/person you add it to.
- Toggle the Stick to object option on or off depending on whether you want a sticky or static hotspot.
6. Add interactive overlays
Lastly, video overlays are extra layers that show in your video when a viewer interacts with a hotspot or when the video reaches a specific time triggered event.
You can add anything from text, image, audio, videos, calls to action and animations in your overlay.
To add an overlay to your video:
- Upload your video to Vimeo and pick the timestamp to add an overlay.
- Position and style the overlay.
- Choose from overlay actions such as links, information panels, and more.
- Preview and hit Save.
How to add clickable links to YouTube videos
Next, let’s talk about adding links to videos on YouTube. Here are your options:
1. Add links to your video description
A popular place to add a clickable link is in your YouTube video description. Adding a link to your video’s description makes it easier for viewers to find your products, website, subscription link, or affiliate links.
A YouTube video description shows up right below your video title:
To make sure viewers don’t miss the link, work it into the start of the description text so that viewers can see it even without clicking “see more.”
To add a link to your YouTube video description:
- Head to YouTube Studio from the top right corner of your dashboard.
- From the new page that opens up, select Videos from the side bar and select the video you want to edit.
- Edit the video’s description in the video description box and copy paste the link you want to add.
- Hit Save. YouTube will automatically turn the link into a clickable URL.
2. Add cards
Another way to create a clickable video on YouTube is to use info cards.
These pop up at predetermined times in your video — turning into a lowercase “i” after showing up on the right-hand side of a computer screen. This way, viewers can hover over the “i” to click the card whenever they want.
You can include up to five info cards to your video that take viewers to related videos, (public) playlists, YouTube channels, or links.
Keep in mind: you can only add clickable cards if you’re a member of YouTube’s Partner Program. Plus, you can’t add cards to videos set for kids.
To add cards to your YouTube video:
- Log into the YouTube Studio and select Content from the left menu.
- Choose the video you want to edit and hit Editor from the left side.
- Select Info cards here and start adding cards.
- Change the start time below the video for each card that you add. For the cards leading to a channel (aka channel cards), you also need to add teaser text and custom message to explain what the link leads to. Adding teaser text is optional for other cards.
- Click Save.
For sharing a link in a card, it’s essential to follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. If you aren’t, the video search engine can remove the link from your video or terminate your account altogether.
3. Add an end screen
End screen, also known as end card or end slate, are like info cards. They show up in the last 5-20 seconds of a YouTube video.
Using an end screen, you can direct viewers to a playlist or video, or add a link to an external site such as your store.
To add end screens to your video:
- Sign in to YouTube Studio and select Content from the left menu.
- Select the video you’d like to edit and choose Editor from the left.
- Pick End screens and choose the element you want to add.
- Click Save.
At this point, you’ll have the following options to add elements (content to add to your end screen): apply template, video, playlist, subscribe, channel, merchandise and link.
Again, when adding links, be sure to add ones that align with YouTube’s policies to save yourself from end screen removal or account termination.
Also, you can’t add end screens to videos set as content made for kids, 360 videos, mobile web, and in the YouTube music app. Additionally, only videos that are at least 25 seconds long can feature an end card.
There you have it! If you’re feeling ready, try experimenting with your video uploads to create engaging, immersive, and clickable videos that grab your viewers’ attention.