How Can Marketers Leverage YouTube’s New Hyperlinked Comment Keywords?

YouTube is testing a new feature set to empower brands and creators to better engage with viewers, with minimal disruption—and lots of our clients at my own performance marketing agency, Pixated, are already buzzing to try it out!

Introducing: hyperlinked words or phrases in the comments section!

According to a video released on YouTube’s Creator Inside Channel:

Currently, if a viewer wants to learn more about a topic or product they find in a comment they have to navigate away from the video they’re watching. We’re experimenting with hyperlinked keywords in comments to reduce friction for viewers looking to discover new and relevant content on the platform.

In other words, linked keywords or phrases in comments will direct viewers to the YouTube search results page while the video they were watching continues playing.

Why is this such an important change for YouTube marketing?

Users are far more likely to follow a link if doing so doesn’t interrupt their viewing experience. This means YouTube’s latest feature gives marketers a greater chance of reaching more viewers and interacting more effectively with potential customers.

However, some marketers have expressed concerns that directing viewers away from videos could bring more negatives than positives, including leading users to the search results page only for them to end up watching videos from rival brands instead.

How will YouTube’s hyperlinked comment keywords work?

  • Phrases or single words in comments that encourage exploration are hyperlinked
  • Clicking a link starts a new YouTube search with that term, directing the viewer to the search results page
  • The video continues playing in the Miniplayer, minimising disruption
  • Which words or phrases get hyperlinked is determined by YouTube according to what viewers are most likely to wish to explore further
  • Links can’t be added by the commenter themselves, nor can they be modified, although creators may remove links in their video comments at their discretion
  • Viewers may opt out of this test if they prefer their comments to not contain hyperlinks

What other changes is YouTube implementing?

YouTube announced three other changes along with the rollout of its hyperlinked comments experiment:

1) Reminders Set: YouTube viewers can currently set reminders by clicking Notify me for push and email notifications when a livestream or premiere they want to watch is starting soon. Now YouTube has added a new metric to its analytics called Reminders Set, whereby creators can see how many reminders were set by their viewers.

2) Visibility on tablets: While previously it was possible to create a post on tablet, those posts weren’t visible on tablet—and this quickly became a top feature request among creators and their viewers alike. YouTube heeded their appeal and has given visibility to all iPad and Android tablet users. Now posts can reach those viewers who use YouTube primarily on tablet.

3) Channel membership management: Eligible creators can now set up and manage channel memberships via Studio Mobile, along with other fan funding offerings. Previously they could only do this on desktop. Moreover, before this latest raft of updates from YouTube, members-only videos weren’t served in members’ home feeds, subscription feeds or channel page content tabs. But now they’ll surface on all three!

Don’t miss out on accepting YouTube’s new Ts and Cs!

YouTube has advised creators to accept its latest YouTube Partner Program (YPP) terms and conditions in Studio if they haven’t yet done so. Otherwise they’ll be removed from the YPP, their content will rendered ineligible for monetisation, previously monetised content will stop accruing revenue, and all monetisation features, including SuperChat and channel memberships, will be turned off.

It’s easy to check whether you’ve accepted the YPP Ts and Cs yet:

  • Go to Studio > Settings > Agreements
  • If you see View agreement for the base terms you’ve previously accepted, you’re good to go
  • If you see Review and agree, you still need to accept

It’s a seriously exciting time for marketers on YouTube, with the platform’s latest plethora of changes promising new and powerful ways of engaging with your audience.

If you’d like to learn more about YouTube’s changes to the YPP terms and conditions, be sure to check out the full announcement on its Help Center!