How to Add Chapters to a YouTube Video: The Ultimate Guide

If you want to make the most of your YouTube channel and engage your audience as much as possible, you’ll want to make use of every YouTube feature you can. One of the features that helps viewers engage with content the way they like is through chapters, allowing them to skip to different parts of the video. But what exactly are they and how do you add chapters to YouTube videos?

What are chapters on a YouTube video?

Much like chapters in a book, chapters on a YouTube video split it up into sections. Rather than needing to watch all chapters in order, chapters on a YouTube video give context and information for each section of the video and let users rewatch them or skip ahead to another chapter that might be of more use.

Rather than watching full videos, audiences are increasingly dipping in and out of them, skipping ahead and choosing to watch sections of them.

Let’s take a list video, for example. A popular content creator might list their top five accessories for working from home. By adding chapters to their YouTube video they let users quickly scan ahead to get a sense of what they will be talking about, and skip over an accessory that they already have. It makes it easier for audiences to pick and choose the content experience that works for them, and adding chapters to your YouTube videos makes it more likely that viewers will come back to your channel for more.

How to add chapters to your YouTube video

There are two ways to add chapters to YouTube videos: you can add them manually in YouTube Studio, or you can let YouTube analyze your video and suggest chapters for you. Both options are easy and can be done very quickly in YouTube Studio.

As of August 2022, to manually add your own chapters to YouTube videos:

  1. In YouTube Studio, select Content from the menu on the left.
  2. Click on the video you would like to edit.
  3. In the Description field add timestamps and the titles of the chapters you want at each timestamp. Make sure the first chapter starts at 00:00.
  4. When you have added at least three timestamps, each one ten seconds long, click Save.

To make use of automatic video chaptering, in YouTube Studio click the video you would like to edit, click Show More, then select ‘Allow automatic chapters (when available and eligible).’ Click Save.

YouTube will then suggest chapters based on the content you upload.

Use Pinnacle Studio to edit your videos

Incorporating chapters in your YouTube videos is only useful if your videos are broken down into clearly divided sections that flow from one to another. The best way to create videos in that way is to use video editing software like Pinnacle Studio. Editing videos not only lets you trim footage and refine the pacing to create exactly what you need, but also add graphics, color filters, and music to increase the quality of your content.

Audiences expect chapters in YouTube videos

YouTube chapters are useful tools for viewers to engage with your content. They lay out the structure of the video on the timeline, allowing audiences to quickly preview and skip and rewatch sections of your video. This is particularly useful for longer videos and list videos, and chapters can be easily added to your videos in YouTube Studio.

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