EmbedPlus Review

Enhance YouTube Engagement on WordPress with EmbedPlus

With billions of daily video views, YouTube is often the first stop by marketers looking to introduce their products, people, and ideas to the masses.  Google has clearly noticed—incrementally releasing tools to help marketers define and measure their campaigns.  We’ve seen, for an example, an evolution from view counts as a primary analytics metric to more advanced and multidimensional reports that offer insight like audience demographics.

On top of Google’s own efforts, third-party services have also been created to help towards video marketing efforts.  One of these is EmbedPlus, which adds enhanced playback to YouTube videos while also aiming to increase user engagement in different ways.  The service offers a Chrome Extension, WordPress Plugin, and on-site wizard for upgrading standard YouTube videos. This article, however, will focus on the WordPress plugin and how it could be attractive to a marketer.

The screenshot below shows an example YouTube video enhanced with EmbedPlus.


At the bottom of the image, you’ll see the extra control bar with DVD-like features like slow motion, replay, and looping.  This area encapsulates much of EmbedPlus’ features and activity. Here we’ll particularly focus on the reaction feature (see ‘REACT’ button above) and some other features like chapter marking, third-party annotations, and sweet spot marking are not explicitly pictured above but could be relevant in a marketing campaign.


Sometimes you might only wish to focus on certain segments of a video you wish to embed.  They could be the most important and/or entertaining parts of a potentially long video. EmbedPlus offers a chapter marking feature that allows you to set specific times for users to jump to directly by using the PREV/NEXT buttons.  As the partial screen shot of the plugin wizard shows below, chapter time selection can be as fine-grained as seconds in a video.


A video that markets multiple products could, for example, have a chapter marked at the beginning of each product’s introduction.


Currently, YouTube’s annotations feature only allows the uploader of a video to add annotations using the site’s video customization interface.  Often times, however, a marketer could be using a video that he or she did not upload but can embed across different sites.  EmbedPlus allows third-parties to add annotations that show up at a specified times during playback.

Annotations could be used to complement the chapters feature by providing labels to each chapter and much more. In the above chaptering scenario, a marker could, for example, provide text stating the name of a given product and a link to the site to learn more or perhaps purchase it.  As shown below, the plugin’s wizard can even automatically set chapters at the times you specify your annotations to show up.


Another particularly important feature that is illustrated in the screenshots above and below is that annotations can contain clickable links. Use it to create calls-to-action to for example invite viewers to signup on a mail list, follow a twitter account, etc.


Sweet Spot Marking

This is one of the more complex and constantly evolving features offered by the EmbedPlus player.  It works by using the web to analyze viewer discussions about a video to highlight the most buzz-worthy parts so you don’t miss them.


If you are a content creator or marketer, you might find Sweet Spot Marking to be a quick and easy to use supplement to any other analytics tools you might use.  It requires no digging and can be preliminary look at discussion around a given video.  During playback, the player displays a symbol containing one or more exclamation marks that rank a given sweet spot based on how much viewer buzz is discovered.

Extend the feature with more advanced analytics tools like YouTube Insight to better pinpoint what’s good in your content.


The reactions feature can also serve a window to the buzz a video is getting across the web, though in a different way that sweet spot marking.  Pictured below, clicking the ‘REACT’ button on the right side of the bottom control bar of the player displays a list of communities on the web that actively discuss videos.


Simply click one of the communities (e.g. Reddit below) and expand it to discover not only how much buzz the video is getting within the community but exactly what viewers are saying.  From there, you can join and address any issues that might be brewing in the discussions.


We think that the reactions feature can be a particularly attractive one to use as it can help you avoid mining these communities on your own.

Getting Started

Including the above features simply requires installing the plugin. Sweet spots and reactions are automatically configured for the YouTube links you paste (see below).


Chapters and annotations, however, require specifying times and text.  For this, EmbedPlus offers an in-WordPress customization wizard that displays right from your blog after clicking the rich text editor button that’s highlighted in the screenshot below.  From there, you can enter a link to a given YouTube video and provide customizations using an easy to user interface.  Parts of this wizard are pictured in earlier screenshots.  At the end of the wizard, you’ll get shortcode to paste that is of the format displayed below.


Finally, if you don’t have a WordPress blog and wish to experience the extra features EmbedPlus provides across the web, simply download their Chorme Plugin for YouTube. You can also embed enhanced videos outside of WordPress as shown by their experimental project in language learning here: Videos: Pronounce words – Pronunciación en Inglés – Pronuncia in Inglese.