Just like how a title sequence can set the tone for a movie, your YouTube intro sets the stage for your main content. Usually a presentation of your channel name brought to life with motion graphics, an intro is essentially the visual signature you attach at every video’s beginning.
For aspiring YouTubers to small business owners, we have all the ingredients you need to create a YouTube intro and channel trailer video. Look out for the intro examples spread throughout the post for inspiration. This article will include:
- Creating a custom intro for a YouTube video
- What goes into a YouTube intro?
- Types of YouTube intros you can try creating
- Creating a YouTube channel trailer
1. Creating a custom intro for a YouTube video
Few netizens have yet to see the opening sequence of a TED Talk. It’s a classic intro because of its memorability, quality, and most importantly, it immediately gives you a sense of the brand’s educational objective.
A good video intro is unique, and it should resemble the overall style and theme of the YouTube Channel you’re creating. But aside from these touches of identity, most intros actually follow a pretty consistent set of rules. Read on for ideas on how to create one for yourself.
What goes into a YouTube intro?
For the perfect intro, you’d need to align your ideas with a specific set of considerations. Video length, branding, animated text, quality, music and storytelling are the elements you need to get right for that perfect establishing setup.
• Run time
The video intro should be kept strictly under 5 seconds to keep viewers engaged. Statistics show that intros longer than 25 seconds decrease viewer rates by 50%, as they are more likely to click off or skip before the actual content has even commenced. That’s why a veteran channel like Funny or Die has an intro that lasts a swift 2.3 seconds.
That’s why after bingeing a few episodes on Netflix, they allow you to skip the opening credits. Viewers can do this on YouTube now too, with the new ‘skip 10 seconds’ feature.
To get viewers to recognize your brand, all intros should include your key brand elements. Most of the time, it’s your brand name, tagline, logo, signature colors, or fonts. Consistency is key in creating a memorable intro.
Over time, this branding information will become associated with the content you post on YouTube. Brand recognition is built on signature elements and the meaning you infuse into these elements as you slowly build up your brand with content. Take the video essay series It’s Lit! with Lindsay Ellis, for example. It’s about the books and the visuals are styled like paper craft. Naturally, the intro looks like this:
Remember that branding is not only about visuals; it’s about the meaning reflected by those visuals that bring it to life and make it relatable.
• Animated text
Animating text is a simple way to add energy to an otherwise static introduction. Check out how Lessons from the Screenplay simulates camera lens blur onto text for their intro clip:
Text animation is one of the most affordable ways to build brand identity in your YouTube videos. You can invest as little as an hour of your time creating a simple title animation to kick off your video content. Dressing Funny overlays simple animated text onto their intro to give it a light-hearted look:
If the quality of your intro is questionable, the credibility of the content following it would also be regarded with a raised eyebrow. And if it can’t be trusted, viewers might just click away. Vox is a channel that produces top-shelf explainer videos and they have some great examples of high-quality intros.
Quality refers to the intro as a whole — how smooth running it is, how entertaining, how appealing the graphics are, how cohesive it is with the main content. Having a quality intro starts off your video the right way.
Having a catchy signature jingle or background music at the start of your YouTube video contributes a great deal to the feel of your intro. (Again, TED is a great example.) It can also be great for branding. Viewers can sometimes relate brands channels to a particular song or the sound they chose to use in their intro. There is no right and wrong music to use in a YouTube video intro, although it must be non copyrighted music.
Royalty free music can be hard to find. Luckily, Clipchamp Create offers thousands of free to use stock audio for all styles of videos. With specific categories targeting YouTube intros and background music, Clipchamp Create has the intro-making tools you need all in one place.
Types of YouTube video intros you can try creating
Now that you have a list of the ingredients, it’s time to mix all — or some — of them together. To give you a few ideas, here are the type of intros we often see on YouTube:
• Title card
If your channel is for vlogging or daily-life content, a great channel to look into would be David Dobrik’s. Its intro is made up of a short clip that serves as a teaser, and a title card, all kept within 5-7 seconds. The title card is a simple static page with a vlog number, date, and a happy synth tune that reflects the comedic nature of his vlogs.
For something both charming and easy-to-create, Alisha Marie has the perfect 3-second intro. Marie’s intro features clips from her videos and a briefly animated text overlay of her name.
Marie’s intro may be simple, but it gets her style and brand across effectively. Sometimes a short-and-sweet 3-seconder is all it takes to set the scene or accentuate your videos.
Good Mythical Morning is a comedy talk show with 15.6 million subscribers and their animated intros are always fantastic. Here’s what they have for season 15:
Not only are their intros animated, they have a different one every few seasons to keep things fresh. If you have the motion graphic skills or the budget for an animated intro, it’s definitely recommended.
2. Creating a YouTube channel trailer
There are video intros and then there are channel intros. A YouTube channel trailer could be the first impression a potential subscriber has of your channel so it’s important to introduce yourself in style. When creating one, it’s best to assume the viewer has never heard of your brand.
What to include
First, it’s important to talk about what you’re all about and why that’s relevant. This will spark interest for your audience and might just convince them to come back for more.
Then you can show off some cool clips and snippets from your uploaded videos in your trailer. Showing off highlights gives your viewers a taste of what your content is all about. It could even be one of the videos you already have in your channel. Clipchamp has a how-to video set as its channel trailer and it instantly captures what the page is all about.
How to setup your channel trailer on YouTube
Once you’ve created that trailer, it’s time to set it up right on top of your channel so potential viewers can see it right away.
Step-by-step guide to setting up a YouTube channel trailer:
- Upload the video you want to set as your channel trailer
- Go to the specific channel you want to manage
- Select Customize Channel
- Go to the “Home” tab
- Click the “For new visitors” tab
- Click Edit
- Select Change Trailer or Remove Trailer