Video Production Tips

How to make an intro for YouTube 

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Is your YouTube channel not receiving the views it deserves? Creating an eye-catching YouTube intro just might be the missing link you’ve been looking for.

A YouTube intro is essentially the visual signature you attach at every video’s beginning. Just like how a title sequence can set the tone for a movie, your YouTube intro sets the stage for your main content. 

Youtube intro thumbnail

If you’re an aspiring YouTuber or small business owner, we have all the ingredients you need to know to create an engaging YouTube intro video, YouTube title card and YouTube channel trailer using Clipchamp’s free online video editor

We will also inspire you with some fun YouTube intro examples and have your frequently asked questions answered. 

  • 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

  • FAQs: Starting a YouTube channel

Creating a custom intro for a YouTube video

A captivating YouTube intro, also known as a YouTube title sequence, should draw in your viewers attention straight away, set the mood of your entire YouTube channel and always include a memorable or relatable catchy tune. 

But aside from these touches of identity, most YouTube intros actually follow a pretty consistent set of rules. The creators you’re watching probably follow them as well. 

Let’s take a look at the opening sequence of a TED Talk. Some may say it’s a classic YouTube intro due to its memorability, quality, and most importantly, it immediately gives you a sense of the brand’s educational objective.

Ted talk intro

If you want to be like TED Talks, keep reading to find out how to make your very own YouTube channel trailer, YouTube intro and YouTube title card with Clipchamp’s online video editor

What goes into a YouTube video intro?

For the perfect YouTube intro, you’ll 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

A YouTube video intro should be kept strictly under 5 seconds to keep viewers engaged. Intros that are longer than 25 seconds decrease viewer rates by 50%, as they’re more likely to click off or skip before the actual content has even commenced. 

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.

Veteran channel like Funny or Die has an intro that lasts a swift 2.3 seconds.

Blog post image: Funny-or-Die-intro.gif

Personalized branding

It’s important for viewers to immediately recognize your brand when scrolling on YouTube or other social media platforms. The most successful companies in the world have one thing in common — good branding. 

YouTube intros should include recognizable brandings like your brand name, tagline, logo, signature colours, or fonts. Consistency is key in creating a memorable intro. Clipchamp’s online video editor allows users to upload and use their personalized branding with the Brand Kits feature. 

Over time, your personalized branding 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 papercraft. 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.

Blog post image: Its-Lit-with-Lindsay-Ellis.gif

Animated text

Animating text is a simple way to add energy to an otherwise static introduction. Just take a look at Lessons from the Screenplay for an example. The simulates camera lens blur onto text for their intro clip:

Lessons from the Screenplay intro

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:

Dressing Funny intro

Clipchamp’s online video editor offers users a range of animated text designs that can be used in your YouTube intro. If you’re lacking inspiration, our ready-to-use YouTube intro templates might spark your imagination. 

If you are new to YouTube and looking for some brilliant names and ideas for channel names, try a free YouTube Name generator tool.

Quality

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. 

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.

Vox produces top-shelf explainer videos and they have some great examples of high-quality intros.

Vox Borders intro
Vox Almanac intro

Music

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. That’s why at Clipchamp, we’ve created a free to use stock audio library with thousands of options to choose from. With specific categories targeting YouTube intros and background music, Clipchamp has all the intro-making tools you’ll need all in one place.

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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:

1. How to make a title card for YouTube

David Dobrik’s YouTube videos usually start off with a less traditional intro called a YouTube title card. The YouTube title card intro is made up of a short clip that serves as a teaser, and a title card, all kept within 5-7 seconds. 

The YouTube 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. 

Creators can also choose from a variety of YouTube title card types such as merchandise, fundraising, video and more to add to their intro. Once your new YouTube title card is set up, a small rectangular box, or teaser, will appear in the top right corner of the video to give your fans a preview of the message. 

If viewers tap or click the teaser, the card associated with the video appears along the right side of your video (or below the player on mobile in portrait mode).

A YouTube title card is also a great addition to your YouTube intro to help promote your brand and other videos on your YouTube channel.

type-video-youtube-title-card

2. YouTube typographic intro

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 brief 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.

Alisha Marie intro

3. Animated YouTube intro

Good Mythical Morning is a comedy talk show with 17.2 million subscribers and their animated intros are always fantastic. Not only are their intros animated, but they also 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.

Here’s what they have for season 15:

Good Mythical Morning intro

Creating a YouTube channel trailer

When creating a YouTube channel, you’ve most likely come across a YouTube video intro and a YouTube channel trailer. They’re both pretty similar and are easily confused. Let’s jump into the basics of creating a YouTube channel trailer. 

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.

1. What to include in a YouTube channel trailer?

When brainstorming what to include in your YouTube channel trailer, it’s important to include what your channel is all about and why it’s worth watching. This will spark interest for your audience and might just convince them to come back for more.

Then, your YouTube channel trailer can highlight 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 on your channel. 

Clipchamp has an explainer video set as its YouTube channel trailer and it instantly captures what the page is all about.

2. How to set up your YouTube channel trailer

Once you’ve created your new YouTube channel trailer, it’s time to set it upright on top of your channel so potential viewers can see it right away.

A step-by-step guide to setting up a YouTube channel trailer:

  1. Upload the video you want to set as your channel trailer

  2. Go to the specific channel you want to manage

  3. Select Customize Channel

  4. Go to the “Home” tab

  5. Click the “For new visitors” tab

  6. Click Edit

  7. Select Change Trailer or Remove Trailer

FAQs: Starting a YouTube channel

Below we have answered some of the most common questions asked when creating a YouTube channel, intro, trailer or banner. 

FAQ 1. Is it okay if my intro is 30 seconds?

No. Try to keep your YouTube intro under 5 seconds long. Viewers will tend to lose focus or click exit if your intro is longer than 25 seconds. 

FAQ 2. What are the YouTube banner dimensions?

  • The recommended YouTube banner size is 2560 x 1440 pixels. 

  • The minimum accepted dimensions are 2048 x 1152 pixels. 

  • The minimum image safe area for text and logos is 1546 x 423 pixels. 

  • The maximum accepted image width is 2560 x 423 pixels. 

FAQ 2. What are the YouTube banner dimensions?

FAQ 3. How often should I change my YouTube intro? 

YouTube intros can be changed as many times as creators like. If you have changed branding or aesthetic over the months or years, feel free to update your YouTube intro. 

Family channels typically update their intros often, especially as their children are growing or their family is extending. 

FAQ 4. Can I see YouTube Analytics for other channels?

Yes. When you’re trying to grow your channel it’s important to do a little bit of competitor research. There are many different tools to use to see your competitor’s YouTube Analytics like Tubular Intelligence, BuzzSumo and Social Blade. 

Start creating your YouTube intro video with Clipchamp

Ready to get started creating your very own YouTube video intro, YouTube channel trailer or YouTube title card? Head over to Clipchamp’s free online video editor and start off with a ready-to-use template. 

Box integration-Make a commercial video- Clipchamp landing page

Hopefully, you have learned some beneficial tips and tricks that your subscribers will love. Don’t forget to take advantage of Clipchamp’s Brand Kit feature to keep your video content consistent. Happy editing! 

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