A great YouTube channel should have a great intro and a great outro. Whether or not it's fair, the intro and outro will affect how viewers perceive your content. Invest a bit of time upfront and you'll reap the benefits in the future.
The number of channels making over $10,000/year on YouTube increased by over 50% year over year in 2020. Also, in the same period, channels earning $100,000 USD per year or more grew by 40%. (Source)
Let's start with some general best practices for your YouTube intro and outro and then I'll show you the best ways to get them done or how to do them yourself.
Best Practices for YouTube Intros and Outros
Here are some intro and outro best practices all creators should follow.
1. Keep Them Under 15 Seconds
YouTubers (and people in the 21st century in general) don’t have the patience for much longer than this.
15 seconds is the high end and most channels shouldn't worry about it being this long.
Unless your intro has amazing production quality and is pretty captivating, I'd suggest aiming for something as low as 5 seconds.
This is especially true if your videos are short. No one wants to sit through a 30 second introduction video to watch a 2 minute tutorial!
Long intros can also damage the "bingeability" of your content. People who will come to your channel for the first time and watch video after video after video. If your intro is wasting a lot of time, it will make the binge less appealing.
#2 Give Them Real Focus and Effort
Your intro is one of the first things people will see and it will be seen across all of your videos. This is a "top of funnel" item that will affect everything you do in the future.
Yes, this means you’ll most likely have to spend a bit of money on getting an intro. My intro cost me about $400 total (logo + video editor) and was absolutely worth it.
Fortunately, if you're on an extremely tight budget, there are tools on the market that can allow you to make your own intros that look extremely professional.
You'd be shocked at how much of a channel's quality is based on effort rather than skill or innate talent.
#3 Start Intro After 5-15 seconds of Intro Content
Capture the audience’s attention and then drop your intro. That captures the audience’s attention.
Starting a video with an intro is a good way to crush the average watch time which will sabotage your ability to rank your videos effectively.
#4 Avoid Cheesy/Cliche Music
The upbeat ukulele can only be done so many times.
You also want to make sure that the music matches your brand. Don't be overly dramatic unless you have a brand that merits it.
For example, if your channel teaches seniors how to use iOS devices, an intro of death metal, rolling thunder and screaming eagles won't exactly fit that image.
#5 Avoid Obnoxiously Loud or Startling Audio
When I’m watching a video and I have my ear drums tested with an unnecessarily loud sound burst, I typically see red and leave the page in anger.
Make sure that the audio is level with the audio of the rest of the videos. Sometimes this can get out of whack when you're filming new videos (which might have different volume levels) but using the same intro clip that is always the same volume.
Ways to Get YouTube Intro and Outros Made Cheap and Easy
There are two options: #1 Hire someone #2 Do it yourself.
Let's start with the steps for hiring someone else to do it.
Step #1 Get a Logo You Love
For this, I used 99Designs. I purchased their bronze plan and had a coupon for an upgrade.
Let me explain why 99designs sucks and why it is also the best bet for getting a logo that will match your brand.
If you choose the basic plan, 99designs is basically equivalent to receiving 30-40 Fiverr logos at the same time.
Now, sometimes Fiverr logos actually pan out. So, with 30 logos to choose from and the ability to request changes throughout the “rounds” of submissions, you can get something that fits your brand very well.
Step #2(a) Hire a Video Editor
In the past, I have used Splasheo.com and they have done a great job.
If you’re looking for something more “guaranteed’ you can go with them, but this time, I wanted something a little different.
I reached out to Nathan Hirsch of Freeeup.com and hired one of his video editors. The price was less than the Splasheo package and the work was much more “customized” than anything I could do with the options provided with Splasheo.
After just a few back and forth conversations with Jeffrey (the editor) I ended up with an end product that I loved.
Step #2(B) Use a Software Like Invideo
Ok, now let's cover how to make intros and outros yourself.
For this, I have only one recommendation: InVideo.
Invideo is an affordable, web based video editing software that gives you access to multiple intro and outro templates.