YouTube has been the biggest social media platform for video sharing over the past 10 years, so if you want to be a video creator in 2020, there's still no better place to start sharing your content. It's the best place to build a following, experiment with different video styles, and reach as many different audiences as possible.

But YouTube is so full of great content, it may seem daunting to get your foot in the door for those initial views. One way to increase the quality of your content and start developing viewer retention is to create a high-quality intro clip that plays at the beginning of every YouTube video you publish. This can build your channel's identity, keep viewers around to watch for more, and help boost your subscriber count. Here's what you should know:

  1. Try to keep it under 15 seconds
  2. Tell viewers (lightly) to subscribe
  3. Always add music
  4. Make an editable template
  5. Add the title of each video

1. Try to keep it under 15 seconds

When people click on your video, they're not there to watch your intro, so you should try to get to your main content as soon as possible. This may seem simple, but some YouTubers let their introduction segment extend over 30 seconds or more, and it can take a toll on viewer retention.

Even extra-short YouTube intros can be stylish, effective, and distinctive. 

Optimally, your intro section will include the name of your channel, the title of your video, some music, quick clips or graphic animations, and maybe the title of a content series. This might seem like a lot of information for some videos, but 15 seconds should be more than enough to fit everything in, and shorter intros will be easier for your audience to sit through.

2. Tell viewers (lightly) to subscribe

Often YouTubers put a "Subscribe" button in the bottom right corner of their videos using YouTube's channel logo feature, or give a reminder to their viewers to subscribe to their channel at the very end of the video.

But it's just easy and effective to recommend subscribing to your channel at the very beginning instead, as long as it's very brief and unobtrusive. The video above shows you how to make a quick, unobtrusive animation telling viewers to subscribe to your channel.

3. Always add music

Chances are, you can recognize the exact bits of music that your favorite YouTubers use during their video introductions. I, for example, can clearly hear the intro music that Emma Chamberlain, Anthony Fantano, and Good Mythical Morning use for every one of their videos, off the top of my head.

Using the Kapwing Studio, it's simple to add and edit the music you play with your intro video. In the Kapwing Studio, choose the "Audio" tab at the top of the screen and either paste a link to any song you found online, or upload a music file from your computer. You want your YouTube intro to be tight & precise, so use the sliders to adjust the exact timing of your audio.

4. Make an editable template

Many YouTubers use similar intro video clips for each of their videos, but with little variations from one to the next. But if you're starting each intro video from scratch to make different versions, it probably won't be worth the time you put into the process.

That's why you should make an editable template for your intro videos, if you want to change the audio, color, text, or style of each one. If you're using Kapwing to create your YouTube introduction, you can use free cloud storage to store your video template in between YouTube uploads. This way, you can easily change the video's music, text, pictures, or colors, while keeping the rest of it true to form.

5. Add the title of each video

For this step, it's easiest to use editable templates for your intro sequences. If you have a template saved in a Kapwing Workspace, for example, you can quickly make a copy of it and edit your title's text box from one video to the next, so each & every intro you make is customized with the title of that day's YouTube upload.

This is a surprisingly easy way to level up your YouTube content and make your videos appear more professional. Plus, the title card from each video's intro can be used as consistent, customized thumbnail images for your channel – a personal thumbnail style that remains similar in all your videos is a great way to increase your channel identity on YouTube.

Tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


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