We talk a lot about how to design and optimize your YouTube channel. And this conversation would be incomplete without analysis of the intro – the opening cutscenes to the videos. Here’s everything we know about video intros and how to make video intros yourself!
What is an intro?
The intro is the opening element of the video. The word itself was formed from the English “introduction”, “introduction”. The tradition of starting a video story with a small insert denoting the authorship of the work originated in the film industry long before the advent of social media and amateur videos.
But we’re talking about YouTube today. And on YouTube, using an intro is no longer just good form, but almost a necessity. I bet you can’t name a single blogger who doesn’t start every video with a “branded” intro?
Why do we need an intro?
A splash screen can be compared to a signature. This is, firstly, a way to introduce yourself and assign your authorship to the video. Secondly, seeing the intro, viewers begin to understand what to expect from your video. Third, a well-crafted intro is part of the blogger’s or brand image.
Why do advertisers use songs with a simple motive, which then spin in the minds of viewers all day? Why do radio stations play the same jingle a hundred times a day? Why does Netflix show its logo under the characteristic “knock-knock” before each episode of its own production? Exactly then, why do bloggers need an intro?
These techniques help form a habit in viewers. The colors, sounds, images that you use in your intro will sooner or later begin to be associated with you. If your trademark melody, like a spoiled record, “stuck” in the viewer’s head, he will remember you more often. And the more often a blogger is remembered, the more often he is watched.
What should be a YouTube intro?
Intro creation is an interesting creative challenge. YouTube does not restrict content creators with any rules on how their intros should look.
* An exception is the basic principles of YouTube regarding any content that enters the site: you cannot publish calls to violence, pornographic materials, bullying and other bad things.
Otherwise, you can do whatever you want with your intro. But personal experience, as well as observing thousands of other bloggers, helped us come up with some recommendations for intro screensavers. They will help make the intro as useful as possible.
Try to make your intro …
Short. Ideally 2-3 seconds. The maximum, which is definitely not worth overstepping, is 10 seconds.
The task of the screensaver is to hook the viewer, ignite his curiosity. But at the same time, she should not have time to get bored. After all, the viewer didn’t open your video to admire the intro.
On our channel we use a 3 second splash screen:
Bright and memorable. This is the whole idea!
The screensaver should not tire, but provoke. Use music with a “sticky” motive in the intro, bright colors, beautiful and unexpected shots – any technique will do if it attracts the viewer’s attention and is remembered.
For example, if you have watched Yuri Dud’s interview at least once, then a track from his splash screen is probably already playing in your head:
In one of the episodes of our Movavi Stories, the blogger told how he made such a bright intro that the audience asked for its “full-length” version. This is exactly the result you should strive for!
Explaining. It’s great when an intro gives the viewer an idea of your channel and your videos right away.
The introductory couple of seconds of the video can be used to set the general mood of the video and outline the theme of your channel. Even if the viewer is already familiar with your content, it will help them tune in to the right wave.
If on the channel you discuss politics and urban planning, then it is logical to use images of buildings, landscapes, maybe portraits of political figures in the screensaver:
And on cooking blogs, intros often use images of food or the process of cooking it:
The intro can briefly describe the creator of the video. Here you can place the name of the channel or logo, designate topics that are often discussed on the blog, show a photo of the author or interesting points from his previous videos.
Permanent. As we said, intros, like radio jingles, should be remembered.
What’s more, viewers should form a strong association between your intro and your channel. This cannot be achieved without persistent repetition of the same thing in dozens of videos. Therefore, we advise you to create an intro that you can use over the next couple of years.
On the other hand, many popular video-within-video bloggers change the intro according to what the video is about. For example, on the film channel The Take, each intro is unique. The intro here is a short cut from the movie that will be featured in this episode. But all these cuts are made in the same style, they always have the same filter applied and there is always a channel logo on top of them. So in this case, consistency is maintained by processing:
Another example of a constantly changing screensaver can be found on the channel of stylist Margarita Muradova. Her intro always retains the template and music, and the titles indicating the theme of the video change:
Appropriate to the style of the channel. Branding is not the main, but very important component of your channel.
In a recent article on channel headers, we have already said that it is better to design the entire blog in a single original style. Logo, banner, video covers, intro and outro – it’s good when all these elements are similar to each other.
How to make a video intro: the best tools
You can create a high-quality intro for YouTube videos using desktop video editors, online services, and even mobile applications. We’ve picked up some great tools in each category.
1. Launch the program and in the menu on the left go to the Titles section and select the Screensavers tab .
2. Select a template that suits your style and drag it to the timeline. Hover your cursor over a segment of the video on the timeline and click on the pencil icon to write your text.
3. Double click on the segment with titles that appears on the timeline. Enter your text – for example, the name of the channel or the subject of the video. Customize the caption: in the panel to the left of the preview window, select the color, size and style of the font that suits you. At this point, you can already save the project and use it in your videos. If you want to make the intro harder, follow the next steps.
4. If you need to place your logo in the intro, add it to the program and drag it to the timeline. To edit the size and position of the logo, go to the Tools section on the left menu and select Overlay.
5. A dotted box will appear in the preview window around your logo. Drag one of its corners to decrease or increase the size of the picture. Grab a picture in the center to move it to the part of the screen you want.
6. If you want to animate the logo, go to the Animation section .
7. Click the Simple tab and select the animation pattern that suits you. To customize the start and end of the animation, drag the keyframes to the desired time on the timeline. Keyframes are dots on the image of your animated element that indicate the beginning and end of its movement.
8. Save the video to your computer.
If the built-in effects of the video editor are not suitable for you, you can choose the appropriate one in the Movavi Effects Store . Here you will find thematic selections for any occasion: for a travel channel, for a beauty blog, and for a lifestyle topic. In our opinion, novice bloggers should pay attention to the ” Trending ” and ” Start a Vlog ” sets – they offer the most versatile set of effects for editing YouTube videos.
You can even create a good intro on your own phone. Mobile applications provide the narrowest set of tools, but they allow you to create a splash screen on the go.
How to add an intro to a video
So, we figured out how to make your own intro. It remains to load it into videos!
You cannot add a splash screen to videos that are already uploaded to YouTube. You will have to either delete the existing videos and upload them again with a splash screen, or leave them as they are. We do not recommend deleting episodes from the channel that have already collected good statistics. Better to leave a new intro for all subsequent videos.
We show you how to add a splash screen to your video using Movavi Video Editor Plus as an example. This can be done in just a few clicks:
- Open the finished video in the program.
- Click Add Files and find your intro. Click Open.
- Place your intro where you want it on the timeline. To do this, simply hold down the video and drag it left or right.
- Add a fade effect at the end of the intro if needed. To do this, go to the tab Transitions in the left menu and select dimming .
- To adjust the duration of the effect, double-click on the transition icon in the timeline and set the desired time in the window that appears.
- When you’re done, click Save .
Some more tips for creating an intro
Finally, here are a couple more tips to help you create and use your screensaver.
The intro doesn’t have to be right at the beginning!
Yes, yes, we said ourselves that the intro is the first few seconds of the video. But recently, a huge number of bloggers have begun to insert small episodes before the screensaver – for example, the funniest and brightest moments from the video, a short summary about the topic of the release, or a game intro.
This is a good way to get the viewer interested and keep them. Seduce him with something very exciting, and then designate your authorship.
Listen to your audience.
Of course, if someone in the comments writes to you that the new introduction is cool or, conversely, not very good, you will pay attention to it. But there are more reliable ways to check if viewers like your intro.
Analyze your view statistics. If a certain percentage of viewers scrolls the intro or completely closes the video at the moment, the intro may need to be replaced. In some cases, you can try to completely abandon it – suddenly it is your audience that does not need it at all. Read our YouTube Analytics guide to learn how to “read” channel statistics.
Do not use copyrighted music and images.
You cannot use other people’s works that were accidentally found on the Internet on YouTube without demand – the platform can ban your video or remove its sound for this. Therefore, choose music, images and videos for your intro very carefully: either create them yourself, or use stocks.
For more information on copyright, see our article on how to work with content on social media . And in order to find photos and videos that you can safely use, take a look at our selection of free video and photo stocks .
Have you created an intro? Don’t forget the outro!
Yes, yes, an end screen saver is also needed. In many cases, it is even more important than an intro, because you can post links to social networks or a website on it, as well as attach a preview of your other videos to it. This will give you a better chance of keeping a viewer on your channel!
Want to know more about YouTube outro? Check out our end saver article for helpful tips .
That’s all – now you know exactly as much about intro on YouTube as we do. We hope our tips will help you create a top splash screen and get a lot of followers. Good luck!