There are approximately 5 billion YouTube videos viewed every single day.

The hardest job of any creator is trying to stand out in that crowd.

One of the most effective ways to draw people in and keep them clicking on more is by simply improving your intros and outros.

In this step-by-step guide, we’re going to cover everything from why this aspect of the video creation process matters to how you can judge whether your current approach is working.

We’ll also address key tips on how to stand out and a practical look at how you can use Pictory AI to make your own YouTube intro and outro.

Why do YouTube Videos need Intros and Outros?

Regardless of a YouTube video’s content, a strong intro and outro is always a necessity. This is why:

First and Last Impressions

The saying “first impressions matter” is never truer than when audiences are judging online videos.

A YouTube intro video needs to grab viewers’ attention within the first few seconds or they’ll simply click onto something else.

This image shows some of the thumbnails used on Pictory's YouTube channel.

Like a real-life introduction, a YouTube intro is a chance to say who you are and why your work is worth watching.

Even once people have visited a channel a few times, the intro remains important because it helps reinforce this information further.

An outro, on the other hand, will determine the feeling that viewers walk away from your video content with and whether or not they return for more.

This image is showing Pictory's outro.

Think about your videos like they’re a concert: it’s usually the first and last moments that audiences remember clearest.

You have to make those moments count.

Branding, Branding, Branding

The best way to make your intro and outro count in terms of channel growth and success? It’s all about branding.

The first and last seconds of a video are the perfect opportunity to include any key elements of branding as it helps frame the context of the video.

It’s a chance to remind your audience that it isn’t just a one-off video that they’re watching, but something that exists within a larger channel or business. 

The thing that often trips up video creators is that something like a branded intro or outro isn’t just a matter of selling people onto more content, but about creating a sense of cohesiveness and community across a channel.

That way, no matter what video a person watches from a creator, they’re aware of what they’re a part of.

Set Up New Series or Content Themes

A YouTube intro is an opportunity to not only contextualize the general aspects of a video but to show how it fits into the rest of a creator’s output.

If a video falls part of a new series or content theme, the intro can help set that up.

A big YouTube channel like GQ will subtly change its intros to mark its different series and use it as an opportunity to set the tone for each. 

The circled images show how the branding on the GQ channel differs, telling viewers they're a part of a series.

Keep Your Audience Watching

Strong intros help keep people watching until the end, but an exciting outro can encourage viewers to click forward to even more content.

Ending a YouTube video with at least one or two suggested videos to watch next is a great way to keep viewers glued to your channel past their first watch.

This picture shows the outro from a GQv video suggesting two videos to watch next.

A Chance to Share a Call to Action

Video suggestions aren’t the only thing to add to an outro though.

They also provide the perfect space to include other kinds of CTA’s (call to action).

If there’s a product you want viewers to click on or other content streams you’d like to direct them to, an outro is where to include it.

This image is from the outro of one of MrBeast's videos showing a call to action for viewers.

How to Know if Your Video Intros and Outros Are Working or Not

Judging the effectiveness of a video’s intro and outro is simpler than you might think: 

This image from MrBeast's YouTube channel shows that the intro and outro are the most viewed points of the video.

Clicks and Stats

When it comes to outros and intros, video metrics will tell you most of what you need to know.

Two of the most important questions to ask while doing this are:

·      Do most viewers get past the first 10 seconds of your video? It’s not just video views that count, but how long a video holds people’s attention.

·      How many audience members go on to click to further content or video links?

The answers to both questions should help illuminate whether the current video intro and outro strategy is working effectively or not. 

This image is showing some of the stats from the GQ YouTube page.

Audience Building

Low returning audience numbers are another signal that it may be time to revisit your intros and outros.

Building an audience involves several factors but certainly, this is an important area to look at if it’s an area that isn’t meeting expectations yet. 

Tips on How to Make Exciting YouTube Intros and Outros for Video Creation

The worst kinds of YouTube intros and outros are the ones that are there for the sake of it, without adding any value to the audience experience.

Here are some tips on how to inject excitement into your video openers and closers, without losing the plot: 

Know Your Message

Why should people watch your videos?

Every video creator’s work has unique features that only they can offer an audience.

Knowing what that is and communicating it in an intro, be it in the editing style or an exciting voice-over, helps establish why people should watch your videos and not someone else’s.

This image taken from the GQ channel shows the use of engaging graphics in the intro.

Keep it Brief

The longest intros are usually 15 seconds at best so there’s no time for waffling.

The same applies to outros.

If they’re too long, people will just skip past it or click off and miss your message entirely.

It’s All in The Editing

As we’ve said, intros and outros generally need to be on the short side.

To make that work, the video editing needs to be fun and snappy.

Pictory is set up to make this easier than ever, and can easily be turned into an intro and outro maker.

Our AI capabilities mean that you can select your video clips and we’ll edit them into a short, engaging video intro in just minutes.

You can use Pictory's Visuals to Video feature to edit video clips into an engaging intro or outro.

Include Branding and Be Consistent

Branding isn’t just about a logo, it’s also a look.

The color, font style, and layout of your intro and outro all need to be carefully considered and used consistently in order to communicate a fully realized brand identity.

Here's an image showing some of Pictory's brand colours and graphics.

Use Text and Graphics

But how do you show branding without getting boring?

Well, that’s down to getting clever with text and graphics

Instead of simply having a stationary logo that shows up at the start and end of each video, consider adding text animations and extra graphics.

This will help engage viewers’ attention and keep them interested in the video stories you’re trying to tell.

This image is showing how GQ has used extra graphics in the intro in order to engage viewers.

Add Music

Background music is another way to make your YouTube intros and outros more captivating.

Using the same music each time also helps draw people in and remind them that it’s your video world they’re stepping back into.

In Pictory, it's easy to add music to your videos, it even has an option to upload your own.

Keep the Video Flow

As engaging as an intro and outro should be, they should never steal from the overall flow of a video.

It should add to it.

The intro draws us in and the outro leads on to the next piece of content.

Maintaining that sense of continuity and flow produces a more seamless experience for viewers.

The last thing you want is a jarring opener or closer that takes people out of enjoying your video creation.

Research YouTube Intro Videos You Love

One of the best ways to get a sense of how to make your own YouTube video intros or outros better is by paying closer attention to the ones you as a viewer respond well to.

What are your favorite video creators doing?

Is there anything in the way they cut and shape their video content that can help inspire you?

Some creators keep it simple with a quick animated logo, while others combine that with more video clips and graphics related to the series a video forms part of.

Some even include a quick highlight reel of a video before starting their branded intro.

This video includes a 4 second highlight reel of some of the best moments in the video.

If you’re struggling to stand out, it’s also worth researching your competitors to see how you might be able to create intros and outros that can set you apart.

Test New Things and Check Your Metrics

We’ve said a lot about consistency in this article, but changing things up to improve viewer experience is also necessary sometimes.

As you make adjustments though, keep an eye on video metrics to discern how your audience is responding to it.

The beauty of a YouTube video is that you can even ask viewers to comment their thoughts so you have even more insight.

In this video, PewDiePie ends his video with a link to a product.

There is no universal template for a great intro or outro.

Yes, there are some key points we’ve mentioned that it’s worth trying to hit but ultimately, how you do that is something that will take a bit of experimentation to get right.

Be open to that experience and your audience’s feedback. It could help inspire your best work.

How to Make a YouTube Video Intro or Outro with Pictory

Our AI-powered video editing software at Pictory doubles as an outro and intro maker that can help you rival the slickest YouTube creations on the internet.

Here’s how you can use Pictory to make your video intros and outros better than ever:

Read our full step-by-step guide on adding Branding and Elements to your video project here.

Customize Your Intro and Outro Scenes with Branding

On the Pictory video editor, there is a tab completely dedicated to branding and within that, a designated intro and outro maker.

This image shows Pictory's branding tab and Pictory's octopus graphic.

All you have to do is add your logo, visuals, and text and we’ll turn it into the perfect intro and outro. That’s the beauty of using our AI-powered video editing software ­– it does the tricky parts for you.

We also have customizable templates that you can add your personal branding to, save as your branded template, and then have ready to use for future videos.

Here is the 'My templates' feature in Pictory which saves your customized branded templates.

For a closer look at each aspect of customizing your video intros and outros with Pictory, click here.

Save The Intro and Outro Text to Use in Every Video

To help with brand identity and consistency, we’ve made using the same text in every intro and outro easier than ever with our templates feature.

This image is showing the saved outro template in Pictory.

Not only do we offer a templates library to help get you started, but you’re also able to create your own by saving your intro and outro to be reused with each video.

This saves editing time and helps create continuity in your videos.

You can still edit the text once the template is added to a video if you want to keep the same font and colors but just need to adjust wording for a new series etc.

Use Video Highlights for Your Intro

Adding a quick tease of video highlights to the start of your video, just before your branded intro, is a surefire way to draw your viewers in.

Don’t worry about having to spend hours over a long video, trying to shorten it into a snappy highlight reel though.

At Pictory, you can make shareable highlight videos from your content in just a few seconds.

Not only that, but you can even adjust the aspect ratio so it’s ready to use as a marketing trailer on sites beyond YouTube.

Once you've selected your template in Pictory, you can chose your preferred aspect ratio.

An All-In-One Intro and Outro Maker

Making exciting, branded intros and outros for your video projects on Pictory can be done with just a few clicks.

You can change your template style in Pictory any time you like.

Sign up here for a FREE trial now to try making an intro for your next YouTube video, as well as other editing tools to help you make stunning videos.

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