YouTube is undoubtedly the largest video hosting and sharing platform on the internet. With nearly two billion active users per month and about 500 hours of videos uploaded every minute, no other website comes close.
This is good news if you are a YouTuber or plan to become one because you have a ton of social media followers and viewers ready to consume your content.
You need to be aware, however; that there’s stiff competition out there. You are literally competing with millions of other content creators, so you need to bring on your “A” game.
One of the ways to do this is by learning how to add an intro to YouTube videos. These short clips at the beginning of YouTube videos give them a polished look.
Stick with me as we go through everything you need to know about a good video intro.
What is a YouTube Intro?
An intro is a short opening clip added at the beginning of YouTube videos. Typically, an intro tells your audience about your video, who you are, what your channel is, or what your brand is all about.
Think of it as the title sequence of a movie that sets the tone for what a viewer should expect next. Remember, you are competing with many other YouTubers, so your intro should be compelling.
Aside from introducing your content, your YouTube intro should also serve as your visual signature – a type of identity for your channel.
What Makes an Awesome Intro?
A poor or lame intro video can make you lose tons of viewers, regardless of how great the rest of your content is. If you can’t grab people’s interest from the first few seconds after they click your video, they will likely skip to a different YouTube channel.
Here’s a quick tip: avoid an intro video altogether if you are unsure about it!
Fortunately, you can find tons of intros to videos in the same niche as yours. Consider looking at a YouTube channel that shares similar video content. You can get some inspiration to make your own intro.
While there are no hard-and-fast rules about what makes a great intro, you want to use the following as general guidelines:
Your intro should be quick and concise. Do not make long intros.
Viewers generally have short attention spans and there is a ton of content for them to consume.
A brief intro of about 5 to 10 seconds is great for most YouTube videos. You may exceed this suggested time limit depending on your content and what your audience prefers, but keep in mind that a video with more than a 25-second intro is likely to lose a lot of viewers.
Avoid asking for likes, comments, shares, and subscriptions in your intro. Those things will make your intro unnecessarily lengthy.
When people first learn how to add an intro to a YouTube video, there is a tendency to try to cramp everything into their short clip.
A good quality intro is not just about eye-catching images, animations, and a great-looking design. Instead, the focus should be on the overall style and tone that goes with your content and how smoothly it transitions into the rest of your video.
A catchy tune can help you grab viewers’ attention. Whether you use a royalty-free song or an original tune, the important thing is to use something simple but memorable and pleasant to the ear.
Generally, it is best to keep your text simple, especially if you create vlogs.
Pay attention to your fonts and text placement. You want to embrace white space as much as possible. Animated texts are okay, so long as they suit your overall message.
Add professional-looking branding elements to your intro video. These can include your name, logos, and colors.
It is usually best to think deeply about your branding or even seek professional insight before using any of these elements because your audience will eventually associate them with you and your channel.
Of course, there is room for improvement but it is usually best to build on your branding elements instead of changing them altogether.
Check out this clip from one of my videos to see an example of my branding elements.
How to Add an Intro to YouTube Video
Now that we’ve gone through the preliminaries, let’s consider the actual steps to add a suitable intro to your video.
Typically, you need a video editing tool to add an intro to your existing video. Some of the options include:
- Design Wizard
Each video editor comes with video intro templates that you can add to your content. I’ll use Camtasia for this guide.
Step 1: Choose an Intro Template
- Launch Camtasia
- Navigate to the Library
- Select a video intro template
You can also find tons of free video intros if you download TechSmith Assets for Camtasia.
Step 2: Add the Intro to Your Video Timeline
- From Camtasia Library, click and drag your preferred video intro into the timeline
- Make sure the intro is placed at the beginning of your video in the timeline
Step 3: Tweak the Template to Suit Your Purpose
- Click the Quick Properties of your preferred video intro
- Customize the logo, color, text, and other properties of the intro
Step 4: Save the Intro
- On the timeline, right-click the intro media group
- Select Add to Library
- Enter a name for the intro
- Choose a destination folder to save the intro
Your customized intro is saved and ready for use in any new video you create.
Do You Need An Intro for Every Video?
Intros are great but they are not necessary for every video.
It is not usually necessary to add an intro to a one-off YouTube video you created specifically for a couple of people.
Conversely, videos that are part of a series on your YouTube channel or videos you plan to share publicly look better with intros. A concise intro gives your content a professional touch.