11 Tips For Killer YouTube Channel Trailers That Will Convert in 2023

Creating a killer YouTube channel trailer is probably the most important thing you can do for increasing your subscriber base and adding more value to your brand.

We do a bunch of them through our video agency and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that trailers are hard work.

Probably one of the most challenging edits we do, right up there with wedding highlights.

YouTube is the second largest search engine right after Google.

People go to YouTube to search for anything ranging from entertainment to personal development, motivation, training, and basically any other topic they can think of.

These are potential buyers, subscribers, clients, or whatever you want them to be for you as a content creator.

These people are willing to pay for your services or products if you are up to the standards and they resonate with you.

Whether you are just starting out on YouTube or you have an established channel, you are leaving money on the table if you haven’t set up a trailer for your channel, or created trailers to promote your upcoming event, show episode, product release, etc.

You are missing out on subscribers as we speak.

If you’ve landed on this page you already made your very first step to a better YouTube strategy and you are on your way to getting more subscribers.

Subscribers which you can, later on, convert into loyal followers and possibly paying customers. But let’s start with the very beginning.

youtube channel trailer - veedyou - video editing services

What is the purpose of a YouTube channel trailer after all

I’m sure you’ve seen many Hollywood movie trailers before. In just 60-120 seconds worth of footage, you get pumped up to see the full movie.

A movie trailer excites you, it scares you, makes you sad or happy, it makes you angry….in short, it makes you feel something.

That’s exactly what a YouTube channel intro should achieve. It should be a way for you to ‘click’ with your first-time viewers and make them watch more videos, subscribe, and continue to engage with your channel.

The sole purpose of your YouTube channel trailer is to turn new visitors into loyal subscribers, thus your trailer video should be crafted around this purpose.

Tip #1 Have a bold “subscribe” call to action

This is the most important thing about your YouTube channel trailer.

It should have a very clear call to action to subscribe.

Use all available methods you have: place clickable popups in the video, tell the viewers to subscribe, and mention it again in the description of the video.

Tip #2 Make it mobile-friendly

Nowadays more than 60% of the views are from mobile devices, many times with no sound on.

Therefore it is a great idea to edit your video with this in mind.

Add captions or animated text that tells your message in a visually appealing way. The viewer must be able to get the message without audio.

Make sure the text is easy to read, has good contrast, and is a decent size for small screens.

Annotations are such a pain to click on when you are on mobile.

YouTube solved this by introducing end screens and cards, which work great on mobile. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

Tip #3 Keep the trailer as short as possible

You want to keep your trailer video as short as you can while delivering an easy-to-understand message to the viewer.

There are no specific rules or recommendations from YouTube, but most video marketers recommend a length of around 60-90 seconds. That’s it.

You need to be really concise, so invest some time in preparing a good video script.

I guess there is truth in the saying “less is more”.

Keep in mind that your final goal is to make the viewer subscribe.

Usually, with longer trailers, the “subscribe” call to action dilutes and the subscription rate drops a lot.

Tip #4 Show what you are doing

Instead of just telling people what you do, show them what you do.

Don’t just film yourself talking to the camera throughout the entire trailer.

Use the footage from previous videos you did and compile them in an engaging video reel that tells a story.

The YouTube channel trailer should look very similar to how your everyday video as looking.

Explain what your channel is about by using bits and pieces from your own work – this could be both b-rolls or relevant cuts from other videos on your channel.

By showing people what you do instead of just telling them you create a much more trustworthy connection with the viewers and they will be more likely to subscribe to the channel.

Tip #5 Tell them what to expect

While showing them what you do, it is a good idea to also tell them what to expect in the future from you if they become a subscriber.

Usually, people want to know upfront what they sign up for.

So tell them what type of videos do you do.

Tell them if you run any series/episode type of videos. Tell them how often should they expect a new video from you.

Tip #6 Address the viewer directly

A non-subscriber wants to feel like you are talking to him directly. He wants to know that this channel is for him.

That it has something valuable to offer and that there is a direct connection established between him and you or your channel.

Draft your channel trailer speech so that it addresses the viewer directly.

This is a great tool for increasing engagement by getting more subscribers that are active inside your channel community.

These are people who will like, share, and comment on your videos.

Tip #7 Keep it updated

Your YouTube channel trailer should be updated any time something major has changed in the type of content you are posting or how often you are posting.

Or maybe it just needs a revamp.

If you look at videos that are just 12 months old versus recent videos, you will notice that the trends in terms of video editing style and filming style are changing.

Keep it up and keep it fresh all the time.

Tip #8 Tell them why you do it

Telling viewers what you do is important, but telling them what are the reasons why you are doing it will add much more value and make them connect with you more on a personal level.

Briefly, explain what are your goals or what is the mission and values of your company (if you are representing one) that will get you more views on YouTube.

Just tell them what drives you to do whatever you are doing.

This will create an emotional connection with the viewer, which will be more likely to convert into a subscriber.

Viewers tend to relate more to a real person just like them rather than just a concept or non-personal type of content.

Getting personal can be a really strong differentiator, after all, there might be hundreds or thousands of other channels in the same niche as you are.

What makes you unique?

Why should they subscribe to your channel?

Tip #9 Be original

Last but not least, be original.

There is nothing easier to do than being original.

Simply don’t copy anyone and don’t be afraid to break some rules here and there.

Look at the tips above more like general guidelines rather than ‘must follow’ strict rules.

Tip #10 Use YouTube Shorts

Trailers are short-form content that can be used as YouTube Shorts or even cut down into smaller pieces that are repurposed as YouTube Shorts videos.

Switch the format from 16 by 9 to vertical (9 by 16) and you are pretty much done.

Don’t forget to add captions and reframe everything in post-production so that it looks good in 9 by 16.

Tip #11 Be honest

Last but not least, you want to be honest.

Your YouTube channel trailer should be an accurate representation of what people will get to see in your day-to-day videos.

Don’t overinflate things just to get more views and subscribers.

Keeping it real is the best long-term strategy.

Of course, trailers can be more high-energy and captivating but don’t push that to the point where it’s misleading otherwise you will just disappoint viewers.

YouTube channel trailer examples

Here are some examples of great YouTube channel trailers.

What next

So these are the most important things you should keep in mind before starting to craft your channel trailer.

Remember that the sole purpose of this video is to get you, new subscribers, so don’t lose yourself in the details.

Tell, or better yet, show them what you care about, what you do, and why you do it but put all the emphasis on getting the viewers to subscribe.

Write a short script for the video (even if there is no speaking) and start from there.

Select very carefully the footage you are going to use and make sure it’s relevant to what your channel is about.

The quality of the footage will greatly impact the final video edit, so this step is really, really important.

Adding music can set the mood really nicely and can put more emphasis on the feelings you are trying to transmit through the video.

So don’t forget to carefully select the appropriate audio piece.

Edit your trailer so that it looks up-to-date and nicely polished, and it’s visually engaging.

I know there are a lot of templates out there that can be used to create a channel trailer and in some cases, those might work fine.

But if you want to have the freedom to express yourself without staying within the boundaries set by a template edit the video yourself or have it edited by professional video editors.

If you need any help with putting it all together please don’t hesitate to get in touch and try out our video editing services.

I Interviewed 44 GoPro Experts...
And they all shared their tips for getting the most out of a GoPro. Want to see what I've got?
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
We respect your privacy

Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe.