Creating a kick-ass YouTube channel trailer is probably the most important thing you can do for increasing your subscriber base and adding more value to your brand.
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 you can think of. These are potential buyers. People that consume information and most of the time are willing to pay for your services or products, if you are up to the standards.
Whether you are just starting out on YouTube or you have an established channel, you are leaving money on the table if you are haven’t set up a trailer for you channel. 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 on 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.
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, it makes you sad or happy, it makes you angry….in short, it makes you feel something.
That’s exactly what a YouTube channel 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 brand.
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
The 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 visual appealing way. The viewer must be able to get the message without audio on.
Annotations are such a pain to click on when you are on mobile. YouTube solved this by introducing end screen 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 30 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 footage from previous videos you did and compile them in an engaging video reel that tell a story.
The YouTube channel trailer should look very similar to how your everyday video as looking. Explain what your channel is about my 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 trust worthy 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 which will like, share and comment on your videos.
Tip #7 Keep it updated
Your YouTube channel trailer should be updated anytime 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 month old versus recent videos, you will notice that the trends in terms of video editing style and filming style is 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). 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 to 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 other channels in the same niche as you are.
What makes you unique? What they should subscribe to your channel?
Tip #9 Be original
Lastly 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.
YouTube channel trailer examples
Here are some examples of great YouTube channel trailers.
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 that lose yourself in the details.
Tell, or better yet, show them what you are 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 its 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.
Have the video edited so that it looks up to date, nicely polished and 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.