Why Intro Videos?
First impressions are everything. From the first handshake in-person to that first time a viewer loads up one of your videos, how you first interact with someone will set the tone for how they view you or your content for a long time to come.
This applies just as much to your YouTube videos as it does to your business relationships. If you are a video content creator, you know the challenge—every video has to be fresh, interesting, and engaging. This may be doubly true for the introduction.
You generally have about 7 seconds to make a first impression (check this Forbes article for more). That's... not very long. It's certainly not enough time to explain who you are, what your video channel is about, and what your brand has to offer. Instead of trying to accomplish all that in the first few seconds of every single video you produce, you can use a well-produced intro video to convey all that same information.
Make a Great First Impression
Adding a logo reveal if you have a logo (or a text-based introduction if you don't have a logo) can be a great way to increase your overall impression of quality. It's not all about production values, though. Here are a few reasons why intro videos are a great idea for YouTubers and video marketers:
Catch your viewers' attention.
Viewers tend to lose interest in online videos quickly. If your videos open with a shot on your face or, even worse, some plain text, your own audience is not likely to stick around for long. Instead, using a logo intro maker means you can open each and every video with a fast-paced, attention-grabbing logo video. The music, the colors, the lights, the transitions—they all contribute to making your videos more immediately engaging.
More than that, an intro video that fits your theme will draw viewers into the proceeding seconds and minutes of your video if they like what they see.
“I use intros because you have very limited time (5 secs max) to show who you are and what the channel represents.”
Jayne Nicoletti is an actress and director from New York creating her own content on YouTube weekly. Learn more.
Build your brand.
As a video creator, you focus on the right message, the right editing, publication, and sharing. A polished and professional intro video is a simple way to place just as much emphasis on branding as you do to other areas of video creation.
With a minimal investment of your time or hard earned money, an intro video adds your personal or professional brand to every single video.
“I've created several channels with tens and hundreds of thousands of organic views, including one video with over half a million views. I've found using a very quick intro does a great job of introducing yourself and your brand, which is what you want to do if you're looking to create a channel and brand that people will remember and come back to watch future videos.”
Stacy Caprio is the founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing. Learn more.
Communicate your message.
Using an intro video is about more than just those first few seconds. For one, it is a way to communicate your message in a visual way. Choosing the right theme for your niche (i.e. technology, gaming, beauty, etc.) means viewers will have visual cues to the story you are trying to tell.
Using a good logo intro maker for YouTube or other social channels will also create expectations in your viewers of what is to come. This has a lot to do with the professionalism mentioned above, but can also go a long way toward engaging your audience by making them feel yours is not just another random YouTube video
“I teach people about technology, photo and video topics so I need to have production value in my videos. Think about it, if I said I can teach you how to shoot great videos and the video on my channel looked and/or sounded terrible, would you believe that I can teach you how to do it? Of course not. The animation is part of that.”
Jim Costa has been a professional photographer and video producer for over 3 decades working in news, online video, sports, television commercial, corporate, legal, event, university and documentary production and is now teaching photo, video and technology fundamentals through a YouTube video blog.Learn more.
So far, much of the benefits of using a logo intro maker and adding intro videos to your content have been about attracting new viewers. But what about retaining your existing viewership?
Building a following on YouTube or other video platforms means responding to viewers’ expectation of consistency across your videos. Bringing the same style, production value, and voice are integral parts of maintaining this consistency. An even simpler place to start is to begin every video with the same logo intro; returning viewers will know exactly what they are looking at.
“I use different intros for different series to separate the content. Intros help me frame the video and provide context to the viewer. If a viewer found my channel from a cowboy boot video and then goes on to watch an Expressway Balladeer video, they will hopefully recognize it's different content because the video has a completely different intro with different theme music. I also like intros because I can reinforce my brand and logo.”
Jeremiah Craig has multiple YouTube series. Expressway Balladeer is a series about cowboy boots, music, and travel. Break Room Balladeer is a show about music and business. Learn more.
Create Unskippable Videos With the Right Introduction
By finding the right video template for your YouTube intro, you can drastically reduce your skip rate. Good intro videos grab the viewers' attention and set the stage for what's to come. You don't have to stop there. To create unskippable video content, you should be tracking engagement data on your videos. This data "can provide important insights on your audience's preferences and behaviors, which you can use to refine and customize your video strategy," writes Jodi Harris at the Content Marketing Institute.
You should be tracking when prospects drop off your videos. If it's at the 10-second mark, consider a shorter intro video. Try different intros and see which one resonates with your audience.
How to Get a YouTube Intro Video
In an ideal world, everyone would have the digital chops to build their own eye-catching YouTube intro video. Not an animator? How about a huge budget? It can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to hire a video professional to build something amazing and custom.
IntroCave is one solution, but there are lots of ways to produce a nice intro video. The web is full of sites like IntroCave which let video creators and marketers customize an existing template to fit their logo, brand, and message... but there are actually a few main ways you can go about getting an intro video for your channel.
There are multiple websites (including IntroCave) that allow you to customize and create an intro video without ever having to talk to a person or haggle over details. Generally, all of the sites in this category will allow you to:
- Browse video templates and pick an intro video that you like.
- Fill out a simple web form that will customize your intro video.
- Receive a video preview of your customized video intro.
- If you like it, order the HD version (1080p) without any watermarks.
Many of these services are geared towards marketing agencies and require a monthly or yearly subscription. There is nothing inherently wrong with this business model (in fact, IntroCave may pursue it at some point!), but there's also quite a bit of demand for one-time purchases.
There are a number of "gig economy" marketplaces (Fiverr is the most well known) that will act as a middleman and connect you to video professionals. Generally, if video professionals are able to offer intro videos at low fixed prices without seeing your logo ahead of time, they're going to be pulling from a gallery of stock templates they've already acquired. If you decide to go this route, we recommend asking for the original source files as an extra layer of protection (many stock sites prohibit you from redistributing assets, which is one way to check for original content).
Because there's a human element, these marketplaces tend to be a little slower and more expensive than the automated intro creation sites. You'll need to discuss what you want, swap emails to haggle over the price, and often do several rounds of feedback to tweak the animation to be just right. Those tweaks take time, and time is money. It's not purely black and white, though—there are some legitimate advantages to going through a marketplace. The automated systems are driven by algorithms, and it's hard to tell an algorithm to increase a logo's size by 20% or change a background element from blue to orange. If you can't find a template that suits your channel at a site like IntroCave, getting custom work from a marketplace can be a nice alternative.
DIY with After Effects and Stock Assets
At the point you're willing to pay a couple of hundred dollars for someone to customize a template and render a video for you, it might be worth going straight to the source. Most intro videos are built with Adobe After Effects, and there are dozens of stock sites/marketplaces which sell ready-to-go logo reveals and intro animation projects. In fact, most of the automated sites and "we'll press the render button for you" marketplace workers get their templates from these same sites. Prices vary (generally $25-$100) and some sites require a subscription, but if you find a template you like it should be perfectly possible to render out an intro video in the 7-day free trial window that Adobe offers.
Most of these templates are pretty beginner-friendly, with clearly labeled logos named something like "REPLACE ME" or text fields called "EDIT TEXT HERE". There is a little bit to learn if you're an absolute beginner, but it shouldn't be too unfamiliar for anyone who's ever done video editing. If you can find a free template you like (make sure to double-check the license), this is probably the best way to get a free intro video with no watermark. It's not quick or easy, though, which I think paints IntroCave's value in a pretty good light.
Getting Started - Intro Maker Examples
The intro video you choose depends entirely on your existing brand and niche. Here are a range of samples to get those creative juices flowing.
Static Macro Logo Intro Video
Bring a professional look to your gaming, technology or marketing channel with this three-dimensional terrain rendered as a wireframe. Animate your logo against a customizable background color.
Vintage Logo Intro Video
Give the first seconds of your video a classic look with this animated, vintage clip that places your logo at the center. Perfect for lifestyle channels.
Streaks Logo Intro Video
This is one of our all-time best-sellers. Because the colors are completely customizable, it's easy to match this template to your existing brand or theme.
None of these look quite right? Check out our catalog of custom branded intro videos for your channel and business.