First impressions are everything From the first handshake in-person to that first time a consumer 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.
Bonus Insight Have you heard of the Wadsworth Constant? It's the idea, popularized on Reddit and around the social interwebs, that the first 30% of online videos are skippable. Using intro videos along with an engaging segue is one way to avoid falling into the Wadsworth trap.
General business wisdom (via Forbes) tells us we have 7 seconds to make a good first impression. That's not very much time at all. 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, we think there's a better way to make a great first impression on your YouTube videos—a customized intro video.
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 the overall production values of your content. Here are a few reasons why intro videos are a great idea for YouTubers and video marketers:
Catch viewers attention.
This is the #1 benefit for going with a YouTube intro creator. Instead of opening on a shot of your face or the subject of the video, you can start with a quick attention-grabbing 'headline' so to speak. If it feels like we're beating a dead horse here, it's just because we think intro videos are so important for catching that initial interest.
Build your brand.
Digital branding is getting more competitive these days, particularly for social video. Bring a professional edge to every single video you publish with a branded intro video.
Communicate your message.
Intro videos can be about more than a branded logo. Whether you want a heavy dose of dubstep and glitch effects for a gaming channel, a minimalist logo reveal for a sales presentation, or a splash of color to add an artistic flair to your craft channel, the right intro video can help convey exactly what your channel is all about.
To build a following on YouTube or other video platforms, viewers will expect consistency across your videos. Starting every video with the same logo intro is a step in the right direction.
Express your creativity.
If your video is on a particular niche or technical focus, using a unique logo intro video is a great way to bring some creativity to your channel.
Going back to the Wadsworth Constant, it's clear that casual viewers have a habit of skipping ahead—or clicking out altogether if the video doesn't grab their attention right away. 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.
But you don't have to stop there. To create truly 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.
By way of example, you can track when prospects drop off your videos. If it's at the 10-second mark, you may consider a shorter intro video on YouTube—and across your channels.
So now you know why YouTube intros are critical to video marketing success. But how do you go about making your own intro video? This may come as a shock to you, but IntroCave is actually not the only way to produce a nice intro video. The web is full of platforms like IntroCave which let video creators customize an existing template to fit their logo, brand, and message... but there are actually a few ways you can go about getting an intro video for your channel.
Automated YouTube Intro Creators
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:
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, we may pursue it at some point!), but at IntroCave we've definitely been able to see that there's 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 they're able to offer intro videos at low fixed prices without seeing your logo, they're going to be pulling from a gallery of stock templates they've 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.
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.
None of these look quite right? Check out our catalog of custom branded intro videos for your channel and business.