Hook them with your channel trailer
How can you turn viewers into subscribers? The first thing your unsubscribed viewer will see when they come to your channel is your channel trailer and channel description, so use them to hook in your viewers and turn them into subscribers. Remember, subscribers tend to watch more (which boosts watch time) so you want to make an awesome first impression when viewers first discover your channel.
First impressions matter. You can win the hearts of unsubscribed viewers with a captivating trailer.
Produce a captivating trailer
Your channel trailer is like a film trailer – use it as a way to offer a preview of your channel's offerings so that viewers will want to subscribe. What should go into it? Think about the unique qualities of your channel, your personality, and why viewers should feel compelled to return. There are many ways to make a channel trailer, but consider starting with something that hooks your viewers in the first few seconds, highlight the best parts of your channel and delivering your key messages. You want to give your viewers a lasting impression, so end with an explicit request for viewers to subscribe.
- Assume the viewer has never heard of you. Introduce them to what you have and tell them why they should subscribe.
- Keep it short. You should be able to pitch the great things about your channel to a new viewer quickly. It should tell your visitors who you are, what your content is like, and when they can expect new uploads.
- Ask viewers to subscribe in your video and with annotations.Your trailer will also automatically have an end card when the video finishes, giving the audience an easy way to subscribe.
See it in action
What's Up Mom's INTRODUCTIONThe What's Up Mom's trailer opens with an introduction from the host and then shows highlights from the collection. At the end, she asks viewers to subscribe and includes a burned-in graphic with a subscribe button. Check out the channel to see a succinct description too. (Video in English)
Welcome to Soul PancakeSoul Pancake's trailer opens with a captivating, emotional monologue from their host, Kid President. Colourful imagery and light music help to capture the essence of the channel in their introductory video. (Video in English)
Welcome to Food Tube - message from Jamie OliverIn this trailer, the host, Jamie Oliver, gets right to the point and urges viewers to subscribe by saying, “You're seeing this video because you're not subscribed to Food Tube”. The trailer illustrates the types of foods and personalities that viewers can expect to find on this channel. (Video in English)
Write an informative channel description
The channel description is text that conveys key information about your channel - search engines use these words so people can find you. When an unsubscribed viewer comes to your channel, they will see both your channel trailer and channel description to the right of it. When viewers read it, they should have a pretty good idea of what your channel is about and know where to go for more information.
- Have the most important information at the beginning of your description, like a tagline.
- Use unique catch phrases to make your description pop!
- Use key action words to compel viewers to subscribe or watch a playlist.
- Include links to your social channels or website.
- Use link shorteners to keep URLs short and sweet like goo.gl or bit.ly. They can also help you track how many times people clicked on that link.
- Check how your description is displayed on mobile and other areas of YouTube.
Lights - camera - action!
Before you get started, it is important to plan your video. Think about who your audience is, write your script, and plan your creative. Here are some tips for each.
Set up your audience
Assume the viewer doesn’t know anything about you and ask yourself:
- What do viewers need to know about my channel, especially in the first few seconds?
- How do I want them to feel after they watched my channel trailer?
- What should the tone be? What do I want them to listen to? Will it be playful, serious, comedic, dark or informative? What are the colour schemes and fonts?
Create a script
Writing a script before starting is critical for success. A structure with a clear and captivating message from start to finish can help your trailer get subscribers. Your script refers to the words and images that actually appear on screen, and the sound and music viewers hear. They should all clearly communicate the message of your channel and match its “look and feel” (i.e. your branding). Your script also tells viewers what to do next – so end with the name of your channel and tell them to watch more videos on your channel!
Draw in your viewer with graphics and music
Graphics are the visual representation of the script Create a simple, yet consistent background for all of your graphics and grab your channel’s font and style to create individual graphics based on your script. Legibility is key.
When you have the right music, you can emotionally move your viewers. Music keeps viewers engaged and sets the tone and energy. So pick music that is consistent with your script, graphics and your channel. Why do you think Amazing Phil’s channel trailer sounds like a video game? Check out ready-to-use music in the YouTube audio library.
A successful channel trailer doesn’t need to have a montage of clips – you can use just one or two great clips or even an original shoot. If you use a montage of clips, show the variety of material featured on your channel.
Are viewers watching your channel trailer?Try it now
Decide if your trailer is too long, too short or just right by looking at drop-offs in viewership in the audience retention report. By looking at the average watch time of your channel trailer in YouTube Analytics you can see how much of your channel trailer viewers are watching.
Has your channel trailer increased the number of subscribers to your channel?Try it now
Use the custom date range in YouTube Analytics to compare the number of subscribers to your channel before you posted your channel trailer to the number of subscribers you gained after posting it.