A few years ago, I was contacted by a friend of a friend who wanted an intro animated for his YouTube channel. He wanted a cool, flashy intro that was about 30 seconds long and had a ton of cool motion graphics and titles. It was fun to make, but in the end, I do remember thinking it was simply overkill. Who’s going to stick around for 30 seconds of nothing anyway?
But recently I had a bit of a radical thought: What if all but ditching your outro is the best thing for your channel?
Here’s my reasoning:
Our Favorite Videos
If you’re like me, you grew up in your teens watching YouTube classics such as Julian Smith, ASDF, and other similar short skits. As I was thinking about them, trying to determine what made them so likable, I realized something.
The outros were so short.
So many of the videos I regard as legendary or downright YouTube classics have next to no outro. Julian Smith has a 2 second, “I MADE THIS FOR YOU” and then it’s done. Plenty of other videos are the same.
And what happens immediately after the video ends? Fade to black. And then 12-16 suggested videos appear in the playback window.
It’s the perfect marketing funnel.
All it takes is one video. If you have over 20 other videos on your channel that are similar, then one person watching one video will be likely to watch the top 5-10 of your greatest hits without knowing what hit them.
But You’re Shooting Yourself in the Foot
Even though YouTube makes this randomly generated top-hits playlist for us at the end of our videos, we, unfortunately, destroy any chance of anyone seeing it because we tell ourselves, “We need a long outro.” But we all know that we hate the long outros. When we’re reliving the glory days of our favorite videos from 7 years ago, what ruins it every time? The excessive outros we wanted to forget.
Nobody watches a video and thinks, “Man, I’ve gotta follow this guy on [insert completely unrelated social network].” What they think is, “I want more.” So give it to them!
In the coming months, I’ll be testing this theory. I’m going to a near “no-outro” strategy where I’ll always end the video as soon as possible after the main content is done. I look forward to showing you all my conclusions and data.