There’s a lot that goes into crafting a great video. But, we all know that first impressions matter, so there’s one part of the process you should never overlook: the intro.
Regardless of whether you’re a novice or a pro, knowing how to make a video intro for YouTube will help you introduce your audience to your content, pique their interest, and reinforce your brand. We’ve compiled this guide on how to make a video intro with advice from top professionals.
How to Make a YouTube Video Intro in 4 Steps
Let’s start with the most basic question: How do I make a video intro?
Step 1: Write a Short Script Before Filming
Your video intro is what will hook your viewers. “My intro’s key for setting up that promise that they’re gonna learn something and discover something new by watching my videos,” says Skillshare instructor Dylan Reeves-Fellows.
So, don’t wing it! Creating a script helps you plan out what you want to say and ensures you don’t forget those important, exciting tidbits. You don’t need to read it word for word—the point is to have a rough guide you can use as you introduce your video topic.
Step 2: Introduce Yourself (Creatively!)
What do you say in an intro video? Oftentimes it’s as simple as introducing yourself.
After all, you’re the one in the video, and your audience will want to know who you are. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and leverage your experience to tell people why you’re an expert.
And remember, this doesn’t need to be formal or bland. “The importance of introductions is really to hook the viewer into the first 15-30 seconds,” says filmmaker and Skillshare instructor JR Alli. “But I also feel like it gives you room to really experiment and try new things.”
Step 3: Choose Your Visual Storytelling Elements
Your intro sets the tone for your entire video, which means you want it to match the overall visual identity. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be complex. If you don’t have a strong design background, use a static graphic like your logo or a single photo with your video’s name, made in an easy-to-use-program like Canva (which even has free templates for YouTube video intros!).
Or, you can choose to shoot original content for your video intro. If you go this route, it’s helpful to have a shot list that includes the specific video ideas you want to incorporate. In his Skillshare course, Alli shows you how to plan for, shoot, and organize your footage.
Make Your Own Video Intro!
Grab Your Audience: Create Enthralling Intros for Your Videos.
Step 4: Include a Hook or a Call to Action
Your intro is only the start of the video. You want your viewers to keep watching and the best way to get them to do so is to entice them. There’s no shortage of ways you could do this, including:
- Making a promise or guarantee: “By the end of this video, you’ll know how to…”
- Instilling a sense of intrigue: “Keep watching to find out what happened when I…”
- Providing a sneak peek: “Here’s what you’ll see in just a few minutes.”
That’s by no means an exhaustive list, so feel free to flex your creative muscles.
3 Expert Tips for Video Intros
Now that you know the basic steps for creating your video intro, let’s talk about how you can take things to the next level.
1. Add Text
What is a good intro for a YouTube video? Well, that all depends on how you design it.
Text ensures your video intros are well-designed and organized. Plus, text makes the intent of your video obvious to your viewers. This can be as simple as the title of your video and your name, and as you gain more video editing experience, you can try other effects like animating the text. While it’s fun to try new things, using the same fonts and colors each time creates a cohesive brand experience for your audience to follow.
Adding subtitles to your video intro also helps those who are hearing-impaired (or watching with the sound off) understand what you are talking about.
2. Add Music
When figuring out how to make a YouTube intro video, remember that music sets the tone. “Music is one of the most overlooked and hardest parts of editing,” says Skillshare instructor and video editor Thomas Dajer. “[It] can be the deciding [factor] between a good or bad video and is crucial for setting the mood.”
The type of music you choose will depend on what type of video you’re creating. You could use the same song every time to create a regular brand experience—similar to how TV shows use the same theme song for each episode. Alternatively, you could use different soundtracks for each video to create a distinct experience, such as using a soothing instrumental melody for a travel video or an action sound effect for a daredevil stunt video. No matter what approach you take, be mindful of copyrights and look specifically for royalty-free music.
It’s also important to remember that your intro music needs to be at the same volume level as the rest of your video. Otherwise, you’ll startle (and potentially even annoy) your viewer.
3. Know Your Target Audience and Goals
When you look at how to make a cool video intro for your project, it’s important to go beyond the multimedia elements. The content of your intro matters too, and that all hinges on keeping your audience and your goals in mind.
Are you trying to attract a new audience to your videos? Do you want one-time watchers to become subscribers? Do you want to get more comments? Staying focused on your overall video goal will help you create an introduction that supports that objective.
“Think back to your target audience and your goals, and then pick the type of video that’s going to help you best achieve those goals,” says Renee Teeley, Skillshare instructor and founder of Video Explained.
What Free Software Can You Use to Create Video Intros?
We can’t blame you if you’re wondering this: How do I make an intro to a video for free? There isn’t one perfect answer, because there are so many options out there.
You can use free software like Canva, Adobe Spark, or Render Forest to create simple graphics and animations. From iMovie to Lightworks, there are also plenty of free video editing programs you can use to pull together a polished and professional video intro.