When you invite someone to your house you’d probably give them a reason to come. A cup of tea, a drink, a gathering or a meal. When they arrive and ring the doorbell you don’t just let the door just swing open and expect your guest to let themselves in and find their way to you. It sounds like the start of a horror movie not the beginning of a loyal relationship.
But that’s what many of us are doing with our YouTube channels. When people find our channel we’re failing to welcome them in, we’re hoping they’ll find their way around and click the subscribe button before they know what they are subscribing to. Before they know who we are.
There’s one way we can welcome people when they arrive on our YouTube channel. Just like a host will smile and welcome a guest to their home we can welcome new YouTube visitors with a channel trailer.
When we do, our guests are likely to stay, to subscribe and to feel like they are getting to know us.
So many businesses fail with their trailers. Instead of a personal welcome they show long, boring adverts for their business. They are missing the point. Your channel trailer isn’t an advert for your business but an advert for your channel.
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If you are feeling guilty here’s my tips for creating a better YouTube channel trailer
1. Be personal
The best channel trailers feature people talking to camera. It’s that personal connection, like being welcomed at the door when you visit a home that will make people want to connect. You don’t need fancy camera equipment or fast editing. A simple “hello, this is me” can work wonders.
I love this trailer from Brittany J Smith. She oozes personality, it makes me want to subscribe.
The best channel trailers are short, personal and to the point.
2. Tell people why to subscribe?
SORTEDfood have taken the ‘person to camera’ approach and made it entertaining. We live in their fridge and they introduce us to their ‘fridgecam’. They’ve taken elements from their videos and edited them together to give us a good picture of the sort of food we can expect from them.
When I was a kid no one left the cinema before the end of the titles of a Burt Reynolds movie. We stayed and watched because that’s when the outtakes were shown.
Outtakes still have appeal today and I love the way ‘Cooking with Dogs’ have worked them into their channel trailer. I laughed, I subscribed.
4. Keep it short
Your channel trailer has one job. To get people to subscribe, it doesn’t need to be long, so keep it under a minute if possible. Just enough time to get people to click subscribe.
5. Use Cards
You can make it easy for people to subscribe to your channel whilst they are watching your trailer by adding cards. They pop up during the video (or appear underneath on mobile). When people click they can subscribe directly from the video.
Add them, more than once, during your video.
You can add ‘Cards’ by clicking the ‘Cards’ icon underneath your video.
Cards work better than annotations as they display on both desktop and mobile.
Adding a YouTube channel trailer
Once you’ve created your trailer upload it to YouTube.
Go to your channel and click the ‘For new visitors’ tab
Click to add a channel trailer and select the video you want to add.
If you have a trailer and want to change it click the pencil on the right of your existing trailer
Select ‘Change trailer’ from the drop down menu.
Give it a go
Creating a channel trailer will increase your subscribers and make new visitors feel welcome. If you don’t have one give it a shot and let me see what you create.
Have you seen any good channel trailers? What makes you subscribe to a channel. I’d love to hear your thoughts.