TubeBuddy Tips How often do you update your intro vid?

Tito Tim

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I just did an intro vid a while back, so I thought... I checked it the other day and it turns out I "just" did an intro vid - 3 years ago. I am thinking it is time for a new one, but unsure if it would really be any different. I would have better lighting & sound... but the intro would be about the same, I think.

How often do you update your intro vid? Is this anything that has been talked much about? I have not seen anyone discussing it on YT. A bit curious how others do it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it? Change it every year or 2 to keep it fresh? Have you made an intro vid?
 

BraveStarrTG

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I've changed my intro about 5 times in the past year and a half but considering I am just starting I'm still learning to make it properly, especially for someone who has so few followers and doesn't want to lose people because my intro was too long or corny. I've been testing different kinds of intros I made based on what I see on YT for channels similar to mine. I think I have an intro that I like that can work I just now need to tweak it to where I want it. I may be considering a name change for my channel to have its own name separate from my own to see if that gets better attention as well.
 

Damon

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I don't do an intro at all. I always jump straight into the story/content. That captures my audience faster and keeps them watching longer. When I had an intro, all they did was skip past the intro.

The surprising thing is when I do a proper three-act dramatic structure, people perceive Act I as the introduction. It isn't really, I just jumped into the story. Not all stories follow a three act structure--like cinema verite is much like a fly-on-a-wall--but there are still elements that move the story forward. For me it's telling a story. The reality is when you dump tons of information early on, it turns people off.

Let me ask are the most interesting stories the ones where they dump tons of information up front or the ones where they jump straight into the action and fill you in as you need over time?

Start straight in and fill in the needed information as the audience needs because they will forget the important information if you give it to them too early.

In most places they would call this the exposition: who, what, why, when and where. The bulk of the story is how, what if and what happens next.

Even simple tutorial videos are stories. At the beginning of the torial you have a pile parts, by the end you have a completely assembled and functioning widget. That is a story. It has ups and downs, successes and failures just like any epic novel or movie you've seen.
 

BraveStarrTG

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I don't do an intro at all. I always jump straight into the story/content. That captures my audience faster and keeps them watching longer. When I had an intro, all they did was skip past the intro.

The surprising thing is when I do a proper three-act dramatic structure, people perceive Act I as the introduction. It isn't really, I just jumped into the story. Not all story follow three act structure--like cinema verite is much like a fly-on-a-wall--but there are still elements that move the story forward. For me it's telling a story. The reality is when you dump tons of information early on, it turns people off.

Let me ask are the most interesting stories the ones where they dump tons of information up front or the ones where they jump straight into the action and fill you in as you need over time?

Start straight in and fill in the needed information as the audience needs because they will forget the important information if you give it to them too early.

In most places they would call this the exposition: who, what, why, when and where. The bulk of the story is how, what if and what happens next.
I guess it depends on the person. Intro's are often one of the things that I base my choice on what channels I follow. I don't like long intros and even more annoying is a built-in ad that plays right after or before the intro adding more length to the intro so i tend to avoid most channel that do that unless the content is worth ignoring or skipping them. I do enjoy a good, funny or short and sweet intro. To me it shows the person is trying to be more professional and cool. They took the time to add it. Not having one means 2 things to me, either they are not ready to have one yet (I learned some channel work better without one at first to focus on the content) or are not advanced enough in video editing to add one and thus I tend to believe their videos may not be entertaining to me unless I have seen part of a video before I saw an entire video. For example, channels like MKBHD and WTFMoses both have short and sweet intros and their content is great. ChocoTaco has an ad before his intro but a short and sweet intro but I love his content so I watch him. JonTron has a really long intro, but its awesome and cool and his content is worth watching it. And then there's Tmartn who has no intro but I like his content. But there have been channels who turned me off because they lacked intro and the content just wasn't to my liking. Intros are not deal breakers for everyone, but it can be sometimes for some of us.
 

Damon

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The difference is I'm thinking like a filmmaker. If I walked into a theater and the film had an intro, would I stay and watch the film?

Yes, an intro does depend on the person. If they don't have an intro it doesn't mean they lack ability. Do you really think I lack video editing ability because I don't use an intro? That's a bit of prejudgement if you ask me. For me it is a clear and deliberate choice based on data and artistic expression. Many T.V. shows these days don't start with an intro, they jump straight into the action. The intro only comes at the first commercial break.

Professional does not mean glitzy or cool. Some of the greatest films ever made, no introduction. The real thing is people has subconsciously assumed that YouTube is a totally different genre than TV or cinema. It really is simply a searchable distribution of the same media we've seen over the past 100 years.

Again even in T.V. shows and movies you see the most basic cuts. Ususally fancy glitsy stuff screems amature.

That is not to say a fancy intro is amateurish. Not at all. It's simply a choice that each YouTuber must make. For me the choice is based on data from my subscribers and 100 years of film and T.V. For you it may be a totally different thing. If it's a gaming channel then you may very well need a fancy glitzy intro.

If it's a news channel, well for example: Defense and Aerospace Report. It's a news channel:
View: https://youtu.be/Du5D0LtlXTY


Is that amateurish because he doesn't have an intro? This is as professional as it gets. But it's neither fancy nor glamorous. The guy used to work in the Pentagon at Air Force News before going out on his own and has sponsorship from Boeing, Leonardo DRS and many other heavy defense contractors. He doesn't even need subscribers to YouTube revenue.

It's a gift to be simple, and I wish more YouTubers understood that. Fancy and glitzy without reason screams amateurish thinking.
 
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BraveStarrTG

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I hear ya. I don't look at it from a filmmaker's point of view thus why I see it this way. Yes, I am prejudging but its because I don't see YT the same way I see TV, that's because it's not in my opinion. Just as I never saw Vines or Instagram videos the same. TV and movies have production, schedules, approvals, etc that are determined by large groups of people, armies of employees and stockholders and are scripted, reviewed, approved and eventually filmed before it airs. While YT videos have a lot of these steps they are often done by a single person who has total control of their production, often done with minimal hardware and often extremely spontaneous while making amazing content but most importantly, it lets the audience interact with the creators/actors/characters directly on a more personal level and it also gives people the belief that they can do it too unlike TV and movies where it seems as if its almost impossible to be the next Chris Hemsworth, Stephen Colbert or Kelly Clarkson.
 

Damon

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While YT videos have a lot of these steps they are often done by a single person who has total control of their production, often done with minimal hardware and often extremely spontaneous while making amazing content but most importantly, it lets the audience interact with the creators/actors/characters directly on a more personal level . . .
Which is the very heart of independent filmmaking. The reality: Motion picture is motion picture. The principles remain the same despite scale and scope. The Wright Bother's kites and gliders flew off the same scientific laws as a 747 passenger liner or an X-15 rocket jet. The only difference was scale and scope. I'm talking about underlying principles, not the exterior dynamics of scale and scope. (I use the words principles and laws interchangeably here for sake of argument.)

Anyway back to the topic at hand, how often do you change the intro? I changed mine at any time my audience chose to skip the intro that was reducing watch time. Over time I realized they didn't want an intro, so I cut out the intro. That turned out to be perfectly inline with independent documentary filmmaking I was learning about.

The answer depends on:
1. Your audience's interaction with you and your content.
2. Your artistic reasons.

Always always always look at your data first to see if it's time to change the intro or even get rid of it. Secondly think of your own artistic expression. Is the intro satisfying to you as you have grown as a creator? Err toward the side of your audience's preferences. In my case chopping the intro has greatly increased my watchtime. You have to experiment and forget what anyone else says.
 

Bitbat

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I just did an intro vid a while back, so I thought... I checked it the other day and it turns out I "just" did an intro vid - 3 years ago. I am thinking it is time for a new one, but unsure if it would really be any different. I would have better lighting & sound... but the intro would be about the same, I think.

How often do you update your intro vid? Is this anything that has been talked much about? I have not seen anyone discussing it on YT. A bit curious how others do it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it? Change it every year or 2 to keep it fresh? Have you made an intro vid?
I don’t even have an intro vid since i'm not dedicated to my channel.Maybe i will sometime in the future..
 

Ikerot

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I change my trailer every year since I have a collection of "swear jars" since I know I swear a lot, so I just compile videos from last year for the new year :)
 

Andrew

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How often do you update your intro vid? Is this anything that has been talked much about? I have not seen anyone discussing it on YT. A bit curious how others do it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it? Change it every year or 2 to keep it fresh? Have you made an intro vid?
I usually use the video I feel BEST represents my channel every quarter (1 - 3 months) This way it's something fresh, and new! However on TB we left our old one for about 2 years because the information was just really solid! Now or latest video on the channel is about 3 months old and we plan to update it every 1 -2 years, so it really goes with what you want out of the channel trailer!
 

Stanley Orchard

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I hold fast to the concept of using our best performing video as our intro... it gets replaced whenever we create a new 'best' video.
 
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Tito Tim

Tito Tim

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Question on monetization.

I do not want any ads on my intro (why chase of viewers?). If I do not monetize it - will YT never put ads on it? I would assume so... but assumptions do not make it so.

New intro 2:30. Old intro 2:00. I tried to keep it short... but such is life.

intro 2019.JPG
 

Stanley Orchard

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How has that gone for you? :D
It's difficult to tell... the video does well in search and suggested so i don't know how much traffic it has served as a trailer. But I can rest assured that as a trailer I am putting my best content up front.

Question on monetization.

I do not want any ads on my intro (why chase of viewers?). If I do not monetize it - will YT never put ads on it? I would assume so... but assumptions do not make it so.

New intro 2:30. Old intro 2:00. I tried to keep it short... but such is life.

View attachment 2748
If you don't monetize it, it will not get ads.