YouTube Channel Trailers: Creation Guide for Beginner

Written by: GetFans Team
On Feb 07, 2019 (Last Update: Jan 08, 2021)

YouTube Channel Trailers

What Is A Channel Trailer On YouTube?

A channel trailer is a short video (optimally up to 90 seconds) located in the ‘Home’ tab, designed to help newcomers quickly learn what your channel channel and videos are all about. When enabled, the channel trailer will automatically play whenever someone who isn’t subscribed to your channel lands on your channel page. For example, here’s how ‘The Rich Dad Channel’ channel trailer looks like - 

Why Is A Channel Trailer Important?

YouTube channel trailer is important for many reasons, but here are the main ones - 

  • Channel trailer is a powerful tool in turning random channel page visitors into active and engaged subscribers
  • After your banner art and channel icon, your trailer is the next thing to catch people’s eyes, which is extremely important for you since you’re basically competing against all other YouTube channels out there…(and there are over 30M channels!) 
  • A well-made trailer can drastically boost your channel reputation and it definitely will make your channel look more professional and outstanding. In fact, creating an engaging channel trailer is one of the major steps in the process of how to become a professional youtuber
  • When executed correctly, your channel trailer can turn non-subscribed viewers into engaged and active subscribers without having to buy YouTube likes or any other service.

How To Make A Channel Trailer For YouTube

You don’t need to be the next Steven Spielberg in order to make a great channel trailer. All you need, really, is what you already have: a camera, great lighting, a microphone, and a script. We’ll go into further detail on why scripting your YouTube channel trailer is important, but for now, just know that not scripting your channel trailer might have some negative effects on it. Next, film your channel trailer and edit it. You’re done making your trailer! Now it’s time to upload it to your channel! Upload your channel trailer video the same way you would upload any other video before you continue on with our guide.

How To Upload A Channel Trailer On YouTube?

First, go to YouTube and click on your channel icon at the top right corner. Then, click on “Your Channel”.

Next, click on “Customize Channel”. 

Then, click on “Add” under “Channel trailer for people who haven’t subscribed”.

Choose the video you want to use as your channel trailer. 

Click on “Save” when you’re done!

YouTube Channel Trailer Best Practices and Tips

Don’t Want To Film A Trailer? Use One Of Your Best Videos As A Trailer

If filming a channel trailer sounds like too big of a project for you, that’s fine. A lot of channels choose to go “trailer-less” and opt for using one of their best videos instead. When choosing a video to put as your trailer, make sure you pick one that is known to convert viewers into subscribers. You can see that information on your video’s analytics. 

Make It Short And Sweet

Your trailer length should be between 30-90 seconds. 

We know, this isn’t a lot of time. However, if you script out your channel trailer, 30-90 seconds is actually plenty of time to include everything your trailer needs to convert random viewers into channel subscribers. 

Make Sure To Include The Essentials

Here’s a list of things you might want to include in your channel trailer:

  • A quick introduction to who you are and to your channel. 
  • An overview of the type of content you publish. 
  • A highlight reel of your best content. 
  • Your posting schedule (if you have one). 
  • A CTA (Call To Action) to subscribe to your channel. 
  • Use end screens (or video outro) at the end of your trailer - it could be a call to subscribe to your channel or recommend them to watch a video they might be interested in. In case you're not familiar with end screens, you'll need to learn how to add end screen on YouTube video as a pre step. 
  • And finally you can always get references from other sources such as the giant social media site, Instagram: Instagram stories for example can be a great resource to learn from when it comes to creating the perfect channel trailer, and you should definitely learn how to use Instagram to grow your YouTube channel, it could only do good for your YouTube channel. 

Take Shameless Maya’s channel trailer for example. She managed to include every element in her channel trailer and still keep it short and sweet (her channel trailer is only 90 seconds long!). 

Optimize The Video’s Title And Description

Your trailer video’s title and description will appear right next to it on the channel page. As with any other video, you might want to do some video keyword research before you title your video and write your description. 

It’s also important that your title and description support the message in your trailer. Or, in other words, don’t use generic titles like “Channel Trailer 2020”. Instead, make them a bit more interesting and compelling, for example: “Welcome to…” or “Why you should subscribe to…”

As for your trailer’s description, you should briefly highlight the following:

  • What type of content you produce
  • Publishing schedule
  • CTA

Use The “T.O.P” Formula

The T.O.P Formula is something Backlinko introduced us to. It’s an easy and effective way to build your channel trailer content. Here’s how it works:

T = Target Audience

Start your trailer off by telling people who your channel is for. Who is your target audience? Verbalize it so people will know right off the bat if your channel will suit their needs or not.

O = Origin Story

This is where you tell a quick story of why you created your channel. This personal story will help your channel stand out from the thousands of other YouTube channels in your niche. 

P = Pitch

Finally, ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel by letting them know the value they’re getting by subscribing. This is where your CTA comes into play, so don’t forget to tell people to “hit that subscribe button” if they’re interested in seeing more (or whatever other variation of the CTA you prefer - get creative!). 

Script Your Videos

This is so, so important. Scripting your channel trailer can help you keep it short, sweet, and concise. Since you only have about a minute and a half to cover a lot of material, having confidence in what you’re saying is crucial. Scripting your YouTube videos can help you get that confidence. 

Not Sure What To Say? Show A Highlight Reel

YouTube themselves are big supporters of the “Show, don’t tell” methodology when it comes to channel trailers. While it’s important to let people know why you created your channel and how it will benefit them, it’s also important to show people what your channel is all about. You can do that by showing a “Highlight Reel” of snippets from your best videos. To make your trailer short and sweet, we recommend using the highlight reel as b-roll while you talk about your channel. Here’s a perfect example of using highlight reels in a channel trailer.

YouTube Channel Trailer Examples

If you’re looking for your YouTube channel trailer’s inspiration, try checking out some of these YouTube channel trailer examples: 

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