How long should YouTube outros be

How long should YouTube outros be
Written by: Dexxter Clark, 03-09-2020
0 seconds when you want to have the best promotion by the YouTube algorithm.
Less than 20 seconds if you want viewers to see more videos.
But NEVER EVER put an end-screen after your video is over.

How long your outro should be depends entirely on what your goal:

The best promotion

If you want to get the most out of the video and want the best possible promotion by YouTube, you shouldn`t have a outro at all, none, zilch, nada, 0 seconds.
The problem is with outros that you basically announce that the video is over.
Viewers had their value, leave the video and watch a video of another creator.

Watch Time and Average View Duration are one of the most important factors for YouTube promotion.
Higher Average View Duration = more promotion.

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Don`t give your viewers any hint that the video is over:
  • Don`t say goodbye
  • Don`t tell them to like, subscribe, comment
  • Don`t conclude or wrap up the content
  • Don`t use an end screen (more and that later)
  • Don`t use music that is swelling up, indicating that the video is over
Keep delivering value (or entertainment) untill the last second of your video.

Best Session Watch Time

Besides Watch Time, Session Watch Time is also an important overall promotional factor for your YouTube channel.
If you can convince people to watch more of your videos, you increase the watch time session.
If viewers see one video, and as a result they see more videos of that creator (which keeps people on the platform longer, so they see more ads) YouTube will promote your channel more to THIS viewer, but other viewers as well.

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When a video is over, viewers ask themselves: “what should I watch next?”.
You can help viewers by promoting one of your other videos.
The best to do that is using the YouTube end-screen.
On the end-screen you can place links to other videos.

You can place a maximum of 4 elements on the end-screen, but experience taught me that you shouldn`t give people too much choice if you want to improve Click Through Rate.
You can talk about a problem that viewers probably have and you solve that problem in another video (that they can view by clicking on the end-screen element).

You can only add end-screens to the last 20 seconds of your videos, so keep your video outro within those 20 seconds.
Never EVER put a separate end-screen after the video is over.
It will hurt your Average View Duration and most viewers won`t even see the end-screen, because they already clicked away.
If you do that currently, look at your Audience Retention graphs in YouTube Analytics, you`ll see what I mean.

Be aware that viewers still leave the video to watch another one and it “hurts” your Average View Duration, even though is just a small portion of 20 seconds.

Also be aware that viewers must physically be able to move their mouse cursor in a certain time frame to be able to click on the video.
If you say “you can solve problem A by watching this video”, and then the video ends, no one can click the end-screen element.

I have videos in my library that totally “live” by the graces of referring to them in end-screens.
My best Click Through Rate is around 50% with a very compelling argument to watch another video.
That is a lot of traffic that I`ve otherwise would have missed out on.

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Best of both worlds

I often use a combination of not-saying-goodbye and the end screen.
For example:
  • Shorten the end screen to 10 or 15 seconds instead of 20 seconds.
  • Not hinting that the video is over. Delivering value while the end-screen is already showing, then promoting another video in the end-screen
  • Not asking for likes, comments and subscribes (I do that during the video itself)

Length of the intro

I`ve given you the best length for the outro, but what about the intro?
An intro makes or breaks your video.
In my article about YouTube Intros (intro bumpers), I talk about: should you have an intro at all? How long should your YouTube outro be?


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Dexxter Clark
Content creator / YouTuber
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