What makes a good YouTube channel trailer?

Take a moment to think of the last TV series or movie you were excited to watch. Now, think back to how you first got excited about its release. Chances are it was a trailer: a 15-30 second tidbit of video meant to get you pumped for the big release of fantastic, new content. Even though YouTube and television are on different spectrums, more and more creators are pulling out some of the best practices and modeling their content after TV!

Trailers are a great example – they’re no longer just for the big screen! A while back, YouTube added channel trailer functionality that allows creators to tell the (non-subscribed) world about the content that they’re missing out on. At Fullscreen, we love finding great examples of best practices done right, and this channel trailer from Brittany J Smith is fantastic. Take a look:


Now, let’s dissect why we love this a bit more and what you can do to make yours sing:

 What makes a good channel trailer?

  • Start with a warm introduction. Just like Brittany’s enthusiasm catches you right away, say hello and tell your future viewers who you are, and even where you’re from.
  • Tell your viewers what to expect. In a few short sentences, describe the content you produce and how often it gets released. Remember, upload schedules are very important to keep your viewers thinking about you. On Brittany’s trailer, she goes over all the “cool things” you’ll find: makeup, music, and vlogs!
  • Encourage your audience to subscribe. After all, that’s the whole point of a trailer, right? Some like to sneak it at the end, or like Brittany, right at the beginning and end!
  • Keep it short and sweet. Movie trailers can get away with 1-2 minutes of content as they are usually over an hour long. In the online video world, 30 seconds should be more than enough to get your point across.

Once you’ve shot, edited, and uploaded your channel trailer (and it can be unlisted, if you’d like), follow this short guide from YouTube to start displaying it to all non-subscribed viewers.

Let’s see ‘em!

We’d love to see the trailers you come up with. Once it’s ready to rock, shoot a Tweet to @FullscreenNet so we can check them out!