YouTube intro ideas to increase watch time

The best YouTube intro ideas and why you may need one

Are you looking for some YouTube intro ideas? If so you have come to the right place. In this article, I will share some potential YouTube intro ideas that you can use for your next video. I will also share with you some best practices when it comes to creating a YouTube intro. These will help you to optimize video watch time and ultimately grow your YouTube channel.

YouTube logo with rain drops to start the YouTube intro ideas blog post

Educating an Audience

The first reason why a YouTube intro might be beneficial is because it can educate your audience on a topic. Without a proper YouTube introduction when you create a video, it might be difficult for your audience to gain context. This could result in a very confusing experience when watching a video. If a YouTube intro does not exist, this might cause viewers to bounce from the video altogether. When you have high bounce rates on your YouTube videos, this can really hurt your YouTube channel. This shows the YouTube algorithm that your videos may not be good content.

Increasing Curiosity

A good YouTube intro also helps to increase curiosity for your audience. When you increase the curiosity and interest of your audience, this could result in your audience sticking around. This in turn shows the YouTube algorithm that people like your content.

Avoiding Clickbait

An informative YouTube video intro can also validate that the title of your video isn’t just clickbait. This is important, as many people use clickbait titles just to get people to watch. Of course, it is really important to have a thought-provoking and interesting YouTube video title. You do, however, really want to follow through on that content and ensure it aligns with the title. You want to avoid creating an intriguing video title but not following through on that content. When you create a great YouTube intro, this really helps to confirm that your audience is in the right place.

Best Practices for creating a YouTube intro

Now let’s discuss some best practices when it comes to creating a great YouTube intro. Of course, this blog post dives into a variety of YouTube intro ideas, but it’s also really important to follow best practices to make sure you’re doing everything the right way.

Keep your YouTube intro super short

The first thing to keep in mind when creating an intro is to keep your YouTube intro super short. The reason why this is so important is because if you have a really long, drawn-out YouTube intro at the start of your video, this could potentially cause your audience to get bored and leave the video immediately. The goal of your YouTube videos is to increase watch time. You want to make sure that your YouTube intro is short, to the point, and informational.  Long video intros that contain irrelevant information will bore your audience. This will also likely cause them to leave your YouTube video altogether.

Increase Curiosity

Next, you really want to pique your audience’s curiosity. Whether you are educating your audience on a topic or maybe you created some sort of tutorial, you could hook your audience at the beginning and ask them to stay tuned until the end of the video to see the result. Something like that, you know what I mean? It’s really important to give people a reason to continue watching your video. You should take some time to think about some of the results that somebody will get by watching your video.

Process-oriented videos and tutorials typically do a good job when it comes to watch time. This is primarily because people want to see the process and the end result. I would recommend thinking through some video topics that emphasize the importance of the process. This could potentially increase watch time for your videos. You could then use this video style to increase the curiosity of your audience in your YouTube intro. 

Ideal length of a YouTube intro

Based on my research, there is not one definitive recommendation around the length of a YouTube video intro. Something else that I found is that if you do choose to use a YouTube intro, you should seek to make it as short as possible. So, if you want to use a YouTube intro in your video, think no longer than 5 to 10 seconds. I would still recommend that you do some research based on the specific niche of your YouTube channel. This will help you to determine the length of an intro. Even so, I would still recommend that your YouTube intro is as short as possible. Click here to learn more about the ideal length of a good YouTube video intro.

Five YouTube intro ideas for your next video

YouTube logo for YouTube intro ideas blog post

Straight to the point

One YouTube intro idea that you could use for your next video is to use the style that is straight to the point. For example, instead of using some fancy animation or music, get straight to the point. Let your viewer know what the video is about, quickly introduce yourself and keep it moving. Something that I found to be pretty effective based on my own trial and error and also through reviewing my channel analytics when using this method is to first start out with a question.

So for example, if you are creating a video to show people how to start a tomato garden, what you could do is first start out by asking the question. An example of this is: “So you want to learn how to grow more tomatoes in your garden this summer, right? Well in this video, I’m going to be teaching you five easy steps to grow as many tomatoes as you can in your garden this summer.” This is just one way that you could really hook your audience when you are starting your video to get them engaged and interested in what you have to say. 

Stunning visuals

Depending on your niche, you could also start your YouTube video with some really beautiful, stunning visuals like travel footage or Drone footage. I would really only recommend this if you have a blog channel or maybe you do a lot with travel. This is primarily because if you use this type of opener for a tutorial or more of an informational educational video, this type of intro might not be quite as relevant. If you create educational videos or tutorials, your audience is probably looking to find the answer to a problem and wants to get this information as fast as possible. Creating a longer, more cinematic YouTube video intro might delay this process and cause your audience to get frustrated and leave your videos quickly.


Another YouTube video intro that you could use for your next video is humor. If you are somebody that likes to use humor to get people’s attention and you feel like this is one of your stronger skills, you could definitely use humor to pique your audience’s interest or surprise them. This could definitely be a way to engage your audience and also entertain your audience at the start of your video.

I personally don’t use this method when I’m creating videos, but if you are going to use this I would recommend not drawing it out too long and really kind of just keeping things short and to the point. However, something that you could do if you plan on incorporating humor is to create a YouTube intro for your video that is a little bit on the shorter side and then maybe do another version that’s a little bit longer for another video. You could then publish these two videos and then review your analytics to see how they perform.

Create curiosity by highlighting a pain point

Similar to some of the other options that I provided, I think it’s really important to catch the attention of your audience right when you start your video. Creating curiosity by highlighting some sort of pain point that your audience is experiencing is one way to do this. If you are solving a problem for your audience, you can use the introduction as an opportunity to highlight their pain point. You could also let them know that if they watch your video then you can help them to solve that particular pain point.

As an example, if you are creating a tutorial video and you’re teaching your audience how to make apple pie at the very beginning of the video, you can say something like: “Are you struggling to make an apple pie crust that doesn’t come out dry? Do you want your crust to be super flaky and delicious? Keep watching and by the end of this video, you will know exactly how to make a delicious apple pie with a flaky, buttery crust.” Okay now I’m kind of hungry, but you get the point, right?

YouTube intro ideas – Key things to remember

In short, the goal of a YouTube video intro is to serve your audience in some way. Your YouTube video intro should benefit your audience, entertain them, or show them that they are in the right place. If it doesn’t do these things, you might be better off forgoing an intro altogether. One thing to keep in mind when testing YouTube intro ideas is to keep an eye on your video analytics. It is important to see where your audience drops off when it comes to video retention. If your audience leaves your video very quickly, this is likely a sign that you need to try a different YouTube video intro or shorten your video intro.

If you are interested in learning more about animated YouTube video intro options, check out this roundup post.

Something else to keep in mind is that less is definitely more. It is better to keep your intro short rather than wasting your audience’s time with something long. Most people don’t have all of the time in the world to watch video content that isn’t helping them to solve some sort of problem being experienced. Also, think about your own behavior when watching YouTube videos. Do you get annoyed when you have to sit through a 30-second intro? Yep, me too. Most people don’t really have the patience for these types of video intros.

YouTube intro ideas in Summary

Whether you are brand new to YouTube or are tweaking your channel and videos, it is important to be mindful of your video analytics. A YouTube video intro can really make or break the success of your YouTube channel. If you have a poor intro, people won’t stick around to watch your videos. This will ultimately hurt the success of your channel. So, I’d love to know in the comments – have you put a lot of thought into your YouTube video intro? Have you had success with your intro or are you seeking improvements? I look forward to hearing from you and hope this article was helpful!

Click here to learn more about how long you should make your YouTube video intro.

Check out this YouTube equipment guide for beginners.

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Morgan is a recognized video marketing expert and content creator. She also runs a video production company and has a passion for teaching all things video.