What Are End Screens?
End screens are thumbnail overlays, displayed at the last 5-20 seconds of your video. Creators use them to encourage viewers to take action. Through end screens, creators can direct viewers to other videos and channels, to other websites for more information, to subscribe to a channel, to buy their merchandise, or to check out their crowdfunding campaigns and donate. As long as a video has a 16:9 ratio, the creator can add up to four different end screen elements:Video or playlist: this element promotes a video or playlist. There are three options to choose from:
Most recent upload:
this option will automatically feature the last video uploaded to your channel.
“Best for viewer”:
this option gives YouTube permission to select a video from your channel.
Choose a video or playlist:
this option lets you manually pick a video or playlist.
- Subscribe: this element promotes subscriptions to your channel.
- Channel: this element allows you to promote other channels – yours, your collaborator’s or anyone else’s.
- Link: this element enables you to direct your viewers to your website, crowdfunding campaign or store.
Why End Screens Are So Important For Creators
They’re Mobile Friendly.
Unlike Annotations, which are only clickable for laptop and desktop computer users, end screens are optimized for mobile viewers. Currently, mobile users generate approximately 70% of YouTube views. That’s more than half of all the platform’s users.
They Improve Watch Time.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check YouTube’s Creator Academy – they’ll say the exact same thing. As a creator, you can use your end screens to increase your watch time by linking other videos, playlists, and channels you might have. In other words, you can direct your audience to “stick around” on the platform and binge-watch even more of your videos. You’re even making life that much easier for them by giving them great suggestions on what to watch next.
They’re Great For Implementing CTAs (Calls To Action)
End screens can be used in many different ways. Other than linking to your other videos, you can also add a “Please Subscribe!” CTA, or refer your viewers to your website, your online merch store or your crowdfunding campaign. Instead of repeating the same, overly-used CTA during your video (“Smash that like button!”), you can just add it in the end screens. It’s that easy.
The Algorithm Finds Them Handy.
As we all know, the mechanics behind YouTube’s algorithm are mostly speculative, but one thing is certain. The algorithm notices when people are hanging around the platform longer after they watch one of your videos. In other words, it’s using your end screens as indicators, so to speak. When you have people watching your end screens and clicking on them, the algorithm concludes that this creator is making lots of relevant, compelling videos. That conclusion means that you’re worth investing in. Consequentially, it starts exposing you and your content to more users, because watching your videos will most likely make them spend more time on the platform.
How To Add End Screens: Step By Step
Step 1: Open The Videos Tab In The Creator’s Studio
Step 2: Hover With Your Mouse Over The Video You Want To Edit End Screens For And Click On The Pencil Icon
Step 3: Click On End Screens
Step 4: Click On “+ Element” To Add An End Screen Element To Your Video
Step 5: Click Save Once You’re Done Adding End Screen Elements To Your Video
Best Practices: Use End Screens Perfectly
Make Sure They Don’t Appear Over The “Content” Part Of Your Video
When you overlap the end screens over the actual content of your video – they will be ignored. Your viewers will be focused on listening to you, rather than on the end screens. This means they won’t be clicking them. This is very counter-productive, don’t you think?
Instead, you need to create your videos with an “end screen” time slot ready in advance. You can have a video “Outro” – a pleasant image with fun background music, on which you can display your end screens. Here’s a great example from one of The Tonight Show’s videos:
Think About Timing And Layering.
End screens can appear in the last 5-20 seconds of your video. You can use the minimum time, or you can use the entire 20 seconds. You can have all your end screens pop up simultaneously, or you can layer them and make them appear and “disappear” in batches. It depends on what elements you’d like to present in your end screens and the time it takes people to react to your CTA.
Remember: YouTube Sometimes “Tweaks” End Screens.
When YouTube is running in “background mode” or when your end screens are too small and cluttered, YouTube takes the liberty not to display them at all or only display some of them. Therefore, try not to highlight them, use long texts or put extremely important content in them. Make sure your end screens are visually clear and to-the-point.
Warning: Use External Links In Moderation.
External links to your website, crowdfunding campaign page or web store make great end screens – but only when used in moderation. Try not to use external links in every video, because they can ultimately hinder your growth efforts. The reason behind the growth-setback is quite simple: the algorithm doesn’t like seeing people leave the platform after watching a specific video. When a lot of people click an end screen and leave YouTube, the algorithm’s (metaphorical) alarms start wailing. Frankly, the more time people spend on YouTube, the more money it makes. Ergo, people leaving the platform is bad for YouTube’s bank account. If a lot of people are leaving after watching your content, the algorithm will do everything it can to keep it hidden from public eyes. Meaning, you will no longer be promoted on Youtube’s SERP. People will no longer be able to find you. In the end, your channel will inevitably plateau.