Taking advantage of YouTube’s new End Screen feature can be a great way of bringing in some additional views for your content — and possibly new subscribers, if done correctly. It’s also more effective than displaying annotations, which have never been accessible on mobile devices. End screens, however, can be interacted with on both desktop and mobile.
While creating an end screen may not be the easiest process for everyone, it’s certainly not impossible. You simply need to follow a few basic steps, all of which can be completed in less than an hour. A touch of creativity also doesn’t hurt.
1. What’s your end goal?
First of all, you need to ask yourself — what are you hoping to accomplish with your end screen? Most YouTube creators are in it for the views. Honestly, I can’t really blame them. More views usually means more subscribers, which in turn helps your YouTube channel grow. But that’s not all.
When setting up an end screen, YouTube gives you the option of linking to a verified website that is associated with your channel. This is a nice opportunity to convert viewers into website visitors. For example, my end screen can link to my Patreon campaign, which could help attract additional patrons.
2. Get familiar with video editing.
If editing video isn’t your thing, then I kindly suggest you look into learning a thing or two. Going this route can make the process of creating an end screen much easier and overall more enjoyable. It also enables you to think outside the box, which can open up the possibility of introducing new ideas in future end screens.
Video editing is not too difficult, especially if you choose an application that’s easy to use. For Mac users, I can definitely recommend giving iMovie a try. And for those using Windows, dare I say this, check out Windows Movie Maker. It’s far from the best, but it’s enough to get you started.
3. Edit your end screen template.
Editing your first end screen likely won’t come easy. As a YouTube video creator for 10+ years, even I had a little trouble in finding the motivation I needed — but only because it’s very different from anything I’ve edited in the past. You’re essentially designing a video template that will be overlaid with on-screen controls using YouTube’s end screen editor. Be sure to leave adequate room for any buttons and/or links that you may want to add in the future.
Also, if there is one thing you should absolutely keep in mind when editing, it’s the fact that YouTube by default expects your end screen to be 20 seconds in duration.
4. Publish your end screen.
Once your finished video is edited and you’ve added a template at the end, upload it to YouTube and wait for it to process. From your Video Manager view, select the video you want to add an end screen to, and click “End Screen & Annotations” along the top of the screen. You should now see an interface that looks something like the screenshot below.
This is where the real fun begins. YouTube allows you to add a variety of controls, which they call elements. From videos and playlists to website links and a subscribe button, there’s a lot you can add to an end screen. Personally, I like to keep things simple by displaying two videos — my most recent upload and a trailer to my patrons-only vlogs.
End screens can be modified at any time, so don’t be afraid to experiment with what works and what doesn’t work.
5. Save time by importing.
My favorite feature of end screens, by far, is the ability to import them from previous uploads. If you find yourself uploading videos as often as I do, then you are going to love this convenience. Using the same end screen can save you a ton of time, especially considering how surprisingly easy YouTube makes it.
Rather than adding elements to your end screen one by one, click the “Import from video…” button. Doing this automatically imports your end screen from the selected video and YouTube takes care of the process for you. All you need to do is tell the end screen where to begin, hence why it’s important to remember the 20-second rule mentioned above.
And that’s it! You have successfully created your first end screen. To get an idea of how end screens work, check out my video below. I’ve embedded the video so it begins right before the end screen rolls.