Now, YouTube users can add a three-second bumper to all of their videos, making it easier to create a consistent brand that fans will recognize.
In broadcasting, a "bumper" is a brief announcement, usually two to 15 seconds in length, that can contain a voiceover, placed between a pause in the program and its commercial break, and vice versa. The host, the program announcer, or a continuity announcer states the title (if any) of the presentation, the name of the program, and the broadcast or cable network, though not necessarily in that order.
As John Gregg, a software engineer at YouTube, observed recently on the YouTube Creator Blog, "Everyone knows the power of a good introduction. Imagine watching The Simpsons without its iconic opening sequence. Wouldn't be the same, would it?"
That was his intro to a new way to create a distinctive bumper for your videos, so you can more easily build a consistent brand your fans will recognize. Now, you can automatically add an intro video up to three seconds long to the start of every video on your YouTube channel.
It only takes three easy steps to set up:
It's worth noting that YouTube says, "These intros may not be used as ads, sponsorships, or product placements." YouTube also doesn't recommend this feature be used by channels using their videos as advertisements.
Why Three Seconds?
You may wonder, "Why up to three seconds? Why not six seconds, like Vine, or 15 seconds, like Instagram?" Great questions.
Many viewers decide whether they'll keep watching a video within the first few seconds. That's why a bumper on YouTube can only be up to three seconds long. That's also why you also want to hook viewers early at the start of every video on your channel. So, here are some important tips, best practices, and strategies to help you do that:
Keep Viewers Watching
Of course, you also need to follow your video's catchy opening with "awesomeness." The right length for a video is exactly as long it keeps people glued to the screen. Or, as NPR's Scott Simon advises, a YouTube video should be long enough to tell a story.
And it is also worth noting that Simon's video is three minutes and 29 seconds long. Now, you may also wonder, "Do YouTube viewers only like short videos?" Another great question.
Well, the latest research from Pixability has just found that even though the videos that consumer electronics brands produce are generally one to three minutes long, the unboxing videos, torture tests, how-to videos, and tutorials that people actually watch are typically three to 10 minutes long.
So, how long should a YouTube video be? Long enough to reach a point.
That said, basic production techniques help!
Finally, use the YouTube Video Editor tool to edit videos, add effects or enhancements, and correct minor problems.
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Greg Jarboe is president of SEO-PR, which provides search engine optimization, public relations, video marketing, and social media marketing services. He's the author of "YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day," a faculty member at Rutgers University and Market Motive, as well as a frequent speaker at SES conferences.
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