Creating a custom, interactive end slate (A.K.A. tail slate, outro, end screen) for the end of your YouTube videos is something that I recommend in all of my talks and to all my clients looking for best practices in YouTube marketing.  They offer a great way to drive awareness and views to your other video assets, increase engagement and subscribers, and using interactive annotations along with it can also help with rankings in search. Custom end slates can also be used to reinforce your brand or even take the focus away from YouTube's default related videos end screen.

On this week's Creator's Tip, Tim demonstrates how we create our outro slates for videos on the ReelSEO channel.

Benefits: How to Use Custom End Cards for YouTube

Typically the way we use outro slates is to annotate to previous videos we’ve done.  The subscribe button will generally be there and people can listen to the end of the show while it’s fading out.   This is important because, YouTube is paying more and more attention to how much time videos contribute to people’s overall viewing session on YouTube.  If your video can do more to send more views and more traffic to your other videos, then your videos will rank better in search and do better for audience retention.

Additionally, viewers may be more inclined to click on subscribe when they are reading some of the titles.  They may think to themselves, “This channel is making other good content.”  Even if they don’t click on some of the other videos, they’re more likely to subscribe because they have a glimpse of some of the other videos you’ve done.

How to Create a Custom, Interactive YouTube End Slate

Although we use Adobe CS6 Premier Pro to create our outro, you should be able to achieve the same effect with any other decent video editing software with the exception perhaps of iMovie and Windows MovieMaker.

First off, be aware there are numerous different layers. The bottom layer should be the background.  If you turn the visibility off, you will see that the background goes away.  If you turn that visibility back on it appears again.

The next layer can be the titles of all your video clips and continues all the way up to the logo.  The visibility of each layer can be turned on and off.

If you’ve worked with layers before, you know the way it works is it starts with the top layer and you look down through all these layers.  If you want to move the layers around, you can do it until you get each layer in the position you want it.   Now you know what you want on your layers, and you’re ready to start.

  • Use key frames.  You’ll probably want to start with 100% scale for the position to be nice and centered.  Select the frames you want, and key frame them.
  • Find where you want it to end.  This is probably going to be at around 43%.  If you remove these key frames, you would see that it would just stay on top of all of your other stuff.  So you want it to get smaller.
  • Move the frames where you want it to end.  You’ll have them the right size, but in the middle.
  • Move them to the place you want them.
  • Go to your effects.  Keep moving them by dragging them where you want them.  Then zoom them in until they fit in the area.
  • Add your titles underneath.
  • At the end of your video, be sure to freeze about 15 frames so that when you add the pause annotation your video does not look like it jerks.

YouTube End Card Template:

Here's a link for you to download a template that we've created for our YouTube Outro -

Hopefully this will help you think of some neat ways to create a custom end slate for your videos and increase engagement, views, rankings and more...

QUESTION: What other creative ways can you think of to use a custom outro or end slate on YouTube videos?

  • Marie from Musicademy

    Is it possible to retro fit an end slate to an existing video on YouTube?

  • Candice Craft

    Are you the guy from godrox?

    • Mark Robertson

      Tim certainly is that guy ;-)

  • Mike Montgomery

    Thank you for the suggestions and the guideline! This is what I came up with for my vlogs :)

  • Suresh Kumar

    Hey Tim,

    Thanks a lot , i was looking for this kind of effects at the end of video. you made my day :)


  • Jonathan

    Is there a way to do this and then use it for multiple videos without having to annotate it each time? Like a way for Youtube to save the annotations to video playlists?

    • Mark Robertson

      Unfortunately, YouTube doesnt provide anything like that and that would be my #2 request from Gootube cause it's what takes the most amount of time. I am going to look into creating a tool like this via the API.

  • David Gadarian

    Hi Mark,
    Very neat post - I'm going to dive in and give it a try - quick question though - I'm not seeing the download link for the PhotoShop template you mentioned in the video?

  • Jacobus Lavooij

    Hi Tim, awesome video and very helpful, even if you use other programs. Thanks for this!

  • Justin Lauschin

    Wouldn't it be cool if Youtube expanded their in-video programming to allow end-slate creation just from there? :)

    • Matt Wilcko

      Can't we just do a short 10 second or so clip like Tim did above and then use in-video programming to append it to all of our existing videos?