Yesterday, most people were able to opt in to the new channel design.  One of the things YouTube is touting about this is that your channel will have a uniform look across all devices.  But probably the most intriguing thing for me about this new design is the advent of the "subscribe" trailer.  Viewers who are not subscribed to your channel who visit the channel page can be greeted by a piece of content telling them why they should subscribe.  This is your chance to tell the viewer who you are and why they should stick with you.  Good content is always a great motivator, but a "welcome mat" can close the deal.

YouTube's 'Subscribe' Trailers: Get Viewers In, Get Them Clicking Their Loyalty

A subscribe trailer has some of the same "rules" any piece of content on YouTube does: hit the viewer quick with something that catches their eye, provide persuasive content to keep them interested, and appeal to their senses.

Like, for instance, if Annoying Orange was your thing, this is a perfect example of that:

Or LOUD, which makes "big" original YouTube shows and provides this in-your-face trailer filled with personalities (warning: some blurred nudity and bleeped language):

The point is to know who your audience is and create a trailer that appeals to them.  It's doubtful LOUD would make such a trailer if their audience wasn't inclined to be drawn in by edgy material.

For a complete flip side to Annoying Orange and LOUD, here's Laura Vitale's intro to Laura in the Kitchen:

What all these trailers have in common is that they are brief: 30 seconds to a minute.  And I think that's a good practice to follow, although with any content it's a matter of however long it takes to get your message across.  But I wouldn't mess around: you want people to get drawn in immediately, even if your video goes past the minute mark.

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Some tips to make an awesome Subscribe Trailer:

1. Welcome your guests.  Show appreciation to the viewer for coming to your channel.  A quick salutation, a simple "hi," can go a long way.

2. What are you about?  Immediately get into what your channel does and entice them with video proof.

3. Keep it fast.  Hi, here we are, this is what we do, please subscribe.  Bada-boom, bada-bing.  If you have a longer video in mind, make sure you get the viewer's attention immediately and provide them with a reason to stay around.

I think Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry "subscribe trailer" does the trick:

I feel like this is the coolest thing that came with the channel design.  Sure, it's neat to be able to create playlists in your own way, or have a uniform look across devices, or the associated channel links, but this is a tool that helps you interact with your new viewers.  They may be coming in based on one video, and want to know if this is where they can find that kind of content all the time.

I suggest everyone trying out the new design to take advantage of this feature and create a winner.

  • Musical Cromartie

    So-my unsubscribed video is unlisted-should I make it public?

  • George Patrick

    Interesting Article... I liked the fact that YouTube is using their new format to help get subscribers to a persons channel and also liked the examples that you used especially the Geek and Sundry.

  • qiranger

    Overall, I enjoy the new design. The one issue I have with it is the banner on the YouTube page itself. It's great that there will now be a uniform look across all devices, but on the web page version, so much real estate is taken up with the channel icon, that it just looks bad.

    As you mentioned, the unsubscriber video is a great addition. Although, given how many people rarely go to channel pages, I'm not sure it's really going to catch on. I think one mistake many users will make is not editing together a specific video for this purpose. Most will simply feature on of their popular videos and hope someone subscribes.

  • glory Ramsey

    Thanks Chris, very helpful - as always!

  • Grant Crowell

    I agree that the subscriber trailer is a great addition. Here's the link for where people can set it up on their own YouTube channel: It would make for a good video capture screencast to show others.

    What's strange with the LOUD trailer you have embedded is that the "Subscribe" annotation gets blocked out by the player bar overlay when you try to select it in the main window.