The thumbnail gathers the attention while the end card helps with the conversion as it can be added to the last 5 to 20 seconds of a video to get viewers to take an action depending on your most important goal.
Why are YouTube end cards (also known as end screens) so important
Usually when you finish watching a video on YouTube, it suggests more videos to watch right in the rectangle box where you finished watching the video. An example can be seen in the below screenshot…
As you can see I just finished watching a music video by the band Artic Monkeys which was published on the Domino Recording Company Co. channel.
YouTube is suggesting some videos and playlists that might interested me in the video box and in the menu on the right. But none of these are from the Domino Recording Co. channel. They are all published by other channels.
So, if I click on any of these videos I will probably never return to a video from the Domino Recording Co.
This is why YouTube gives you the opportunity to add end cards that are between 5 to 20 seconds to your videos. Using this feature, you can embed subscribe buttons, video suggestions and more elements.
These can be used to encourage people to subscribe or stay longer on your channel instead of getting distracted by a video from another channel.
A good example of a Youtube end card is this one from Netflix.
As you can see they have a subscribe element on the left (if I click on it I will be taken to their channel where I can subscribe), a video and playlist suggestion (both made by them) in the center, and a link to their website (which takes me directly to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina show) on the right. I like that the YouTube thumbnail image, the end card, and other elements are consistent with their brand colors. It makes the video appear cohesive.
All these will either get viewers to stay longer on their channel or will send them to their website instead of getting distracted by the videos that YouTube will suggest at the end.
Here’s another YouTube end card example from National Geographic…
As you can see this one has subscribe, video and playlist elements. And they are placed directly in front of the video unlike in the Netflix one where the elements are on top of a still background.
Another one is this one from Scott Herman Fitness which is a combination of a still and video background. Most of the background is still, but there is small box where you can see him speaking.
And in the video, he mentions call to actions like leave a comment and download my app.
He also placed an element with a link to the app on the end card. This actually takes you to a page on his website where the link to the app(s) can be found. This is because YouTube only lets you link to your registered website and not anywhere else.
How to create your YouTube end cards with the templates
Now that you know the importance of YouTube end cards and have seen some examples of how other people are using them I am going to show you how to set up your own by using the templates I created.
First, create a free Canva account (or sign in if you already have one) and download the free YouTube end screen templates by clicking the below link.Bonus: Click Here to download free Youtube End Card Templates for Canva!
Two different end screen templates will be emailed to you. One is this one with recommended video and subscribe elements and social media follow buttons.
This is the plain template…
…and this is an example of the finished template before uploading to YouTube and adding the elements.
The other YouTube end screen template you will receive is this one with two video elements and follow buttons.
Pick a template you prefer from the email I sent you and copy it and begin modifying it.
Here’s how to use the YouTube end card templates…
For this example, I will use the first template which contains one video and a subscribe element.
So, go to your email and click on the link for the first template. You will be taken to the below page on the Canva website.
Then click on the blue button and the YouTube end screen template will be automatically saved and opened in your dashboard.
You can start modifying it now. Begin by adding a background photo by dragging and dropping something relevant (from the photo library) as I have already added the grid in the background. You will notice the photo get added when you drag it in to the template.
After that you can modify the font style, colour, size, arrow colour, etc. Also add your usernames next to the social icons.
Warning: You can make any changes you want, but whatever you do don’t move the placeholders for the elements I left for the video and subscribe button as YouTube has set specific areas for them in the video. If you move them out of this area you won’t able to add your elements. So, only move them if you have a good understanding about the area.
Here’s my finished end card. As you can see, I added the background image of a person lifting a barbell and I changed the font colour to white and I added my social usernames. I used white as it stands out from the dark background, but you can use any colours you like, especially if you have a brand colour theme/palette.
Once you are happy with the design, you can download your image by clicking on the download button on the top right corner and downloading your prefered format.
Adding the YouTube end screen template image to your video
To add the YouTube end screen image to your video, all you need to do is open it up in a good video editor and add it to the end. I am using Camtasia for this.
After that extend the duration so that it is at least 5 to 20 seconds long. This is how long the end card can last.
Next export the video. After that you can upload it to your YouTube channel by going to the Studio.
Adding the elements to your video:
After you upload the video along with the end card you can begin adding the elements.
First go to the video by clicking on ‘Videos’ in the left menu.
Then select the video you would like to edit and click on ‘Editor’ in the left menu.
Then drag the line the editor provides to where the end card begins and then click on Add an End Screen. You will see it when you scroll down.
Then choose a template. As this screen only has one video and subscribe option let’s go with that template.
The elements will be added to the card. You can drag them around till they are on top of the place holders. Also drag the corners of the video element to increase the size.
Also, decide if you would like to show your most recent video, or if you would like YouTube to automatically pick or a specific video you choose
You can also adjust how long you would like the elements to appear by adjusting the size of the bars on the bottom right. As aforementioned they can be 5 to 20 seconds long. I recommend that you make sure they last the full 20 seconds.
If you are using this template, don’t add any more elements as there isn’t enough space.
But you can replace the video element with a playlist and the subscribe element with a channel element (you will be suggesting people to subscribe to another channel instead of your own). You can also replace the subscribe element with a link to your website.
Once you are done with this click on the Save button to save your changes. And your end card will be set up. Here’s the one I created…
This is how you create a YouTube End Card. If you haven’t downloaded the templates, click the below link to download them.Bonus: Click Here to download free Youtube End Card Templates for Canva!
How do you create YouTube end cards? Which elements do you add? Please leave your comments below.
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