Imagine running a race (awful, right? But stick with me)
Imagine going through:
→ the early mornings
→ the mental preparation
→ the grueling physical training
You feel prepped and ready to crush this thing.
The gun sounds and you’re off to an incredible start. You feel strong for the entire thing. You can see the gold medal around your neck.
You see the finish line getting closer and closer and…
You stop and walk off the track.
Wow, what an unsatisfying story.
Terrible YouTube outros do the same thing to your videos. Steal the 4A framework that I use with clients to take your outros:
TLDR for this week:
• Why outros are more crucial than you think
• How to craft killer outros
• Practical examples
Are Outros Actually Important?
Everyone knows intros are crucial, but too few are focusing on the other side.
To better understand the audience, you should view videos in terms of value. (as perceived by a viewer)
Start of Value (SOV) - This is the beginning of the “meat” of the video which is right after the intro. This is why “snappy” is part of the 4S structure. Getting to the SOV is the best retention hack there is in terms of hooking viewers in. Looking for help with your intros? I wrote about it here.
End of Value (EOV) - This is the end of the “meat” and is where viewers click away en masse. The outro begins with the EOV, so the game is getting viewers to the final frame of your video in a satisfying way.
Think about SOV and EOV this way - it’s the part of Netflix that we don’t skip.
But since we aren’t multi-billion dollar corporations, we need people to watch every second possible. Hence: intros and outros are crucial.
Outros are an incredible tool for increasing session time for your viewers.
But what is session time?
It’s the total amount of time that viewers spend on YouTube after clicking on one of your videos. Longer session time indicates higher viewer satisfaction.
Effectively leverage your videos’ outro real estate to suggest your own video before wall the giant wall of suggestions takes over. Remember: session time means time on the platform as a whole, not just time on your videos.
But if they’re gonna be on YouTube anyway, we might as well keep em on our channel right? 😉
Beyond keeping people around, mishandling the end of your videos can be a massive detriment to the overall retention of your video (and therefore it’s performance)
You’re competing against every other video of a similar length - if they keep their audience for the extra 10-20s, you’re toast.
You worked so hard on the idea, the packaging, the intro, the storytelling/pacing, recording, editing, etc. Do you really want to throw it all away because you weren’t intentional with the ending?
Now, how do we get it done? Glad you asked!
My 4A Framework for Killer Outros
Wanna know the one “A” that should NEVER describe your outros? Afterthought.
This is an often overlooked segment that can add value. Said another way: there should still be a reason to watch here.
There are two ways to accomplish this:
- Have something interesting to watch
- Don’t have an outro at all
Or as Thumper would say:
Active outros ARE NOT:
→ Over-the-top chaos
→ Donnie Thornberry vibes
Active outros ARE:
→ Worth watching
Keep in mind we want this to be a satisfying experience. Everything is in service of that.
The end of your video should surprise your viewer. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to shock them. My goal is to get viewers to think “oh, I didn’t even realize the video was ending”. Said another way:
Abrupt ≠ Jarring
The goal here is to make sure the viewers don’t see the end coming. Here are a few practical things to avoid:
→ Lazy phrasing
→ Repeated outro songs (generally)
→ Extended end screens (using all 20s instead of just 4-6s)
First off, why is this word so long? That seems counterintuitive.
Second off, why are your outros so long? That seems counterintuitive. 🙂
Lingering in the middle of your video already reduces retention, so how much worse is it when we’re already beyond the EOV? I’m not saying your outros have to be 2.37 seconds long. I’m saying you should be efficient with the minimal amount of attention remaining in your viewers.
Got people to stick to the end? Great! Now what?
Leverage having eyeballs willing to stick here with great CTAs. Push them to a different video OR off platform to your product. How do you do that effectively?
- Make the connection
- Make them curious
- Make them click
This may cause a slight drop-off as its not 110% “optimized” but it’s a trade that could be well worth the sacrifice.
Want a full article on this? Send me a DM!
⚠️ Warning ⚠️
Do not focus on perfecting your outros if you haven’t already spent time honing your ideation, packaging, intro, and general retention strategies.
Working on your outros before all of that is like putting icing on a cake that hasn’t been baked. To see the biggest impact from your outros, you have to get viewers to the end of your video first 😉
- I’d argue that the EOV starts at the timecode linked above as there’s no more money-making schemes/progress happening for the episode.
- That being said, this is still additive for the viewers as we’re seeing the first glimpse at donations and seeing what hilarity may ensue (curiosity gap: did the 🕺 GREAT RESET 🕺 happen? Who donated?)
- Plenty of activity for this outro. Note: he’s not dancing around or doing anything crazy. However, we’re still revealing information and talking about the donations. Much better than “anyway guys, if you liked this be sure to comment and subscribe. More coming soon. Alright, see you guys in the next one”
- This isn’t super abbreviated or abrupt, but we have to keep Ryan’s goals in mind. There’s a lot of context needed around this challenge so there’s a tradeoff to fit his goals.
- Big departure from the traditional recap + “pound it, noggin, see yaaaa”
- End screen is up immediately after the decision is made (EOV)
- One thing I’d fix: b-roll shots right away make me think there’s nothing left. I’d keep it clean here and just move the added banter up.
- All told: from EOV to video end is ~10s
- After this final bit with the slack channel, Ali rolls into a description CTA + suggesting a related video and is out of the video in ~18sec.
- There’s plenty of action happening with info about starting businesses from scratch + end screen element comes on at the perfect time.
- One small “optimization” could be removing the 3sec of general platitudes at the very end, but that’s not a video-breaker. Adding that personal touch for the dedicated viewers who stuck through a 22min video can go a long way.
Let’s make a deal.
→ provided value
→ send me a dm letting me know
Pleasure doing business 🤝