Building a subscriber base is crucial to your success as a YouTube creator. Part of becoming a better YouTuber is taking advantage of the tools that YouTube offers — like end screens. Here’s how.

YouTube Tip: Create Captivating End Screens for Your Videos — YouTube
Image by contributor x9626.

Are you sick of hearing, Remember to smash that subscribe button or Be sure to check out our other videos…? That’s understandable, but it’s part of community building, and it is statistically proven to help grow your channel. YouTube tells you to use these tools for your own success.

YouTube content should be educational, entertaining, engaging, or interesting — it’s even better if it’s a combination of each. That is the basis of every successful YouTube channel. Once you have your videos online, you want to encourage your viewers to subscribe to your channel for future videos — as well as sharing and watching your other videos.

To help you achieve great things with your channel, we are going to start a series of YouTube tips. In this article, I’m going to teach you how to add end screens to your YouTube video — and a few tips on making them more engaging.

What are YouTube end screens?

YouTube Tip: Create Captivating End Screens for Your Videos — End Screens
End Screen from the PremiumBeat YouTube channel.

End screens are clickable links viewers see after they watch one of your videos. You can prompt viewers to click to watch more videos, subscribe to your channel, or follow links to external websites.

In the example above from the PremiumBeat YouTube channel, you’ll see that the end screen features three different links and animated text to draw your attention. On the top left is the subscribe button that will subscribe you to that channel immediately, rather than hitting the subscribe button underneath the video player. On the bottom left is a link to a playlist titled “Video Production Tutorials” with a series of nineteen video tutorials. On the right side is a featured link to one specific video titled “Editing With J-Cuts.”

I chose this example because the PremiumBeat channel focuses on creating YouTube tutorials to educate viewers on all aspects of video production — from shooting and editing to motion graphics and audio mixing. These end screens link you directly to more content in the same vein. Keep audiences engaged by giving them more of what they are already looking for.

YouTube Tip: Create Captivating End Screens for Your Videos — More Content
Image via YouTube.

End screens are currently only available on computer and mobile devices. They do not work on television apps, YouTube Music, or YouTube Kids. 360-degree videos are also not currently supporting end screens.

YouTube has recently removed annotations in favor of end screens, as the larger buttons are more mobile friendly. Historically, annotations didn’t properly work on mobile, so to create a better experience, YouTube has phased them out.

Adding YouTube end screens on new videos

YouTube Tip: Create Captivating End Screens for Your Videos — New Videos
Image by contributor T. Lesia.

1. When editing, dedicate at least ten-seconds of the end of your video for the end screen. Then export your video.

The final seconds of your video can be just black video, or you can get creative and make a custom end screen image or animation to play at the end of every video. Be sure to make the end screen at least ten seconds so viewers have time to make a selection at the end of the video.

2. Log in to your YouTube account and upload the video.

3. Navigate to the video’s settings and click the End screen & Annotations tab.

YouTube Tip: Create Captivating End Screens for Your Videos — End Screen & Annotations Tab

4. Choose a template, or format your own YouTube end screen.

The easiest thing to do is choose a template end screen. You will have multiple options and looks, but you can customize the template to your liking. You can even add or remove elements like more video links. After you finally have your layout set, you can apply the same layout to future videos by selecting the “Import from video…” option on your next YouTube video.

YouTube Tip: Create Captivating End Screens for Your Videos — Templates

Determine whether you want the video links to be either single videos or playlists, and choose which videos or playlists you want to appear. The subscribe button will default to your YouTube page’s profile picture. With an external link button, you can upload your own custom artwork or image. External links will need to be approved URLs, and then you’ll be able to link to items like downloads, more information, or links to products. Move and resize the elements as you see fit.

5. Adjust the timeline of your end screen.

YouTube Tip: Create Captivating End Screens for Your Videos — Adjust Timeline

You can make all of your elements show up at the same time, or you can stagger them. Keep in mind that you’ll need at least ten seconds at the end of a video, but you can certainly extend your elements and make the end screens last longer.

6. Click Save.

Finally, click save when you’re done. The end screens will now appear at the end of your video.

Adding YouTube end screens to existing videos

If you have already uploaded your video, you can visit the video page and click on the End Screen & Annotations icon. (You must be logged into your account.)

YouTube Tip: Create Captivating End Screens for Your Videos — Edit Existing

If this is an old video with annotations, you will need to remove annotations.

You can then add end screens to your videos, but keep in mind that since you don’t have dedicated black video or an end screen animation, the links will appear on top of your footage for the last ten to twenty seconds. It’s harder to make older videos look good and work. Just something to keep in mind.

Want more YouTube tips and tutorials? Check out these helpful articles.

Top image by contributor I000s_pixels