What is YouTube end slate? 

A YouTube end slate is the graphic that you see towards the end of the video. It is also referred to as an outro card, end card, slate card, etc. You will recognize it from the call-to-action that it prominently displays. End slates are a part of the video that guarantees a confirmed view on both desktop and mobile devices. YouTube uploaders often use end slates to attract viewers to like the channel, subscribe to it, explore content, and so on. 

An average YouTube user has several choices at the end of a video. The YouTube card is a text box with the “i” icon on the top right corner, which opens an interactive slide box of relevant videos and information on being clicked. Then there is the enticing suggested video sidebar that draws the viewer’s attention. A viewer is just as likely to go back or out of YouTube altogether. The end slate can be an essential part of the YouTuber’s content marketing strategy to continue engagement with the viewer. You can check this guide to know more content marketing strategies for your YouTube channel.

Adding the end slate

Before actually proceeding to add an end slate to your YouTube video, you must understand why it is important and how it is being used by everyone else. The end slate and end card replaced the YouTube annotation feature, which was considered outdated and was not productive on mobile. People are using these end cards to incorporate innovative features like embedded polls, links, campaign promotions, merchandise, etc. 

  • To add an end card, the video must be at least 25 seconds long. The end slate itself can be between 5 to 20 seconds long. It can contain interactive features like card teasers and branding watermarks. It can be added to the video by going to YouTube Studio, selecting the video, and the end screen, respectively. Assuming that you have a video ready to be uploaded, the task in hand would be to create an effective end slate.
  • End slate creation is a service offered by various video making software available. While the creation procedure may vary from software to software, there is a similar pattern to all of them. The very first thing to do is to select a template or a card. 
  • Sometimes, it may not be suitable to use an opaque card as the background, as people may still be interested in watching the last portion of the video. Using the end slate elements with the video in the background would make more sense in such cases. On the selected card, the timeline when the end slate will appear has to be chosen.
  • Once the end slate’s timing is decided, you can think about adding the elements in the end slate. The editing panel would have options for selecting an element by clicking on it. Features can be various types, like the subscribe option, video, playlist, merchandise, channel, and link. The subscribe button can be an important part of your end screen, as it is a call-to-action that poses an increase in your number of subscribers. Video and playlist elements in the end slate provide the viewer with the option of clicking on a different video or playlist. It can be your video or playlist, or that of another channel. You can also place another channel as an element. If you also have a website that you want to promote, you can add the link as an end slate element.
  • Once you shortlist your elements, you will have to fix their appearance timings and the end slate placement. Sequencing the appearance order of the element gives the viewer time to read and understand the element. Making all of them appear at the same time may not serve the purpose. Likewise, the amount of text should commensurate with the time allotted for the element. You can drag the elements within the slate frame and also reduce or increase their size. The element’s size should also be sufficient for the viewer to understand the call-to-action it is bringing in.
  • A preview of the final output is important for ironing out the little nuances like the perfect timing and the order of appearance. If your video voiceover is requesting the viewer to subscribe to the channel or your video character is pointing to a particular area of the screen, a preview is necessary to ensure that the elements are correctly placed.
  • Once the end slate is in place, you may want to know how it is faring in the platform. If you regularly upload videos, this information can be useful for your future YouTube end screen creations. To track and analyze the end screen performance through YouTube Analytics. A better performing element can be used in forthcoming videos as well.

Pro Tips

  • You may want to insert pointers along with the elements to make it more visible—for example, a big red arrow pointing to the ‘Subscribe’ button. You have to ensure that the pointers don’t look out of place on mobile devices. Sometimes, the elements may switch locations on a compact screen, making the pointer out of context.
  • You may want to keep the number of elements within three or less. The viewers shouldn’t be overwhelmed with too much information within a short span. Also, making the elements appear one after the other will allow the viewer to digest the information. 
  • The end slate elements should have some resonance with the video and the type of content you develop. A viewer may switch to something else if completely random and unrelated factors appear at the end of the video. 

To conclude

With ad-blocking software making YouTube advertisements avoidable, branding through end slate is a more reliable promotional option for brands. Its distinct call-to-action increases visibility and engagement with the viewer, making it a useful promotional tool for avid YouTube channel owners and external brands. End slates can be the stepping stone for you to reach out and engage in the next level of viewership. 

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