YouTube creators fall into two camps. Those who use video intros and those who don’t.
If you use a video intro, you’ll need some music to support and enhance it, something to draw the viewer in and make them stick around for the main event. Intro music is an integral part of your hook.
Different styles and genres of music can evoke specific emotions, that’s why a beauty vlogger will chose to use a different style of music than a brand selling lawnmowers. (Or maybe not. That’s why you need to know your audience!)
Great intro music taps into the right emotions and puts your audience in the right mood!
But, enough theory! Let’s take a look at some quality intro music. We’ve linked to the full video the music belongs to, but for the sake of this post, you only have to take a look at the first few seconds. Ready?
The intro music for Crystal Joy’s videos lasts exactly 4 seconds. It’s quick and simple. Its main role is to support the motion graphic introduction. Intro music doesn’t have to be loud, complex or even particularly musical. It just needs to fit with your video and enhance the intro.
Hannah Hoffman’s intro starts at the 7 second mark and ends at the 15 second mark and it’s mostly made up of thunder. It reminds us of the MGM video logo with the lion roaring.
At this point you’re probably asking yourself: how is this intro music? Not all intros have to be soft and melodic. If you want to create excitement or highlight tension using a single sound effect, a lion’s roar or a drumbeat could effectively set the mood for your video.
More and more YouTubers are experimenting with YouTube Live. If you host regular live sessions at a specific time like Roberto Blake, then you can use intro music to set the mood and keep your viewers entertained while they wait for the session to start. Here, Roberto uses an upbeat track to get viewers ready for the main event. Pick a track that complements your content.
In this video, the same music is used throughout. It’s louder in the intro and fades into the background as we move into the meat of the video. Using the same piece throughout can work for you if it fits with your goals and intent!
Not every YouTube channel needs to start with the same intro every time. On his channel, Mark Leruste shares short videos around the theme of building an online business. Some feature him talking, others are shot at conferences or share a specific perspective. As a result, he uses a lot of different introductions.
If your own channel is an amalgamation of different videos, why not experiment with different styles of intro?
Music is a deeply personal thing. We’ve all got our favorite bands and composers so we’re not going to make any specific suggestions on that front. Instead, these tips will focus on what your intro music should do.
1. Keep it short
Video intros themselves tend to be pretty short. They’re just long enough to capture your attention and let you focus on what comes next. As a result, intro music tends to be pretty short as well. Pick a piece that fits the length of your intro and sounds good alongside it.
2. Make sure it reflects your brand
Intro music isn’t something you should choose haphazardly. It’s an integral part of branding and should reflect who you are and how you want others to see you. What’s at the heart of your brand? Who is your ideal customer?
If you create a lot of motivational videos, you may chose something epic and uplifting. If you make fashion and beauty videos, the music you chose may be softer. Make sure it’s something your viewers can connect to.
3. Get the volume right
There’s nothing more annoying than a loud burst of music when you’re trying to relax and enjoy a video. Pick music that enhances the mood you’re trying to create and doesn’t scare viewers off.
4. Match it to the intro
The music needs to match your intro’s graphics. A successful introduction is the perfect mix of sound and visuals that come together to tease the start of something awesome.
5. Try a voiceover
Voiceovers aren’t just for 80s trailers. They’re an effective way to add an extra bit of personality to your video and start building an emotive connection. This is particularly effective if you do a lot of voice overs anyway. It introduces you and people get familiar with your voice.
Some YouTubers like Philip DeFranco don’t use a specially-designed introduction. Instead, he starts every video with pretty much the same spoken intro. It takes about 5 seconds and serves as a way to help the viewer focus in and get ready for the rest of the video. You can get a similar result by recording a voice over!
6. Stay consistent
Consistency creates familiarity. Familiarity grows into trust. That said, you don’t have to use the same intro in every video.
The important thing is to keep the tone and genre similar so it aligns with your brand. For example, beauty vlogger Rachel Brennan uses several different tracks for her videos, but they’re all on the same theme and fit her content.
Once you’ve decided what you need, it’s time to find it!
Whatever you do, don’t use copyrighted music you don’t have legal access to. Seriously. There’s nothing but lawsuits on that road.
There are a lot of great resources where you can buy royalty-free music, but finding good quality royalty-free music that you can use for free is much harder. Luckily, we’ve taken a trip down that road for you and put together a list of places you can find different kinds of royalty free music.
Most of these sites have pretty good search functions, so you can use them to find music specifically designed with intros in mind.
Audiojungle is one of our go-to sites. It’s got nearly 50,000 results, with intro tracks perfectly suited for any sort of video.
Good luck on your hunt for the perfect video intro music!