Content Creation

How To End a YouTube Video The Smart Way

Vukasin Ilic 7 min read
How To End a YouTube Video The Smart Way

Have you ever worked intensely on a video and been really happy with the creation process, then realized that you don’t have an ending?

Or have you checked your YouTube metrics and noticed that a large percentage of viewers move on before finishing the video?

This is a common issue with many creators on YouTube.

They focus so much on the body of the content that they forget about the ending.

And while the body is the most important part, creating an engaging ending can increase stats, give you more chances to advertise other videos or products you have, and even let you add post-roll advertisements (ones that appear after your video instead of before or in the middle).

This guide aims to help creators understand different types of endings, which can work best for your channel’s videos, and how you can read your stats to understand which endings work well.

Benefits Of a Good Ending

As mentioned above, creating a good ending can lead to various benefits for you and your channel. Here are some examples:

  • Increased metrics
  • Guide viewers to more of your content
  • Add YouTube ads

There are several metrics that will influence your chances of getting your videos suggested by YouTube on other users’ homepages.

They will also rank you higher on the platform’s search engine, as well as Google.

The longer viewers watch your videos, the higher these metrics will go, and the more likely it is that you can benefit from YouTube’s algorithm.

And once you’re ranking highly in searches and showing up on recommended pages, the more your channel can grow.

As your channel grows, the more views, subscribers, likes, comments, shares, and chances for monetization you’ll have.

The same goes for guiding your viewers to more of your content.

You can add annotations and cards to the end of your videos to do this.

You can also give them information on your presence on other websites, courses that you have created, discounts that you want to share, and merch you want to sell.

All of this can add up to a life as a professional YouTuber.

Finally, good stats lead to better ads. With increased results, you can have pre- and mid-roll advertisements that will let you get more money from the platform.

You can also try out post-roll ads, so once the video is over, the viewer will have a new advertisement waiting for them.

This doesn’t always work to the creator’s advantage, so it’s worth understanding what works best for your channel.

What to Avoid When Creating an Ending

Before taking a look into the best ways to end a YouTube video, here are some points to avoid in order to optimize your audience’s retention rate.

Avoid Obvious Endings

YouTube users are usually ready to move on to the next video before the one they’re watching is finished.

You should try to make sure they aren’t completely sure the video is ending (unless they check the progress bar).

They should feel that there is always one last piece of wisdom or a final joke coming up before they move on.

With good tactics, you can use the fear of missing out to your advantage.

Don’t Use Too Many Calls to Action (CTA)

A CTA is a great way to get your audience to interact with your channel. You can encourage them to leave a comment, subscribe to your channel, check out your website, or more.

What you should avoid is using all of these calls to action every time.

Think about your own viewing habits. Would you keep watching the end of a video to be told to “leave a comment, like this video, subscribe to the channel, check out the video from last week, open up our website, sign up for our newsletter,...”?

Probably not. You should try to have some sort of interaction, but limit it to one or two per video.

Steer Clear of Long Endings

Taking too much time to end your video is another method to avoid.

Viewers will already have taken all the information they wanted and are ready to move on, so your ending should be short and engaging to keep them interested for the last few seconds.

Which Metrics Can Give Insights on Endings?

The best way to know how efficient the ends of your videos are is by checking your stats.

You can find all the key metrics in your YouTube Creator account by going to Analytics. There, you will find insights into how your videos are doing.

The best ones to keep an eye on to see which video endings are working well are:

Watch time refers to the total amount of minutes that your audience has watched your video for.

This is linked to average view duration, which is the watch time divided by the number of plays.

The higher the value, the more users are sticking around until the end.

The average percentage viewed is the amount of video that has been watched before the viewer moves on.

Anything over 50% is solid.

The closer you get to 100%, the better the ending is as more viewers stay until the end.

Engagement refers to comments, likes and dislikes, and shares.

Not all viewers will wait until the end of the video before they interact with these features, but many will if it is engaging enough.

End screen cards only appear in the last 5 to 20 seconds of a video, and can be used to give viewers the chance to open a new video of yours, enter your channel, go to your website, etc.

By checking your analytics report, you can see how many people are clicking on your end screen cards, giving you a clearer idea of how many people watch the video until the end.

Best Ways to End a YouTube Video

Every YouTube creator has their own way of finishing off their videos.

While some of these methods don’t work too well (long or obvious endings and using too many calls to action), there are plenty that can add value to your videos. Here they are:

  • Wrap-up
  • Ask for a response/CTA
  • Cliffhanger/Teaser
  • Thread the story
  • Add a prize
  • Add a tagline


Wrapping up what you discussed or demonstrated in your video can be a great way to finish, as long as you don’t draw it out too much.

Giving a quick recap helps viewers to remind themselves of what they just watched and what they can implement into their own lives.

Using anecdotes or jokes can be useful here as it keeps the ending light but also adds value by keeping the audience engaged.

Personal development videos and reviews are two examples of content that greatly benefit from wrap-ups.

Demonstrations or instructional videos do too, as they summarize what the viewer has seen so that they can replicate the process themselves.

You can even throw in an extra tip so that your audience understands the benefit of sticking around.

Ask For a Response/CTA

A great way to engage your audience and make them feel a part of the community is by asking them to leave a comment, like your video, subscribe to the channel, and more.

As mentioned before, too many of these calls to action can put people off, so restricting it to one or two is best.

You can also go for a call to action to try out what the video went over and then ask for a response.

For example, at the end of a cooking tutorial, you could say to go try out the recipe at home and let you know in the comments how it went afterward.

This creates a feeling of comradery between you and the viewer, as you are ready to hear how their experience went.

You can then reach out to give extra tips or get new ideas for videos.


If you’re building an audience and want to make sure they come back for more, try adding a cliffhanger to the end of your video.

This can add intrigue just as it does in your favorite series.

The desire to know more can lead viewers to subscribe to your channel and enable notifications so they won’t miss out.

Coming up with cliffhangers can be tough, as each video should have its own intrigue and not feel incomplete.

However, you can give a teaser about what your next piece of content will be about without completely giving it away.

Thread The Story

Going back to the thread is a concept used by storytellers, especially comedians.

To do it right, you’ll need to have a hook that runs through the whole video, not just at the end.

In comedy, the hook will usually reappear when least expected and becomes funnier with each repetition.

Doing this can be tough, but if you can, it will work wonders. Viewers will be waiting for the next connection of the thread right up to the end.

Add a Prize

By mentioning to your viewers within the body of the video that there is a prize or competition coming up at the end, you’ll have a better chance of keeping them engaged throughout.

They’ll want to stick around to see what it is and how it can benefit them.

You can announce something exciting that you’ve been working on, a chance to win a free gift by leaving a comment, free downloads from your website, or an exciting piece of content that will be released in the future, like an interview with someone famous and relevant to your niche.

Add a Tagline

Taglines and slogans are good ways to build your brand.

They are sentences or even sounds that can help people identify you.

Ending each video with your own sign-off can boost your connection with your audience and signal the very end of your video.

This method works best in conjunction with some of the others. For example, you could do a call to action and then sign off with your tagline before cutting to an end screen.

You can figure out what works best for you by trying different combinations.

Bottom Line

As a YouTube creator, you want to make sure your content is as good as it can be from start to finish.

Sometimes this can be difficult, so following the tips in this guide can help you find the best ending for you.

Wrapping up, making a call to action, teasing the next video, returning to the story’s thread, offering a prize, or using your own tagline can build engagement with your fans and increase your stats.

Keeping an eye on your metrics is the best way to understand how well your endings are working.

If you have high watch times, levels of engagement, average view durations and percentages viewed, and end-screen clicks, you’ll have a clearer idea of how engaging your outros are.

This can lead to more chances of monetization across your channel.

Feel free to let us know if you use any of these methods to end a YouTube video in the comments.


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