How to do video credits right and not turn off your viewers

video film production

Time and attention on the internet are short, if you don’t do video credits right they will never be seen. And worse! Doing video credits wrong may mean your whole video is less likely to be seen.

What are video credits and why do I want them?

Video credits and lead-ins are the ‘cover/closing pages’ if you like, where you brand the video so it is easy to recognise. And the viewer can easily find the owner of the video if they want more.  I am starting to create video content now so this advice came for me at the perfect time. I had already decided on a really short lead in but ending credits was a new area to consider.

They add perceived quality to your video

Having a lead in and also a close out on your video is expected and ensures your brand is well positioned. People love the consistency and will easily associate the video with your brand. Mine will be a simple animated logo and a title for the video you are about to watch.

They link back to your site

Always includes some sort of link back to your website in videos you create. The video credit is the most common place to do this. Then if the video is shared by someone else, the viewers can always find their way back to you. An alternative to video credits at the end is to have your web address as a watermark.

They give credit

Duh! I know that seems obvious but you often need to have some acknowledgement added to the end of a video – particularly if you have used music or other elements that need attribution or you have a working relationship with someone that requires acknowledgement

  • You need them for contractual or attribution reasons
    • A partner you are working with may want their logo included in the video credits
  • You need them for attribution of the work of others
    • The use of royalty free music or images often requires that you mention the source in the credits

How can video credits be a problem then?

This is where the time and attention part comes in. Your video will be listed with the full duration INCLUDING any lead in or credits that are included but these are usually seen as low value or ‘skippable’ content by most consumers.

Your lead in and credits could easily add 30+ seconds to your clip, that might take some users over their limit. For me, taking a full 5 minutes to watch a YouTube clip seems a long time – but 4 and a half somehow seems OK.

Vimeo has just published a nice overview of how a good lead in grabs the viewer’s attention and also ideas and examples of how to handle the credits. I like the idea of simply telling the viewer that the credits are on the website. After all, isn’t the intention for most of us to bring the viewer to our website?

So how should I do video credits the right way then?

The Vimeo article suggests dropping them completely and adding a link back to your website where the credits will be given. This has the advantage that your overall video length is shortened – and you link people to your website.

Keep the lead in and the credit time to a minimum so that you keep your video short and sweet. When video credits are done right they add to the visitor experience and to your website visits too. If possible your lead in should be something that captures the viewer’s attention and curiosity quickly.

The tools for video have come a long way since I first started but it is never too late to go back and repurpose video you have done in the past. The best way to get experience is to simply create your own video now.

Have fun but think of your viewers and the competition for their attention.