As of 2018, YouTube was pulling over 1.8 billion users, almost reaching Facebook’s 2 billion—the most popular social networking site in the world.
If you’re looking to leverage your social media to grow your business, especially online, YouTube has quickly become one of the best ways to build an audience.
But it’s not enough to simply have a channel on the platform.
You have to know how to brand.
Beyond posting advertisements, learning how to brand your YouTube channel is about creating something that’s unique to you and the products/services that you sell.
Whether you’re just getting started on the platform, looking to revamp your channel, or simply wanting to learn more, here’s everything you need to know about creating a branded YouTube channel and the best practices.
What is the Value of YouTube?
YouTube blends the personal aspects of other social media sites with something that’s both more visually appealing and engaging. With video content—the most popular source of information for over 54% of consumers—users are given a more interactive experience.
They’re not simply watching, they’re taking part in the experience and learning more of the behind-the-scenes of a company, person, product, or brand.
That’s why it’s become increasingly important to focus efforts on video marketing. And why YouTube has gained so much popularity in recent years.
What is Branding?
Branding is creating a sense of identity and a unique voice through a platform or social media site. For example, everything in your channel should be focused on your goals, message, or product/services.
If you own a fitness company, then everything you post should be focused on fitness and health. Sharing something about dress shoes, for example, wouldn’t be a good fit. And it would make users confused about what your brand actually is.
Users want to come across a channel and know, from first glance, what’s being advertised and the ‘why’ behind it. By focusing your videos, your content, and your channel overall on that topic, you appear to be well-versed and even an expert in your company’s specific field/industry.
How to Brand Your YouTube Channel
Branding, although it can appear overwhelming at first, is actually far simpler than you think.
Before you even start creating videos or other content, though, you must first learn how to leverage YouTube as a marketing tool. What other platforms can you share your videos on? How are you going to keep your branding and sharing consistent?
You’ll also want to think about aspects of your design that will attract your potential customers and desired audience. If you have other active social media sites, dive into the insights from those pages (and any other online audiences you have) in order to make educated branding decisions.
Then ask yourself: How will I meet the needs and desires of my target audience? What will engage them? Hold their interest? Keep them coming back?
From there, you’ll want to incorporate all the basics:
Logo and Watermark
Everything you share should have your logo or some sort of watermark on the content itself. If you’re starting your page, be sure that your logo appears (preferably as the icon image, if relevant). This will be an 800 by 800-pixel image.
The channel icon is what viewers will see not only with any comments or ‘likes’ that your channel makes but on each video as well as in searches and main pages.
You want it to really advertise who you are and what you do.
For the watermark, one way to create this is through uploading a transparent image and overlaying it on your video content. This will keep your brand at the forefront of viewers’ minds, without distracting from your content. It can also prompt viewers to subscribe, which is the ultimate goal of online video marketing.
Beyond your channel image and logo, you’ll want to think about customizing your channel art. Channel art typically refers to the large banner/header image at the top of your page. You can create this image and customize it so that it fits all screens: computer, tablet, and mobile.
This will be the first image that users see, beyond your logo, when they visit your page.
Custom Descriptions and URLs
If you want to learn how to brand your YouTube channel effectively, one of the best ways is through your channel description.
Although this seems basic, this is the section that will help users find you through online searches. Of course, you’ll want to keep this section short and simple, but making it SEO-friendly is a must. Whenever possible, take advantage of any relevant keywords and hashtags that will help users find you.
If possible, include backlinks to your website or other social media links as well.
At the top right of your video, you can also customize each URL. This is a huge advantage not only in terms of audience reach but SEO, too. Again be sure to create URLs that take advantage of keywords, but are also simple and user-friendly so people can easily find your content when searching YouTube or even Google.
Social Media and Sharing
As mentioned previously, adding your social media in the description is a very important branding tool. Beyond that section, though, at the top of your channel are icons for links. Be sure to add your sites there so that users can easily be redirected to those other platforms.
Also, make sure you’re sharing your videos through all your social media pages to gain traction and build a natural following. Creating a successful video marketing campaign through other channels that link back to your YouTube page is another way to build your online audience.
Now You’re Ready to Take Your Channel to the Next Level
YouTube is one of the fastest-growing social media sites and comes with a strong advantage for tapping into video marketing.
Whether you’ve created a channel or are already posting content, using these tips for building a brand identity will ensure steady growth and audience engagement.
To earn more about how to brand your YouTube channel, for questions, or browse our SEO services, click here.