It’s most certainly possible to share your videos and build your brand at the same time using YouTube. In fact, this single platform has become the source of overnight sensations and viral content you see all over the web.
Here are a few quick tips for using video to build brand identity and impact:
1. Name Your Channel.
The name for your YouTube channel is an important step to branding yourself on YouTube. Think of your favorite YouTube channels. The memorable ones or the ones you might keep going back to likely have a theme or focus on a main topic. For instance, remember the Holderness Family? Their Christmas Jammies and other family jam sessions have a common theme: Reality TV meets Family Life. The same is true for Kid President, Robert Novak. This 11-year old is taking over all social media with YouTube as his hub. To date, many of his videos have received a combined total of over 2.6 Million views. His cheeky, yet somewhat profound commentary is a welcome dose of inspiration and motivation, from a kid no less.
Take a moment to think about the name for your channel. Don’t skimp on this. If video is your primary form of sharing content, you’ll want to brand your channel with a name that is short and sweet and helps people remember who you are. Don’t worry if you can’t think of a channel name during the set up process. YouTube does allow you to change the name of your channel.
2. Be Consistent.
How you show up is also a part of your branding. Being consistent is not just about what you post, but it’s also about how often you post. Similar to having a common theme, you want to have a schedule for posting and sharing your videos. Give people something to look forward to and keep them coming back by sharing videos regularly. Posting consistently lets your subscribers know what and when to expect, helps you increase viewership, attract new subscribers and helps your videos show up in YouTube search results.
3. Brand Your Channel Visually.
Whether your hire a designer or design your own social media graphics, don’t overlook the real estate that YouTube gives you to brand your channel. The Style Tips listed below show you the 3 main areas on Youtube that allow for your brand logo and other graphics, as well as the sizes and dimensions for your cover art.
YouTube allows you to set up an account for casual watching, liking and commenting on other people’s videos, but once you’re ready to upload your own videos, you’ll want to create a YouTube Channel.
YouTube Channel Style Tips
Brand your YouTube Channel with:
1. Channel Art
Your channel art is the cover photo that appears at the top of your Youtube Channel.
Youtube’s recommended size/dimensions for Channel Art or Cover Photo is 2560 x 1440, and the minimum required upload dimensions are 1546 X 423 px.
Tip for making sure your Cover Art looks great on all devices:
As you can see in the image above, YouTube does not display the full cover art on all devices. Oddly enough, the desktop version shows the least amount of the graphic. Keep your most important text, logo or visual content in the center of the graphic from top to bottom. The visible area in the desktop view is about 500 pixels from the top and bottom of the graphic, 440 pixels tall and spans across the whole graphic, however in the mobile view, about 540 px on both sides of the graphic get cut off. My recommendation is to keep your YouTube Cover art very simple, putting at least a photo of yourself, your logo AND a link to your website in the dead center of the graphic so it is visible on all devices.
Add a Watermark to your videos. A watermark is simply an logo or other image you want to overlay on your videos. The watermark will display in the top right corner of all your videos. For best visibility, you should use a PNG file with a transparent or clear background. If you can, it also helps to make reduce the opacity of the logo itself, so that it doesn’t take away from your video. Your watermark should be noticeable, but not in the way. The display size of the water mark is really small (less than 25 pixels tall) so typically a logo mark or icon works better than text.
3. Video Intro
Want to really stand out? Add a quick (10 seconds or less) bumper to the very beginning of your videos before you upload to Youtube. It doesn’t have to be fancy or over the top, just a quick sound effect with a logo entrance can do the trick or if you want something a little longer, go to Fiverr and get a 10 second video intro made for you (do a search for “Video Intros”). Just be sure to use only Royalty Free music and images with the proper Creative Commons license so you don’t violate any copyright laws.
YouTube Channel Profile Tips
- About Section: Be sure to complete your About Section to include a short bio about your business/brand. Use keywords in your description that are relevant to the type of videos you share. Also in the About section are Custom Links. Add at least one link here that links to another online presence. Ideally it should be your website. If you don’t have one (gasp!), link it to your Facebook page, Etsy store or other site where you can engage with people outside of Youtube.
- Playlists: Keep your videos on-message and on-brand by grouping videos on the same topic into Playlists. This allows people to navigate your channel quickly and also lets them immediately see the keywords and main topics of related to your brand.
- Customize Your Youtube URL: Youtube has changed the way it assigns custom URL’s. Now, you have to go through their verification process to get a custom URL. Since we’re talking about branding, these steps are worth the hassle – especially if you’re going to be using the platform quite a bit. I’ve included the link with instructions for how to get a custom URL for your Youtube channel below. Note you can bypass the other requirements if you have an official website, you can verify your site with Google Analytics and you’ll be all set. This also will require you to set up a Google Plus account if you don’t already have one.
Need to secure a Custom URL for Your YouTube Channel? Click here to get started.