Part 1 of 2 on Branding Your YouTube.
Before you even post your first video to YouTube channel, it is important that you first figure out how you want your YouTube channel to look and feel - and in what way will it best represent your unique content. It doesn't matter whether you are an actor, restaurant, hotel, medical device company or non-profit: you only have 10 seconds to impress your audience once they land on your channel page.
YouTube Channel Name
Photo courtesy of WikiHow
You need to think about the name you pick for your channel. It should be a name that represents you (and isn't ideally taken, as you won't be able to use the same name as someone else). This could range from your personal name, company name, a stage name to the name of a specific product you provide (this can also include the name of your vlog, if that is the purpose of your YouTube channel). It is important to think of your name on YouTube like a good URL name.
If the name is already taken, you can think about what the focus is of your videos or the location. For example, if there is already a page called XYZ (and it is the same as yours) then try XYZBoston or XYZVideo. Now if XYZ is a large company, you will want to revisit the name overall. Either way, people will know you by this channel name so make it good!
Next, you want to think about what best visually represents you and/or your channel. This visual representation needs to be shown in your profile image as well as cover page in order to properly brand your YouTube channel.
YouTube Profile Image
If it is for a company, stick with your logo, as that is what is your primary bit of marketing collateral that people recognize you with. If your channel is based on you as an individual presenter or a few presenters, use a personal picture. You are your own "logo" at this point and your own branding since you are directly providing the service (ex. tips/tricks, entertainment).
The other thing you can do is create a professionally staged photo and incorporate the proper typography. You see these types of images all of the time for podcasts.
Here are some examples of professional staged photos with typography work:
YouTube Cover Page
Photo courtesy of Ignacio
The YouTube channel cover page needs to represent what you do or talk about. It should have the same energy, creativity, conceptual thinking as what goes into your videos (this is the first thing people see when they visit your channel after all).
It could be a collage of images from the different videos you have, it could be an image of the product/service you provide or of you/your team. It is all about what message you are trying to convey and what is the purpose of your channel.
We also recommend the name of the station/company/persona that the channel has to do with and the official website (if one exists)listed on the cover page. The text can also encourage people to subscribe to the channel!
Also, try to be as consistent as possible to other branding that already exists online. For example, both Twitter and Facebook also have you create a profile image and cover page. For brand continuity sake, try to make all profile images and cover-pages the same across all social media. This is your branding/voice and you want to make sure it is consistent, not scattered and random as it reflects on the work you do!
YouTube Channel Trailer
Photo courtesy of Marie Forleo
A nice feature that YouTube has implemented in channels, is the ability to have a featured video that will auto-play anytime someone visits the channel. This is great if you are trying to pitch yourself to your ideal audience. You can create a YouTube Channel Trailer that quickly talks about the value of your channel, who you are and how they can benefit from subscribing.
We would recommend a video between 30 seconds and 1 minute 30 seconds. 1:30 is for a video that has multiple engaging elements that gives someone a reason to watch. If it is just you talking to the camera, keep it to 30 seconds. You can do a lot in 30 seconds in order to brand your YouTube channel.
This channel features a great example of the intro video:
Want to know more?
Read Part 2 of Branding Your YouTube by clicking this link now!