Look, let's face facts, good design hooks people in. A lot of times new creators don't even think about design or branding. In this chapter we discuss how critical channel branding is and how to approach it.
Your channel branding is key.
Most of your conversions, meaning people actually hitting that subscribe button, will happen right on your channel. The way you present yourself and your brand can be make it or break it in a lot of different circumstances. It’s important that you focus on the finer points and create a place that is meant to intrigue, impress, and convert.
Branding can be tough, especially if you have little to no experience in any form of design. I cannot stress enough how important quality branding is. Good design is a shortcut to instant visual credibility. You don’t have to be the best at designing, but if you have no experience, there are always great opportunities to learn how to go about designing graphics. If it comes down to it, spend some money and have a designer create something for you. Trust me, it’s worth it. Let’s go over all the places that your branding is important:
Your channel title
I don’t need to tell you how important this one is. The title of your channel is how you will represent yourself, how you’ll represent your brand. It should be unique to you. Obviously, if you’re wanting to move forward using your own name, or stage name, go ahead and do so. I think it’s best to do that if your content is personal and revolves around you. However, if you plan to make content that isn’t meant to reflect you or your life, I’d go with creating a channel title that is more of a brand name, rather than your personal one.
If you decide to create a name for your brand, make it simple. Come up with something that ties you to your niche and is easily remembered. Too many creators put too little thought into how they title their channel, and those are the people that you miss on a daily basis. Create something that helps you stand out and elevates your channel over the rest.
Your channel icon / avatar.
This image will show up the most across the entire YouTube platform. It shows up on:
- Your channel
- YouTube search
- Watch pages
- Subscription feeds
- Mobile devices
- Browse pages
- YouTube comments
As you can see, just based off of how frequently this image is displayed, it’s easily the most impactful way to represent you and your brand. Because of this, you need to use something that, when people see it, they instantly recognize it as you no matter where they are on the site. You can use a picture of yourself or, of course, your own logo. Just make sure that it’s unique and clearly legible in any size.
Your channel banner / header image.
This is obviously the image that appears on top of your channel, but did you know it also appears on:
- Browse pages
- Mobile devices
- YouTube channel
I have one request: please don’t neglect your channel banner and use something pre-made from YouTube? Anytime I go to a channel and they’re using a generic banner, they instantly lose credibility to me and chances are, I won’t be sticking around.
This is the first thing your viewer sees when they visit your channel, and first impressions are everything. Use this space to quickly and clearly show them what your channel is about and what you’re offering.
Your channel trailer.
I thank YouTube every day for introducing this feature. Your channel trailer is a short video that is possibly the single best opportunity for you to convince someone to subscribe.
It should clearly explain and show your viewers what your channel is all about and what they can expect to get from you if they subscribe. Your channel trailer should:
- Be roughly 30 seconds long, 1 minute is pushing it.
- Introduce the viewer to you and your personality
- Clearly show what your value proposition is and why they should watch
- End with a call-to-action asking them to subscribe
You don’t have a lot of time to capture their attention. Make it count.
Your thumbnails are another great way to attach your branding. No matter what the core of the thumbnail is, it’s best to keep the look of each on semi-consistent. Regardless of where your videos are showing up, when someone sees the thumbnail, it needs to be instantly identifiable and familiar to your brand. You can do this by including your logo in the corner of each thumbnail or just keeping a consistent style to each one. If you have to, create a template for your thumbnails and stick to it.