YouTube is the world's second-largest search engine, with only Google getting more search activity. And your videos could be someone's first introduction to your company, your subject matter, or your industry.
That's why any search engine optimization (SEO) your company does must include branding your YouTube channel. If your content is seen by users, your brand identity should be crystal clear.
YouTube Branding Best Practices
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to branding your YouTube channel:
Stand Out: Your channel brand, like your overall brand identity, should showcase the unique characteristics that separate your channel from your competitors'. Your differentiators, including unique visuals, language, and offerings that make you stand out, should be evident to anyone looking at your channel homepage.
Be Clear: The images and content you use to brand your YouTube channel should be clear and instantly recognizable as part of your business. The language, the colors, and anything else you use to customize your channel should be consistent with your home page, service pages, and any content marketing landing pages you've created.
Include High-Quality Images: Use simple, high-quality logos and images for your YouTube channel branding. Anything grainy will affect users' perception of your credibility, and anything improperly sized may break or load improperly, which can lead to a declining position in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Be Personable: Your channel branding should include a "human element". Like any content marketing, the content on your YouTube channel should be accessible and relatable.
Complete Your YouTube Channel Branding
In order to fully optimize your YouTube channel, make sure your branding/brand identity is clear in the following key places:
Channel Icon: Your logo can be used as your channel icon, which represents your channel across all of YouTube. We suggest using a logo because it's instantly identifiable as yours. Once you add a channel icon, it will show up on your channel page, when you comment, and on the bottom right of videos in most playback modes. Both square and round images are okay, as long as they meet the YouTube design guidelines.
Channel Art: Also known as the channel banner, this is a large image that goes across the top of your channel homepage to show users what your channel is about. You could use another branded image, a different version of the logo, or your upload schedule could all go here. Banners are at least 2560x1440 px to achieve optimal appearance across all devices. You can also customize cards, thumbnails, and end screens as you build out your YouTube branding.
Channel Description: Describe your channel in the “About” tab to show people what to expect. Along with branded keywords, YouTube recommends using this space to describe your video content (using topical keywords), share your video upload schedule, and explain who is featured in your videos. This is also an opportunity to link to your website, contact information, and any social media accounts where you have a regular presence.
Channel Trailer: Unsubscribed viewers who find your channel see this short video. This is the perfect place to show them what to expect and encourage them to subscribe, comment, or contact you with questions.
Once you've built out the videos on your channel, creating topical playlists will give YouTube users more specific content to explore and more detailed analytics you can use to inform future videos as part of a smarter content marketing approach.