Updated: Jul 7
Let's face it - Google is the king of search engines. Whatever you're searching for, Google's primary goal is to direct you to the best possible answer. But do you know which platform ranks as the second-largest search engine globally? It's YouTube, the go-to place for learning anything in today's digital age. From DIY car maintenance to understanding the conquests of Alexander the Great, YouTube, powered by Google, is reshaping our learning landscape. The interactive nature of video content makes it far easier and more engaging to learn from than mere written text. Plus, if your content is appealing, you have the potential to earn a significant income from something you're passionate about. But with countless content creators out there, how can your brand rise above the crowd? That's precisely what we're here to discuss.
The Business of YouTube Branding
Embracing social media is critical for contemporary businesses, with a staggering 86% of businesses utilizing YouTube. Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube content doesn't become obsolete but continues to garner views over time. But amidst the sea of competition, how can you get noticed? The answer lies in two key elements: effective branding and consistency.
We can't teach you to be consistent, but we can certainly help you understand how to brand your channel for success.
In essence, YouTube branding is the same whether for a business, a personal brand, or a hobby. It involves defining what you or your business stands for. If your brand values are innovation, integrity, and customer service, every aspect of your brand must echo these sentiments. YouTube Branding is similar to remodeling a house: you choose colors, tiles, and carpets that align with your chosen theme. Similarly, your brand presentation—your logo, colors, and font—must align with your brand identity. They silently communicate your brand's essence. If you aim to be an intellectual brand, for instance, clown-orange colors and bubble fonts might not be the best fit.
To grasp this better, analyze some of your favorite brands. What are they subtly communicating? Take the Nike logo, for instance; the swoosh feels swift, even speedy. Similarly, the word "Nike" means victory, reinforcing the quick, victorious brand image.
Like any individual or business, your YouTube channel needs a distinct style or feel, and that is your brand. To understand this a bit bitter here is a helpful picture of color psychology.
The Building Blocks of Branding
Before getting started, ensure you have a logo, a color scheme, a chosen font, and preferably professional photography at hand. With these tools, you can begin constructing your channel.
The Initial Steps
Just like building a patio, it's best to have all the materials handy to start your work seamlessly. The last thing you want is frequent interruptions for missing elements.
Start by creating a “Brand Account” on Google. This enables multiple users to log in as your business expands. Verifying your account will allow you to upload videos longer than 15 minutes and custom thumbnails for your videos. Keep your brand style guide close as you start designing and uploading your YouTube visuals.
This is where your logo or headshot comes into play. The image you upload should align with your brand image as it might appear on Google and YouTube at various times.
Think of your channel description as an elevator pitch. It should articulate what your channel offers, how it differs from others, and why viewers should watch your videos. If you have relevant credentials, incorporate them to enhance your credibility but remember, it's a pitch, not a resume. It should reflect your brand's voice.
Don't forget the power of YouTube's search functionality. The words in your titles, keywords, and descriptions can influence how your videos show up in search results. Leverage SEO to your advantage.
Ideally, your banner image should have dimensions of 2560 x 1440 pixels with a safe zone of 1540 x 427 pixels, centered. This is one of the areas where you can show your brand's uniqueness. Regular updates can keep your channel feeling fresh, provided the changes stay true to your brand.
Think of movie trailers: they offer a sneak peek into what's to come and build anticipation. Your channel trailer serves a similar purpose—it encapsulates the essence of your content and entices viewers to watch more. Remember, the ultimate goal is to gain subscribers. Your branding sets the tone, your trailer hooks viewers, all aimed at encouraging them to hit that subscribe button.
The title of your video is your first impression to viewers and a key factor in YouTube’s algorithm. To boost SEO, include relevant keywords, preferably towards the beginning of the title. Try to limit your title within 60-70 characters.
Consider Mr. Beast, one of the most successful YouTubers of all time. He reportedly spends between 5-10k on each thumbnail. That speaks volumes about the importance of the thumbnail. It’s the cover of your video book, the first thing people see. And if it's not appealing, viewers may never discover how great your video is.
Make your thumbnail visually appealing, dynamic, and expressive—including faces and additional text can help capture viewers’ attention. Ensure its dimensions are spot-on for a high-quality appearance in both large and small mediums.
It's akin to writing the blurb of an exciting novel, the first few lines need to capture your audience's attention. A summary of your video within the first 300 characters is ideal. This ensures the core message is conveyed before the "Show More" button interrupts. Upon clicking this, viewers will find additional details, the backdrop of your video, and most importantly, links to your website and social media channels. This is your opportunity to direct them towards more about your brand, product offerings, and other relevant videos or playlists.
However, while filling out this description, it's crucial to infuse it with relevant keywords for SEO enhancement. But remember, the trick is to make it sound natural and not spammy. Beware of the infamous 'keyword stuffing'; Google and YouTube certainly don't appreciate it.
These are not just an excellent way to organize your videos but also provide a snapshot of your brand and its offerings. Playlists curate similar content, making it easier for viewers and search engines alike to find relevant videos. Moreover, they encourage binge-watching. One video ends, the next begins - just like magic!
Playlists can be created with ease. Simply find the video you wish to add, click on the “add to” tab beneath the video, and then choose the playlist you want to add it to.
Think of these as thematic display shelves on your homepage that visually brand your channel. They categorize your videos into various topics or series, providing viewers with a quick overview of your channel's essence. To add a section, head over to the "customize channel" option on your homepage and click on "add a section."
Growth on YouTube often resembles the phenomenon described in Malcolm Gladwell's seminal work "The Tipping Point." Like the wheel's momentum, your growth may seem slow initially but can explode unexpectedly. A key contributing factor is the platform's metrics setup. YouTube aims to keep viewers engaged with sticky videos - content that is compelling enough to keep viewers hooked. This is where subscribers become crucial for your YouTube success. Hence, you'll often see vloggers asking viewers to subscribe and like their videos. The more you engage, the more they grow!
Don’t be to good to engage with your followers
Treat your viewers as your tribe, not just bystanders. When they engage with your content through comments, reciprocate. This interaction builds brand loyalty and fosters a sense of community around your content.
Whether you're an influencer or a corporate entity, sticking to your brand's ethos is paramount when creating content. A notable example is podcast host Joe Rogan, who has consistently remained true to his brand, protecting him from the unpredictability of cancel culture. Staying on brand is the expectation of your audience, and meeting it is key.
If you own a business and aren't actively blogging, it's time to rethink your strategy. This blog you're reading right now serves multiple purposes: it offers valuable content, boosts our Google credibility, and could easily be repurposed into a video.
If you already have a blog, you're already one step closer to creating YouTube content. Use your blogs as scripts for videos, discuss key points, or clarify complex concepts. You can use visual enhancements, source footage from platforms like Unsplash, Pexels Video, or HookSounds, or simply create a PowerPoint presentation video.
When creating video content, remember the 80/20 thumb rule: 80% evergreen content and 20% topical. While evergreen content retains relevance over time, topical content taps into current events or trends that your audience would be interested in.
Becoming the Authority
Building credibility through authentic, personal content is pivotal. Promoting existing videos is often more beneficial than constantly creating new ones. Whether you're a business or personal brand, YouTube is a powerful tool for establishing credibility.
Remember, while YouTube is an excellent platform for building your brand, it's essential to maintain a good relationship with its bigger sibling, Google. So, put on your SEO hat and start crafting engaging, SEO-friendly content for your YouTube channel today!