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How to Brand Your Blog’s YouTube Channel

This guest post is by Jenny Dean of Business Blog Writers.

Whether you run a business with a YouTube channel, you’re a blogger whose blog has a complementary YouTube channel, or you’re someone with a blog who’s thinking of setting up a YouTube channel, you may be interested in knowing how to brand a YouTube channel.

Why is branding important?  The most famous brands in the world are identified by their logos. In fact, a college kid can be wearing a red shirt with white lettering in the font of the Coke brand, but the message on the shirt doesn’t even have to read “Coke” in order for us to know what brand it is.

Your brand gives people a way to easily identify you. Because images are so powerful, your brand becomes a way for them to emotionally connect with you as well.  Whether if they find your blog by seeing one of your videos on YouTube, or if they end up on YouTube through a link from your site, you want them to know they’re still with you.

Although social networking has brought a lot of advantages to bloggers and companies, it also limits the ways you can control your brand. YouTube has made this a little easier by allowing you to include your branding within your account.

There are two options when it comes to branding your YouTube channel:

  • A background branding option, which is available to everyone.
  • A banner and call-to-action branding option that’s available only YouTube partner.

That’s right: only YouTube partners can add banners to their channels. If you want to add a banner and you’re not a YouTube partner, you might want to become one.  Of course, being a YouTube partner also gives you the opportunity to earn extra cash because YouTube shares ad revenue with its partners.

In order to qualify as a YouTube partner, your videos need to attract a certain number of views, and you need to post rather regularly. Unfortunately, the exact number of hits you need, and the post frequency requirements aren’t defined numbers. You can learn more about YouTube Partner qualifications on the YouTube website.  As a guide, my own application for my YouTube channel took over four months, and I think I applied twice. If you’ve had experience with becoming a YouTube partner, please tell us about it in the comments.

To give you a quick visual idea of the difference between a branded YouTube channel and one that is not branded, check out the image below:

You can immediately see the brand advantage of having my Floppycats.com domain name staring you in the face. My Antioxidant-fruits.com page is hardly recognizable—all it has is a dinky little image next to my username for that channel. As you can guess, I am not a YouTube partner on my Antioxidant-fruits.com channel (the application is pending)—otherwise I’d switch it up immediately.

Adding your website’s banner to your YouTube channel

If you’re already a YouTube partner, these are the steps you’ll need to follow to add your website’s banner to your YouTube channel.

  1. Sign into YouTube.
  2. Select My Channel from the drop-down menu under your username at the top-left of the YouTube page.
  3. Click on Branding Options.
  4. Upload your banner.  You may need to resize your banner to the maximum width and height at which your banner can appear on YouTube, which is 960px by 150px.  Of course, it can be smaller than 960px by 150px, but no larger than that.  Note that your banner can only be an image—either a .gif, .jpeg, or .png. You can’t use a Flash banner, for example.
  5. Fill in the Channel Banner Height.
  6. Fill in the Channel Banner Link. This is where the user will be redirected if s/he clicks on the banner.  If you would like your banner to link to several different areas, you will need to add in an Image Map Code, which will allow you to attach certain links to certain parts of the banner.
  7. Click Save Changes.
  8. Refresh your page and see how it looks.

How does all this look in the end?  Here’s how my Floppycats.com YouTube channel banner turned out:

Adding your blog’s call to action to your YouTube channel

In addition to adding your website’s banner, you can also add your website’s call to action or CTA to your YouTube channel.  This is advantageous because it can become another source of traffic for your website (and in my case, another way to generate free content for my blog). Here’s how to do it.

  1. Sign into YouTube.
  2. Select My Channel from the drop-down menu under your username at the top-left of the YouTube page.
  3. Click on Branding Options.
  4. Below the Channel Banner there is a section called Channel Side Column Image. This image will display in the left column above the “Connect with” box (maximum 300px by 250px).
  5. Upload the image.
  6. Add your“Side Column Image Link, CTA landing page, or, again, you can set up an Image Map Code.
  7. Click Save Changes.
  8. Refresh your channel to see if you like how it looks.

Here’s how my Floppycats.com YouTube channel side column image turned out:

As I mentioned, I waited about four months to find out that I was a YouTube Partner for my Floppycats.com site.  I went in and added the channel banner and the channel side column image. I also added video page branding, which is an image that’s substituted for your channel name.

Adding your brand to individual video pages

  1. Sign into YouTube.
  2. Select My Channel from the drop-down menu under your username at the top-left of the YouTube page.
  3. Click on Branding Options.
  4. Click on Video Page Branding.
  5. Upload an image that’s 25px in height and up to 170px in width (width can be flexible, but no more than 170px wide).  The image will display at the upper left corner of the Watch page on all your video pages.
  6. Click Save Changes.
  7. Go to one of your videos to see if you like how it looks.

Here’s how my Floppycats.com YouTube Video Page Branding looks now:

If your YouTube channel is one of your main sources of traffic and is at the core of what you’re all about, then you might consider updating it when major holidays are around the corner to be a little more festive.

Or if you are running a promotion, a special giveaway, or some other promotion, you could definitely exchange your website banner, CTA image, or your video branding image for a more time-sensitive one, and replace the promotional image with the original after your event has ended.

Another option: grab a background

In doing additional research for this post, I came across another great blog post about creating a free YouTube background to make your YouTube channel more stylish. This option is especially helpful for people that aren’t yet YouTube partners.

What ideas or tips do you have for branding your YouTube Channel?  I’d be interested in hearing any creative marketing strategies you’ve come up with!

Jenny Dean is a 31-year-old-business owner and entrepreneur from Kansas City. Jenny is currently working on Business Blog Writers, a company that supplies blog content specifically for company’s blogs, Floppycats.com, an informational website about Ragdoll cats and Antioxidant-fruits.com, an informational website about the antioxidant powers of fruit. Follow Business Blog Writers on Twitter or on Facebook.

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Comments

  1. I have been toying with the idea of starting my own YouTube channel, and this is rather timely.

    • This is a great time saver. I’ve had to set up a lottery you tube channel once, but I spent way too much time on it. This will help me next time, thank you.

  2. Great post! Our very first Youtube video went viral so we were asked early on to be Youtube Partners and love it! We’ve been on an open ended world tour as a family non-stop for the last 5 years so don’t have as much time as we’d like for Youtube but it’s been a great support for our travel blog and website – http://www.soultravelers3.com

    We haven’t really done any branding on Youtube yet but I like your ideas! The biggest key for us has just been doing high quality “little movies” out of our youtube videos and we get lots of compliments on them and I think that makes them stand out, especially in the travel niche where there are surprisingly few great channels. ( I think we are the only single travel blogger who have been asked to be Youtube Partners). We didn’t ask them, they asked us, which I have heard is the usual way it is done.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/soultravelers3?blend=2&ob=1

    • Jenny says:

      That is great that they asked you – my guess is because it went viral…I have never heard that before. Good to know.

  3. musicblog says:

    Thats good way..Realy youtube very helpful permote website..Many webmaster do this..

  4. This is extremely timely because I’m setting up an interview channel and there are a few things I was not aware about.

    Thanks a lot for sharing all this great content!

    Krizia

  5. thanks for all the tips on setting up a youtube channel. I haven’t set one up yet but it is something i should really get around to doing.

  6. Sammy says:

    Great article with visual examples! I’ll definitely try this method of promotion.

  7. Adrienne O. says:

    Great and very helpful posts… Thank you so much!

  8. I think it was one year before I was accepted onto the partner programme. Around 100,000 views and 1,000 subscribers. It does take a while but it gets easier over time!…

    David Edwards

    • Yes, I didn’t really keep track of how long it took me – but I had had the channel up for a few years before I even knew the YouTube partners thing existed. It is super easy once it’s set up.

  9. Fred says:

    This functionality is already being rolled out to select AdWords advertisers that are not YouTube partners. Eventually, every channel will have this functionality without having to allow ads on the channel as currently required by the partner program.

  10. I’ve already got 370000 views on Rotweiller Wars and it’s been months and months of waiting. Does Youtube back date advertising revenue earned from my film? They’ve yet to contact me either way?

  11. Tim says:

    This is great. Something I’ve been learning how to do on my own and here it is… great!

  12. Jenny,
    Thank you for the excellent information. A You Tube channel is something I have had in mind since I just purchased a video camera. No videos yet but ideas are coming to mind.

    Again, I appreciate on the detail in your article. Thanks Darren for having Jenny write this.

    David

  13. James says:

    Fantastic post – Thanks PB

  14. Branding the product with logo is very important. It will help us to target audience used to or familiar to our products.

  15. YouTube marketing is the way to go as if you get your marketing right you can use it to get on page one of google.

  16. Russ says:

    Excellent Post! I am going to work on getting more subscribers! Thanks for the great info!

    • I would be curious on how to execute getting more subscribers. Do you know a strategy for that Russ? Thanks, Jenny

      • Chris Alta says:

        Jenny!

        I would think you need to have some kind of call to action box pop-up in the video at certain points. Maybe at points in the video that are funny, help the viewer, or engage them emotionally. This way you’re hitting their hot button right at the moment they get some type of feeling you know?

        So for example if they happen to laugh you could put, “if you thought that was funny subscribe to the channel for new updates and videos!”

        Just a thought!

        cheers!

        -Chris Alta

  17. Alex says:

    Thanks for not only sharing the reasons for setting this up but for giving a detailed explanation as to how to actually do it.

    • Alex, you’re welcome. I’ve never been much of a techie and need help today with OIO Publisher on WordPress – so I completely understand the importance of a detailed explanation. And with the help of Georgina of Problogger.net – I didn’t miss a step. Thanks, Jenny

  18. Thats good way..Realy youtube very helpful permote website..Many webmaster do this..

  19. Simon says:

    I do YouTube vlogging as a full-time job, so I was happy to see ProBlogger get some YouTube love! Another thing I’d recommend for branding, apart from just having it in page, is to have it in video as well. Having a link back to your site at the end of the video is one example that comes to mind.

    Also, another thing worth mentioning is that the banner can be hell to match up with the background image you have as well, if you’re trying something fancy, so that it blends into the background. Spent many hours trying to get that right!

    • Simon, how do you vlog? And how do you add your link to the end of a video? Do you have to have a software program to be able to edit your videos? Mine are totally raw – I do no editing, because I don’t know how!

  20. Yeah i wonder when YouTube will launch their partnership programe in my country.I really am looking forwared to it.The day i become YouTube partner ill be like mad ! Coz i about 1 to 2 years youtube is launching their live streaming programe where partners would be able to do live shows on their channels ( live streaming ) ! This is awesome.

    I love ProBlogger And YouTube !
    Hassam

    http://bloggingehow.blogspot.com

  21. papa echa says:

    Great post, it seems so great to build our blog traffic

  22. Lea Sadler says:

    This is a great idea.
    I have been pondering the thought of creating some video posts for Nindo Mom, but haven’t quite gotten to the implementation part yet–and this post is going to be very helpful.

    I, as well, appreciate the detailed instructions you’ve given here. Saves me the trouble of having to Google it. :) The screenshots you’ve presented are excellent as well.

    Thanks!

  23. Mike Lopez says:

    I need to stop procrastinating on this. I need to pimp my YT channel fast!

  24. Rakesh Kumar says:

    Uploading videos on Youtube channel is great way to promote blog but I was little confusing to using it. Thanks for guide. Now i feel that i can setup and get achievement what i decided.

  25. Beth Norman says:

    What a timely article. My husband bought me a web came so we can set me up to shoot tutorials.

  26. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions. Useful resource for anyone wanting to create a cohesive brand

  27. This is really helpful, thank you! I haven’t applied to be a youtube partner yet because I thought I didn’t have enough views, but I do have a custom background. I’ve had several comments from viewers about the presence of my channel, how it reflects my message, and that’s a good thing. Now I can’t wait to become a partner so I can get a banner and follow your instructions! :)

  28. Very good advices. I think that people have to take advantage from all such social channels in case to get more traffic and to try to target it.

  29. Brian says:

    Jenny, Great post! This is so helpful for people as they learn the importance of integrating online (esp social) content strategies. You Tube video, blog posts, emails, reviews, chats, social campaigns, etc. are ALL great sources of content. They can also all work together toward the same goal . . .driving traffic to the calls-to-action that you did such a great job of showing. Thanks for making the online marketing world a smarter, more efficient, and more effective place.

  30. FMRacicot says:

    Very good post! Shows how simple it is to get these very important things taken care of.

  31. Chris Alta says:

    Jenny!

    Sweet post yo! I’ve been wondering how to brand my YouTube channel for about a month now and since I found this it’s definitely time to take action!

    I see a ton of channels that have videos with loads of views, but they don’t have a visibly appealing page to redirect users back to their website. In a sense they’re leaving viewers on the table! This is a really great strategy though and I’m super glad I found it.

    While we’re on the subject of YouTube I’ll ask for your opinion on something. Since YouTube video’s rank higher (for the most part) than articles wouldn’t it be smart to build backlinks to your YouTube videos? I’ve been thinking about doing that for a while now..I’m wondering why no one else has done it?

    talk soon, cheers!

    -Chris Alta

  32. Thanks so much for this post! I am planning on launching a video series for writers in the future–I have bookmarked this article for future reference. :)

  33. Ashish Patel says:

    I’m not a youtube partner… however i changed the layout and color of my channel. :)

  34. Very interesting post. I really like making videos for YouTube. I only have a few videos but my Channel is still very young :)

  35. These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written. It’s just great!! To create a new youtube channel and make brand of it ..

  36. Brad says:

    Some good info for youtube branding that more people really need to spend some more time doing. After all it is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world.

  37. Nice Jenny! Very well done. I could have used this tutorial when designing our Youtube Background. I’m so glad we’re working together in the future!

  38. Jerrick Yeoh says:

    social media allow youtube marketing spread faster because once your advertisement is interesting, people will auto share out to other like share out your blog to other and write something in their post to talk about your video. Beside that youtube is easily to track your traffic in social network while you can just type your video name and it can show up all post that relate to your video in facebook. Since everyone is using facebook to build brandname why not include youtube as well to build brand name.