So you've read our "Getting Started on Youtube" blog post and now you're here!
The next move is to BRAND your YouTube channel while also incorporating your niche. Branding is extremely critical and will absolutely help you stand out from the crowd. I'd spend some time on this and think about how you want your channel to look and sound. People appreciate consistency, and the more you keep your channel and all visuals consistent, the more people would want to stick around and be a part of your YouTube world.
Channel branding and why this is so important
Branding is essentially telling your story and your "why" through your channel's copy, photographs, and artwork. No matter where you are with your channel, spending a few minutes (or hours) on your branding will help you realign your purpose, niche, and why.
Spend some quality time with your new best friends, Canva and Picmonkey, as a first step, if you haven't already. By all means, if you already have graphic arts experience with Photoshop, take advantage of it and put it to good use! If you're anything like me, you'll want to spend some time learning about those two platforms.
While pic monkey has a lot of great features for free, Canva is definitely my favourite over picmonkey just for functionality and range of templates and textures and elements. They are both free but I would recommend absolutely to pay for canva premium! With canva you can also just reuse and repurpose content with one resize click! This is amazing for a number of reasons. One, a few well-designed templates can help you preserve a cohesive and consistent look on your channel by using identical fonts and colours in your thumbnails and blog posts. Second, it saves a massive amount of time!
The Channel Homepage and how it is the first impression of you
Next, let's concentrate on your YouTube channel home page. This page is crucial, as it also determines whether or not anyone can subscribe to your channel. The majority of your subscribers will come from this page. If anyone finds your channel through a video they found through a search, they are likely to spend some time perusing it, especially this important page. After a few seconds of trying it out, they will decide whether or not to subscribe.
Think of when you search out a channel for the first time. What kinds of stuff do you want to see? I can't emphasise how crucial this page is to your channel's overall brand and development.
Think of the colours and fonts you like with all of your graphics when you're playing around with PicMonkey and Canva. People appreciate reliability, so the simplest way to start building your brand image is to use two to three colours and two fonts that you'll use on your thumbnails, in-video graphics, and in your YouTube banner. Of course, you can still change your mind, modify it, and tweak it later, but designing the picture from the beginning would give you and your channel legitimacy.
Youtube Channel Banner
The majority of users can see your YouTube artwork first when they visit your channel. Your artwork should be a reflection of you, the niche you are targeting and your upload schedule. You must have at least one picture of yourself, and a short explanation of the relevance your channel has on your viewers. Alternatively, you should have a short overview of your niche.
If at all possible, I would stop using more than one of the large volume terms like Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle, Makeup, and similar terms. You can use certain terms, but I would add a few more phrases or words that are more memorable. The key aim is to explain who you are and what viewers might hope to see on your channel in a short overview. Keep it short and sweet!
Keep the colours and fonts you choose when experimenting with the graphic tools and use them to build your banner. Another thing you should think about is designing a logo.
*A comment on your channel icon photo. I recommend that you try taking a picture of yourself against a bright backdrop. It doesn't have to be a pro shot; simply take your camera and a tripod and take a few simple, high-quality images against a solid brightly coloured backdrop.
THUMBNAILS - THE BIGGEST CONVERSION TOOL
Thumbnails are crucial for getting viewers to click on your video as it appears in search results or in their feed. Thumbnails should be vibrant and eye-catching, with big, legible fonts. You will want your thumbnail to be consistent with the look and feel of your channel. You want someone to see one of your thumbnails and automatically recognise it as your channel. You can be as imaginative as you like with your thumbnails, as long as they stick out and are clear and not clickbait.
Youtube are cracking down on clickbait thumbnails and titles so while being exciting and drawing them in is the goal... don't say something that is completely untrue about your video on your thumbnail. This just makes people bounce which lowers your engagment rate.
Channel Trailer, their first watch
After that, I'd like you to create a channel trailer. You have the luxury of highlighting one video at the top of your YouTube home page, under your channel banner. This is a great opportunity to showcase either your BEST video or to create a channel trailer demonstrating the value proposition of your channel and give a glimpse of your personality. Obviously, if you're just starting out, skip this step and come back to it in 6 months when you've accumulated enough work to put together a trailer. Whether you don't have time to make a teaser or if you've just had your channel for a few months, it's fine to fill the slot with one of your favourite ones.
However, I would advise you to make the "advert" for your channel at some point. There are many reasons why having a channel trailer is important. One is to gain potential followers, and the other is to use it as a platform to reach out to advertisers and highlight yourself and your editing style.
After that, I'd like you to make playlists! Playlists are very useful, but not everyone takes advantage of them. You should make playlists for a variety of reasons. A playlist, for the purposes of this branding tutorial, allows a prospective subscriber to get a taste of the kinds of videos you make without having to watch anything in full. They can see the variety of videos you make at a glance.
End Screens and Intros
When people watch your video, the first thing they see is an intro. You should try making one to ensure that all of your videos are consistent. All you need is a two-second video shot that says something about the video to come. The biggest bounce rate comes from those who start and don't like the way it is edited, the content or unfortunately the person who's filming (it's not personal, it's all marketing and impressions.
You want to make an end card that incorporates your "brand" elements such as your logo, headshot, fonts, and colours while showing viewers what they can expect from your next video. Kelly Stamps does a small teaser of her next video so people will want to come back week after week.