Consistently engage your target audience.
Construct a brand narrative based on your brand values, perspective, and unique selling proposition.
YouTube recommends looking for recurring themes, formats, or common phrases to help conceptualize your brand identity. Identify brand assets, like logos and typography, to help make your channel identifiable.
For example, Bon Appétit describes its brand identity on its YouTube About Us page as a highly opinionated food brand that wants everyone to love cooking and eating as much as we do. Its brand identity also encompasses its logo, owned assets, and the personalities of Bon Appétit hosts.
Use your branded logo as your channel icon, like Hulu or Airbnb.
The icon can be a square or circle, but its contents should fit inside the frame. Add more background around your logo or crop the image to get the desired look. Make sure it’s an image file format, 800 x 800 px, and renders at 98 x 98 px. Go to your channel, click Customize Channel > Branding tab > Upload picture.
Go to your channel and click Customize Channel > Branding tab > Upload to add a banner that provides channel information, like upload schedules, brand logos, upcoming videos, and new products.
Use a graphic design tool like Canva, PicsArt, or Crello to create a channel banner that:
- Is at least 2048 x 1152 pixels.
- Has a file size of 6 MB or less.
- Includes your upload schedule and links to brand information.
- Is consistent with brand colors, typography, and channel branding, like Spotify’s branded channel banner.
- Highlights new videos, products, promotional campaigns, or channel updates.
Add linked social media icons and your website link to your banner by going to Customize Channel > Basic info tab > Add links under link category.
Create a channel trailer that’s about a minute long, provides a preview of the type of content viewers can expect, and introduces unsubscribed viewers to your brand.
To upload, go to Customize Channel > Layout tab > Add channel trailer. For current subscribers, choose a featured video that will play in place of the trailer.
For example, Aerie’s channel trailer features one of its celebrity ambassadors Iskra Lawrence, who introduces potential subscribers to the brand on YouTube. She speaks directly to the viewer, shares her love of Aerie’s values, gives a brief preview of the type of content the Aerie channel provides, and includes a reminder to subscribe to the channel.
Curate your content by creating playlists and choosing featured sections that group related videos. Go to Customize Channel > Layout tab > Add section to choose which videos to feature on your main page.
Show consistency by creating thematic playlists and featured sections. For example, FabFitFun’s featured sections showcase playlists like Behind the Box with Katie Kitchens, Box Spoilers, and FabFitFun Summer 2021 Unboxings. All are curated videos from influencers and fans. For easy recognition, videos in each playlist have thumbnails that match and complement videos in that category.
Create custom thumbnails that feature your brand colors, typography, and personality. Use a 16:9 aspect ratio, under 2 MB, a resolution of 1280 x 720, and an image file format.
Create an overarching style theme for all your video thumbnails. For example, even though Netflix has many types of videos on its channel, each thumbnail has the same font, layout, and signature red, white, and black colors, which makes its videos easily identifiable. Thumbnails should be in a 16:9 aspect ratio, under 2 MB, a resolution of 1280 x 720, and an image file format.
Under the Branding tab, add your brand watermark in the corner of the video. Include a CTA icon for your video end card.
Use specifications of 150x150 pixels, PNG or JPEG format, and 1 MB or less. For your video end card, include:
- Specific CTAs, like subscribe to our channel or check out our website
- A simple design that matches your brand’s colors and style. Create your own or use a template in Adobe or Canva.
- Promotions for relevant content, like the next video in the series
Go to the Basic info tab in Channel Customization to fill out information for your About tab. Use a consistent brand voice and include relevant links.
- Information about your brand. For example, Tasty’s channel highlights its mission to help connect food lovers in every way they interact with food.
- A brand voice that’s consistent with the personality and tone of your videos.
- Links to your website and social media channels.
- Your upload schedule, if you have one.
Continue to develop your brand identity on YouTube by creating original content, engaging with your audience, and monitoring responses.
Some brands that invest a lot of time and resources on YouTube, like Bon Appétit, also sell branded merchandise that capitalizes on fan-favorite branding elements.
To assess the response to your brand identity, monitor what people say about your channel on social media. Take note when subscribers comment on hosts, guests, content formats, or certain catchphrases. Look at your YouTube analytics to see which videos have the most watch time, who your audience is, and which videos they engage with the most.