We have come a long way since the creation of YouTube back in 2005. It is no longer just a website to view funny trending videos forwarded from family and friends. YouTube has grown into the second largest search engine in the world and is trending towards one of the most popular distribution platforms available today, rivaling the television giants. This means, as a business owner or director of marketing you should be carefully considering how to implement a YouTube marketing strategy into you overall Internet marketing plan. Below we will discuss how a branded YouTube channel can add value to your business.
Branded YouTube channel checklist
Every business should have it’s own YouTube channel. It’s free and an easy way to distribute your videos online. Here is a checklist from part of our YouTube playbook that you can follow to create your own branded YouTube channel.
1) Add a custom channel icon – Your channel icon is essentially your logo. The dimensions are 800px by 800px and should be uploaded as a JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG file type. The icon will show on your channel at the dimensions of 98px by 98px.
2) Create custom channel art – If you have basic Photoshop skills or have a designer on staff, you can easily create custom art for your YouTube channel. The dimensions are 2560px by 1440px. What you need to know about your channel art is that it’s designed for all platforms. This means the branded design will look good on a desktop computer, laptop, mobile device or streaming television apps (like Apple TV). Here is a template that YouTube offers to help you design the perfect YouTube Channel art, so it looks good on any size screen.
3) Upload a video trailer for your channel – Produce a short video about your company that gives a visual description of what people can expect from your YouTube channel. The length of the video should be somewhere between 15-60 seconds. This will be your opportunity to hook viewers into following your brand, so make sure to add production value and to deliver only the most relevant information your target audience needs to hear.
Pro Tip: Avoid going into detail about any aspect of your business as you can create custom videos on your channel to go more in-depth about your products or services.
4) Design custom video thumbnails – The video thumbnail is the still image that you see before pressing play on a video. Creating video thumbnails for each video is a powerful branded YouTube strategy that often gets overlooked. Many people often choose a video to watch, based upon this image. Think about it, when people are on YouTube scanning through a page of video results, most people tend to click on the most appealing thumbnail images. This strategy can be a huge competitive advantage and it’s easy to setup. All you have to do is verify your account by going to the YouTube Verify page.
Once you have verified your YouTube account, now it’s time to add your video thumbnail images. You can use Photoshop or your favorite photo editor to create these images. Your YouTube thumbnail dimensions should be set to 1280px by 720px. Upload the thumbnail image under the “Info and Settings” tab for each video (see below).
5) Write detailed titles and descriptions – Each video should follow the same SEO strategy that you would use for your website when creating titles and descriptions for your videos. First and foremost, create a title that accurately describes what your video is about. Titles can be approximately 45 characters in length, before there is a possibility of them being truncated in a search result. Try to get the keywords that best describe the video in your title, and if you have room, add your brand name at the end. In your description, get the most important information in the first two sentences, as the first 144 characters will be shown in the search result and the rest of description will be hidden under a read more button. That being said, going well beyond the 144 characters in your description is a good idea because this information is still picked up by the YouTube and Google search engine.
Pro Tip: Never try to deceive the viewers with a bait and switch title. If you create a title that falsely describes your video, you may get an increase in clicks but will undoubtedly lose those viewers as quickly as they landed on your page. This is a very bad look for a company and creates a negative opinion towards your brand.
Branded YouTube channel recap
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world today. Using the YouTube platform to communicate with your target audience is a great way to distribute your video and compete with larger companies who once dominated the entire market. While more and more companies are producing video these days (as part of their Internet marketing strategy) there is still opportunity to leverage video marketing as a competitive advantage for your company. Make sure you complete these five branded YouTube tips above as soon as possible. Doing so will instantly increase the value of your brand online. Stay tune for more tips on how to leverage YouTube for your business. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how to brand your YouTube channel even further, then call (202) 683-6881 of send us a message.