Keeping a consistent image for your business is important, no matter where you interact with users. YouTube branding is similar to other types with a few unique twists. Essentially, YouTube is a social media site made up of videos, so the ways you brand yourself there need to target a viewing audience rather than simply a reading audience.
Every month, around 1.9 billion users view videos on YouTube. Businesses and individuals create and upload videos almost constantly on the social media giant. If your videos aren’t branded and don’t stand out from the millions of others, you’ll get lost in the shuffle of content.
Some traditional branding advice works on nearly any medium where your business has a presence. However, there are some unique elements to YouTube branding as well.
1. Be Consistent
Traditional branding advice reminds companies to be consistent in their efforts, and this applies to YouTube as well. Know who you are and what message you want to get across. If your company has been in business for 100 years and you are steady and reliable, then put that same message out in your videos, on your website and in your dealings with customers. When you respond to comments, make sure you remember you are seeking to give off a reliable image.
2. Know Your Audience Demographic
Who are you trying to reach? Experts estimate by 2025, about 50 percent of viewers younger than 32 years old will no longer subscribe to a pay-TV service but will watch video platforms online. If this is the age group you are targeting, you’re going to have more luck reaching them on YouTube than most other platforms. Know who you’re trying to contact and how you can grab their attention on YouTube.
3. Team up With Influencers
You’ve likely heard of influencer marketing, and this can work well for YouTube branding as well. Team up with someone in your industry that is not in direct competition. You’ll gain followers from their audience and vice versa. For example, interview one another for your respective channels.
Warby Parker does an interesting job of teaming up with fashion influencers who show off their products in videos highlighting favorite things. This video by Soothing Sista highlights the product. People who follow this influencer likely are looking for fashionable glasses, which drives them to Warby Parker’s brand.
4. Teach Your Audience
In a survey of millennials, around 70 percent stated they watched a video in the last year that taught them how to do something new. If your business model works with instructional videos, then this can be a great way to attract new audiences. However, make sure the information you share relates directly back to what you do. For example, if you install heating and cooling units in new and existing homes, then offer a video on how to change a furnace filter.
5. Use Your Brand Name
When you sign up for a YouTube account, you’ll have to choose a username. Choose one that is as close as possible to your business name. You want current customers to find you on the platform easily, and you want new ones to know what your business is called. While a hairdresser with the username DeziningHair might be cute, if your salon is called something other than this, then the name doesn’t resonate.
6. Create a Series
If you want users to subscribe to your YouTube channel, do a series of videos. They’ll want to see them all, so they will subscribe to receive notifications when you post something new. The series should have a similar theme and be part of a bigger picture. Think about larger concepts that are easily broken into smaller tasks.
7. Add a Full Bio
Take advantage of your channel page. Include a detailed bio about who you are and what you do, and add a link to your brand website. Make sure you upload your logo, and be sure to use similar colors to your brand’s palette. Think of your YouTube channel page as an extension of your website.
Lego is one of the more popular brands on YouTube, with 7.6 million subscribers to its channel. It has tapped into its audience with topics such as short videos and ideas for things to build with Lego blocks. Note the way it brands its page. The logo is clear, and the “about” description is filled in. It includes a link to its website, and even individual videos often have the Lego logo on them.
8. Mention Your Channel Name
When you create a new video, make sure you mention your business and channel name to improve your YouTube branding. Something along the lines of “Hi, this is Mark with ABC Company on our YouTube channel ABCCo …” You should also include a text mention at the end of your video and invite viewers to hit the subscribe button or to check out your channel page and subscribe.
9. Add Overlays
Add an overlay with text users can click in your video. This serves as a call to action (CTA) and drives users to subscribe to your channel, visit your website or sign up for a mailing list. While you can gain quite a following on YouTube, you should also think about how much control you want another brand to have over your fan base. It’s always best to control your own lists, so if you can turn your YouTube subscribers into newsletter subscribers, so much the better.
10. Remove Other Ads
Some people set up a YouTube channel with the express purpose of earning a little extra money. For those people, letting YouTube deliver ads to viewers gives them some spare pocket change. However, for the purposes of branding your business, allowing another company to advertise over your videos isn’t effective. It distracts the user from your message. When setting up your channel, simply uncheck the box that allows for third-party ads.
11. Show Your Personality
Small-business owners sometimes feel reluctant to put their image out there. However, you are what makes your business unique. Use your personality to showcase your passion for what you do. Don’t be afraid to share the history of why you started the company or your brand mission. Get personal with your YouTube branding.
Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP do a good job of highlighting its lawyers and how they help people. It uses the personality of individual attorneys within its firms to highlight the various specialty areas of its law practice.
12. Tug at Heartstrings
Think about the emotions your typical customer has. If you sell life insurance, perhaps people buy it out of fear over what happens to their loved ones if they die. Find a way to tell a story and tap into those pain points and basic emotions everyone has. Once you do so, your brand becomes much more memorable.
YouTube Branding Takeaways
When it comes to YouTube branding, stick to tried-and-true principles that work for branding in general. Then, take a step back and think about what makes your audience on YouTube unique. Are most of them viewing your videos from mobile devices? Are they the younger generation of customers? What are the topics they care about and how can you reach them on a deep level?