Success or failure with YouTube can be strongly influenced by how you set up your channel. With these tips, you’ll be able to create a YouTube channel that will help you to get more followers that stay actively engaged with you.
Creating Your Channel Name
When selecting a channel name, your main focus should be on making sure your viewers understand you/your brand and what you do. If you have an established brand name, you should keep your branding consistent. If your channel is the first thing you’re creating in your brand, remember to choose a name that makes viewers instantly understand what your brand and channel are going to be representing.
Don’t forget that you’ll be using this in your channel design, so keep it short and catchy! This will help people find you easily and remember you later.
Designing Your Channel Banner
Your channel banner will be the first thing people see when they come to your page on YouTube—use it to make a great first impression as all of your videos’ thumbnails! The artwork should reflect the look and feel of the thumbnails you use in your videos.
Typically, bright and colorful imagery with a cut-out photo of you resonates best on the platform, but each industry, genre, and niche can be a bit different.
Within your banner, you should include:
- Your channel name
- The dates you post new videos
- Your website name
YouTube recommends banner art sized at 2560 pixels by 1440 pixels.
Activating Your Subscribe Button
Giving fans a constant reminder to subscribe to your channel is important—we recommend activating your subscribe button to stay on screen for the duration of your video.
Go to studio.youtube.com and click on Settings.
Once there, go to Channel > Branding.
You now have the opportunity to upload a custom subscribe button. You can use your logo, but without the specific instruction to subscribe, many will assume it’s just a logo. Instead, we recommend using an image similar to the YouTube branding because viewers are already familiar with this and know what it means.
You then have the option to use your brand colors or use the red and white coloring from YouTube which we’ve found to have a bit of an edge over customized colors because fans are familiar with it.
Once you activate the subscribe button, your overlay will remain on your videos for the length of each one, allowing fans to easily click and subscribe.
Bonus: Once this is activated, be sure to give a call to action in the actual video reminding them to click the button. If you can point to it in the video, it’s even better!
Organization and Playlists
Creating a streamlined channel will help direct your viewers to the things they should see first when viewing your channel. Consider this an introduction to your most valuable content.
Use this space to create playlists either vertically or horizontally on your channel’s page. By doing so, you can decide what potential clients and viewers see first. This section can stress the most important content on your channel to help people get to know your brand.
On your channel page, click on Customize Channel. This will bring you to a secondary page where you can customize your content. At the bottom of the content on your page, you’ll find a section where you can click on Content to decide what type of playlist you’d like and Layout to decide if it will be horizontal or vertical. You can add several types of playlists to your main channel page.
- Go to your channel’s page and click Customize Channel
- Scroll down to the section where you can create and organize lists at the bottom of your content
- Pick your sections and layout
YouTube offers several options for posting videos. By default, videos are uploaded as Listed, which means they’re public to everyone. You have the ability to change this before you upload a video or before you approve a video as it’s uploading.
Listed: Public to everyone
Unlisted: This is not shown on your channel publicly, but people with direct links can view it.
Private: Only you can view the video.
Premiere: Video is locked to anyone but you until the date and time it is set to premiere. It will be listed on your main channel as a premiere and people can see your thumbnail but will not be able to view it until after it has gone live.
You can change the listing of a video at any time.
By keeping these steps in mind when setting up your YouTube channel for success, you will make your channel far easier for viewers to understand, set yourself apart from others in the same space as you, and allow your channel to leverage the content you are posting for more views, followers, and engagement.
Now that your channel is set up for success, we have a few really great tips on creating the video content you’ll be adding to your channel! Check out the next article on making videos that get your followers!
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on September 20, 2019 and has been edited for new updates.
K.M. Robinson is a social media marketing strategist and best-selling author who has been spotlighted by the major social media platforms and other companies for her innovative work in the field of social media marketing. She’s represented the USA in a major World Social Media Day broadcast, and has appeared on live broadcasts, podcasts, and at in-person events and conventions to educate on working with the social media algorithms and how to create a profitable business through smart social media marketing. She loves to go live using BeLive to connect with her readers and interview other experts.