Hacking the YouTube ‘Playbook for Brands’: Channel Your Brand

/ Jun 24, 2014

YoutubePlaybookBrands

Having successfully put together some playlists of your brand’s videos, it’s time to make sure your entire channel embodies your brand and sends a coherent message. Your channel is your brand when it comes to YouTube, after all, so make it the best experience possible for your viewers.

Your channel’s “cover page” is what people see first.

This includes the likes of its name, icon, description, and art. When creating the following, as always, keep in mind what will intrigue viewers at face value. They have no choice but to judge your channel by its cover until they start watching your videos.

A short, easy-to-remember name does best. This is what will appear all over YouTube. It has to indicate your brand, as well as grab potential viewers’ attention.

A square, high-resolution icon catches the eye. This image will appear next to all of the videos your viewers watch. Most likely, you’ll want to use your brand’s logo to remind people exactly whose content they’re watching.

Channel descriptions need to cover the important aspects up front. Since only the first several words of the description show up across YouTube, it’s key to start out with the most crucial aspects of your branding. Stick your upload schedule in the description, too, so viewers won’t have to dig for such basic information.

Simple, compelling images make great channel art. Named your channel’s “primary branding” by the YouTube “Playbook for Brands,” the art you use to decorate your channel will help create a coherent, online image for your viewers to follow.

Your channel will have two, basic types of viewers: subscribed, and unsubscribed.

While subscribed viewers have already watched your branded content, unsubscribed viewers may need further (or at least less customized) direction in order to navigate your YouTube channel.

Subscribed viewers get told “What to Watch Next.” This feature provides them with recommendations based on what they’ve already seen on your channel. You can also use InVideo Programming to push certain videos by placing them up front in the “What to Watch Next” list. Keeping an active feed will further engage subscribers. The more your brand posts, the more opportunity subscribers will have to surf through your content.

Unsubscribed viewers see your channel trailer. Make sure to enable it for new viewers, so that they won’t have to subscribe to have a video play immediately upon locating your channel page. Keep the trailer brief so that when your invitation to subscribe comes up at the end, viewers won’t have to have waited long to be able to click on it!

YouTube has created tools to help you promote your channel.

You’re working with YouTube when you decide to showcase branded content on the platform. The video site has a bunch of ways already built in to help spread the news of your channel.

InVideo Programming: By enabling the Channel Promotion feature here, it will automatically insert your channel’s icon across your entire selection of videos.

Annotations and CTAs: Though we’ve already gone over annotations and calls to action, one of their best uses is to direct viewers to your channel page. Vocally asking viewers to view your channel page helps supplement visual calls, as well.

Google+: Connecting your Google+ page to your YouTube channel will allow for easy discovery of your page on the latter. The features available through Google+ will help you manage your channel, which we’ll go into further in future posts.

Related Channels: Again, be sure to enable this feature. Though it may seem like a drag to potentially have other brands’ channels promoted through yours, they will automatically return the favor via YouTube. Saying no to this feature pulls your channel from being promoted on others.

Featured Channels: These are the ones your brand chooses to promote on your channel page. If your brand works on other channels, those are obvious first choices to feature. If not, choose ones that you think your target demographic will best relate to. Featuring other creators that aren’t brand oriented will help your brand appear more personable to viewers, especially if those viewers also happen to be fans of these creators from the get-go.

We’ve gone into promoting your channel a bit in covering the whole channel experience, but we’ll get more into that on our next post, as we continue to help you decode the YouTube “Playbook for Brands.”

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