Discover the art of YouTube channel management, from creating a brand to maintaining consistency across your video content.
Increasingly brands and influencers are making use of video as a communication tool, both on YouTube and social media. There’s a lot of competition out there – but having some key YouTube marketing tips to refer to as well as a thorough understanding of the best ways to go about promoting your YouTube videos will have you quickly on your way.
This means getting your YouTube channel art into shape (don’t underestimate a good YouTube banner and well-planned video thumbnails), maximizing the effectiveness of your YouTube videos (intro and outro templates are your friends), and distributing your videos on other social platforms to promote your YouTube channel and drive an additional audience to your content.
In this post, we’ll take you through the essential YouTube toolkit:
Channel art for your YouTube channel includes a few different things – your banner or header image, but also your profile picture and thumbnail images. While they may seem secondary to the video content itself, it’s worth taking the time to get these key elements right. YouTube channel art sets the tone for your brand, and understanding the specifications and recommendations of these assets can be the difference between clearly communicating it and looking half-baked (for example, you don’t want to cut off half your logo or include illegible text on your YouTube banner).
This icon is actually quite small – just 800 x 800 pixels – so it needs to be clear and visually appealing. If you have a long name, think about how you might shorten it, making use of an acronym, or just display the logo itself.
Our attention spans can be short, so it’s wise to create thumbnails that an audience can glance at and instantly understand. Here are the YouTube thumbnail sizes and specs you should aim for:
Letting YouTube choose a thumbnail from a still in the video will often result in something less than ideal. You’re likely to end up with an awkward, blurry image. So, it’s always worth a little bit of extra time and effort to make something that looks great and speaks to what a viewer can expect from the video itself.
To ensure success with these specs the first-time round, a template can get you started. YouTube Thumbnail Cover V.4 by micromove features a clean and professional design that makes it suitable for a range of businesses or brands – from corporate and agency, to artists, freelancers and blogs. With ready-structured and organized layers, it’s easy to edit the design and colors as you need.
For something more font-focused, try Fashion YouTube Thumbnail by iDoodle. Including five customizable templates, it’s perfect for playing around with.
Lastly, if you need something to bring together your brand over various platforms, Industry Show Social Media Pack Template by ambergraphics can help you do just that. With header templates and post templates for Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, Tumblr and more, this multipurpose pack is great for designers, creators or businesses alike.
Your YouTube banner is your big visual advertisement when people come to your channel homepage. It’s quite often the first thing visitors will see, so making a good impression with something striking can win you a lot of points. Something that’s important to consider when creating your YouTube banner is that it’s going to scale to different sizes, depending on what device it’s viewed.
We recommend sizing your YouTube banner to 2560 x 1440 pixels – keeping the size below 4MB – with your ‘safe area’ being within 1546 x 423 pixels. Minimalism works well for YouTube headers, so try to keep your design sleek and simple, drawing attention to your brand name, logo and tagline, if you have one. Make sure any images you use are high-quality ones, and if you don’t have anything suitable, consider using a high quality stock image.
Templates can also be a friend when it comes to getting your banner right. With YouTube Creative Cover V.1 by micromove, six layouts are ready at your fingertips – for a clean and professional look in a responsive template to make customizing a cinch.
For something more striking, a template like Sport YouTube Channel Art by Sko4 is a red and black minimalist design that packs a punch. It features five YouTube art banners responsive for mobile, tablet and desktop, all fully editable and comes with a help file to boot.
If you’re feeling nostalgic or you’ve got a brand where your message requires an injection of fun, look to something like 90s Stream YouTube Cover by Guuver. Beautiful, organized and particularly suited to fashion, music or photography, these five YouTube headers are vivid and impactful.
Once your channel art is in tip top shape, it’s time to think about the main event – the video itself. Becoming old hat at video takes some practice, but to set yourself on the right track, we’ve set out some handy tips and tricks in our guide to YouTube branding.
First, it needs to be clear to your audience what your YouTube channel is about (helped along by nailing that YouTube channel art), then what they’re watching and where to find more from your brand – both the latter of which need to be concisely communicated in each of your videos. This means getting a handle on intros and outros, using lower thirds and call to actions, as well as appropriate times to consider going live – and all can be helped along with stocking your design kit with handy templates.
Your intro is your opportunity to lead strongly with your brand message and to engage your viewer from the outset, and making a consistent intro for each of your YouTube videos is an important detail that can separate you from your competition. It’s a great reminder of your brand, and a way to let your audience know what your video will be about right from the start.
Keep YouTube intros (and outros) short, and certainly no more than 15 seconds. There’s nothing more frustrating to an audience than an introduction that waffles on for ages before getting to the point of the video. You might even want to consider slightly pushing your intro into the start of your video, and beginning it with a quick teaser of what’s to come – attention spans are short! Learn how to create an eye-catching YouTube intro in our guide.
If you’re time poor, the 7-second intro template YouTube Intro by templatesbravo can be customized in two clicks to match your brand colors, and is suitable for use with photos or videos. As well as the intro, this pack includes an outro, YouTube subscribe and Instagram follow reminders, and a video tutorial.
TypoSnap | After Effects and Premiere Pro by CandyMustache is another easy-to-use template with video tutorials included. It features 30 motion titles for After Effects and for Premiere Pro, with unique intros and outros and super easy duration adjustment.
For something fresh, clean and eye-catching, Fast & Clean Opener by BRAXXU is aptly named and delivers on text animations and transitioning effects in a sleek design. Again, you can use this one with both images and videos simply by dragging and dropping, and editing your text.
A concise and well executed outro can be just as important as hooking your viewer with an intro – and when they’ve committed to watching your content through, it’s only fair to reward them with an equally well thought out outro. Again, consistency is key. Bookending your videos with an intro and outro that work together reminds your viewer of your brand message and ensures your hook stays with them. Your YouTube outro is also a good opportunity to sign off from your video and offer a call to action, or even to push your audience over to watching more of your videos, or to subscribe.
If you’re creating your own YouTube video, check out this piece on How to Make a YouTube Outro, covering the how and why as well as examples.
Text may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning your video content. But making use of Lower Thirds is a handy trick that, when deployed well, can be a seamless way to add more information to your visual content or highlight your most salient information. While learning how to use them well is a skill, you can get there faster with some help from templates. If you’re looking for some extra inspiration or a range of templates to experiment with, take a look at 10 Best Lower Thirds Templates for After Effects 2020 on the Envato blog – or watch it here.
Lower Thirds Maker by Space-Dog is one template to start with, featuring easy color control and over 100 variants to try out. You can easily add your logo and text as well as 3D motion.
Lower Thirds by motionshape is another option, modern and simple, and perfect for introducing people or products – like in a ‘meet the team’ video or to feature teaser content at a brand launch.
Lower Thirds from _markon_ features 18 options which are easy to test and try different colors with. It also includes a tutorial video and doesn’t require any plug ins.
YouTube Live, as with other livestreaming options on social media, is a great way to reach your audience in real time – and it can work especially well to stay current as well as authentic. However, good live streaming still takes careful planning and execution. It’s particularly suited to conveying a lot of information quickly, so it’s important to keep your live videos entertaining and engaging. Titles and transitions are essential to breaking up information and highlighting the right parts.
A template like YouTube Channel by templatesbravo is a YouTube Pack for Adobe Premiere Pro CC, with all the elements you need – ready for drag and drop, and all that’s left to do is edit the text. Including seven lower thirds templates, a transition and both subscribe and like reminders, the simple design used in this pack makes it suitable for a range of channel types.
In a similar vein, Online Live Streaming Pack by sun_create for After Effects is suitable for a range of content types, particularly for your live events or conferences – especially if you’re highlighting social media coverage.
Lastly, for a pack that covers it all in a dynamic and modern design, look no further than Modern YouTube Channel | For Premiere Pro by soundeleon. It has everything you need to start from scratch or give your channel a refresh – logo reveal, lower thirds, subscribe, transitions – as well as a step-by-step tutorial video, no plugins needed, and free updates (making it easy to customize even for a complete beginner).
YouTube Libraries and All-in-One Packs are as they sound – an easy way to equip yourself with a one-stop shop for all your YouTube channel needs.
YouTube Library and Cover Pack Mogrt by RayJohson is one such, with more than 250 elements included.
Similarly, Clean Broadcast Package | For Final Cut & Apple Motion by Proskurovskiy features an elegant and minimal design across 200 graphic elements, split into 15 categories. The package’s modular structure also means you can pick and choose which parts you use.
For a pack that also includes things like bell notifications, pop ups, animated quote titles and social media pop ups, YouTube Channel Pack – Graphics Library For Premiere Pro by xFxDesigns is a truly comprehensive collection. Movement and animation can make a huge difference in communicating your brand messages, especially when sharing a variety of information in a short video, and this pack has all the essentials you could need.
The great thing about creating video content is that chances are, you already have the skills to market it. Here’s a quick rundown of the major points to consider:
Whatever your YouTube channel specializes in, great visual graphics will help you cultivate a loyal and engaged fan base, who will play a powerful role in sharing your content. Get started with your YouTube channel art and video content with a subscription to Envato Elements.
This piece has been updated and was originally written by Marie Gardiner.