Vlogging is all about your brand. You need people to recognize you on other socials as well as YouTube and post your videos out from them. Branding yourself carefully at the beginning is a great way to set yourself up for success. Here are five free branding tools that every YouTube vlogger should know.
LogoCreator is a free logo maker that is full of hundreds of templates that you can use and alter to suit your needs. You can convert your logo into a variety of formats for free download and use it in any way you like.
Why Use It?
When you brand your vlog with a logo, you show your fans who you are and the style of your brand personality. Give people something to easily recognize when they watch your vlogs. This way, when they see another pop up on YouTube or your logo head a photo you post for content on Instagram, they will know that it is you. This is how you develop a brand following for your business.
Canva is an online design tool that allows vloggers to use customizable templated videos to create content for their socials and vlogs. They offer hundreds of templates for free and you can alter them to suit your brand.
Why Use it?
Using a video template can be a great way to ensure your vlog looks professional every time. You can use it to put across your branding in your video, which makes your business easier for consumers to follow and associate with.
Biteable offers a vast array of customizable videos. Much like Canva, but with more features. Biteable is a dedicated video site, offering free video templates as long as you have their watermark on the vlog. If you want to lose their logo and add your own, price plans start at just under £14 per month.
Why Use it?
If you want to set up a vlog but don’t have the technical or creative know-how to create videos yet, then a template can help get you started. Once you are a master vlogger, you might want to move to a different tool, but for the beginner, Biteable has almost no competition.
Open Broadcaster, or OBS is a great piece of software for the more experienced vlogger. It is a free open-source piece of software that is designed for video streaming and recording. Many people use it to stream themselves playing games or vlog about certain topics. It is sponsored by Twitch, Facebook and YouTube so you can rely on it to be updated fairly often. You can add graphics and overlays to your OBS to sync it with your brand.
Why Use It?
OBS offers an enormous amount of guidance with how to use their software. They have a downloadable quick start guide, a more detailed OBS Studio overview and a Discord community forum. All of this assistance means that vloggers can feel supported and get the help they need when creating their videos.
Shotcut is an open-source video editor that can be used cross platforms. It offers an incredibly detailed repertoire of features. Shotcut offers wide-angle support, device transfer options and a sleek, intuitive interface. They offer an astounding amount of video and audio options that can help you brand your vlog. They also have an option to add a watermark which can be great for branding if you use your logo.
Why Use it?
Shotcut has all of its previous versions available for download and a detailed site map available with FAQs, contact options and an active forum. It is a great bit of kit if you are looking do get in deep with vlogging.
When vlogging it is important to brand your videos to create a direct link between your socials, emails, website and videos. Your brand is also the first point of contact for most of your audience so branding your vlogs is a sure-fire way to get viewers acknowledging you brand and building a relationship via association.
When first starting out as a YouTuber, there are many questions you find yourself having to answer. Things like what kind of channel you are going to run, how often you are going to upload new videos, what demographics you want to target are all things you should be deciding early on. In terms of questions that are typically not thought to be a big deal, yet cause a lot of head scratching when it comes down to it, deciding what to call your channel is up there.
When making these tough decisions, it is only natural to look to other YouTubers—probably successful ones—to see what they did. So, do YouTubers use their real names? Sometimes. Many YouTubers do in fact use their real names, but many don’t. So what is the reasoning behind these decisions, and what should you do with your channel? We’re going to explore all of this and more in this post.
One of the main reasons to choose your real name as your YouTube name is branding. In truth, this is one of the best reasons to choose any name for your YouTube channel, but it applies just as equally to real names.
If you have—or intend to have—a related career outside your YouTube channel, you will probably want to build recognition of your name, and YouTube is great for that. An example of this might be a comedian or musician who is making content on YouTube while also booking gigs in the real world. A working comedian would be kicking themselves if they uploaded a viral hit to their YouTube channel and nobody knew it was them because the name was different.
You could just as equally use your YouTube name as a stage name in the real world, but the truth is, while “Be0wulf2077” or something similar might be fine as a YouTube name, it would raise a few eyebrows at open mic night.
Incidentally, we just made “Be0wulf2077” up, so apologies if someone out there is using that name.
Of course, this can work both ways. Perhaps you have a respectable career in the real world, giving very serious talks about important issues and such, and you don’t want people to associate that persona with your YouTube channel making mash ups of goats making cat noises. In this case, you might intentionally not use your real name on your YouTube channel.
There is also the apathy factor. Some people choose their real name for their YouTube channel simply because they can’t or don’t want to think of an alternative. This often happens when the point of the channel is to supplement something else, and the YouTuber is not necessarily interesting in being a YouTuber.
The other main reason a YouTube channel might not use the real name of a person is, of course, if that channel has more than one person running it, or if it is part of an organisation.
Deciding Whether to Use Your Real Name
We’ve looked at why other YouTubers might use their real names, but what should you do? The first thing you should consider when deciding whether to YouTube under your real name is whether there is any reason you would not want to be personally associated with the content you are producing.
Now, in a world where people are increasingly losing their jobs over everything from mere political opinions to outright hate speech, the first thought that comes to mind here will probably be someone saying controversial things online who doesn’t want their employer or family to know about it. And that is certainly one situation where you might want to keep your YouTube life separate from your real life, but it is not the only reason.
Another example is teachers who, while doing nothing wrong, would nevertheless prefer to keep their YouTubing activities away from the attention of their students.
The point here is that if, for whatever reason, you want or need to keep your YouTube content separate from your real life, the decision on whether or not to use your real name has been made for you.
However, as a counter to that line of thinking, if you have any aspirations of making a career for yourself that is related to or centred around the kind of thing you are making YouTube videos about, we would argue you should use your real name. Branding is important, even when that brand is yourself. If your long term and wider aspirations tie in with your YouTube channel, it would be foolish not to leverage any success you get on the platform into a real world PR booster.
Choosing a Name
If you have read all of the above and come to the conclusion that you would rather not use your real name on your YouTube channel, the question remains; what do you call yourself.
Granted, the exact name you choose will be determined by your channel, content, persona, and your personal preferences. That being said, there are some things to bear in mind when you are picking your name.
Easy to Read and Find
The first priority should be choosing a name that is not too difficult to remember.
If your name uses numbers for letters and includes four special characters, people are going to struggle to remember how to type it, and you would be surprised at how many potential subscribers just give up at the first hurdle.
Something simple that sticks in the mind would be ideal, but at the very least make your name straightforward and easy to remember.
While this one is more of a guide than a rule, if you can choose a channel name that suits the type of content you are making, that will help it stick in viewers minds.
There is a lot of subjectivity about this, but it doesn’t necessarily mean calling your makeup channel something like “Makeup Videos”.
Try word association exercises; ask people what the first things that come to mind when they hear a potential channel name are, and if those things are nothing like what your channel is about, choose a different name.
This one mainly only applies to family-friendly content, but there are other situations in which it could apply.
If you are directing your videos at a specific demographic, don’t have a name that will alienate members of that demographic.
The primary example here being having a name that is offensive on a family-friendly channel, but another (albeit far-fetched) example might be a name like “Satan Lives!” on a channel making Christian content.
Is There an Advantage to Using Real Names?
There are some advantages in the sense of what we have laid out above; perpetuating your name in a related field, for example. However, these advantages are not inherent to any kind of name. The key factor there is that you use the same name in your off-YouTube ventures, but that name doesn’t have to be your real one.
Ultimately, the way to benefit from your name is to ensure it is easy to remember and, if possible, related to your content. As any YouTuber who has tried to capture audiences in a foreign language to their own will tell you, using your real name doesn’t always guarantee that it will be easy to remember. A long Cyrillic name, for example, is very difficult for English speakers to recall. In situations like that, it may be worth giving your channel an alternative to your real name from a pure SEO perspective.
Another reason you might want to shy away from using your real name is if you are running a channel that you have ambitions of turning into something more than a one-person vlog affair. If your channel includes—or grows to include—other onscreen personalities, it can make things complicated if one of the people whose name is on the channel decides to leave. Changing an established name is never ideal, and, while it is sometimes necessary, there is no harm in taking steps to make it less likely.
Ultimately, the answer to the title question of this post—do YouTubers use their real names?—is “sometimes”. There is no rule on YouTube that you have to use your real name publicly, and there is no inherent advantage from the perspective of your channel’s success. There are, however, plenty of reasons why you should and why you should not use your real name. As ever, the key is working out which ones apply best to your situation.
We can say that the name of your channel is often more important than it is given credit for. And, at the risk of crippling new YouTubers with doubt and indecision, it is definitely something you should put a good amount of thought into before setting any decisions in stone.
But don’t let indecision stop you. It’s not ideal, but you can always change your name later.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
Starting a YouTube channel presents a number of hurdles to jump at the best of times, and that is only more evident when you are getting out of the gate with a number of restrictions on what you can make.
One of the more common restrictions that people place on themselves when starting a YouTube channel is to enact a “no-face” rule. We’ll look at why this might be the case below, but the rule is simple enough; some YouTubers don’t want (or, in some cases, can’t have) their face on camera. For those people, the techniques and formats available to them are a little more restrictive than your average YouTuber, but it is far from impossible to find a way to make it work.
Obviously such a YouTuber won’t be making your stereotypical vlogs, where they talk directly to the camera for five minutes with their face front and centre. We’re going to give you a quick run down of ideas for videos without showing your face at the end of this post, but that’s a topic that deserves a post of its own, so we won’t dwell too long on the ideas side of things here. Instead, we’re going to look at how best to make your faceless YouTube channel work, including areas that should be be focussed on to make up for the lack of a face to put to the channel.
Why Would a YouTuber Not Want to Show Their Face?
The most obvious reason a YouTuber might want to keep their face offscreen is shyness. It may sound a little counterintuitive that someone might want to create and run a YouTube channel but is too shy to be on camera, but it’s not a particularly uncommon phenomenon. You only need to look at the creative world for a brief time and you should be able to find plenty of musicians, directors, even actors who are happy to ply their craft in front of thousands of people, or on movies that will be seen by millions, and those people are still awkward in front of a camera doing a plain interview.
There is also the matter of anonymity. Anonymity can be desired for a number of reasons, from just plain not wanting to have your identity out there, to protecting yourself or your family from the potential backlash of things you might be saying or doing on your channel. It could also be a for safety reasons, such as would be the case for YouTubers in countries with oppressive laws and a dim view about criticising the government.
The Faceless Stats
Videos without showing the creator’s face have gained popularity across various genres on YouTube. Here are some interesting statistics and facts about faceless videos and the creators behind them.
Faceless Video Categories on YouTube:
Percentage of Faceless Videos
Cooking & Food
Art & Animation
DIY & Crafts
Top 5 Faceless YouTube Creators (by subscribers as of September 2021):
How to Make YouTube Videos Without Showing Your Face
Making videos without showing your face makes things a little trickier, but not too much. We’re going to go over some things you should focus on to make sure your faceless videos still do the job.
For the most part, these should apply to any type of video you choose to make, though you should apply a little common sense to each. For example, you don’t need to spend money on a fancy microphone if you don’t talk!
Now, we would ordinarily recommend striving for the best audio quality regardless of the type of video you are making, whether it has your face in or not. Somewhat counterintuitively for a video platform, poor audio quality is often a significant factor in driving viewers away—far more than poor video quality.
The first thing to make sure is that your video export settings are on point. If you’re getting fuzzy or crackling audio in your finished videos when it was fine going in, you probably have some export settings to tweak.
The next thing is your audio quality going in. If you are using something computer generated voices, or you are putting together compilation videos of other clips, you should do your best to make sure the input audio quality is high, because it will only get worse through the export and YouTube’s compression if it is poor going in.
Give the Viewers Something to Latch on To
Branding has become an integral part of any kind of success using the Internet. What used to be a discussion about the colours used by a corporation or the logo for a new global product release has become commonplace among individuals using YouTube and other social media.
For individuals, a face is often all the branding you need. It is recognisable, often unique, and it belongs to you. Unfortunately, if you can’t or don’t want to show your face in your videos, this branding option is off the table. But that doesn’t erase the power that branding has.
So, without your face, you need to make sure that branding void is filled. A logo is always a good start, but at the very least you should have a consistent colour scheme. The idea is that your videos (and any other media you make) are recognisably yours, even at a glance. This brand recognition helps you better retain new viewers.
Have a Clear Purpose in Mind
This one could be just as easily applied to any type of YouTube channel, and it’s just as important here. Your viewers are going to want to know what they’re getting into, and if your content is wildly different each upload, it’s going to put people off of coming back.
Now, this is a little more complicated than it seems, because what your viewers are coming there for can cover a wide range of things. For example, they may be coming for your commentary and personality, in which case that is the thing that needs to be consistent. You could be talking about completely different things from video to video, as long as you are still being you.
Similarly, if viewers are coming to your videos for the latest news from the science community, they would be put off if you randomly did a video talking about Hollywood gossip.
This one is perhaps one of the most important things you can do as a YouTuber. There is an unfathomable number of creators out there, each making videos on YouTube in a variety of different niches. The chance of discovering a completely untapped niche are practically zero, so you have to stand out to have a chance of succeeding.
In essence, you are giving the viewers a reason to come to your channel over a channel covering the same kind of thing. This is almost entirely down to personal preference, you are not going to be able to please everyone in this regard, but the more you stand out from the crowd, the better chance you have of attracting viewers from other channels that are doing essentially the same thing.
Play to Your Strengths
This is self-explanatory, but don’t force yourself to do something you’re not good at. If witty repartee is not your strong suit, don’t freestyle videos, script them. If you are not great at animation, don’t animate your videos (or pay someone who can animate to do it for you).
Ideas for Faceless Videos
As we said, we’re not going to devote too much effort to this section here because there’s a whole post’s-worth of information to get through, but here are a few ideas for videos that don’t involve your face to get you started.
Meditation and Mindfulness Videos
Some people love to tune out of the world and take a moment with their own thoughts. The practice of mindfulness and meditation has been embraced widely over the last few years as a why to help people sleep, study or relax.
Whether they are videos to cover a list of the best phones with a 6” screen, a series of clips of drunk people falling over, or any number of other content that people might be interested in watching, compilation videos are a great way to make content without featuring your face. Just be sure to get permission for the clips you use.
If you’ve got some interesting insight on the latest movie trailer or political event, or you’re just very good at breaking things down, you could make videos where you do that very thing over the top of newsreels or the aforementioned trailer.
Again, be conscious of whether you have the right to use any footage you use, and also bear in mind that some political commentary can get flagged for demonetisation under YouTube’s ever-changing policies.
VTubers are YouTubers who have a digital avatar on screen. Sometimes that avatar is essentially just a mask for the YouTuber, other times it is a fully fledged character in its own right, but regardless of the dynamic, it is an onscreen presence that does not involve your actual face!
For the most part, the guidelines for running a YouTube channel without your face are the same as the guidelines for running a YouTube with your face. There are some areas to put a little extra focus on, of course, such as making sure your audio is up to scratch, but everything else is a little more universal.
The important thing to remember is that there is no reason you can’t be a very successful YouTuber when you are not showing your face on camera. Plenty of YouTubers have done it, and plenty more will do it. Why not be one of them?
When it comes to your YouTube channel banner, you can take a great deal of guidance directly from any marketing 101 advice available on the Internet.
You want something eye-catching yet not overpowering—something that conveys the purpose of your channel in the purest, most digestible form possible, and gets the message across quickly.
Your YouTube banner tells new visitors to your channel what you are about, and in more ways than you might think. It can give subtle cues to your potential viewers that you might not have intended to give.
The banner on your channel is unlikely to be the first impression someone gets of your channel, but that doesn’t make it unimportant.
We’re going go into detail about some YouTube channel banner ideas, explaining why they work, and who they can work for. But first, let’s talk a little about why banners are so important.
Why are YouTube Banners Important?
A common—and incorrect—way to think of a YouTube banner is like a storefront. If you were running a brick and mortar store, you would want the sign out front to draw in passing shoppers where they would hopefully spend money on your products and services.
That is not what a YouTube banner is. Your channel is not a storefront in that sense, as very few people will come across it organically. You could funnel people to your channel page from other sources, such as your website, but then, if you can do that, you have already grabbed that person’s attention in some way.
In truth, hardly any of the visitors to your channel will arrive there not knowing anything about you. If someone is looking at your channel page, they will almost certainly have seen at least one of your videos already. In fact, the typical behaviour of a YouTube viewer is to subscribe to channels they are interested in from the video itself.
A good deal of your subscribers might never see your channel page at all! And for those who visit your channel that are already subscribed, the banner is less critical, since they are already on board.
For the most part, non-subscribers who visit your channel are people who have seen one or two of your videos and are on the fence about whether to subscribe to your channel or not. These are the people your banner is really for since they are the ones who could potentially hit subscribe—or not—based on what they see when they land on your channel.
Dos and Don’ts
As with many creative endeavours, there isn’t really a hard list of things you must do to succeed.
We could lay out a comprehensive set of rules that would be true for 99% of YouTubers out there, and there would undoubtedly be someone who breaks all of them and is a wild success. Bear that in mind when reading these dos and don’ts.
One of the first things that will strike new visitors to your channel is how professional your channel banner looks. Does it look like it was made by a graphics designer who takes pride in their work? Or does it look like five minutes spent in Microsoft Paint?
Having a professional banner shows that you care about your channel, which tells potential subscribers that you take things seriously.
Nobody wants to subscribe to a channel in the hope of future content, only for that content never to come, or for the channel to get shut down by YouTube because of unnecessary community guideline strikes. It is a subtle cue, but if your banner suggests you might be a bit frivolous with your channel, they might decide against clicking that subscribe button.
If a non-subscriber visits your channel page while deciding whether or not to subscribe, one of the first things they are going to want to know is information about your channel.
We would recommend an accurate and up to date “about” page for this reason, but before they get to that point, they will see your channel banner.
Having relevant information in your channel banner is a great way to get the essential details across to potential subscribers quickly. For example, do you have a regular upload schedule? Many viewers like to know that they are subscribing to a channel that puts out new content on a regular basis. It can also help to state—in as concise a way possible—what kind of content your channel produces.
One of the main things potential subscribers will be looking for is the assurance that there will be more of the type of content that brought them there in the first place.
Establishing an identity on YouTube is an essential step towards success, as it puts you or your organisation in people’s minds. This is especially important if you are running more than just a YouTube channel. If you have developed branding, it should be clear for all to see on your channel page, which means in your YouTube banner.
This does not simply mean having any logos or icons in the banner.
Make full use of any colour schemes that are part of your branding. If you have a website that has been styled in red and white, consider making your banner red and white also.
Of course, the logos and icons should be incorporated, but don’t stop at that. These subtle visual cues can be very effective, and help to establish your brand so that it can be recognised in other places, and hopefully associated with some good YouTube content.
Represent Your Niche
One thing that can be overlooked surprisingly often is the inclusion of themes that are relevant to a channel’s niche in the channel banner. This may come in the form of a game controller motif on a channel about gaming, or dumbells in the banner of a fitness channel.
Things like this offer quick visual cues that reassure viewers as to what the channel is about. To that end, you should avoid including anything that might confuse the issue, and this is where things can get a little nuanced.
As an example, say you are running a YouTube channel about programming video games. You could include the game controller motif we mentioned above, but that might confuse some people, leading them to think the channel is about gaming. Think carefully about the themes you include in your banner, even if they seem relevant, and try to avoid incorporating things purely because they “look cool” unless they fit with the content you produce.
YouTube Channel Banner Ideas
We promised you some ideas, so let’s get into those now. Here we will show a few different common styles of channel banner, highlighting the common themes in these styles and giving a few examples along the way.
The Informative Banner
You don’t want your banner to be a wall of text, but carefully dropping relevant information in there is a great way to give new viewers all they need in one quick glance.
The most obvious information to slot in here is the upload schedule, as it is something that viewers generally want to know, and can be conveyed clearly and concisely. One example of this is popular vlogger, David Dobrik.
David’s banner clearly states that he puts out new videos a few times a week, what days he puts those videos out, and even manages to fit his social media in there. All of this without making the banner look cluttered.
Another excellent example of this is gaming YouTuber, Barbara, whose banner not only conveys the upload schedule, the time of day, the type of videos but even incorporates art themes from the game she plays most.
While this may not mean much to many viewers, the viewers who know the game and want to see that type of content will recognise it instantly.
Note that in both of these examples, the YouTuber themselves are the brand, and they have made sure they appear in their banner.
The Straight to the Point Banner
If your channel has a specific aim in mind and a no-frills approach to getting there, you may want to take a similar tact with your channel banner. A good example of this is Mango Street, a YouTube channel that offers photography and video tutorials.
In Mango Street’s banner, you see a nicely shot photograph of the YouTubers themselves, illustrating what it is they do on the channel. You get their logo, and you get the tagline; “Photography + filmmaking tutorials that don’t waste your time”. And, in perfect keeping with that ethos, the banner doesn’t waste your time either.
While it may not set out the upload schedule for you, it does tell you everything you need to know about the content of the channel, as well as fitting in the branding and even an example of their work in the form of that photograph.
The Quirky Banner
Even a banner that seemingly contains no useful information at all tells viewers something about your channel. For example, incredibly popular YouTuber, MrBeast, has a channel banner that is plain white text on a featureless black background, with the text simply reading, “subscribe with notifications or i will take all your cookies”.
Of course, there is a call to action in there, demanding that people subscribe to the channel, but it is clearly a tongue in cheek statement.
This banner says a lot about the tone you can expect from the channel, which is playful, and a little cheeky. Granted, it tells you nothing about the type of content you will get, but it tells you how that content will be delivered.
A banner like this is ideal for a channel where the YouTuber’s personality is a significant factor in their success. With channels like that, people tend to subscribe for the YouTuber more than the content, and would likely watch a video from them regardless of what the video is about.
The Plug Banner
We don’t have an example of this because, by its very nature, these banners change often. The plug banner is a banner that includes information about upcoming events that the YouTuber will be involved in. The most obvious examples of this are musicians or comedians who have live shows coming up.
This kind of banner should include any branding—such as a band logo or a headshot—as well as the dates of the event that you are promoting. Sometimes the channel exists purely as a promotional tool, such as would be the case for an established band who just need somewhere to upload videos. In those cases, it will likely not be a great example of how to put your banner together.
If you are a YouTuber, however, you should include some hint as to what it is you do. If Eminem is promoting a tour, he can just have his face and some dates on the channel banner, and that would be enough. But if you are an up and coming comedian, you should give some indication of that in the banner, so new viewers know what they are getting from your channel.
Don’t Do This!
When looking for the key to success on any platform, it is natural to look at other people who have been successful there and try to emulate what they do. And, on YouTube, it doesn’t get more successful than PewDiePie. Having broken countless YouTube records, and currently being the most-subscribed individual on the platform, PewDiePie is easily the most successful YouTuber in history.
PewDiePie’s immense success allows him something of a free pass when it comes to how he runs his channel. We’re not saying he doesn’t have to work at his content, but he could probably upload twenty minutes of a blank screen with no audio and still get millions of views.
This translates to his channel banner as well. Other than a slight nod to the black and red wavey lines that are associated with PewDiePie, there is nothing in his banner that tells new viewers anything about the channel or type of content you would find on there.
However, this can work for PewDiePie because, at this point, the chances of someone being on YouTube and not knowing who he is are pretty slim. But you shouldn’t do this when you’re just starting out.
YouTube is a huge platform with millions of channels and maybe even billions of users watching hours & hours of video every second. This can be a huge needle in a haystack when it comes to companies or branding so you need to Build Your YouTube Brand, make it STAND OUT and drive authority.
I can be hard to get noticed but if you make your brand UNMISSABLE then it will help attract some attention. Here are 28 tips to Build Your YouTube Brand.
#1 – Choose your identity – Start to Build Your YouTube Brand
If you want viewers to subscribe to your channel and come back for more later, then they need to know what they are getting themselves into.
While there are endless YouTube video ideas to choose from, it is important that you have an identity. Whether that means talking about beauty, travel, sports, gaming, or anything that comes up in your life, make it very clear to the audience so that you get subscribers who stick around!
#2 – Follow a passion (yours and theirs)
First of all, make sure that YOU are passionate about everything you are saying and doing on your YouTube channel. If you don’t then none of the rest of the list will matter, and you won’t have any fun!
Once you know what you are passionate about, find the groups of people that are equally passionate and likely to make a large, loyal fan base. If you know that you love all Technology, then think about making great videos catered towards viewers who are passionate about virtual reality, or artificial intelligence.
If you become a trusted source in passionate niches, you will have a great channel.
#3 – Make great video thumbnails
Your video’s thumbnail is the first thing people see so make it count!
Boring, or grainy images are going to look weak beside other YouTubers who are competing for the same viewers so take a few minutes to make a great thumbnail and you will see the difference.
4 Tips for Better YouTube Thumbnails
1. Use closeups of your face: Humans like eye contact and this will catch their attention in search results!
2. Convey strong emotion: Strong emotion on your face can set the tone for the video and prime the audience for what is in store.
3. Use bright backgrounds: It’s all about being eye catching in a sea of YouTube results all over the screen. Bright screens get people’s attention, and also tend to create stark contrast with your main image.
4. Be consistent: It helps your brand to have similar thumbnails all the way across your page
# 4 – Show off a great channel logo
Your channel logo may be small, but it can say a lot about you. Don’t underestimate the first impression that people will see representing ALL the hard work that you put into your videos. Before creating images like logos and banners, you should make sure that you are making them the appropriate size
#5 – Use Awesome Art for your banner
The images that you use on your channel can influence viewers to hit that ‘subscribe’ button.
#6 – Make a compelling channel page
Your channel page is the home base for anyone looking at your body of work. First and foremost, make sure it looks pretty with the logo, banner, and thumbnail tips above. Now that you look like a pro, you should remember that some people might actually read (yes read!) your channel description. Use this opportunity to tell your story, and let your personality shine through.
This is an area where you can show off the benefits of subscribing to your channel, and use a call to action to try and get their sub while you have their attention. You can (and should) also organize your content with playlists. This will let any potential YouTube subscribers find the content that is most interesting to them quickly.
It also makes for a good viewing experience for anyone who wants to binge watch your videos
#7 – Add some contact info
If you are putting yourself out there on YouTube, and you want to build an army of subscribers, it helps to be accessible. Who knows what opportunities might come up – a fellow YouTuber might want to connect, or a fan might want interview you on their blog.
One thing is for sure is that if you make yourself hard to get a hold of, it is a lot less likely that golden opportunities will fall into your lap.
#8 – Have recurring segments
Recurring segments!What do the Tonight Show, Jeopardy, and Bill Nye The Science guy all have in common? RECURRING SEGMENTS! Audiences return again and again for DECADES because they like the reliable structure and familiar nature of their favorite shows. Think about how many clicks Jimmy Kimmel gets every time he posts a “Mean Tweets” video.
If you can come up with a handful of structured segments that you can perfect, you are guaranteed to get more views. People want to see the next segment that they know they are going to love.
#9 – Upload Often
YouTube viewers subscribe to channels that are clearly active and posting new videos all the time. If you are stingy with your posts, then there is no reason for them to follow you.
Try to start out with at least one video per week. That way you will quickly build a library of content that viewers can go back and watch, with a pattern that they know they can count on in the future.
#10 – Have a content calendar and stick to it
Calendars aren’t just to help you stay on schedule
With so much YouTube competition, your subscribers need to know that they can rely on you for consistent content.
Make 2 key decisions
How many videos will you produce each week?
When will you publish them?
Once you know these answers, your YouTube channel should run like clockwork for your subscribers. Try to hit ‘publish’ at the same time each day/ week.
DON’T OVER COMMIT – If you get subscribers with the promise of daily videos, don’t be surprised if you lose them when you downgrade to weekly episodes instead.
#11 – Choose good titles – Eye Catching
Along with the image, your video’s title will form a viewer’s first impression of whether or not you are worth a view.
People tend to click titles that are intriguing or useful to them. Using exciting terms like “Amazing” “Hilarious or “Unbelievable” tend to get people’s attention.
You should also think about driving urgency. Suggesting that watching your video will have an immediate benefit will get more views than static titles. Think about the difference between ‘How to dress better’ vs ‘How to start dressing better today’
#12 – Keep your titles brief but teasing
Don’t give everything away in one long sentence. Keep your video titles relatively short, and leaving them wanting more. Try to keep titles below 50 characters to have the best chance of people clicking on your video.
#13 – Cross Promote Your Videos to Build Your YouTube Brand
Always try to turn one view into many views! When someone is watching your channel, you have a few different opportunities to cross promote your other videos. The best ways are:
Mention a suggested video during your video
Include a call to action button as an annotation, or at the end
Put links to suggested content in your video description
#14 – Pick the right tags
Many YouTubers actually forget about tags entirely. What a waste!
Tags are a key factor in helping Build Your YouTube Brand and get your videos in front of the right people. They will inform the search algorithm when people are looking for content, and will also give new viewers an idea of what your videos and your channel are really about.
#15 – Include Annotations & End Screen Options
YouTube has built in excellent features to build in interactive moments during your video, as well as multiple calls to action at the very end.
Here is a helpful video Derral Eves.
#16 – Use keywords, and SEO to Rank & Build Your YouTube Brand
Speaking of titles, you should think very carefully about the specific words you use in those titles. They will have a big impact on whether new viewers can find you in the first place.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, and people everywhere are looking for answers and entertainment in that search box. Before anyone can subscribe to your channel, they need to find you first! That’s where keywords come in.
#17 – Use Google Trends to Build Your YouTube Brand
Using Google Trends is the best way to see what people are getting more and less interested in over time.
Why does this matter?
When the pros think about how to get more views on YouTube, they know that it helps to be talking about things that more and more people actually want to see. You aren’t going to attract a big audience reviewing season 2 of The Adams Family in 2017.
#18 – Use multi-part episodes – Extend & Build Your YouTube Brand
Who doesn’t love a little suspense?
If all of your videos are standalone pieces with no mention of a follow-up, then there is much less incentive to hit the sub button. However, if they want to know what happens next, then they are more likely to follow your channel long term.
#19 – Keep the audience in mind
If you want to get YouTube subscribers, then don’t just make videos that you think will be fun. Pay attention to trends in your niche. For example, if you talk about TV shows, make sure you know what shows are rising in popularity and make content geared towards that rather than only shows that you think people SHOULD want to hear about.
#20 – Always ask for a subscription
Whatever you need your viewers to do, don’t be afraid to ask! Many YouTubers miss out by forgetting to simply ask people to subscribe if they enjoyed the video.
Just be sure to keep the call to action quick and simple
In many cases we are looking for a lot of things – a like, a subscription, a click to our website, a follow on Instagram etc. Don’t overwhelm your audience with a check-list of ways they can help you. Pick one or two that are most important and mention them quickly at the beginning and end of the video
#21 – Use Channel Trailers
Channel trailers are an awesome way to establish what your channel is about, and why people should care. Just like a movie trailer is a fast moving clip that shows the best that a film has to offer and gets people excited for more, your channel trailer can be the difference between a viewer subscribing, or moving on to the next thing that catches their eye.
First of all, if your title and thumbnail catches a viewer’s attention, the next thing they will check out is the description. If you don’t have a compelling reason for them to stick around, they won’t make it far in the video.
Secondly, YouTube can’t listen to every word in your video, so it relies on descriptions for its search engine. This means that a good description can help you show up in search results for potential new subscribers.
#23 – Add a channel watermark
You can build in your own personalized watermark that will show up on each video. This is a subtle reminder embedded right onto the video content that the viewer should subscribe
#24 – Look for helpful resources
If you are reading Vlogging Guides, then you are already off to a good start ?
BufferBlog, Vlogging Guides, and communities like YTTalk can help you learn how to get more views on YouTube from fellow vloggers.
#25 – Attend Events
From local meetups, to massive international events, there are many opportunities to attend YouTube related events. Use these opportunities to network with other content creators, and meet your fans!
#26 – Learn from your most popular videos
If you want more YouYube views, it helps to know what has worked in the past. Use successful videos as inspiration for similar content and build a reputation for viral videos that people love to watch.
#27 – Avoid too many ads
Ads can be a good thing to let you make money on YouTube and fund great content, but don’t go overboard. You get several options on what type of ads you are OK with permitting on your videos.
While it might be tempting to go all out and try to maximize your earnings, keep your viewers in mind. You will get more views on YouTube if your subscribers think that you aren’t just in it for the money.
#28 – Be transparent with your audience
If you do want to make money with your videos, just make sure you are honest about it. For example, if you are being paid to review a product, mention that in the video. It doesn’t mean you can’t give your genuine opinion!
This doesn’t end with just money issues. You can gain a lot of trust by telling people what is going on behind the scenes and making them feel a part of your channels. Loyalty brings more YouTube views back to your channel then trying to outsmart the audience.