YouTube Guide to Banner Dimensions, Channel Branding, and Trends

Author: Bob Nov 05, 2021 12 min read

Hosting more than 37 million videos and watched by 2,3 million active users worldwide as of July 2021, there is nothing surprising about the fact that YouTube is the top video marketing platform ever. What’s more, there is nothing complicated about getting started with promoting your business on YouTube. Being a business and user-friendly platform, it welcomes everyone with something to share, and this is also the reason why standing out on YouTube becomes challenging. 

In this article, we share the best practices for YouTube channel branding and video production, plus an overview of the hot trends to follow in 2021 and beyond. So, let’s get started step by step. 


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Part 1 – Getting Started


Fortunately, getting started with a YouTube promotion is pretty easy. You can do it in just two steps by creating a Google account and setting up a Youtube channel with it. Here is how. 


1. Create a Google account

I bet you already have it but some business owners prefer to have another account for YouTube to manage it from a dedicated place. If this approach suits you as well, create it in a few simple steps. Follow this link to do it.


Learn about how to Create a Google account


2. Create a YouTube channel

Next, proceed with creating your YouTube channel. In order to do it, just login into your account, and switch to Youtube from the upper right corner. 


Learn more about Create a YouTube channel


After being redirected to your YouTube homepage, press on your avatar  (located on the upper right corner as well), and click Your Channel. After this step, you will be redirected to your channel setting and customization features.


Know more about Create a YouTube channel



Part 2 – Setting Up and Customizing YouTube Channel


After this step, you are welcome to set up and customize your channel to make it more branded, easily recognizable, and attention-grabbing. On your YouTube Channel, Home page click the blue button named Customize channel and choose the Branding section –  here is the place to edit your Profile Picture, Banner, and Video watermark.


Learn more about Setting Up and Customizing YouTube Channel



1. Create a banner

A YouTube banner, or YouTube cover photo, or YouTube background wallpaper is an image located at the top of your channel homepage. Its main task is to add more branding and recognizability to your channel, making the first impression, attracting attention, and working as another tool for building associative bonds among your viewers. That’s why creating a YouTube banner background is essential – this is another important element of your overall style that should be perfectly aligned with your brand and your Youtube videos thumbnails, which we will discuss later. 


Learn more about YouTube cover photo


YouTube banner size and dimensions

To make your YouTube channel banner visually attractive, you have to take into account and follow the recommended YouTube guidelines on YouTube banner size and dimensions. The recommended YouTube banner size is 2560 x 1440 pixels with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Also, keep in mind that YouTube banners are displayed differently on different devices. That’s why there is another concept you have to take into account when creating it. Every YouTube banner has a safe zone – the part of the image that will always be displayed across different devices. The safe area takes 1546 x 423 pixels, and this is the place you have to use to share the most important information about your brand. 


Know more YouTube banner size and dimensions


The best practices to create a YouTube banner

How to make a Youtube banner? There are several practices you are welcome to follow to create an effective background image for your channel.

  • Make it branded. A YouTube banner is the first element your users see when landing on your channel. Use branded colors, a name, and a logo when creating them to immediately make a strong associative bond. 
  • Add text. For example, you can add your mission statement, slogan, or call to action but make sure to locate it in a safe area to ensure visibility from any device. 
  • Use a high-resolution image.  In addition to YouTube profile picture size, its quality also matters. So, use a  high-resolution image to make a great first impression. 

As for the practical ways to create YouTube images, there are two tactics to follow. You can either create it in a fully-custom way using the services of the designer or come up with it on your own, using a dedicated app, for example, Canva. The best thing about Canva is that all the templates you can use are already perfectly adjusted, so when creating a banner, you have no reason to worry about YouTube banner dimensions. Still, don’t forget to follow the tips we have shared above. 


2. Write a description

To get started with writing your description, in the Channel customization block go to the “Basic info” section in your profile. While YouTube gives you enough spare space to write more about your business, you have to be smart with your channel description and share the most important information in the first three lines. Additional text will be hidden under Show more. 

So, make a short pitch describing your business industry, and then, show the value the watchers will get with the help of your channel. End it with a short CTA.

As for the text you can hide, YouTube experts recommend adding an SEO-optimized text filled with relevant keywords for better discoverability, adding the links to your website and social media, sharing your contact information, and finalizing it with one more compelling CTA. 


Know more about how Write a description in Youtube


3. Add social media links

Adding them to your profile is one more opportunity to invite users to find out more about your brand. To add them, click on the Customization section, switch to Basic info, and add social media links in the corresponding lines. They will be visible in your profile description.

What’s more, you can add them to your banner as well, and in this case, the social media icons are displayed on the lower right corner of your banner. To add them, set up the “Links on the banner” feature and add up to five social media links.


Learn more about how to Add social media links



Part 3  – YouTube Video Branding


After you are done with technical tasks for setting up and customizing your Youtube channel, it’s time to add even more branding to it and improve its visual attractiveness. Creating video thumbnails and adding interactive links for more engagement are the best practices to do it. 


1. Add video thumbnails

YouTube video thumbnails are the video cover images. To create a holistic impression, it is better to use the same-style thumbnails that should also be aligned with your brand identity. As well as your channel banner, thumbnails are the tools to attract the attention of the audience and hint at the content inside the video.


Watch more about how Add video thumbnails on Youtube Channel


Below are the best practices to create them.

  • Keep the focus. Experts recommend using an as engaging image as possible for a thumbnail. For example, you can add an image of a face, express a certain emotion, or keep eye contact with the viewers. 
  • Add text. As one more option, consider adding a short text with attention-grabbing context to the thumbnail to warm up the users’ interest. 
  • Follow the recommended size. The recommended resolution of a Youtube video thumbnail is 1280×720 (with a minimum width of 640 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio). The image should have JPG, GIF, or PNG format sized up to 2 MB. 

Adding YouTube video thumbnails is pretty easy, still, you have to add them to each of the videos you create and keep them aligned. To add a thumbnail, choose Videos from the left menu, next choose a video you want to add it to, and click on a Custom thumbnail. Then, choose an image file upload it and click Save. 

As for the ways to create custom thumbnails, they are similar to the ones to create a YouTube banner. You can either consider professional design services or design them on your own using a dedicated app. 


2. Add clickable links

Adding clickable links is another way to make your Youtube content more interactive and engage users with your videos. There are two types of links you can add:

  • Cards. These are the links to other YouTube videos placed in the upper right corner of the video. To add them, select Content, then choose a video you want to add a link to and press on the pencil symbol on the lower-left corner. Press on Cards, then Add Card, choose the card type, and copy-paste the link. Then, press Save. 


Learn more about YouTube cards


  • End screens. These are the links placed at the end of the video and redirect users to other channels or playlists. To add them, choose the End screen from the video editing menu and choose the end screen option you need. We recommend adding “Best for the viewer”, “Playlist” and Channel Subscription options.


Learn more about End screens Youtube videos



Part 4 – Follow the Best YouTube Video Production Practices


Your Youtube channel branding matters. But the videos you upload, their quality, professional look, and the right length are also essential. Let’s briefly overview the best practices for creating the main types of videos you are welcome to share on your YouTube channel.


Explainer videos

As the name suggests, these are the videos you can create to both explain and visually show the idea behind your invention or startup. As a rule, explainer videos are up to two minutes long. They use relatively simple but still attractive graphics. Still, the storyline and the explanation itself with a voiceover are at the heart of winning explainer videos. We are here to help you with this challenge



Promo videos

Promo videos are short advertisements with strong marketing messages used to capture cold leads and give them the first idea about your brand. Usually, promo videos are short – up to 30 seconds. They come with stunning and attractive graphics, plus use memorable slogans, messages, and calls to action. Using them as a featured video on your YouTube channel homepage can be a winning idea. 

A professionally created promo video is a good tool to attract the users’ attention immediately – that’s why short promos are used as YouTube video ads so frequently. With an average view rate of 32%, animated YouTube ads are pretty effective for delivering your marketing message to the viewers, so you are welcome to do it with our help as well.



How-to videos

These are the most searchable and engaging videos you can ever create, since they come with much value for users, showing them how to handle a certain task step by step. How-to videos are usually long, taking 5-15 minutes. Using live shooting or screencasting is the most common practice to create how-tos. However, animation can also be a good idea to create an effective how-to video.



Product demo video

This type of video is created to better show the product from every angle, plus briefly highlight its core features and benefits. Product videos are 1-2 minutes long and are usually created using 2D or 3D animation.

As for the YouTube video size, uploading up to 2Gb per video is the best practice. 




Part 5  – Stay Updated on YouTube Video Trends


Deciding on the type of video you would like to create for your YouTube channel, keep in mind the trends that dominate on this platform. While video consumption is growing along with YouTube’s popularity, the competition also becomes tighter, so fitting users’ expectations becomes even more essential.

Below are three YouTube trends you should be aware of.


Shoppable videos

These are the videos that allow the users to instantly add the displayed item to their shopping cart. They are highly interactive and can promise high conversion rates when created right. Creating shoppable videos is a worth-considering idea for retail and eCommerce brands, leveraging the power of video marketing and looking for ways to encourage the users to make purchasing decisions faster. 


360-degrees videos

The main thing the users love about this video type is the opportunity to interact with them by rolling the video and getting the ultimate idea about the showcased environment. 360-degrees videos are pretty good for the businesses selling the impressions, for example, in such industries as tourism and hospitality. For real estate companies, they are also great for showcasing the property from every angle and adding more transparency. 


Educational and how-to videos

The good news is that in addition to entertainment, YouTube watchers still want to gain new knowledge, master new skills, and get some kind of guidance when solving their problems. For brands, it means a good opportunity to educate and engage their customers and leads by sharing how-tos, eLearning videos, and tutorials, delivering the ultimate problem-solving value. 



Being the most popular video hosting, YouTube is specific and competitive. Improving your YouTube channel branding, providing the users with more interactive opportunities, and sharing professionally-created YouTube videos is the three-point combination to promote your business on this platform in 2021. Wow-How Studio is here to strengthen your video marketing strategy by creating top-notch YouTube videos, tailored to the business goal and the sales funnel stage.

Get in touch with us right now to create attention-grabbing YouTube videos! 


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