With more than 1.8 billion users a month, YouTube is a great way to market your brand or simply connect with others. As you upload videos and wait for your channel to take off, though, it’s important that you set things up to turn one-time visitors into subscribers. The key is to convince viewers to hit that “Subscribe” button.
One of the best ways to turn curious onlookers into fans is through branding your YouTube Channel. When customers go to the main page for your channel, what do they see? If it’s the gray banner that comes standard on every channel, you’re missing a very valuable opportunity. By taking a look at some YouTubers who are doing branding well, you can get some YouTube banner ideas of your own. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Add Social Media Links
As you get started on your banner design, make sure you leave a little extra room for social media links. YouTube lets you add up to five links within your banner, displayed as the well-known icons of each platform. In the example below, the YouTube Channel links out to their stores where they sell merchandise, as well as their profiles on Instagram, DLive, and Twitter.
If you already have a logo, you can center it in a wider, solid banner that provides plenty of extra space for those icons. If you aren’t selling merchandise, you could use that space to direct visitors to make an appointment, sign up for your email newsletter, or learn more about your offerings.
2. Use a YouTube Banner Template
Stressed about creating a YouTube banner that looks great, and struggling to come up with ideas? If you don’t have a lot of (or any!) design experience, don’t sweat; we’ve got you covered.
Instead of spending time looking for background art and fonts, why not use a template to shortcut the process? Snappa has a seemingly endless array of channel art templates to get you started. Simply choose the professional design that comes closest to your needs, then customize it with the colors, fonts, photos, and graphic elements you want to include.
Each Snappa template (which is fully customizable) is optimized for use across every type of screen from mobile to desktop, so you’ll save additional time by not having to check dimensions. A free plan gets you access to templates, more than a million photos and graphics, and three downloads a month.
3. Make Your Banner Look Like a Page Header
When looking around for YouTube banner ideas, pay attention to some unique ways YouTubers have used banners to create a channel design. By using a white or transparent background, you can make your banner look more like a page header, giving your channel a professional look. Yoga with Adrienne’s channel page has a simple, sleek look that draws attention to her content.
You can use your existing logo with a white or transparent background or create your own text for the banner. Whichever option you choose, though, make sure it fully establishes your branding. If you’re posting videos to establish thought leadership in the legal field, for example, you’ll choose a more conservative font than if you have a fun, whimsical YouTube presence.
Snappa gives you access to more than 200 fonts to help you choose the perfect look for your channel art. You can also upload your own custom fonts to ensure your channel matches the branding on your website and other social media platforms.
4. Update It With the Latest & Greatest
Although many YouTubers use channel art in the place of a page header, your banner can change. Some big brands use that space to advertise their latest product or service. If you have something new you want to promote, what better way than to prominently feature it at the top of your YouTube page?
If you go this route, make sure you keep it updated. Nothing screams, “This page is inactive” like a banner with a date or season that passed months ago, and you definitely don’t want to make customers frustrated by promoting a sale or event that’s long gone. You can also use this space to promote your latest video or a bigger series that visitors should check out below, which works especially well when tied in with a featured video that’s relevant to the banner.
5. Use Relevant Photos
Many YouTube banner ideas have one thing in common: They include photos. This can be tricky, as you’ll need to make sure you have the rights to use the photos as part of your channel branding. Photos you’ve taken yourself are always a safe bet, as are photos of you or your team, provided you have the photographer’s permission to use them (double check that you have commercial rights if you’re unsure). You can use your YouTube channel description to sneak in a photo credit if you need to do so.
Another option is to use a stock photo for your banner. Snappa can connect you with more than a million premium stock photos as you’re designing your channel art. If you go with a stock photo from an online library, make sure you have permission to use it for commercial purposes without paying royalties. Stock photo sites include this information in the fine print when you purchase, so check carefully to make sure you can use them on social media.
Bonus: Remember Mobile
As with many sites, mobile optimization is essential on YouTube. For the best sizing, check out our detailed post about YouTube channel art dimensions. Fall outside of that safe area and your image may be cropped on certain devices. Worse, Google’s mobile-first indexing means your YouTube channel may not rank well in search rankings for your topic area if your oversized banner is throwing things off.
Luckily, YouTube is all too willing to help you out here. Once you’ve designed your banner, download the site’s Channel Art Templates and make sure your banner doesn’t exceed the safe zone. You can save even more time by using Snappa’s drag-and-drop YouTube channel art designers to ensure your design is to guidelines. Keep in mind that even a properly-sized banner will be scaled down for mobile, so if you have fine detail in your banner, it may be lost on smaller smartphone screens.
As you build a following on YouTube, you’ll find that having a branded channel instills confidence in your visitors. Your interesting, engaging videos will prompt guests to click the “Subscribe” button, but a professional page tells those visitors that you’re a serious business. With free templates from Snappa and tools that make your banners easy to customize, you can beat the competition with channel art that gets results.
Ready to revamp your YouTube banner, or at least test out one new creative ideas? Start your free trial with Snappa here!
What do you think? Which of these creative design tips and YouTube banner ideas appeals most to you? Which of the examples was your favorite? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!