Marketing executives speak about brand strategy, and budding entrepreneurs struggle to develop a distinctive brand. It can be confusing, and sometimes it seems counterintuitive that “brand identification” is about public trust and acceptance rather than about products.
The basic concept, however, is simple. It is simply a way to distinguish your unique “presence” in the marketplace. It can involve a logo, a slogan, a company name, or a specific product, but the brand goes beyond all those individual characteristics. Successful branding implies a history and speaks of a future, whether for companies or individuals.
A distinctive brand — think of Coca-cola and Kleenex as examples — can evolve into a generic tag for a specific type of product, while other successful brands are instantly recognizable as leaders across a wide spectrum of products — brands like Apple, Target, Habitat for Humanity or World Wildlife Fund, for instance.
If you have any doubt about the power of branding, consider this: Branding should be a quick statement of what you do, or what your company represents, and what you or your company can do for someone else. Think of it as a “shorthand introduction.” An effective brand will immediately elicit an emotional response. The goal is to create a positive response.
Branding is a way to separate you and your company, as well as your products and services, from your competitors.
The Benefits of Branding
Positive name recognition is one of the first priorities to consider as you seek to develop a branding strategy. Ideally, that strategy will work across all channels of influence. Understand the positive value of consistency, and use all available tools to share your message with your customers and the public,
The three basic tenets of consistent branding are:
- Differentiation: You want to stand out from the crowd.
- Exposure: You want to be noticed, and to spur action.
- Recognition: You want current and potential customers and clients to remember you, your company and your brand.
If you have developed a company logo, created a website, established a blog or a customer newsletter, or printed a business card, you are no doubt aware of the value of a recognizable logo, a consistent image, and the effects of color on printed materials, in advertising and for signage. You will want to consider similar elements across all your branding efforts. A coordinated approach will strengthen your branding, creating trust in the public mind.
Whether you establish an online store, design packaging and promotional items to complement your products or splash your logo across a fleet of vehicles, you want people to remember your name, recognize your logo and respond to your message. If you don’t have experience, you can work with a logo design agency in Denver to achieve this result.
In addition to the thought, planning and financial commitment required to start and maintain a business (or create a personal image), you must be aware of all the avenues that exist to spread your message. Use all the tools at your disposal to create branding that truly reflects your business personality.
A YouTube channel is a great way to boost market share and grow your business. Here’s what you should know before you begin:
Best Ways to Brand Your YouTube Channel
These ideas represent the most important “first items” as you plan to go live on YouTube. Strive for the most professional presentation you can muster: Remember that potential customers will judge you and your company by what they see and hear.
Statistics note that there are more than 500 hours of content posted on YouTube every minute! Your goal, then, is not only to be unique, but to offer value. The way to do that is through distinctive branding.
Your first task, as a new YouTube user, is to create a brand account. New rules were enacted by Google beginning August 4, 2021. Personal Google accounts and brand accounts are now completely separate, with some distinctive rules and requirements. It’s important to know the differences.
How to brand your YouTube channel:
If you have an existing logo that is identified with your company, the best suggestion is to use that logo either as a stand-alone element, or displayed prominently on the opening page, along with your name or the name of your company. If you’re still in the research phase of creating a logo for yourself – it’s recommended to look at other youtuber logos for reference before going ahead with designing yours. Then, capitalize on the brand recognition you have developed in other ways, and use color, fonts and images to create a pleasing first impression. Keep it clear and uncluttered, and let it “speak” for you to the audiences you wish to attract.
Essentially, there are two choices for the “face” of your YouTube channel, either your logo or your face. If you feel comfortable in front of the camera, and want to be recognized as your brand’s spokesperson, go ahead and design the channel’s opening page to include your face, in addition to your logo and your company name.
Channel Cover Image
The logo, image or art of the opening page should make clear the purpose and content of the channel. Never leave a potential viewer wondering what kind of content they will find, but try to keep the opening page as simple and “clean” as possible. You want visitors to proceed to the “main course” of the content. Keep text to a minimum, and remember that the viewer’s first impression will be formed within just a few seconds.
Your channel should include “pages” with specific information. Create an “About” page that is not only factual and descriptive, but authentic and creative. Brainstorm ideas to keep the information succinct, pertinent and enticing.
Let potential channel subscribers know what you plan to post, and when, and then — in a few words — tell them why they should become a regular on your channel. Make your “About Page” all about what viewers will learn or how they can benefit, not about what you offer or promise to provide.
The channel trailer is an important section. Think of it as the inspiration. Tell your story, in your own words, if possible: why you started the channel, what questions you want to answer, or who you wish to help with your videos. Explain to your audiences why they should care.
Put another way, this is the value proposition that defines not only your YouTube presentations, but your brand as a whole.
These are the teasers, the “advertising” that will help to attract visitors to your channel. Some trial and error may be necessary to find a format that is both visually attractive and effective. But, as your audience grows, thumbnails will become more important.
Use them to attract attention, to direct visitors to your channel and to generate the clicks that increase your traffic. Experiment with different formats in the beginning, but when you find a winning combination, stick with it! Various thumbnail maker tools are available, so sample a variety of options.
It is said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Take note of other channels that you like, but don’t try to duplicate what they do. Develop your own formula. Also, try to protect yourself from any unauthorized copying or use of your videos by overlaying a watermark when appropriate. It’s usually a logo or distinctive mark in one corner of the video.
Much like the printed logo superimposed on a photograph to discourage copyright infringement, a watermark may not eliminate unauthorized sharing, but it will discourage unauthorized users from circulating a particular video as their own. Learn more here.
Organized Channel Sections
Another consideration is how to organize the playlist of videos on your channel. Make the site easy to navigate, and allow visitors to choose what they wish to view with the least amount of effort. Visit other channels to determine your options, and then organize your channel’s sections in a meaningful way.
Test your links, and check regularly to confirm that all information on your channel is fresh, factual, pertinent and up-to-date.
Remember that potential customers have a lot of choices, so make your YouTube channel unique, with clear, concise and interesting presentations. Be mindful of the message, but also try out differing approaches, and find the balance between what is comfortable and what works. Most importantly, if you find that something isn’t working, change it. Solicit feedback, not only from existing clients, but from friends and potential customers, and learn from any constructive criticism that is offered.
Realize that anything worth doing might take some time to perfect, so go slow at first, and make changes as necessary. But, also understand that, as with all your branding efforts, consistency counts. So, think it through before you think about changing your focus completely. You Tube can be a great addition to your branding repertoire, so make your channel the best it can be!