I come across a lot of YouTube channels from companies who have made excellent videos but have not given any thought to the way their channel looks to the rest of the world. This is something which is actually quite simple to do and makes a channel looks far more professional than with the default gray background and the ‘John Doe’ picture. It seems as if companies not always realise that people actually visit their channels via YouTube.com or their videos embedded throughout the web. While some companies take the trouble to upload an profile picture they don’t do anything else, some don’t even have a profile picture (the John Doe one), although the options are limited you can make your own channel look good :-).
Style your channel
But as I said it’s quite simple to style a YouTube video just like you can style Twitter for example (which is something a lot of companies aren’t doing either by the way). To give your YouTube channel some love login on YouTube and visit your own channel. At the top click the ‘Channel settings’ button. The channel will reload and the tab ‘Appearance’ will open. First you can add an avatar at the top. This is your profile picture which will be added to your name on your channel like in the screenshot above (Suggested dimensions: 800×800 pixels, maximum filesize: 1MB.). Below the avatar you can upload a background image (maximum filesize is 1MB), if you already use your own images across different social networks like Twitter then it’s nice to use the same or a similar image on your channel. You can also choose to use a background-color only or choose a background-color in combination with an background-image. After uploading an image you can choose to repeat it horizontally, vertically or both and you can choose between Scrolling and Fixed. When the background is fixed, people can scroll to your channel without the background also scrolling. If not the background is also scrolling.
Title and description
As you can see above styling a channel is quite simple. When you’re done it can also be nice to change the Channel information on the next tab. First you choose a title, normally your company name and then you give a small introduction about your videos or about your company, you cannot put links in, but links can be added in another way later. Finally you can put some tags in.
The last tab is called “tabs” and this one is quite important because you can choose the layout of your channel. Usually the default tab is ‘Browse videos’ which gives an overview of all uploaded video, comments and activities. Personally I think it’s good to use the Featured tab so you can highlight your most recent of most important video first. Behind ‘Default tab’ select Featured and then click the featured on the left. Here you can choose from four different layouts for your channel, I mostly like the Blogger interface, ‘A reverse chronological list of your recent uploads or a featured playlist’. You can try what works best for you by clicking the layout and see a preview. With the blogger interface you can set a featured video on top with all the most recent uploaded videos right below the featured video. At the top you have a small option called ‘Always take subscribed users to the feed’.
Links and social media
Now your YouTube channel looks cool and you are almost done. Save the new layout when your happy with it by clicking ‘Done editing’ at the top right. Like I said above you could add links to your channel. This way you can point visitors to your social networks or your own website. You can do this by clicking the ‘Edit’ button on the right next to the title ‘About Channel name’. The description you see here is the same as just set in the Channel settings but below that you can add links. You can decide your own title per link and would recommend to add your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts plus the url of your own website. After adding all the links the order can be decided by dragging the links with your mouse. Below the links you can fill in a city and country but you can also hide these fields. If you have many playlist you can add these as well at the right and you can link to other channels.
Promoting your channel in your videos
YouTube recently added some new options for promoting your own videos in your own videos and promoting your own channel in your own videos. Click on your username at the top and the choose settings. After that click the option ‘InVideo programming’ and then choose the option ‘Feature your channel’. More on InVideo programming you can read here.