How to Create a Youtube Channel for Your Business (+ Tips & Examples)
Every day, two billion people log on to YouTube and watch one billion hours of video. YouTube is the world’s second-largest website — losing only to Google itself — with millions of people eager to learn, be entertained, and connect with brands.
Just imagine if you could get even a tiny slice of that pie.
You’d catapult your brand presence online and reach millions of people in your target audience — and find thousands of new opportunities for customers.
In fact, 63% of small businesses with a YouTube channel agreed that it helps customers to find them online.
Despite this, a good chunk of businesses believe YouTube is out of reach for their business.
But here’s a secret: creating a Youtube channel for your business isn’t nearly as difficult as you may believe. In fact, with a little know-how, you’ll be up and running with your very own channel in less than a day.
That’s exactly what we’ll cover off in this step-by-step guide.
You’ll learn how to create a YouTube channel, how to design on-brand channel art, and 7 tried-and-tested tips to optimise your channel for performance. And ultimately, you’ll discover how to unlock the potential of YouTube to achieve revenue-shifting results for your business.
How to set up your YouTube channel in 2 easy steps
Before you jump into creating a YouTube channel or creating content, you need to have a YouTube account. This is a fairly straightforward process: all you need to do is create a Google account, then use that to create a YouTube Brand Account and channel.
Follow these steps three steps to get your YouTube account and YouTube business channel set up:
1. Create a Google account
YouTube is owned by Google, which means you’ll need to first have a Google account before you can create a YouTube account.
All you need to do is head on over to Google Account and select “Create an Account”:
Once you’re in, fill out the form to get started:
Don’t worry too much about creating a Google Account under your business name. This information won’t show up in your YouTube account, so you can set this up as a personal Google account without any privacy or branding concerns.
2. Create your YouTube Channel
Once you have an existing Google account, you’ll automatically have a YouTube personal channel and account. However, this isn’t the same as a YouTube Brand Account, so you’ll need to go ahead and set one of those up before you create your channel.
You can do this by logging into your Google account on Youtube by clicking ‘sign in’ in the top right hand corner:
You’ll then be prompted to log in with your Google account:
After you’ve logged in, click your profile in the top right corner, and select “Create a channel”:
You’ll then be prompted to create a channel. Unlike the name on your Google Account, the name and image you select here will be displayed publicly alongside any video content you publish. Because of this, we’d recommend using your business name, as well as an on-brand profile picture:
If you’re happy with it, click “Create Channel”. Don’t worry too much about getting it perfect on the first go either — you’ll always have the option to change your account name and picture down the track.
When you create a Youtube channel, this instantly becomes a separate account in Youtube. You’ll be able to manage your channel, upload videos, subscribe to channels and access analytics via this account, without it affecting your main Google account.
Still with us? Great. Now it’s time for the fun part: customising your YouTube business channel.
Customising your YouTube channel
Your YouTube channel is a representation of your brand, so it’s worth taking the time to get this bit right.
When it comes to your channel, you’ll need to customise three sections:
- Channel layout
- Channel branding
- Basic information about your channel
To get started, click on “customise channel” on your account page.
This will take you over to the YouTube Creator Studio to start tinkering away:
Alternatively, you can also navigate to the YouTube Creator Studio by selecting the gear icon from the drop down options in the top right corner:
Create your channel layout
Your channel layout refers to what people see when they navigate directly to your YouTube channel homepage.
For example, this is Sephora’s channel homepage:
Within the Channel Layout section, you can customise the sections that appear on your channel homepage, including:
- A channel trailer for people who haven’t subscribed. This could be a video of you introducing your business to users, or highlighting your latest products/services.
- A featured video for returning subscribers. Here, you might choose to pick one of your most popular videos or your latest release so your channel subscribers can stay up to date with your content.
- Featured sections. Choose up to 12 featured sections that will appear when people scroll down through your homepage. For instance, you might include a section with customer reviews and testimonials, products, how-to guides, or other relevant content for first-time viewers.
Set up your channel’s branding
The second thing you’ll want to do is create branding for your channel via YouTube Studio. There are three parts to this: your profile picture, banner image, and a video watermark.
Upload your channel icon
Your channel icon will appear wherever your channel appears on Youtube, such as on the YouTube homepage:
As a user icon in YouTube search results:
And at the bottom of your uploads:
This channel icon will also show up in any comments you make under your brand name, and alongside your channel name on the YouTube app for mobile devices.
Keep in mind that your channel icon is incredibly small, so keep it clean and simple. YouTube recommends using a channel icon that’s at least 98 x 98 pixels and under 4MB.
Add channel art
Your banner image (a.k.a. channel art) is what people see at the top of your channel homepage. Think of this like the cover photo on your Facebook page: it takes up prime real estate, so it should convey what your brand is about or grab your audience’s attention, regardless of whether they’re a subscriber or finding your page from YouTube ads.
Creating great YouTube channel art is an essential part of nailing your YouTube marketing strategy, so it’s worth taking the time to get this right.
Don’t worry — we have a whole section dedicated to creating the perfect channel art below.
Include a video watermark
A video watermark isn’t a must-have, but it’s a great way to add a bit of brand recognition and claim your content on YouTube.
Your video watermark is a tiny YouTube channel sign that will appear in the bottom right hand corner of any content you upload:
YouTube recommends an image that’s 150 x 150 pixels and that’s less than 1MB. This could be your logo, like what Nike has done:
Your brand name, like MKBHD:
Or something that’s iconic to your brand, like Nintendo’s Mario watermark:
Enter in your basic information
Last but not least, you’ll need to enter the basic information for your channel under the “Basic Info” section of the YouTube settings.
- Your channel name
- A channel description, such as information on what people can expect to find there or an introduction to your business
- Links to any websites you want to share with visitors, like your company site or other social media platforms
- Contact information for any enquiries
All of your basic information, including your channel description, will appear under the “About” section of your YouTube channel page:
Upload your first video
Once you’ve set up your YouTube channels, it’s time to start uploading content. To upload a video, simply head to your channel homepage, then click “Upload Video” to get started:
Designing the perfect channel art
Remember what we mentioned above?
Your channel art is an important part of your business YouTube channel.
It’s the first thing that users see when they land on your homepage, so it’s critical that you use this piece of real estate to communicate who your brand is and what it’s about.
You could use your channel banner to:
- Highlight an upcoming video series
- Promote a message that’s important to your business
- Introduce your brand mission and values
- Showcase your latest product or service
- Display your upcoming promotions and offers
Creating good channel art is just that — an art. Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there to help you design an eye-catching banner image.
Follow these steps to create your very own channel art for your YouTube page.
1. Know the right size for your channel art
YouTube recommends that all channel art measures 2560 x 1440 pixels for optimal display on all devices. However, your image can be bigger or smaller than this, as long as you stay within these dimensions:
- Minimum width: 2048 x 1152 pixels. This ensures all text and imagery in your “safe area” are guaranteed not to be cut off when being displayed on different devices, like phones, desktops or on the smart TV app.
- Maximum width: 2560 x 423 pixels. The “safe area” will always be visible on all devices; however, the areas on the side of your channel art may or may not be visible depending on what browser the audience is using.
Keep in mind that your channel art needs to be less than 6MB in size.
2. Use a design tool
There are a ton of tools out there to help you create a good-looking piece of channel art that’s in line with your brand — and the best part is, none of these require any design experience.
Canva has plenty of free channel art templates that are already optimised for YouTube’s recommended dimensions. Just head to Templates > YouTube Channel Art:
Work with one of their existing designs, or create a blank canvas to make your own:
Another option is Adobe Creative Cloud Express (formerly known as Adobe Spark). Create a free account, then type “YouTube channel art” into the search bar to browse all available options:
Alternatively, ask your designer to create something from scratch using Adobe Photoshop or Figma.
3. Ensure important information stays within the “safe area”
YouTube has a “safe area” of 1546 x 423 pixels. This means that all of the information contained in this section of your channel art will be guaranteed to show up on your channel homepage, regardless of whether a viewer sees your page on desktop, mobile, the mobile app, iPad, smart TV, or any other device.
Ensure all of your important content is housed within the safe area; otherwise they might run the risk of being cropped off or covered by links to social networks.
4. Include links on your channel art
You can, and should, add links to your channel on your channel art. These display as a transparent overlay in the bottom right-hand corner of your homepage like so:
This is a great way to get some extra clicks to your website or social media platforms, so it’s absolutely recommended to add these in. However, you need to be mindful of this when designing your channel art to ensure that important information doesn’t get covered up by these links.
5. Upload your channel art
Once you’ve got your channel art sorted, it’s time to upload it to your YouTube channel. Head into Customise Channel > Branding then click “Upload” to add your picture.
Once you’ve selected your image, you’ll be presented with the option to customise your art. YouTube will display crop lines that show which part of your image will be displayed on desktop, TV and on all devices (i.e. the “safe area”).
This is your chance to move your image around to ensure that it displays the way you want it to on all devices. When you’re happy with it, click “Done” and your image will appear as a preview in the “Banner Image” part of the “Branding” section:
If you’re happy with this, hit “Publish” to go live with your new channel art. You can also use this page to change your channel art — for example, to promote a new video or promotion.
5 examples of great channel art
HubSpot Marketing’s channel art is eye-catching, creative, and looks great on multiple devices. On top of having a great design, HubSpot has used this prime piece of virtual real estate to promote its free digital marketing certification — and capture more leads in the process.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House’s YouTube channel art is simple, yet striking. As a place that needs no introduction, the Sydney Opera House features an eye-catching aerial shot of the venue with its iconic design, as well as links to subscribe to its channel or follow it on social media.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club has always been good at promoting their products with catchy messages and clean, eye-catching design — and once again, their YouTube channel art hits the nail on the head. Dollar Shave Club has used this space on its homepage to promote the fact that its products are now available in stores, as well as via its subscription service. With links to its social media handles and website, this YouTube channel art ticks all the boxes.
Adore Beauty is an online beauty store that’s made a name for having a great selection of products and helpful beauty content. The company uses its YouTube channel as a place to promote its products through how-tos, listicles, reviews and guides. Its channel art plays into this by highlighting that new content is released every week, as well as directing users to its Instagram, website, or Beauty IQ podcast for more content.
As the owners of YouTube, it’s no surprise that Google gets its channel art right every time. Google uses this space as a place to promote its latest campaigns and content, such as its Year in Search 2021. Although it’s simple, this channel art piques the interest of users and makes them want to watch the video — which is handy, given the video is featured on the page.
7 expert tips for optimising your YouTube channel
1. Optimise your video titles and descriptions
Think of your video titles like your meta title and meta description in Google Search. The right copy can dramatically improve your clickthrough rates and your position in search results — which means you’ll reach more people with your video.
Here’s an example of three results that appear for the search term “Google Pixel 6 review”:
Right away, it’s easy to see why the first video has ranked at the top of the list. The title is simple and straightforward, while also drawing the user in to discover why the phone is “almost incredible”.
Likewise, a search for “SEO tips for eCommerce” comes up with the following results:
All three of these titles are well optimised: they all contain the target keyword “eCommerce SEO” and clearly communicate the value they can bring to the audience, whether it’s getting more traffic, practical tips in 2021, or tips for beginners.
Optimise your video titles and descriptions by:
- Using concise and descriptive language
- Incorporating any relevant keywords into your title (i.e. “eCommerce SEO”, “Google Pixel 6”)
- Front-loading any target keywords into your video description
- Adding timestamps in your video description to help new viewers navigate through different ‘chapters’ of your YouTube video
- Incorporating links to other playlists or videos in your description. We recommend up to five links, but you can certainly add more if needed.
2. Use eye-catching thumbnails
It’s not just your channel art that hooks users in.
Your video thumbnails have a HUGE impact on the clickthrough rate for your video.
A good thumbnail should complement your video title, stand out in YouTube results, and entice users to want to watch more.
One way to tick all three of these boxes is to run a search for your topic, look at the other thumbnails that appear, and come up with a plan to stand out.
For example, if all the other videos are using bold text and bright colours, you might choose to keep your thumbnail clean and minimalist to draw attention.
On the other hand, if the competition is using a still from their videos as a thumbnail, having text on your image may help draw the user’s eye to your content.
3. Group videos together into playlists
The most effective way to encourage your target audience to engage with your content on YouTube?
Give them more content that they’re interested in.
Playlists are a great way to group together different videos by theme, in order to hook users in and get them to watch more of your videos. Plus, when a viewer watches a video from a playlist, YouTube will auto-play the next video in the list, which means they’re likely to stay on your page for longer.
Once you’ve built up a solid collection of videos, start putting them together by theme, topic, series, or product.
For example, here at OMG we separate our videos into marketing discussions, client testimonials, Meet the Gurus, and business tips:
4. Add tags to your videos
Tags are another way for YouTube to understand both the content and context of your video. This is particularly important if you want the YouTube algorithm to associate your video with similar videos so your target audience can discover you through the platform.
Like with keywords, tags should be used in moderation. Only include tags that are relevant to your content, and opt for quality over quantity.
5. Get up to speed with YouTube’s algorithm
Just like search engines, Youtube has an algorithm to determine which videos to display in search results, as well as the videos in the sidebar.
YouTube SEO has gone through its fair share of updates over the years, but in 2021 it’s a mix of:
- Personalisation: what a viewer has watched previously and their viewing preferences
- Performance: the video’s historic success, measured by views, shares, likes and dislikes
- External factors such as seasonality, topical interest, and the level of competition out there
For more on how the algorithm works, check out Search Engine Journal’s list of 20 confirmed facts about YouTube’s algorithm.
6. Ask viewers to subscribe
When a user subscribes to your video, they’ll get an alert whenever you post new content to your channel. Including a sign-off or a call-to-action in your videos asking YouTube users to subscribe is a great way to increase your reach on the platform and ensure that your target audience watches your content.
7. Be consistent
Like any social media platform, the key to YouTube is to post quality content consistently.
Try to get into a regular cadence for your YouTube channel, creating and posting content regularly – whether it’s a week, once a week, or once every fortnight. As you post more videos, you’ll have more opportunities to reach your audience through the platform and grow your subscriber base.
Once you start to get more familiar with YouTube, it’s also a good idea to peek into your channel dashboard to see exactly which YouTube content is getting the most engagement and who your audience is, so you can plan ahead.
You can also start to promote your own videos using YouTube advertising, such as pre-roll or bumper ads, to maximise your web presence on the platform.
Unlock the power of YouTube videos for your business
Knowing how to create a YouTube channel is the first step towards using video marketing to promote your business online. But if you really want to catapult your new YouTube channel into the spotlight, you’re going to need to understand how to convert views into visitors, and visitors into sales.
With the help of our gurus, you’ll turn your YouTube presence into rocket fuel for leads and revenue. And the best part is, it costs absolutely NOTHING to get started. Claim your free digital marketing audit today, and we’ll show you how to incorporate a successful YouTube channel into your overall digital marketing strategy.
Ready for game-changing growth? Click on the link below to get started.