How to Brand Your YouTube Channel

By branding your YouTube channel, you can customize the way you want it to look. Just treat your YouTube channel like any other landing page — it should draw in and engage your consumers! Watch this quick overview from YouTube:


What can you brand on your YouTube channel?

In essence, YouTube gives you a simple iframe, or what they call a “Gadget,” to work with. Inside that iframe you can put any html you want — within some guideline constraints. A couple of big ones are:

  • Your code needs to be squeaky clean with no errors of any kind.
  • Any images you use need to be appropriate for all audiences.

So, if you’re treating it like any landing page, this means you have many options, such as adding a carousel, a sign up form for your newsletter, Facebook or Twitter feeds (without the comments) or a display of your latest blog posts.

Air New Zealand, “The airline of Middle-Earth,” captures its brand essence on its YouTube channel.

What are the steps to branding your YouTube channel?

It’s useful to have an experienced web developer to help you create a branded YouTube channel. Here are some things your team may need to get started:

  • All YouTube channels have the ability to upload a custom background, but you’ll need to apply to be a YouTube partner. For additional customization options, your company will have to spend significant ad dollars with YouTube.
  • Obtain a domain name to host the iframe page and assets.
  • Review the technical specs.
  • Review the developer guidelines.
  • And if you’re going to do anything cool with your videos you’ll need the video reference guide — this was most helpful to me when we created the PayPal channel, as it featured videos from particular playlists, recent videos and most popular videos.

PayPal’s branded channel on YouTube

What is the process once you’ve figured out what you’d like to do on your branded YouTube channel?

  • Create a test account (so YouTube can see the gadget in order to approve it).
  • Build your custom web app (iframe).
  • Send the test gadget URL to YouTube (the iframe URL).
  • YouTube then adds the gadget URL in the back end of the test channel.
  • Enable the gadget through the “channel settings” (on the test channel).
  • Once the test channel is set up with your URL, YouTube will review it and approve or ask for changes.
  • After the test channel is approved, YouTube will add it to your real channel, where you’ll go in and enable.
  • Done!

For inspiration, YouTube has several more examples of branded channels on its Show & Tell site. Now you can integrate your YouTube channel with your other online properties to create a seamless brand experience.


About Nicole Hanusek

Nicole is a web designer and front end developer with over 13 years of experience. For the past five years she's worked a great deal with WordPress and knows it inside and out. Many colleagues have referred to her as a CSS guru and always come to her when they need help. View all posts by Nicole Hanusek
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