How To Make It Big On YouTube

Are you looking to grow your YouTube channel and become the next big thing? One of the most important (but often overlooked) aspects of growing your channel is branding!

Implementing a solid branding strategy can do wonders for you and your channel. This guide will help walk you through everything you need to know to create a successful YouTube channel. The few key points will include:

  • Deciding what type of content you are going to create.
  • Understanding your potential audience.
  • Branding yourself to fit your channel (with a few extra tips here and there).

RendrFX Can Help Brand Your Channel!

Without further ado, here are some tips to help grow your YouTube channel!

Content Decisions

First, you need to decide what kind of content you will create for your channel — whether it’s gaming, comedy, entertainment, sports, news, etc. When taking a look at the logistics of YouTube subscribers, we found that the three most popular categories for individual YouTube personalities are comedy, gaming, and entertainment. These three channel types have some of the largest and fastest growing channels out there.

The gaming category is dominating the market with YouTube gamers like Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, and VanossGaming. Some users (like PewDiePie) even have crossover into two different categories like comedy and gaming.

Comedy, gaming, and entertainment may be the most popular channel types right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to these interest groups. Make the content you like and would want to see on YouTube — like vlogs, news reports, or beauty videos. No matter what content you decide to start creating, you should keep in mind that the top two reasons people watch YouTube videos are “to relax” and “to feel entertained.”

Understanding the Audience

Before you start creating content, you should understand the audience that could potentially see your videos. Statistics show that the most active age group that watches YouTube videos is 35 to 44-year-olds. They comprise 26% of the users on the platform. The next highest group is 25 to 34-year-olds with 23%, followed by 45 to 54-year-olds with 16%, 18 to 24-year-olds with 11%, 55 to 64-year-olds with 8%, and 65-year-olds and up with 3%.

Also, eight out of every ten 18 to 49-year-olds watch videos on YouTube regularly. Millennials also make up a pretty big demographic that could see your videos. It’s reported that 81% of them prefer videos that are created by individual personality brands as opposed to videos by companies, TV shows, or traditional celebrities.

However, all of these numbers are just for 18-year-olds and up. It should be noted that nearly 91% of 13 to 17-year-olds use YouTube on a regular basis. Regarding gender, the average numbers of users are 38% female and 62% male.

Additionally, 70% of teenage users say they relate better to YouTubers than celebrities. The more relatable you are to different demographics, the more likely you are to attract an audience of any age and gender. Knowing this, you can see why it’s important to create relatable content for your audience.

Channel Branding

Now that you have an understanding of channel types and audiences, you can start focusing on branding your channel. Your channel’s banner, icon, name, and theme should all be related to the content type — as well as your brand.

For example, if you were looking to create a channel that solely focuses on creating beauty and makeup related videos — you wouldn’t title your channel “Super Gamer Guide.” This would be extremely misleading and confuse an audience. Similarly, if you were attempting to break out as a serious news coverage channel, you wouldn’t make your channel icon or banner a wacky picture. You’d want something professional that would fit your brand.

The key to branding your channel is to always keep your content in mind. Naming your beauty channel something along the lines of “BeautyBoyTips” may seem too on the nose, but it provides a clear picture of who you are and what you do.

If you are feeling stumped or having trouble finding a brand for yourself, try searching through similar YouTube users or creators you like in your category. Take note of what their icon is, what they call their channel, and all the other elements they use to brand their channel. This is not to say that you should copy anyone’s brand, but perhaps looking through other channels could inspire you or give you ideas when you are creating your own brand.

Another point to remember is that you need to be consistent with your brand. For example, if you feature your icon or name in the bottom right (for your video thumbnail,) then you should feature it in the same location on every thumbnail. Thumbnails and all other visual content should maintain the same aesthetic. This involves keeping colors, fonts, placement, and types of images used the same for all of your media. Doing this will help audiences recognize your videos more easily.

There are over 20 recommended and related videos on the side of any given YouTube video, 20 videos on any search page, and a countless number on the YouTube home page. Despite this high quantity of videos, if a user sees your signature bright yellow thumbnail with your icon in the corner and your standard all-caps title, they are more likely to pick you out of the crowd because of your branding.

The last thing you should keep in mind when establishing your brand is that no matter what you decide to do, it needs to look professional. Everyone loves Microsoft Paint, but it shouldn’t be used to make a channel logo, icon, etc. It’s always great to learn a new skill, so utilizing programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Sketch are perfect for creating any graphic you may need.

However, these programs can be expensive and difficult to learn on your own, but there are alternatives. There are countless opportunities online to find exactly what you’re looking for. Plenty of companies and artists would be willing to help by working with you to create your ideal graphic. Plus, this alternative could save you time and money.

If you’re fine in the graphics department, there is also software that you can use online to help with video creation. Software like RendrFX is the perfect tool to create intros, outros, and slideshows that you can use in all your videos. Even if you aren’t the most technical or design savvy person, there are outlets through which you can get professional content too. Canva is a great option for still graphics like your channel banner.

After you brand your YouTube channel, you should extend that brand to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You should try to use your YouTube handle on these other sites as well. If you’re “JokerJack” on YouTube, then try to get that username — or as close as you can get — on all other social media sites. This will help you to be recognized more easily across platforms.

To recap, some things you should remember when establishing your brand are:

  1. Be unique. It’s okay to be inspired by others, but do not copy them. The goal is to distinguish yourself.
  2. Consistency is key. Be consistent with your channel, videos, and social media so that you can easily build a relationship with your audience.
  3. Make it look professional so that you can build trust and respect.

Video Branding

Once you have a solid brand for your channel, it is important that you have a similar brand in your videos. You may be asking yourself, “How do you incorporate branding into YouTube videos?” For the answer, we must look at the top creators on the platform. A majority of the popular YouTubers in gaming, comedy, and entertainment all follow a similar branding model.

For starters, these channels all have distinct and recognizable logos that appear somewhere in the video, usually during an intro or as a clickable annotation. Speaking of intros, most of the popular creators have some sort of intro in their videos as well. You need to use an intro for your videos. It has been found that 20% of people who start a video will leave after 10 seconds. However, a strong intro can counter this and keep an audience engaged.

On a similar note, some YouTubers also have opening lines that welcome the audience to every video. Whether it’s “What up, everyone?! It’s your girl Superwoman” or “Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, laddies! My name is Jacksepticeye…”, these welcome lines further draw the audience’s attention and drive home the brand.

Some YouTubers also have common phrases that are just as much a part of the creator’s brand as their logo. These catch phrases often appear in a large number of the creator’s videos and could be heard multiple times. Some examples of this include Smosh’s “Shut up!” which is yelled during the intro or PewDiePie’s signature “brofist.”

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is just ending your video without an outro (that includes a call to action.) You should consider creating a sign-off as a way to end videos. Some examples of this include Good Mythical Morning’s “Thank you for being your mythical best” or Markiplier’s “See you in the next video. Bye-bye!” Most YouTubers use their sign-off as a way to thank the viewer for watching, invite them back to the next video, and give them a call-to-action.

These call-to-actions typically involve the audience being told to like the video, comment on the video, follow the creator on social media, and subscribe to the YouTube channel. Call-to-actions are very important and should be at the end of every video.

The most important thing you should remember about forming these phrases or sayings is not to force them. They should come naturally and feel comfortable to you. If you’re worried about your welcome or sign-off, try practicing it in front of friends or family to get some input before you say them in your videos.

It isn’t necessary to have all of these elements present in every video, but if you can learn anything from these popular channels, it’s that having an intro, welcome, sign-off, logo, and call-to-action doesn’t hurt.

When you complete the filming and editing process for a video, you should begin thinking about your description, title, and tags. For these, you also need to keep your brand in mind. Most YouTubers have a consistent style and word their videos in a specific way. There is no right or wrong way to title videos, but proper spelling and grammar are important. Some YouTubers make their titles in all caps, while others simply capitalize the first letter of words. How you style this is up to you, but be sure that it fits your brand and you are comfortable with whatever you choose.

Descriptions are usually used for plugging and linking all your other social media, websites, or projects that you want your audience to know about. For the most part, they are worded similarly or near identically for each video aside from the small blurb at the beginning related to the current video.

Although they are not seen, tags are just as important if not more important than descriptions or titles. The better your tags are, the more likely it is your video will be seen. Remember to make your tags relevant to the video and its content. Also, keep your most important tags toward the beginning. YouTube provides the option to have default tags and descriptions that will appear for each video, so consider this to maintain consistency.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all about branding your channel, here are some quick pointers to make sure your channel is a success:

  • Write a script for each video. This will help you stay on track and say what you want to.
  • Create a storyboard. This will allow you to plan out how the video will look visually and help save time later on with revisions.
  • Create a channel trailer to leave a good impression on viewers and encourage them to subscribe.
  • Consider creating a custom thumbnail to entice viewers once your video is done and ready to be uploaded. Make sure it follows your brand though.
  • Add royalty free music to your videos to get rid of any possible silences and add to the tone.

Being a successful YouTuber is hard work. It requires a lot of patience to maintain an audience and release videos in a timely fashion. Branding is integral to any successful YouTube channel. RendrFX can give you the tools you need to create a professional, stunning intro that’s bound to help your channel grow.

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About the Author

Peter Schroeder is the Digital Marketing / Social Media / Growth Manager at RendrFX.

Peter is the Swiss army knife of RendrFX, executing on everything from customer service to business development.

He also writes on Medium and you can follow him here