A YouTube banner (also known as channel art) helps visitors to your channel recognize you and your brand. It’s easy to overlook this critical part of your video marketing identity. I’m going to tell you the why and how along with best practices to make your YouTube channel shine.
WHY CUSTOMIZE YOUR BANNER
Why should use your own YouTube banner? When there is no channel art, the top of your channel looks empty. Compare our client’s before and after. Before we helped optimize their YouTube channel, there was nothing at the top of the channel except the default gray block image that you see below.
We helped optimize our client’s new channel banner, as you see below:
The new channel banner is inviting and pops compared to not having any channel art. One month after optimization, our client’s views were up 17 percent, sharing was up 68 percent and likes were up 170 percent. Additionally, 6,000 more minutes were watched compared to one year ago and the channel had 10,500 more views than last year.
A customized banner helps:
- Show off your brand.
- Create a cohesive YouTube presence.
- Market with a unique call to action.
Although YouTube offers images in the Gallery tab option, these images are not unique. If you’re crunched for time and need a placeholder, these Gallery images are better than nothing. However, it’s always a good idea for your brand identity to be consistent across all social video platforms.
HOW TO MAKE A YOUTUBE BANNER
When creating your image file, remember that it has to scale up and down. This means you need to save your image as a .jpg or .png. You also want to take advantage of YouTube’s preview function. This will let you see how your YouTube banner looks on desktops, mobile devices and televisions.
Remember, MORE THAN HALF OF YOUTUBE VIEWS come from mobile devices.
The image should be 2560 by 1440 pixels. Even though 2048 by 1152 pixels is the smallest size, it limits how your YouTube banner appears on other devices.
The file size of your .jpg or .png should be no larger than 4 MB.
YouTube’s HELP SECTION has more details on how to upload a banner.
A YouTube banner should:
- Represent your company and brand.
- Look good at any resolution from small mobile devices to large television sets.
- Be created from a quality image so the banner is clear and not pixelated.
- Have your company name, logo and marketing tagline.
- Contain a call to action so that your viewer knows what to do next (e.g., visit the website, call the company, subscribe to the channel).