21 February 2023

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The Importance of YouTube Branding Watermarks

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When it comes to YouTube, we often get wrapped up in the mechanics of video editing, content creation, and building an audience. However, there is one crucial aspect of a YouTube channel that is often overlooked: the branding watermark. In essence, a branding watermark is a feature offered by YouTube that allows you to insert a branded image or logo into your videos. This logo serves two purposes - it is a powerful branding tool and can also be used to encourage more subscriptions, as viewers can subscribe directly from the video.

Finding the Right Balance

A successful branding watermark is all about finding the right balance. You want it to be visible enough to encourage interaction, but not so prominent that it becomes an eyesore or distracts your viewer from the actual content. YouTube suggests using a transparent background for your branding watermark, as it can seamlessly blend with your video. However, this may also make it easy to overlook.

Consider the case of a barely visible watermark - it blends into the background so well that viewers might not spot it at all. If they don’t see it, they won’t interact with it and potentially subscribe to your channel. Is it worth sacrificing visibility for aesthetics? Perhaps not.

On the contrary, let’s look at Evan Carmichael’s channel. His branding watermark is bold and impossible to miss. Yes, it’s more noticeable and might seem distracting at first glance, but its boldness also increases its chances of attracting attention - and potential clicks.

Choosing the Right Image

Choosing the right image for your branding watermark is crucial. Should you go for your channel logo or icon? This strategy can reinforce your brand because viewers will identify the logo with you every time they watch one of your videos. However, many YouTube watchers may not realize that they can click on these logos to subscribe.

For this reason, some YouTubers opt for a watermark that resembles the YouTube subscribe button. If your primary goal with the watermark is to bolster your subscriber count, this could be the way to go. It sends a clear message to viewers that clicking on the button will lead to a subscription. When Backlinko switched from using a transparent logo to using a mini subscribe button as their watermark, they experienced almost a 70% increase in subscriptions from their watermark.

Timing is Everything

YouTube allows you to select when your branding watermark first appears in your video. However, keep in mind that whatever setting you choose applies to all videos on your channel. It’s not possible to specify different start times for individual videos.

The timing of when your watermark appears is subjective and varies between channels. Some prefer it to be visible from the get-go at 0:00 - that way, viewers know immediately whose video they’re watching. The potential disadvantage here is that the first 15 seconds of your video are critical for hooking viewers, and having a visible watermark might divert their attention.

Others prefer introducing the watermark after their introduction, around 00:30-1:00 into the video. This means viewers can focus on your intro without distraction. On the flip side, when your watermark does appear later on, its sudden appearance may distract viewers.

Consider Placement in Your Video

While planning and filming your videos, always remember that you’ll have a watermark on-screen in your final edit. Thus, avoid placing critical information or appealing visuals where your watermark will appear - typically at the bottom right-hand corner.

Measure Performance and Optimize

YouTube provides metrics showing how well your branding watermark is performing in terms of click-through rate (CTR). Although typically only a small percentage of viewers will engage with your watermark (don’t expect CTRs above 5%), this data can help you test different watermarks to see which style and format best suit your channel.

In conclusion, a YouTube branding watermark is not just a trivial part of your channel’s decoration; it’s an essential tool for branding and increasing subscriptions. Like most things in life, getting it right involves achieving a balance between visibility and aesthetics. So, take the time to experiment with different options and find the branding watermark that works best for your YouTube channel. Good luck!

Note: Looking for a tool to help you create engaging content for your YouTube channel? Check out Content Cannon for features and pricing.