How to

9 Ways to Customize Your YouTube Channel for Better Engagement

Key Takeaways

  • Personalize your YouTube channel by choosing an eye-catching name that reflects your niche, like MrAlexTech for tech-related content.
  • Create a channel trailer to engage potential subscribers and give them a preview of your videos. Keep it exciting and entertaining, like a movie trailer.
  • Utilize featured videos and sections on your channel to highlight your best content and make it easier for subscribers to find videos that align with their interests.

YouTube is a relatively simple platform to navigate as a viewer. However, when you’re looking at different channels, many of them seem the same. Why is that?

The answer is that some content creators aren’t customizing their channels to entice potential viewers. They’re not setting themselves apart from the rest of the thousands of other creators using the platform.

As a YouTuber, it’s incredibly important to personalize your channel and make the content engaging enough for someone to want to click the subscribe button. And luckily, there are several ways you can do just that.

Why Your YouTube Channel Page Needs to Be Engaging

The customization of a YouTube channel’s homepage is what helps separate the occasional video creators from the YouTubers. It will help give your brand identity and allow others to recognize what you offer to the YouTube community.

It’s important that you take advantage of the customization options because it’s what will give viewers a first impression of your channel—which ultimately could be the make or break in terms of gaining more subscribers through channel visits.

Below are some of the best ways to personalize your channel for better engagement, and it will also help you complete some of the steps of the content creator checklist.

1. Pick an Eye-Catching Name

MrAlexTech YouTube channel page

A creative YouTube name isn’t going to render your success—many well-known YouTubers use their real names. However, if you want another way to pull viewers in, a unique name is a good place to start.

Try using something that involves your niche. For example, MrAlexTech is known for creating educational videos on DaVinci Resolve and other tech equipment. His name is Alex but adding “tech” helps people know what his channel is about.

When you start a YouTube channel, you’ll choose a name. If you want to change it, though, go to YouTube Studio > Customization > Basic Info > Name.

2. Upload a Channel Trailer

Tails of Wanderlust YouTube Channel Trailer

A channel trailer is for people who haven’t subscribed to your channel and want to know what your videos are about before they invest time watching them. A simple two to four-minute introduction should be enough to engage them.

You don’t have to put as much work into a trailer as you do your videos and Shorts. However, you’ll want to create a trailer that is still exciting and entertaining. Think of it like a movie trailer—you wouldn’t want to watch a movie if the trailer is boring.

To add a channel trailer, go to YouTube Studio > Customization > Layout > Video Spotlight.

The Wandering Wolfes YouTube feature video

Featured videos are for returning subscribers. When they get to your channel’s main page, they’ll be able to see a video of your choosing at the top—however, if they’ve already watched the video, it won’t appear.

Having a featured video will help your followers know if they missed a video. It’s also one of the first things they’ll see on your main page—you can always choose one that needs a boost when it comes to views.

It’s a good idea to consistently change your featured video unless you have one that’s specific to what you’re currently doing. For example, on The Wandering Wolfes channel, Sam is doing a solo journey for the year, so the featured video is about her being on her own for the first time.

To add a featured video, go to YouTube Studio > Customization > Layout > Video Spotlight.

Yoga With Adreine Featured Sections

If you’ve uploaded a channel trailer and a featured video along with a compilation of weekly videos and Shorts, your main page is going to naturally organize everything into featured sections. However, you do have the option of customizing the layout by setting up featured sections for specific types of videos.

For example, on Yoga With Adriene, the YouTuber has hundreds of videos to choose from. To help organize her channel a bit, she has several featured sections to help subscribers find videos for certain types of yoga like morning yoga and yoga for beginners.

To set up featured sections, go to YouTube Studio > Customization > Layout > Featured Sections.

5. Get Creative With Your Thumbnails

Loving Caliber video thumbnails

Every YouTube video comes with a thumbnail—and though thumbnails aren’t necessarily a part of a YouTube channel profile, they are essential to gaining traffic and building organic growth for a channel.

To help attract clicks and viewing hours, create the perfect thumbnail with high-quality visual elements, an easy-to-read title, and bold colors, so it stands out. However, refrain from using clickbait on your thumbnails—it may engage a viewer at first, but you’re more likely to lose your following that way.

You’ll add your thumbnails under Thumbnail when you upload your video.

6. Build Your Channel’s Banner

Jimmy and Natalie's YouTube channel banner

Your YouTube channel’s banner is the most prominent visual element on your homepage. The banner’s primary purpose is to show potential viewers your channel’s identity, and even give them a bit of information right off the bat.

For example, on the YouTube channel Jimmy & Natalie, the banner shows an image of the bus they travel in along with information regarding when they post new videos. They even naturally place a call to action in their banner asking for others to follow along on their journey.

After you create a banner using an online design platform like Canva, you can upload it at YouTube Studio > Customization > Branding > Banner Image.

7. Add a Watermark

The Wandering Wolfes subscribe watermark

A watermark is a small, semi-transparent image that is in the lower right-hand corner of a YouTube video. Its main purpose is for branding and protection of your work—however, you can also use it to invite your viewers to subscribe to your channel.

Several YouTubers use Canva to create a watermark with the word “subscribe” on it and then add the graphic to their channel. When watching a video on a web browser, a viewer can hover their cursor over the watermark and a subscribe button will appear.

To add a watermark, go to YouTube Studio > Customization > Branding > Video Watermark.

8. Write a Captivating Channel Description

Elsa and Barron's About Page

Your YouTube channel’s About Page is essentially your bio—this is where you explain what you bring to the table and add keywords for SEO purposes.

People will go to this page if they want to know what your channel is about if you don’t have a channel trailer—so it’s vital that you use language that will attract attention and give reasons for others to engage with your channel.

To write your channel’s description, go to YouTube Studio > Customization > Basic Info > Description.

The Wandering Wolfes YouTube links

What better way to engage your followers than to guide them to your other social media accounts? Adding your Instagram or TikTok accounts can help you stand out not only as a YouTuber but as an all-around content creator.

If you don’t post videos on YouTube every day, having the option for viewers to see what you’re up to elsewhere can help you grow. It can also help you be more relatable if you’re actively using social media accounts that your followers also post on.

To add any of your social media account links, go to YouTube Studio > Customization > Basic Info > Links.

Engage Viewers With a Personalized YouTube Channel

When people go to a YouTube channel’s main page, they may want to see more than the videos that are being published. They may want to gain more insight and see the person behind the content.

Next time you’re on YouTube, see if there are any gaps that you can fill to help bring your channel to life. Adding a creative touch to your YouTube channel will help your brand stand out and gain the growth that every YouTuber strives for.

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