How to Make a YouTube Header Image for the New Channel Design; Tips for an Engaging Trailer [Creator's Tip #82]

How to Make a YouTube Header Image for the New Channel Design; Tips for an Engaging Trailer [Creators Tip #82]

With the new channel design came some additional challenges and some intriguing possibilities.  On one hand, you have the new "subscribe" trailer, which you can have play on your channel page which will show up only for people who have not yet subscribed.  On the other hand, you have issues concerning the header image which is supposed to conform to all devices: desktop, mobile, TV.  How do you get it all looking good without everything clashing together into one big mess, or leaving too much open space?  Well, we're here to help.

Tips for the New Subscribe Trailer and How to Get That Header Image Looking Sharp

Recently, we discussed the new subscriber trailer and tips for creating one.  Reprinting what was said there, we'll add one more piece of advice:

1. Welcome your guests.  Show appreciation to the viewer for coming to your channel.  A quick salutation, a simple "hi," can go a long way.

2. What are you about?  Immediately get into what your channel does and entice them with video proof.

3. Keep it fast.  Hi, here we are, this is what we do, please subscribe.  Bada-boom, bada-bing.  If you have a longer video in mind, make sure you get the viewer's attention immediately and provide them with a reason to stay around.

4. Add B-Roll.  As alluded to in the 2nd tip, you need to show some highlights from your channel that will get people wanting to subscribe.   Showing is better than saying.

There are new challenges in creating logos and headers for the new design.  You have a small amount of space for mobile, and a huge amount of space for desktop, and even bigger space for TV screens.  On the desktop version, there are spaces that are off limits.  For instance, your avatar/channel logo covers the upper left hand corner of the page and your social media links cover up part of the space on the right.  You need to find a way to create a header that won't clash with those two things.

1. Start with an image that covers the whole thing (a pattern, or something that repeats itself).

How to Make a YouTube Header Image for the New Channel Design; Tips for an Engaging Trailer [Creators Tip #82]

2. Go down to center mobile box and image, text, graphics in the smaller box and center it.  Don't go too far to the sides or you'll start bumping into your avatar or social links.

How to Make a YouTube Header Image for the New Channel Design; Tips for an Engaging Trailer [Creators Tip #82]

This has been the most common way for those who have adopted the new channel design to get everything looking right.

Any questions or comments about the new channel design?  Leave a comment down below or even better, comment on the video!

View The Full Video Transcript:

On this week’s Creator’s Tip, we’re gonna give you guys some advice on how you can create engaging trailers for your new YouTube design channel layout and also how to make a header image that works well on all platforms, mobile, desktop, tablets and television. That’s coming up.

Hey guys, my name is Tim Schmoyer and welcome to another Creator’s Tip where every week, we here at Reel SEO do our best to help you guys make content that will perform the best on the web and reach your audiences and all that kind of good stuff. Today we really have to talk about the new channel design that recently rolled out to everyone now on YouTube. If you don’t yet have it, you can go to YouTube.com/OneChannel, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page that you can opt in there and play around with the new design. And also, if you later decide oh, I don’t really like this new design, I think I’m gonna go back to my old one for now, maybe switch later. You can go back to that same page, scroll all the way back down to that blue box again and you can opt out and you can go back to your old channel design for now. I don’t know how long it’s gonna last but you can do it for now.

Right away on this new channel design, you’ll notice that there are two main new features and one is that they have a spot dedicated specifically to a trailer for your channel that only shows up to the people who are not yet subscribed. So you want to make a video that is targeting exactly people who are like oh, who are these guys about, should I click subscribe or not? Last week on ReelSEO.com, we published an article that outlines a couple things we’ve noticed that are similar between trailers that seem to be performing the best and we’ve outlined all of those for you so go check that out for all the details.

Let me summarize it for you guys, giving their three main points and then I’m gonna add my fourth. The first one is welcome your audience in your trailer or video. As soon as they come, say hello, just say hi, just welcome them somehow. Personally, I recommend addressing your target audience in that same welcome so let them know that hey, this person’s talking to me and this is a place for me. Then number two, tell them what you’re all about. Don’t just tell them what you do, what kind of shows you make, also tell them why you make it. Answering that why question, I think, is very important because it makes it a lot easier for people to connect with you, not just the content you make but with you personally and it helps create more of a human connection, I think.

Number three, make it quick. Try to keep it to around 30 seconds if you can, a little bit longer is fine but don’t make a three, four, five, six minute trailer, make it as brief and succinct as possible. Then the fourth one that I’ll add to this article is show plenty of B-Roll. Don’t just tell people what you do but show love examples and clips from your previous videos while you’re explaining what you’re all about. In the article at ReelSEO.com, we share a couple of trailers that we think are exceptionally good if you want to check out some examples, go check that link in the description below this video and you can see some of those.

Now let’s talk about the header image here for a second. This was actually way more challenging for me to design than I anticipated because I have a very small window of space to work with for mobile devices but it grows huge when you start taking other things into consideration: desktops and especially television screens. And to further complicate it, on the desktop version, you have your channel’s image avatar there that covers some of the upper left corner of your image as well as the bottom right corner. Some of your social links and website links will cover that sliver at the bottom right of it as well. So even in that little small area that they give you to work with, they have a couple of spaces that are off limits on the desktop but you don’t want it to look awkward like there’s blank spaces there on the other devices either.

So here’s what I did and what I actually see a lot of other people are doing now as well and that is, start with an image that just covers the whole thing. It could be a pattern or it could be an image that just repeats itself or whatever, just use something big. Come down to that center mobile box and put your image, text, graphics, whatever in that smaller box but place it right in the center but don’t go too far to the outsides or else you’ll start bumping into your channel icon on one side and your social links on the other. Here’s a couple examples to show you what I mean. This seems to be what works the best across all devices.

It looks best, obviously, on desktop or mobile but it also can kind of work on television and I would love to hear from you guys what design tips, ideas you have. Comment below and let us know what those are, we’d love to hear from you guys. And if this is your first time here, welcome, we’d love to have you subscribe. Every week we do videos just like this to help you with your online content. Make sure you go check us out at ReelSEO.com for even more awesome stuff that we post all throughout the week and also check out my YouTube channel at YouTube.com/VideoCreators where we talk about online video news, what it means for us and how we make our content as video creators. We do Q&As and hangouts and stuff like that there as well.

So go check that out and I will see you guys next week for another ReelSEO Creator’s Tip video. See you then, bye.

About the Author -
Tim Schmoyer is the host of ReelSEO's Creator's Tip and the author of "30 Days to a Better YouTube Channel". You can see some of his personal videos on his Family Vlog Channel. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://twitter.com/dhensley316 Dustin Hensley

    Can you share the dimensions and guidelines that you used for your graphic? I'm having a hard time finding it around the web. Great article, thanks!

    • http://timschmoyer.com/ Tim Schmoyer

      Here's the specifications for the channel art:
      http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&topic=16630&answer=2972003

  • Matt W.

    Any drawbacks to using your latest video instead of a unique trailer video? For my new videos, most of their initial viewership likely comes from visits to my channel page. It seems like you are losing an opportunity to showcase your latest video (and get more views and likes for it) by showing a trailer instead. All of my videos call for the user to subscribe.

    Also, if we do use an existing video, are we able to disable ads when its viewed on the channel page? The prior pages seemed to offer this, although it never seemed to work properly for me.

  • Bertranddo

    Hey Tim,

    Great article! I was actually pretty surprised by the sudden redesign.. Guess we all have to adapt now!

    I had a question for you.. I can not figure out how to add the floating video thumbnails at the end of a video like you did on the one above around 4:20.. I have taken a screenshot here http://screencast.com/t/gDJ2tvyS

    Could you let me know how do you call those and if you have any resources on your reelseo about it?

    Thanks for all your guys do, I really like the effort you put in creating great content,

    Best,
    Bertrand

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Hey Bertranddo. Check out this other post that Tim did. I think it may be what you're looking for http://www.reelseo.com/outro-end-slate-youtube/