YouTube Best Practices For Artists

(Hypebot) — With 2020’s pandemic induced migration to on-line, having a powerful YouTube presence is extra vital for artists than ever earlier than. Here, we dive into the perfect YouTube practices for 2021.

Guest put up by Rebecca Rodriguez of The Orchard’s The Daily Rind

As in-person rapidly shifted to on-line in 2020, the significance of video and total want for human interplay rose. It’s no secret how vital YouTube is throughout these unprecedented occasions. From stay information updates to live shows within the consolation of your lounge, YouTube has proved simply how highly effective the platform nonetheless is.

With two billion registered month-to-month customers, YouTube is past a video platform – it’s an area for neighborhood, a spot to find (second largest search engine proper after Google), and one of many biggest advertising and marketing instruments.

Ensuring your YouTube channel is optimized in each side is important to its total development. To be sure you have all of the instruments obligatory, The Orchard has this 12 months’s YouTube Best Practices so that you’re geared up for fulfillment!

What you see doesn’t imply it’s what you’ll at all times get. That’s why it’s essential to have your channel aligned, properly branded and arranged to captivate the eye of a possible subscriber.

Official Artist Channel vs. Verified

To begin, it’s vital to let viewers know your channel is the true deal. This could be denoted as  both an Official Artist Channel (OAC) or Verification.

  • OACs (marked with a music notice) are beneficial for artists and consolidate the artist’s content material & subscriber depend from numerous YouTube artist channels (official YouTube channel, Vevo channel, and Topic channel) into one place.
  • Verifications (marked with a test) are for labels and non-artist channels. Once a non-artist channel reaches 100K subscribers, there’s the flexibility to request verification for the channel. This is an efficient method to let the YouTube world know your content material is official.


It’s all in regards to the visuals. Create personalized, visually compelling, and related channel artwork to determine the model. The banner is YouTube’s billboard for data. It ought to mirror current launch(s), upcoming excursions, and so on. and make the viewers really feel like they’re connecting with a character, not only a model. The banner ought to be up to date usually and be appropriate on each desktop and cell. The profile icon must also be aligned with the banner and be clear. In addition to the visuals, it’s crucial to incorporate as much as 5 hyperlinks on the channel. These hyperlinks can level to an official web site, social media profiles, and so on. Any different hyperlinks ought to be added to the channel description.

Here are the beneficial codecs for the icon and banner:

  • Icon: JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG file (no animated GIFs); 800 x 800 px picture (beneficial); Square or spherical picture that renders at 98 x 98 px
  • Banner: Channel artwork appears to be like totally different on desktop, cell, and TV shows — bigger photos could also be cropped. For the perfect outcomes on all units, one 2560 x 1440 px picture is beneficial. File dimension ought to be 6MB or smaller.

Curated Channel Layout

Just just like the branding, the general group and structure aids in solidifying the channel.

The channel trailer is an elevator pitch to potential subscribers. It’s featured first on the channel and auto-plays, so it must hook the viewer.

There are two customizable views:

  • Subscribed view is for returning and already subscribed customers. (A brand new launch or playlist, or a high playlist is beneficial.)
  • Unsubscribed view is for brand new customers. (An intro to the channel or the preferred video is beneficial.)

Once the trailer video is ready, it’s time to deal with the principle attraction: the movies.

Channel sections operate as the principle organizational software for channel homepages.

  • They make the channel web page straightforward to browse and could be created dynamically from playlists.
  • Consider curating from different channels’ content material, organizing content material into totally different teams (i.e. Official Videos, Official Lyric Videos, and so on), and organizing movies (e.g. common uploads), playlists (My Albums) or Channels (extra from my community).


Playlists are a good way to maintain the viewers inside the channel. On high of organizing the content material, playlists improve watch-time and creates one other alternative to look in search outcomes and Suggested Videos. It’s a no brainer: playlists ought to be a necessary a part of your channel’s technique. You can create playlists utilizing the channel’s movies, movies from different channels, or a mixture of each. Ideas of playlists embody sequence, temper playlists, albums, interviews, and so on.

  • To get the perfect outcomes, optimize the playlists’ metadata, and direct viewers to those playlists through playing cards, finish screens, neighborhood posts, and hyperlinks.
  • Make the metadata work for the channel; a powerful title and outline will assist individuals discover the playlist.

Channel Descriptions

Who runs the world? web optimization. As you’re navigating channel optimization, remember the ability of YouTube’s search.

  • Channel descriptions ought to be added in two locations: the “About” tab and “Artist Center” within the creator studio.

YouTube makes use of the “About” tab to populate web optimization; including an in depth bio and outline with key phrases assists YouTube in surfacing the channel greater in search. Remember to incorporate the artist’s hottest songs, album names, genres, labels, areas, milestones, and some other search phrases related to the artist or channel.

In the “Artist Center” tab in Creator Studio, add photos and a biography to the About tab in addition to the YouTube Music app. It’s vital to maintain the branding throughout platforms constant for familiarity, and make sure the channel comes throughout to followers because the official supply of the artist’s content material on YouTube.

Additional Features

It’s all within the particulars. Essential options to maintain tabs on are channel tagsfeatured channels and customized url.

Similar to video tags, channel tags assist floor the channel in YouTube search and in different algorithms, equivalent to Google. For instance, add the 12 months, widespread misspellings of common tune titles or albums or names, genres, tune titles, albums, geography. The extra, the higher, so long as they’re related. 

To promote different content material and drive visitors between two channels, hyperlink featured channels within the “Channels” tab.


Creating a customized URL permits followers to simply discover and keep in mind your channel. It ought to be one thing clear and memorable equivalent to ArtistIdentify /ArtistOfficial /LabelRecords /LabelMusic, and so on. We suggest utilizing the identical deal with as different social platforms equivalent to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. to maintain uniformity.

Video Titles, Descriptions and Tags

Each video has its personal web optimization alternative outdoors of the particular channel. Through correct video titles, descriptions, and tags, you’ll be able to be certain that the correct viewers is being focused.


Video titles give viewers a way of what to anticipate from a video whether or not or not it’s an Official Audio, Music Video, Lyric Video, Behind The Scenes, Live Interview, and so on. For artists, make sure to embody the identify of the artist and the title of the monitor. If there are a number of or featured artists, you may as well point out them with “@” image.

Video descriptions are one other manner YouTube is ready to make the most of web optimization. In quick, the descriptions actually assist viewers discover your movies. Make certain the entire vital data is showcased within the first two sentences of the outline – it’s what exhibits in search and on the video web page.

  • Within the outline, embody hyperlinks to subscribe, level to all social platforms, hyperlink to different movies or playlists, any buy hyperlinks (merch/tune/album) and lyrics. This comes into play when customers can’t keep in mind the title of the tune so that they search by lyric.
  • Include applicable hashtags with out areas; the primary three hashtags seem under the video and above the video title. Use hashtags which might be part of a bigger searches, equivalent to “#NewMusic, #Artist, #Album, #Genre, #Event”

Just just like the channel tags, video tags assist in concentrating on the correct viewers. In this case, the extra the merrier.

  • Add extra tags to movies so long as they continue to be related to the video (500 character restrict). You can embody a mixture of common and particular tags to precisely describe every video.
  • This could be the artist identify or totally different variations of it, title of the tune, simply misspelled phrases that individuals could also be trying to find, lyrics of the tune, the 12 months, albums, style, geography, new music tags, the kind of video, and extra.

Video Features

Beyond the web optimization optimizations, there are additionally options inside the video that generate extra engagement inside the channel. The further options out there are playing cards, finish screens, watermarks, subtitles, and merch shelf.

  • Cards will let you hyperlink as much as 5 totally different card sorts – this may embody different movies, merch, streaming, donation websites, tour tickets, playlists, and extra. What’s nice about this operate is that it permits viewers to comply with via on one other call-to-action with out having to cease the video. The card button seems because the “i” within the high proper hand nook all through the video.
  • Adding end-screens to movies helps curate and lengthen a viewer’s watch session. End-screens, because the identify suggests, are parts that pop up on the display as soon as the video is coming to an finish. Here you’ll be able to add a subscribe hyperlink or hyperlink to different movies and playlists. Make certain to maintain these up to date to push to related and/or precedence content material.

Another vital watch session function so as to add is the “branding watermark” button. It sits on the decrease proper hand nook of every video and when scrolled over, permits the person to subscribe to the channel with out leaving the video.

Your channel doesn’t must be restricted to at least one language. Enabling subtitles/(CC)/translations opens the content material to a bigger viewers – together with those that don’t communicate the language or would favor to have the lyrics on the display. Translations contribute to the general metadata of the video.

One of the most recent options is the merch shelf. Now eligible channels can promote their merch proper under the outline of movies and on the “Store” tab of the principle channel.



Thumbnails are the job interviews of YouTube – you wish to make the BEST first impression the second they see your video, so make them depend! Thumbnails ought to be shiny and simple to see (not darkish or blurry), with a transparent image of the artist or a hanging picture that’s on-brand to seize the eye of potential followers. Change up the thumbnails inside your channel! Here’s your area to get artistic inside the model by utilizing distinct thumbnails for every video to help person expertise.

And most significantly, at all times optimize for cell — greater than 70% of views come from cell.


Beyond its skills to host content material, YouTube has change into an area for neighborhood and interesting with the viewers. Like different social platforms, artists and labels alike can talk immediately with the followers in chats, the neighborhood tab, and extra.



Community” is YouTube’s social feed. With the flexibility to put up photographs, GIFs, polls and textual content updates, it’s a good way to immediately interact with followers by giving them distinctive content material and common updates. To foster a extra related fanbase, we suggest liking/replying to feedback. Posting on Community retains the channel lively in YouTube’s algorithm, particularly when the artist goes a size of time with out posting, or earlier than importing new content material.




YouTube Premiere provides followers the chance to just about collect collectively for a watch get together on the time of launch. You can schedule a video add and create a shareable watch web page; stirring up buzz across the launch with a countdown.

Super Chat & Super Stickers

Calling all tremendous followers. YouTube lately launched Super Chat – a function that permits viewers to voluntarily pay for his or her messages to be highlighted and pinned to the highest of the stay chat field on a livestream or Premiere video. The extra they spend, the longer their feedback keep and their chat shade adjustments.

Viewers can even buy Super Stickers – digital or animated photos that pop up within the stay chat feed and could be pinned to the highest of the chat field. The options will robotically be enabled on all future livestreams and Premiere.


YouTube Live

Now greater than ever, it’s vital to remain related and engaged with fanbases.

YouTube Live provides you a method to join with new and outdated followers, creating an actual time expertise to have interaction with viewers immediately (+ you’ll be able to monetize your stream.)


YouTube Stories

Give followers a second by second replace with YouTube tales! Think Instagram Stories – however the video segments could be 15 seconds lengthy and expire after 7 days.



For extra particulars on the 2021 YouTube Best Practices, try the presentation under!

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