Do you know what a YouTube brand account is? Well, if your goal is to build your brand or make money from your YouTube channel, you probably should.
Of course, if you've never even heard of this type of account, you're probably not to blame. As with a lot of Google products, understanding why (and how) you should have a brand account isn't as simple as some social media platforms make it.
For instance, most content creators know that they want their Instagram accounts to either be a "creator" or a "business" profile. That's because these types of accounts give you more access to monetization opportunities and insights than just a typical account.
Having a YouTube brand account facilitates a similar function, but with some additional caveats.
What Is A YouTube Brand Account?
When you first decide to create a YouTube channel, there's a pretty strong likelihood you used your existing Google account to simply create a new personal channel. It's super fast and easy to do, and in most cases YouTube doesn't really make it obvious that you have options — but you do.
While we've been referring to it as a "YouTube brand account," the reality is it's actually a Google brand account — that just so happens to be linked to your YouTube channel. In the past, a Google Brand Account was used for multiple services. Now, it's just for YouTube. While a standard personal YouTube account is meant to represent an individual, brand accounts are used to represent businesses or brands.
There is, of course, plenty of overlap between the two worlds. Especially if you're a YouTuber who treats their content as part of a larger professional effort. If you've perused the Learn Stuff section enough, you'll know we strongly advocate for creators as CEOs of their own businesses. Even if you feel like you're "just" an artist making art, you have a brand, too.
At its core, a YouTube brand account allows multiple individuals to work on a single YouTube channel as if it were a business or brand, not simply an individual.
The Benefits Of Having A YouTube Brand Account
There are a handful of really important reasons to have a YouTube brand account and not simply a regular personal YouTube. The first one is that it allows you a sense of anonymity. Especially if you're a content creator who doesn't want the focus to be on themselves personally, or a business or collective that has multiple types of personalities and content.
Probably the most critical reason to have a brand account is that it allows individuals to access the account and do what they need to without needing any one person's personal login. Let's say you're an artist and your YouTube channel is your artist name. It may feel like you should just have a personal account, but that means any time you wanted somebody to be able to access your account, you'd need to let them have your username and password. With a YouTube brand account, you can grant permissions for others to do what they need to on your account without giving away any personal information. It also means you can remove them at any time if you need to. These are called Channel Permissions.
You also have to have a brand account in order to do certain things like work with bespoke digital marketing companies and analytics platforms (including RootNote). When you have a brand account, you can connect to different platforms in order to allow deeper analysis of your channel's performance, as well as opportunities to grow through marketing channels.
There aren't really any drawbacks to having a brand account instead of a personal one. As with all platforms, people can get a little overly cautious about choosing to identify their account as a "business," "brand," or "creator." The primary concern is they believe this will make the platform — whether it's YouTube or TikTok or Instagram — artificially suppress some of their content.
These platforms have continually assured users that's not the case, and rather business profiles are meant to help the companies provide more services to certain kinds of creators (and also gather necessary tax information for payment). There are a few very specific, niche reasons to not have business accounts (like using certain sounds on TikTok), but in most cases there are no drawbacks to going with this account type.
Preparing Your YouTube Channel
Once you've created your YouTube brand account — or changed your personal account over to a brand one — you need to do a few key things to make sure your channel looks professional. After all, one of the big values of having a brand account includes the ability to use cohesive branding, link e-commerce products to your profiles, and having a cohesive image across different sites.
On YouTube, that means things like:
- Creating a strong cover image and vibrant profile picture.
- Creating a channel trailer, both for existing subscribers and people who aren't subscribed
- Linking your other profiles on your YouTube page
- Selecting similar channels for your Featured Channels section
- Organizing your videos and playlists
- Connecting your e-commerce items through platforms like Shopify
- Having a strong, keyword-filled channel description
- Creating a place for people to engage with your further, like links to email lists or Discord servers