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Rebranding a YouTube Channel: Pros, Cons, and How-Tos

As of January 2024, my Money@30 YouTube channel is no more. Okay, so the channel I’ve worked for years to build up and make profitable hasn’t really gone away β€” it just has a new name. Earlier this year, I decided to rebrand it from Money@30 (matching this site, of course) to Fioney, corresponding to the other personal finance site I’m the head writer for. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that, at age 38, my time under the Money@30 banner is likely coming to a close anyway.

Before, during, and after this rebranding process, I learned quite a bit β€” including what to do, why rebranding can be a good thing, and why it may also have its drawbacks. So, now a few months removed from undergoing this change, I wanted to share some of my insights.

What to Do When Rebranding a YouTube Channel

Changing your name and URL (sort of)

Perhaps the easiest part of rebranding your channel is changing the name. To do this, just go to YouTube Studio and select the Customization option. From there, head to the Basic Info tab and you’ll see your current channel info.

Unfortunately, while converting the name of your channel requires just a few keystrokes, changing your custom URL is a bit more complicated. In fact, the old Custom URLs that YouTube offered cannot be changed. But, in some good news, you are able to change your Handle. For example, I was able to convert my Handle from @Moneyat30 to @FioneyMoney. In turn, my channel URL is now YouTube.com/@FioneyMoney β€” but my Custom URL is still technically YouTube.com/Moneyat30 (without the @).

Once you’ve changed your channel’s name and URL handle, you can continue on to the graphic part of your rebrand.

Fioney logo on computer display

Updating your channel images

Under the Branding tab of YouTube Studio’s Customization section, you’ll see three types of channel art you’ll likely want to update: your picture, banner image, and video watermark. First, the Picture referred to here is the circular icon that shows next to your channel name and video title. In my case, this just meant swapping out my Money@30 ‘@’ logo for the Fioney ‘F’ one.

Next is the banner image. Notoriously, YouTube banners are a bit of a pain as they can display drastically differently depending on the device (how about that alliteration, huh?). Basically, while most desktop and mobile users will only see a slice of your banner, those viewing it on a television will see a much larger and taller version. Because of this, it’s recommended that you make your banner 2560×1440. However, your text and logo should be in the center and no larger than 1546×423. Personally, I used Adobe Express to create mine, but I know a lot of creators who by swear by Canva.

Finally, with the hardest part out of the way, there’s only the video watermark to take care of. If you’re not familiar, this is the icon that will show in the corner of your videos and, when clicked, will give viewers another way to subscribe. This is an optional feature, but it’s one I’ve always liked β€” as long as your logo isn’t intrusive. To prevent it from falling into that category, be sure the logo is transparent and looks good against whatever your regular background is.

After you’ve updated your art, there are just a couple of other branding options to consider.

Getting a new stinger and/or channel trailer

If your channel utilizes a “stinger” (a short branding clip that plays near the beginning of your videos), you’ll likely want to update this as part of your rebrand. Of course, if you don’t have one, then you can skip this step β€” or perhaps consider having one made for the launch of your new-ish channel. Personally, while I have a stinger of sorts, I don’t see them as essential, so it’s really up to you.

On the other hand, one other element I would recommend is having a channel trailer. This trailer is what those who aren’t subscribed to your channel will see when they visit your page (assuming you set it up this way). As for what’s in the trailer, that depends on your preference β€” but it should really highlight what your channel does and explain more about why people should subscribe.

To add or change a channel trailer, first, upload the video to YouTube (but you can leave it unlisted). Then, go to the Layout tab under Customization in YouTube Studio. There, you should see a “Channel trailer for people who haven’t subscribed” under Video Spotlight. If you have a previous trailer, you can click the three-dot icon, choose Change Video, and select your newly uploaded trailer. Meanwhile, if you don’t already have a trailer, just click Add and select the video.

Now that we’ve gone through some of the specifics of how to rebrand your YouTube channel, let’s talk about some of the advantages and drawbacks.

The Pros and Cons of Rebranding

Pro: The chance to refocus

One of the great things about YouTube is that you can really cover anything you want. At the same time, though, being too eclectic can make it harder to gain traction in the algorithm and, in turn, can hurt you in terms of reaching viewers. That’s why, as much as possible, it’s best to keep the focus of your channel clear. This is also where I think that a rebrand can be helpful.

Speaking to my personal case, aside from the age issue, another reason why I figured it was better to go with the Fioney name was because that’s the site where I write most of my personal finance app reviews. Yet, the channel where I made videos for these reviews was Money@30. So, I decided it made more sense to lean into what has traditionally been my best-performing content and emphasize it by making Fioney the review brand.

video icon

Con: Potential to be ignored by subscribers

Remember a minute ago when I mentioned the algorithm? Well, it’s unfortunately fickle. Furthermore, no one outside of Google truly knows how it works. But, as a YouTube viewer, I have noticed a thing or two over the years.

Among these anecdotes is the fact that, if YouTube serves new videos from a channel I follow and I fail to watch a few of them in a row, it’s as though they might as well be dead to me! Suddenly, I largely stop seeing that channel’s videos on my homepage even though I’m still subscribed. Instead, I need to seek them out in order for the algorithm to serve them to me once again.

So what does this have to do with rebranding? Well, if you’re changing your channel’s name and icon to something your subscribers are not familiar with, they may be more inclined to inadvertently ignore your videos when they’re served to them. And, by the time they catch on, it may be too late.

Honestly, this is a pretty big fear of mine overall. However, my channel has always been more search-based, so I wasn’t as concerned as some other creators might be. Still, if you are worried about the potential for this to happen, you may want to try warning your audience ahead of time by announcing it in a video, doing community posts, and using other means of communication and social media to let them know what to watch out for.

Pro: Opportunity to make other tweaks

Back to the good parts of rebranding, I’ve found that making the effort to mix things up also gave me the chance to finally tackle some tasks I’d been putting off. For example, I’d been meaning to move my “call to action” up in my scripts and had also intended to completely overhaul my thumbnail style. Well, as it turned out, rebranding the channel proved to be the perfect opportunity to do both.

Now, could I have made these adjustments without rebranding? Of course! But, I did find it easier to incorporate these changes into the larger transition rather than make them individually along the way.

Con: No real way to update old videos

Finally, another downside of rebranding a channel also speaks to one of the biggest faults of YouTube in general: there’s not a way to update past videos. While you can change out thumbnails and adjust descriptions, the content of your videos is pretty much locked in β€” unless you want to try to cut stuff out with the slow and clunky editing tools YouTube offers. This means that references to your previous channel identity will remain intact, which could be confusing for new viewers.

Of course, in most cases, this shouldn’t be a big deal. After all, you’ll be far from the first channel to ever change its name and identity. Nevertheless, this may be something to consider when weighing your options.

Overall, despite some downsides, I’m pretty happy with my decision to rebrand my YouTube channel to Fioney. Not only was the process fairly simple but the act of rebranding in the first place gave me a chance to reassess a few things about my channel and set a new course. So, if you’ve been meaning to mix things up, perhaps an overhaul of your YouTube branding could be in order.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Founder ~ Moneyat30
Kyle is a freelance writer - including being the head writer for Fioney.com. He also serves as editorial director for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com. In 2015, Kyle and his wife Bekah moved from Los Angeles to Springfield MO in pursuit of greater financial freedom. Together, the pair enjoy travel, coffee, and spending time with their dog Rigby. Additionally, as of 2023, they become first-time homeowners.

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