YouTube’s One Channel Design: Tips on Creating a Trailer

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Jade Hark
on 10/4/13

YouTube recently rolled out a beta version of their new One Channel design  giving creators the ability to add a channel trailer. The new layout is probably the most dramatic reinterpretation of YouTube’s home channel in recent years and has had a warm reception from brands and vloggers alike.

What is One Channel?

The new One Channel design has been described by Google as turning "a video-based site into a channel-based site, where subscriptions rule”. So what’s new?

You can now add a large banner -dubbed Channel Art- to the top of your layout to act as your visual identity. The new banner is also responsive meaning your content will look good on all devices. Scaling accordingly from TV to tablets, you now have peace of mind that all your traffic sources benefit from your content in the same way.

Another new feature is the furthered ability to create and organise bespoke playlists to cater to your audience’s needs. Unlike before, you can now add these playlists to customisable sections on your channels home page, giving you more control on what your viewers see when they land on your page.

Unsubscribed Trailer

The most exciting new addition to the design is the welcome trailer. Effectively this will be the main featured video on your channel that auto- plays when non- subscribers land on your page.

The design of a YouTube channel has always been used to reinforce branding but the new trailer function gives you the ability to introduce your brand and engage non-subscribers in a way that hasn't been available before.

The new component will hopefully increase the number of your viewership by showing them the value of hitting the ‘subscribe’ button.

Top Tips

Creating a trailer can be a daunting task. Below are a few tips to make the process a bit easier and to help you optimise your trailer for maximum effect.

It isn't a sales pitch

The easiest way to put off non-subscribers from your channel is by creating a sales pitch. Make sure your content is geared towards showing the benefits of subscribing to your channel, not the benefits of purchasing your products or services.  People visit video platforms for advice, entertainment and information not for advertisements.  Your other videos - not the trailer- should be geared more at converting viewers to customers.


Keep it short


If you cannot sum your channel up in 30 seconds to a minute you need to rethink your edit. People like digestible chunks of video not long running features. The trailer is there to welcome someone to a channel not describe every aspect of your brand.

Keep it short and keep it sweet.


Calls to Action

Calls to Actions (CTA) should be used on most of your YouTube videos but should be specifically used on your channel trailer. This is as the trailer is probably the only video where the sole goal is to convert viewers to subscribers. Make sure you insert annotations and spotlights to encourage viewers to be part of your subscribership.

Adding InVideo Programming to your videos will also let you feature interactive tiles that lead both to your channel (if being watched off channel) and feature a video of your choice.



Go HD or go home

Your trailer should be recorded in HD (high definition) in either 1080p or 720p. With most smartphones now having the ability to display and record in HD there is no excuse to go SD (standard definition).

Filming in HD also gives you a 16:9 ratio opposed to SD that gives you a 4:3 ratio, giving a more cinematic look as seen below:

The basics

You have finished creating your trailer and you've done a good job. Like many other channels do not fall at the last hurdle by having your text truncated. There is something frustrating about a tittle or description that has been cut o…

  • Your descriptions should be 144 characters in length.
  • Titles should be 45 characters in length.

If you want add the YouTube One Channel Design to your channel click here.

5 Best brand trailers

Here are a few brands that have decided to take the early switch to the YouTube Once Channel design and have set the benchmark on how a trailer should be done.

                                       MMA Surge

Further reading


12 Valuable Tips for Video SEO Beginners

Building a Video SEO Strategy

Using YouTube to Build Your Brand, Authority and Business