Your YouTube banner is the image at the top of your YouTube channel. Google sometimes refers to it as your channel art.
It works much like a book cover. Everyone who comes to your channel will see it at the top of the page, whether they’re viewing through a desktop, mobile device, or TV app. While the image will display differently on each of those viewing devices, the banner image still has an important role to play in establishing a good first impression for your YouTube channel and reinforcing your branding.
You can obviously customize photos, graphics, and logos on the banner image. But that’s a passive graphical element–clicking on it isn’t going to do anything. But YouTube has added an area where you can overlay up to five active links on top of the banner image. They appear in the bottom right corner.
You can use those spots for traditional links to websites. Your homepage would be a natural example. But you can also use them to display social media icons that link to your social accounts.
It’s not hard to do, but it doesn’t work quite the way you might expect.
Add YouTube Banner Links
So here’s how to do it.
Go To Channel Customization Page
After you’ve signed in to your YouTube account, click on your profile picture. Choose
On your main channel screen, you’ll see two blue buttons under the banner image: Customize Channel and Manage Videos. Choose
On the Channel Customization page, there are three tabs at the top: Layout, Branding, and Basic Info. Choose
Add URLs to Websites & Social Media Pages
Towards the bottom of that page, you’ll see a section titled Links. This is where you add the URLs.
Now, the trick here is that you don’t actually add the social media icons. What you do is add the links to your social media accounts, and YouTube automatically pulls in the icons.
Here’s an example. I’ve added my website’s homepage and then the URLs of my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles.
You can drag and drop to reorder them.
Select Which Links Appear on Banner
Under that, there’s a section titled Links on Banner. This is where you control whether the links appear on the banner itself or in the section below. You can choose up to five. In this example, I want all four links to appear in a row on top of the banner image.
Next, hit the
Publish button at the top right corner of the page. Then choose
You’ll now see that it is displaying my homepage URL and has automatically pulled in the icons for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. (I’m using a simple solid blue banner image here just for the sake of illustration.)
Here’s a closer crop of the same thing so you can get a better view of the social media icons. These icons are active links, which means users can click on them and go straight to the relevant social media profile.
Things Worth Knowing
You don’t have any control over which icons it uses. You can’t swap them out for black and white versions, for instance.
With standard URLs, the site’s favicon is used–again, you don’t get to choose.