What is a YouTube Branding Watermark?

A YouTube Branding Watermark is a feature that allows creators to add any image (typically a logo) to all YouTube videos.

  • It boosts branding of your channel;
  • When clicked on image – viewers can subscribe to your channel.

So, usually the main point of having a YouTube watermark is to boost subscribers to your channel.

When viewer hovers over YouTube watermark, subscription link will appear.

How to upload YouTube watermark?

1. Go to YouTube Studio -> Settings.

2. Go to Channel -> Branding. That’s it!

3. From here you can replace or remove YouTube watermark.

Replace YouTube watermark

And also adjust display time.

YouTube watermark display time


YouTube Watermark – best practices

1. Make it visible

Make your YouTube watermark clearly visible – so it stands out on your video. Otherwise, people just won’t notice it.

As you can see on this channel (source), YouTube watermark isn’t visible at all.

Remember, one of the main points for your watermark is to get more subscribers. If it’s barely visible, that can be hard.

Try some high contrast image – which clearly differentiates from your video.

2. Watermark image

You can be really creative here.

But, in fact there are two main trends:

  • use your logo;
  • use subscribe button.

Some channels, e.g. Ahrefs, just put their logo.

A lot of growing YouTube channels, which have an aim to boost their subscription count – just put a Subscription like button. Check out Neil Patel’s, Backlinko’s and other channels.

Brian reported, that changing watermark to a subscribe button increased number of subscribers by nearly 70%!


3. Choose time wisely

Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to change YouTube watermark specifically for each video. Only for the whole channel.

So, there are three options:

  • End of video
  • Custom start time
  • Entire video

There are different scenarios, which can depend on your content. So, I think the best option would be just to test individually, what works better for you.

Some approaches:

  • display watermark from 0:00 – you can get the viewer click on it, but he or she can be distracted from your video itself;
  • display watermark 0:30-1:00, or right after your intro – viewer will be able to get most important first part of the video, and also click on the button;
  • display in the of video (safest option) – viewers are not distracted and still are able to click on your watermark.

4. Don’t block other info

Plan your videos, watermarks and other elements, so they don’t conflict each other. For example, watermark can appear above some important text or information in your video.

5. Track performance

You can see your watermark stats in YouTube analytics. Know how many people click on it vs. how many times it was shown. Hint, don’t expect a great conversion rate.



Note: after a recent update, “branding watermarks aren’t available on videos set as made for kids. If you previously added a branding watermark, but your video is now set as made for kids, viewers won’t see the watermark”.