How to Add a Watermark to YouTube Video


Adding a watermark to your YouTube video through YouTube does more than just add a little personal branding to your video. It’s also a great way to grow your subscriber base, as anyone who hovers over it will see the button to subscribe to your channel. However, there are some very specific guidelines you have to follow to create your image, otherwise it won’t look right on your video. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in both the YouTube video and image collection below.

YouTube player

Steps to Add a Watermark to YouTube Video

  1. First, you’ll need to create a graphic that’s scaled up at a 1-to-1 ratio and a minimum of 150-by-150 pixels, is either a PNG, non-animated GIF, BMP or JPEG, and that’s 1 megabyte or less. You’ll also need to adjust for whether or not you want a transparent background. In this example, I’ve created a 450 by 450 PNG image with a transparent background. The transparent background reduces the screen real estate of the watermark, but will ensure the text pops out.
  2. After creating your image, navigate to your YouTube Studio home page, and then click “Customization” in the menu on the left side of the screen.

  1. Choose “Branding” in the menu at the top and then scroll down to Video Watermark, and then click “Upload” next to Video Watermark.

  1. Navigate to where your YouTube watermark image is located, select it and then click “Open.”

A preview screen is shown where you can adjust the size and location of where your watermark will appear in the corner of your video. In this example, I’m not making any adjustments and will click “Done.”

You’ll return to the Branding page, where you’ll see a preview of your watermark added in the Video Watermark section. From here you can choose whether you want your watermark displayed at the end of your video, you want to set a custom start time, or if you want it displayed for the entire video. In this example, I’ll choose “Entire Video.” Click “Publish” when you’re done.

    Now, when anyone watches one of your videos they’ll see your watermark in the lower right corner of the video. If you end up with a watermark that looks too small, it’s likely because you didn’t adhere to a 1-to-1 scale and use a minimum size of 150-by-150 pixels. If your image looks fuzzy, you may want to scale up to a larger size while staying inside of the 1 megabyte limit, which is why I chose to use a 450-by-450 pixel image so it would be more crisp.

    5 Reasons to Add a Watermark to YouTube Video

    1. Brand Identity Enhancement

    Embedding a watermark on your videos strengthens your brand identity. It’s like wearing a uniform in public; it immediately tells viewers who the content belongs to. Every time someone watches your video, the watermark serves as a constant, subtle reminder of your brand. This repetitive exposure helps to increase brand recall, making it easier for viewers to remember and recognize your brand across various platforms. It ensures that your audience connects your content with your brand, even if the video is shared outside of YouTube.

    2. Theft Protection

    Unfortunately, content theft is rampant on the internet. A watermark acts as a deterrent to those looking to reuse your content without permission. It’s like putting a security tag on your video; even if someone downloads it and tries to claim it as their own, the watermark will give away its true origin. This can discourage theft and help maintain the integrity of your content. Furthermore, if your content is stolen, the watermark can serve as evidence that the content is yours, aiding in any copyright disputes.

    3. Professionalism

    Adding a watermark can increase the professionalism of your videos. It shows that you care about your content enough to brand it. Think of it as your personal signature on your work; it suggests a level of polish and dedication that can set your videos apart from those without such branding. This professionalism can attract more viewers and potential collaborators who value quality and attention to detail, thereby expanding your reach and influence.

    4. Promotional Tool

    Watermarks can also act as a promotional tool. By including your logo or website URL, you turn every video into a promotional piece for your brand. This is especially useful in today’s digital age, where content can be shared and spread rapidly across different platforms. Every viewer who encounters your video gets exposed to your brand, potentially increasing your audience and customer base. It’s a passive but powerful way to market yourself without additional advertising costs.

    5. Consistency Across Content

    Using a consistent watermark across all your videos can help unify your content, making it easily recognizable across different series or productions. It’s like having a consistent theme or color scheme that threads through all your work, tying everything together. This consistency helps build a cohesive brand image, which is crucial in a crowded media landscape. It makes your content look well-thought-out and systematically planned, enhancing viewer trust and loyalty.

    About Max

    Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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