Thumbnails that grab potential viewers and make them click to watch? When you’re creating videos for YouTube, the thumbnail might not seem important.
You might be thinking – as long as the content is good, the thumbnail doesn’t really matter.
A video thumbnail is the first thing that viewers see when browsing through YouTube. It’s a small, clickable image that either grabs their attention – or lets them scroll on by.
YouTube will offer you a choice of frames from your uploaded video to serve as this preview image, but rarely will this freeze-frame serve you well.
You need something that grabs the eye and communicates what your video is about at a glance. You want it to grab your target audience and make them think, I need to watch this!
The thumbnail is typically the first impression of your video, and essentially determines whether or not people will click through.
Designing a professional YouTube thumbnail not only helps improve your channel’s brand, but it also attracts visitors and more eyes to your content.
How To Make A Good YouTube Thumbnail
The YouTube thumbnail is one category included in the great YouTube cover, along with YouTube banners, icons, and watermarks. While a personalized banner can tell viewers about your Vlog’s content and who you are, the thumbnail will encourage them to watch your posted videos.
A thumbnail is a small picture representing your videos in a row of YouTube’s search results. Making unique thumbnails can actually encourage higher video view rates. There are many things you can do with your YouTube thumbnail design that will enhance the chance of it being got clicked on.
1. Only Use Relevant Pictures
One crucial rule to always remember when creating thumbnail is to never use a picture that has nothing to do with your channel or video. You see, branding is essential for the continuing visual marketing on social media webs like YouTube. If people feel cheated when they can’t find the relevant content in the video advertised by your thumbnail, they will leave at once (and may never return to your channel). So you need to keep the style of your thumbnail consistent across your YouTube channel.
There are 3 ways to ensure that your selected picture will never be off topic:
- Take a still-shot from the clip and to use it as a thumbnail. In these cases, some users still employ graphics tools to put their logo or text to the picture.
- Take photographs from the video (or take stills from the staged for the video), then apply them to what looks more like graphic pictures. This option is quite favored when it comes to YouTube thumbnail pictures, pictures of people included.
- Use a custom-made picture featuring simple graphics as well as the video’s title. Many of these images also show the business’s logo or name in either bottom corners so that it may look discrete, but still present.
2. Technique Details
- About the format: It must be in .JPG, .PNG, .GIF, or .BMP
- About file limitation: must be less than 2MB
3. YouTube Thumbnail Size
As a rule, too busy thumbnail won’t show up clearly and properly. So here’s what you need to know:
- Take into account the photo’s own size
- The original size: 1280 x 720px is the recommended dimension, since it may be used for the embedded player as a preview photo
- Think of how you can best take advantage of the space (while still remaining clear)
4. Color of Choice
As you have to compete in a long line with many other suggested videos, choosing the right colors for your thumbnail will go a long way in boosting your content’s views and clicks. Take these points into account when developing your thumbnail design:
- Contrasting colors: ensure that the graphics and text will be read, as they immediately draw the eye in. This is especially true in the case of text and graphics on your pictures.
- Bright or saturated colors: draw viewers’ gaze naturally. So they also help your video posts get more attention.
- Dark shades might not show up very well in the video list’s sidebar that shown in other videos.
5. Take Advantage of White Spaces
Take advantage of this negative space if you want to use a designed or graphic picture. Your thumbnail will look clean and more organized thanks to the resulted high-quality appearance possessed by any professional photo out there.
Meanwhile, your rivalries will be edged out as your video post has drawn the viewers’ eye a split second faster because they’ve registered what your vlog is about in just a flash.
6. Using Title
Adding titles to your thumbnails helps viewers identify the videos quicker in searches. If your title style is unchanged, the titles will also let your followers identify your videos besides capturing the attention of those looking for one of your specific topics.
Don’t add too much text though. Just some texts are enough to heighten your video’s view rate. Never put more than one concise title. If needs arise, you can add a crisp subtitle beneath it in smaller text to get your point across, and that’s it.
7. Readable Text
By default, thumbnails are inherently not large when you’re editing them on YouTube. The finished work will appear smaller still when they’re looked via a mobile device. So if the details contained are too clustered, it’ll be hard to see.
The best way if you must have texts in your image is to make sure they are huge enough that viewers can make out the characters even when the picture is shrunken down.
8. YouTube Thumbnail Resolution
The resolution suggested by YouTube is of 1280px x 720px at the minimum. If this dimension is too low, the picture will appear pixilated.
It might be a bit hard to maintain a high-resolution picture so that it can be responsive to different platforms, sizes, and devices through YouTube alone. So, the advice is to try testing your YouTube thumbnail design in several sizes to make sure that it’ll come out well.
9. YouTube Thumbnail Template
For each of your vlog, YouTube chooses a thumbnail which is always a still image from said video. However, you can select which frame you want to apply. This is good enough for people who prefer simple styles. Other YouTubers prefer a custom thumbnail because they will get to choose the image as well as the title.
There are online sites like PlaceIT that allow you to edit available images and use them for your YouTube banners. You can also edit your thumbnails with the help of these YouTube cover maker, as they’ll let you import photos from your PC or other social media accounts. You can then edit them and finally use them to your preference.