YouTubers' Guide to Making YouTube Thumbnails
Despite their small size, video thumbnails are a powerful marketing tool, but if they are well designed, they will succeed in attracting the viewer to decide to watch the video and discover the content that you provide. So you have to pay great attention to it.
In this guide we'll reveal how to create video thumbnails, how to change them on YouTube, and best practices you can use to attract viewers to your channel. Read on to see how simple and easy it is!
What are thumbnails?
A video thumbnail is a small image or simple video clip that represents and shortens larger content such as a video or article.
Viewers can browse through thumbnails and tap to preview by expanding the image or viewing the video. Thumbnails create smaller content that can be easily displayed to viewers to determine if this is really what they want to see?
Thumbnails provide a hint about the contents of an article or video and the more well presented they attract viewers. Even if the user does not watch the video, thumbnails add important context to the content by prompting viewers to click and learn more.
In today's world, things are moving very quickly; So when the viewer decides in a matter of seconds if your video is worth the attention, thumbnails play a more important role than you might expect in those seconds.
Many YouTube channels select the thumbnail automatically when you upload the video, but most of the time these random selections are not satisfactory and to avoid this you can select an image of your choice. Below we will show you how to easily create and change thumbnails on YouTube.
How do you get a video thumbnail?
Creating a video thumbnail is relatively simple. You can take the Screenshot from the video that gives the best explanation of the content, or you can use a tool like Photoshop or Canva to add text or symbols on the image.
To get a screen capture on a Windows PC, use the Windows Snipping Tool.
For Mac users, press Command + Shift + 4 to select the portion of the screen you want to capture. Pause the video on the photo you want to take, then copy and save it.
Always keep in mind what you are trying to reach, by using a thumbnail you should give a hint to the intro of the content and entice viewers to click to discover more. It is very important, dear YouTuber, that the thumbnail you have chosen looks good on the screen of any device, whether mobile, desktop or tablet.
There are some best practices to keep in mind when creating a video thumbnail. Like it's important to pay attention to the image size and check the requirements of the platform you're using to create the thumbnail, otherwise the image will look stretched, or have white or black bars on the edges. Also, make sure the image is large, following the directions.
What about thumbnail size and aspect ratio?
The recommended YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels, and the file size must be less than 2MB. Also use the 16:9 aspect ratio, as it is the most used aspect ratio for YouTube players and previews (1280 x 720 pixels 16:9).
How to change the thumbnail on YouTube?
Now that you've got a video thumbnail that matches your content, here's how to swap a YouTube thumbnail into the one you just created.
- Log in to YouTube and click on the "My Channel" section.
- Click the "Video Manager" button above your YouTube profile, you'll find it next to the Views button.
- Select the video whose thumbnail you want to change, then click the Edit button below it.
- Click the Custom Thumbnail button under the auto-generated thumbnail options.
- Load the custom thumbnail from the file holding your new thumbnail, then click Open. This will upload your custom thumbnail to YouTube.
- Don't forget to click save!
If you're not sure that your new thumbnail is the best, you can always do a little A/B test to make sure you've found the perfect screenshot.
7 tips to make thumbnails more clickable day in and day out
Make the image clear, attractive and simple. The user should immediately know what to expect from the video content.
You can put a colorful and attractive thumbnail, but avoid making it flashy or cliched. Realize that just as a thumbnail can attract the viewer, it can also turn them away. In general, it should be consistent with your brand.
Don't oversell video content, especially as you risk annoying viewers if you fail to deliver within the video what you promised in the thumbnail.
Including a face in the thumbnail is often a good way to connect with viewers. Placing a human and central interface in the thumbnail conveys confidence to the viewer and suggests that the content you provide is elegant and thus the experience becomes more interactive.
If you are using a tool to create a video thumbnail, try adding a call-to-action button to the screenshot to prompt.
Keep text and overlapping titles short and direct and highlight relevant keywords.
Try including your branding, such as a logo if you think it will encourage viewers to choose your video over your competitors' video.
Finally, always think of the thumbnail as a movie poster that gives people a glimpse into the real movie content. Accordingly, you will determine whether this movie is your favorite genre or not? Good luck with your next thumbnails.