YouTube Thumbnail is a big deal! Here’s why!
Over 1 billion hours of content are spent on the platform daily. Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google). Plus, it has one of the best partnership programs for creators.
And there’s more….
That’s precisely why 75% of children between 6 and 17 want to become YouTubers. It’s where the next generation is discovering many of their role models.
So what does that have to do with creating the perfect YouTube thumbnail?
Well, as any successful creator will tell you, small details like your Youtube thumbnail can mean the difference between someone clicking on your video and subscribing or someone clicking on someone else’s video.
Even Mr. Beast, the arguable king of YouTube, is a big advocate of devoting plenty of time and energy to your Youtube thumbnail.
The reality is, when you grow a big channel, you can open yourself up to monetization opportunities from YouTube itself, brand sponsorships through a YouTube influencer marketing agency, and often free products.
In short, there’s more value to it than you might think. Ready to work on your Youtube thumbnail? Let’s go.
Crafting the Ideal YouTube Thumbnail
These tips will help you design the Youtube thumbnail that will help grow your audience and get you a step closer to monetization.
Understand Your Audience
Everyone is different, so knowing your audience well is key to choosing the best elements to hook them. Is your target audience primarily male or female? Are they Gen-Z or Millennials?
All these details are valid data points as you decide what colors, typefaces, and graphic details to include in your thumbnails.
Show Emotion Or Movement
A purely descriptive Youtube thumbnail is not enough.
When someone is browsing YouTube, your thumbnail needs to stop them in their tracks. This doesn’t mean it needs to be shocking, but it stands out and maybe even surprises them. How can you visualize the emotions the video will make the viewer feel?
As humans, we connect more directly with other humans than faceless brands. That’s why even something as simple as including a face (showing emotion for bonus points) is a must in your Youtube thumbnail.
Show What’s Important
It’s important not to overload your thumbnails. We’ve broken it into ten elements, but that doesn’t mean you need all ten to create an eye-catching thumbnail.
We’re outlining ten steps to give your Youtube thumbnail the right focus to drive your target audience to take action. Choose the elements that are best suited to your audience.
This should go without saying, but ensure you stick to the rules when selecting images and dimensions for your thumbnail’s graphics. Try to include as high-quality of a thumbnail as possible.
Here are the guidelines:
- JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG
- 1280x720px (max) or 640x360px (min)
- Aspect ratio (16:9)
- File size 2MB (max)
Show A Theme With Colors
Picking an engaging color scheme can make your thumbnail stand out. This doesn’t always mean bright colors, but it can.
Think about some of your favorite consumer brands and the colors they use. Many major brands like Mcdonald’s, Coca-Cola, or Lego vibrant primary colors like red or yellow to stand out and be memorable.
Select colors that reflect what you want your channel to look like and use them strategically, so your audience sees a theme and recognizes your brand.
Use Clean Fonts And Create Contrast
It’s not enough to focus on good images and colors. The most effective thumbnails have an engaging title displayed that hooks the audience. And that’s not all; it needs to be easily recognizable and legible even when it’s seen on a smaller screen. This is where picking a consistent font that you use across all your videos that’s easy to read is essential for most folks.
Show A Consistent Pattern
Do all your videos come from the same creator, or do they look mismatched? As mentioned earlier, it’s important to pick colors, typefaces, and graphics that resemble each other so you have a consistent look across all your thumbnails.
Hook Them With Your Results
From an audience’s psychological perspective, one of the best ways to get your audience to click on your thumbnails is to lead with the exciting result they will uncover by watching the video.
I.e., “I colored my hair pink. Watch my boyfriend’s reaction!”
The key here is to ensure you don’t venture into clickbait. Clickbait might work for getting folks to click on the video, but if the video itself doesn’t match what the hook promises, you won’t succeed at retaining an audience.
The bottom line? Be enticing but be accurate.
Use Relevant Images To Provide Context
Every video will cover a different topic, meaning having a variety of thumbnails. It’s not enough to pick one style and then use that everywhere with other titles.
Aim to make the visuals you include in your thumbnail relevant to the content of the video while still incorporating the thematic elements that represent your brand.
Popular Tools for Creating Thumbnail Images
Now, at this point, we’ve chatted about the guiding principles that should go into creating the perfect YouTube thumbnail. Let’s discuss how to create them.
I recommend three different approaches based on your experience and resources.
If You Want To Delegate It…
If you don’t want to do it yourself, using a niche expert from Fiverr is a great option. You can typically find people who can take your guidelines and turn them into a professional-looking thumbnail.
If You Have No Design Experience…
If you don’t have design experience, another option is using the platform Canva. Canva has a bunch of templates that you can tailor to your needs. The drag-and-drop format makes it easy to create attractive thumbnails, even without much experience in design.
If You Have Some Design Experience…
If you have design experience but don’t want to spend a lot, the graphics editing and interface design app Figma is a good option.
Create Winning YouTube Thumbnail
So what is the main takeaway?
The bottom line is that your thumbnails need to stop a browser from scrolling past your thumbnail.
Following these tips increases the chances that your audience stops scrolling and click into your video.
After that, your video can take it from there.
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