3 Tips For Creating a Great Video Thumbnail

A thumbnail is the preview image that a viewer sees before clicking on a YouTube video. Each thumbnail is absolutely essential to a YouTuber’s success. Every popular YouTuber carefully selects the thumbnail for each video, and most create custom thumbnails to draw in more viewers!

Here are three tips on how to create a great thumbnail!

1. Create a custom thumbnail in YouTube settings.

First, how do you create a custom thumbnail?

When you upload a video on YouTube, there will be three screenshots of your video to the right, and you can choose one of them to make your thumbnail. Underneath these options, there will also be a button that says “Custom Thumbnail.” If you click this button, you will be given the option to upload a custom image. (Note: This button will only appear if your account has been verified and is in good standing).

Check out this short video from YouTube Help for more information on setting a video thumbnail!

2. Make sure your thumbnail “summarizes” the video.

The most important aspect of the thumbnail is that it immediately gives the viewers an idea of what the video is about. Make sure that it’s clear, clean, and tells the viewers what they’ll get from the video.

Adding text to your custom thumbnail is a great way to communicate your video’s message. The video below shows how to do this using very simple photo editing software, and this video itself has a very clear thumbnail. Notice how the thumbnail concisely says “CREATE YOUR YouTube THUMBNAIL,” which is both visually appealing and clear for the viewers.

3. Make your thumbnail exciting, colorful, and personal.

Once you’ve got the basics down, make sure to add some life to your thumbnail! Your thumbnail needs to stand out and draw the viewer in, so think to yourself: “If I was a viewer browsing YouTube, what kind of thumbnail would make me want to click on a video?”

There are many ways to liven it up. Feature a screenshot of the most exciting/picturesque part of your video. Add bright colors to your thumbnail to make it stick out and shine in the sea of videos. And feature your face (or the face of whoever is in the video) to give it a personal touch and appeal to your viewers!

Take a look at this video that shows viewers how to make an exciting thumbnail. Or if you don’t have time, at least check out the thumbnail, which is exciting, colorful, AND personal!

Always remember that a great thumbnail is crucial because it will entice viewers to click on your video and increase your popularity! If you create a custom thumbnail in your YouTube settings, and make it summarizing, exciting, colorful, and personal, you’ll soon be raking in the YouTube views!

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David Yaghutiel is a Bay Area native who enjoys traveling, theatre, playing the ukulele, and learning as much about the world as he possibly can. He also occasionally daylights as a senior at UCLA.

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