The most popular and influential YouTube video channels use original and attractive thumbnails to catch the eye of the user. It is very important for you to do the same when running your own channel. A telling image will provide the viewer with a reason for watching a video and let them know exactly what they might get from it.
On the side of a content creator, proper video marketing can mean a huge boost to a business and additional income or career growth. People are creatures receptive to visuals, and a good design will make users form a good opinion about your video before they even watch it. What’s more, your thumbnail is a way to start communicating with your audience and earn their trust. So, it’s a win-win scenario for both parties, and you really should master the science of creating cool thumbnails if you want to become a successful YouTuber.
Create a Unique Thumbnail for Each of Your Videos
It is best to craft a thumbnail from scratch rather than making do with a snapshot or one of the options suggested by YouTube. This gives you the ability to control not only an image used but also background colors, text on the screen, and a number of other design elements. Eventually, they all affect the audience’s perception and help to attract attention. You can construct your final product using a thumbnail template or other programs, both downloadable and available online
As for the “technical” parameters, you can find them directly in the YouTube instructions. The ideal size is 1280×720 pixels with a minimum width of 640 pixels and recommended aspect ratio of 16:9. Aim for the highest resolution possible without exceeding the maximum file limits of 2 MB. YouTube accepts thumbnails in JPG, GIF, BMP, and PNG formats.
Maintain the Integrity Across All the Design Elements
Your thumbnail should chime with the entire style of your channel in addition to conveying the idea behind the video itself. No matter where the user will see it (in recommendations or directly on the channel), the overall design should be well-shaped and complete. Complement an attractive image with an eye-catching title, which will explain the real value of the material and tell the viewer why it is worth watching it.
A common mistake is to use the same text in a title and an inscription on a thumbnail. They are separate, although complementary, elements. There is no point in repeating information twice: a thumbnail is the first thing the viewer pays attention to, and the title of a video serves to stir interest in it. A description is the third element where you briefly summarize your key ideas or indicate something important that does not fit into the title. These three components should work together to quickly attract new users to your channel.
Incorporate Your Brand Identity into Thumbnails
Do not forget about branding. By building your own brand, you make your product stand out from the crowd. So, all the key elements of your visual identity should be incorporated into the channel design as well. The list includes, first of all, logos, corporate colors, and fonts. They will help your audience identify your business in different places, starting from your website and ending with your pages across other social media platforms. Obviously, your thumbnails should have common features that match the overall style of the channel and resonate with your business idea. Your visual identity elements blended into the thumbnail design will make your content competitive and noticeable.
Be Honest with Your Audience
While the main goal of a killer thumbnail is to get people to click on it, you do not have to cross the line of relevance and truthfulness. If you deliberately use images that do not match the theme of the video, the viewer will quickly lose interest in your channel. Modern users do not have the patience to watch irrelevant content. So if your thumbnail promises something that your video does not deliver, viewers will not continue watching it, and your channel will have all the chances to run out of credit. This will damage your overall rating and reputation, and YouTube will not promote and recommend your content. To keep your YouTube thumbnail relevant to the topic, try picking the most exciting moment from your video. In this way, the thumbnail will work as a teaser.
Creating a successful YouTube channel is not at all difficult and will take a little time. Therefore, if you are going to start a business, you should think about its promotion on social media. With nearly 2 billion daily users, YouTube ranks among the world’s largest online video resources. So, you should really bother with crafting awesome thumbnails to get a portion of this community.