How To Create Attractive Youtube Thumbnails – A Free And Easy Guide

February 17, 2021

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How To Create Attractive Youtube Thumbnails

Have you ever wondered why your Youtube channel doesn’t get the view it deserves even though the video content is engaging? If you click on this article, we guess you’ve found the problem – Youtube thumbnails

Unfortunately, creating smashing thumbnail images is not that easy. This article will give you a thorough guide on how to make thumbnails for Youtube. Keep scrolling down to read our instructions to create a striking thumbnail!

Why Are Youtube Thumbnails So Important?

What Are Youtube Thumbnails?

In general, video thumbnails are small-sized pictures captured from the videos or made by the video owner, called custom video thumbnail. 

On Youtube, they work as visual icons allowing users to see a quick preview of the videos while browsing. Users can touch the thumbnail to watch the video. 

Youtube requires a thumbnail for every video you post on this social media. When uploading a video, Youtube will automatically give you 3 auto-generated options, or you can choose the custom thumbnail option to upload your own thing.

You can read how to add or change your Youtube thumbnail image here.

How Do Youtube Thumbnails Affect Your View Counts?

Thumbnails significantly affect a video’s views count and click-through-rate, especially during its first hour uploaded onto the platform. 

Imagine a dining table filled with assorted dishes, you tend to choose the plate with the most impressive look to eat first. Similarly, thumbnail images are the very first things that viewers notice before clicking on any video. 

A top-quality custom video thumbnail increases the chance of unfamiliar users clicking on your Youtube video. An eye-catching Youtube thumbnail is always better than a typical screenshot from your video. 

Thumbnails play an equally important role as video titles. You might think, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ but in this case, that’s it. Among tons of videos on the Youtube homepage, most people won’t watch your video if the thumbnail isn’t attractive enough. 

Moreover, since the Youtube algorithm rates videos by considering click-through-rate, a professionally designed thumbnail can help your video rank higher in Youtube search results. 

This will lead to another advantage. Your video will appear in the recommended section of more and more users. 

Due to its essential role, you should create thumbnails on your own, don’t use Youtube’s auto-generated video snapshot. In fact, most popular channels are currently using custom Youtube thumbnail for every video. 

How To Make Thumbnails For Youtube?

Step 1: Choose An Online Youtube Thumbnail Maker Tool

Maybe you’re not a pro in design and you don’t want to hire a thumbnail creator. In that case, there are many online design tools providing free templates and graphic design to help you create thumbnails. We suggest visiting a site that is a popular thumbnail software. 

You may have heard about some reputable sites and apps like Adobe Spark’s, Adobe Photoshop, or Snappa, etc. The above thumbnail generators let you custom and download thumbnails for free. Plus, they’re all easy to use. 

Youtube thumbnail
A wide selection of thumbnail designs available on Canva

Step 2: Use Available Templates Or Upload Your Own Photos

Let’s start creating the Youtube thumbnail background! You can select a suitable image for your thumbnail cover, upload it for further editing. 

Otherwise, you can choose among many professional thumbnail templates available on these thumbnail software programs. Some templates are free, but some require payment, so it’s up to your choice. 

Tips for creating thumbnail background image:

  • Use a quality thumbnail image with high contrast

High-quality photos with strong contrast are easy to notice than low contrast ones. Besides, a high-contrast background will allow other elements like graphics or text to stand out from each other. Together they form an attention-grabbing image that entices people to click on your video. 

If the photo you upload is a little dark and fuzzy, you can increase its contrast. These websites are not just thumbnail makers; they are professional design tools with many useful functions. 

  • Use consistent colors and layout for every video on your channel.

The consistency in channel colors and themes makes your videos pop out, especially on the Youtube homepage and the Suggested Videos sidebar. 

It creates a professional feel and shows that you’ve put much work into your content measurement and video visual. Therefore, it attracts more viewers compared to a group of random, inconsistent thumbnails. 

Step 3: Add Other Elements 

If you just stop at step 2, your thumbnail photo will be very monotonous and lack information. It can be challenging for viewers to know whether your video contains the content they’re interested in or not?.

  • Text

When using the available templates, you will have options to add the image’s headlines, subheadings, and body text. Many channel owners use their video title as the heading of the thumbnail picture. 

Remember to keep the text short, significant, and bold. On the Youtube homepage, your thumbnail looks a little small, especially on a small device screen. That’s why you need big and beautiful fonts for your text to grab viewers’ attention. The text on the thumbnail serves as a concise title because some people don’t even care about the video title displayed right next to the thumbnail. 

  • Relevant images

In addition to text, you need to let the viewers see what you’re going to talk about. For example, a makeup tutorial thumbnail should feature a before & after photo. A tablet review thumbnail must have that tablet’s image. A familiar face, or your face – the channel master – is also an excellent eye-catching image. 

Note: The images must deliver the same idea with the actual content, not just clickbait. This is one of the common thumbnail mistakes. Youtube may deem your thumbnail inappropriate and disable your video for search tools. 

  • Graphic design 

A little visual effect and animated illustrations will quickly create an impression and increase traffic to your videos. Some thumbnail trends you need to know: sticker effect, big arrows, circles, etc. Keep in mind that each target audience group will have different thumbnail design trends. 

Step 4: Check and Download The Final Products

After finishing all the above steps, you need to preview your thumbnail to ensure it meets the required Youtube thumbnail size and Community Guidelines. 

Your custom thumbnail image should have a 1280×720 resolution (at least 640 pixels) and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s the recommended video thumbnail size. It must be under 2MB and one of these image formats: JPG, GIF, or PNG. Also, remember to avoid sexual content images.

Youtube thumbnail
Youtube recommended thumbnail dimensions 

Final Verdict

Maybe you wouldn’t expect that you can make a professional Youtube thumbnail design in just a few minutes. We hope this article will change your mind as you don’t really need a pro editor to custom successful thumbnail designs. Let’s start creating amazing Youtube thumbnails for your videos right now!

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