13 things you can do to create an appealing Youtube thumbnail



YouTube now has become the world’s largest video-sharing network. Many people become millionaires thanks to it!

You can share all kinds of video content from music, food, movies to other unique creative videos on Youtube.

To become a successful Youtuber, you must convince users to click and watch your video. And video thumbnails play a big role in this!

Well-designed, catchy thumbnails are the key to capturing your viewers’ attention, turning them into loyal watchers.

But are you sure your Youtube thumbnail is engaging enough? Explore 13 advice to create a Youtube thumbnail that drives clicks.

1. What is a thumbnail?

Thumbnail is a term used by graphic designers and photographers to refer to a smaller version of a larger image. Instead of using full-size photos, they use thumbnails to save screen space so that users can view multiple images at once.

Thumbnail is a highly vital element of a YouTube video because it’s the first thing viewers see before clicking on your video. Alluring, curious thumbnails will make viewers want to click to explore your video content.

13 things you can do to create an appealing Youtube thumbnail

2. How to design a thumbnail that attracts viewers?

To create an impressive thumbnail that stimulates curiosity, you should apply the following tips.

Youtube Thumbnail must be relevant to the video content

Do you know Clickbait? It’s the term to talk about the video using shocking, engaging titles, thumbnails to entice clicks, and that thumbnail or title is entirely unrelated to the video content.

If you like using clickbait, you are doing a good job of chasing your users away from subscribing to your channel.

Instead, you should use thumbnails that reveal or tell what your video is about. The audience is very smart. If they watch your video and find nothing like what the thumbnail says, they will leave it and never want to subscribe to your channel.

13 things you can do to create an appealing Youtube thumbnail

Branding consistency

Branding is your identity in the YouTube world. It helps your audience know who you are and your channel prominence among millions of videos uploaded every day.

We recommend designing consistent thumbnails, which have the same tone, style as your brand identity, so users know which video is yours.

However, branding isn’t just about colors, fonts, and logos. You also need to be consistent in the types of photos or graphics you use. For example, similar drawing style illustrations. Same lighting or visual effects landscape photos.

Combining all these things well can make viewers remember your brand before convincing them to be your loyal audience.

Thumbnail that has your face

People are automatically attracted to human faces instead of objects.

Putting a person’s face on Youtube Thumbnail will make it more appealing and eye-catching.

However, you should ensure that the person’s facial expression matches the video style you want to convey.

For example, choose a funny face expression if your video contains funny content, or a surprised face expression if your video has shocking content.

13 things you can do to create an appealing Youtube thumbnail

High-quality photos

Every professional designer knows the golden rules of image resolution: 300dpi for printed images, 72 dpi for computer screen images.

However, this rule may no longer be applicable.

Nowadays, people watch YouTube on large resolution screens like 4K TV, even 8K TV. In mobile devices, they can zoom in and out as much as they like. Therefore, you’d better use high-resolution photos to design Youtube Thumbnails that are responsive devices.

Use concise, funny, or engaging words on thumbnail

“The less text, the better” for all illustration designs, and the Youtube thumbnail design is no exception.

If you try to cram a 20-word message into a small YouTube video thumbnail, most people will leave your video because the thumbnail is hard to read and visually overwhelming.

Limit video thumbnail text to a few words and make them as engaging as possible. “Short and powerful” is the only rule for text on Youtube Thumbnail. Make those words stand out enough to be readable within 1 second.

Use the Before – After trick

A before – after thumbnail is always visually appealing.

For example, you are making a makeup tutorial video; you should choose the after image as a charming face to grab views.

A cooking video with a thumbnail of delicious dishes after cooking will draw a strong impression on watchers.

Highlight the “after” in the video thumbnail, as it’s catchy and exactly tells your audience why they should click.

13 things you can do to create an appealing Youtube thumbnail

Apply cultural diversity, gender

People are more likely to be captivated by a video of someone who has similar things like gender, occupation, religion, race, or color.

The current trend is to advance diversity and integration, so consider showing people of different races, genders, and ages in your video thumbnails.

It’s even easier if you collaborate with many people. Otherwise, you can include illustrations reflecting the video content while combining other elements like texts, colors, shapes in a thumbnail.

Know what your audience is interested in

Knowing who your audience is, what they like is a must-have rule to promote your channel.

Fortunately, it’s easier to learn about audience information on YouTube than on other platforms.

Take a look at your user analytics. You’ll find geolocation, age, and other helpful data.

Based on these metrics, take a look at other popular channels targeting the same audience as yours.

Look through their thumbnails and find the videos with the most views.

Do your competitors use bright colors or dark tones? Do they include illustrations, images, or both? What general video thumbnails visual style are they applying?

Thoroughly analyzing your competition, understanding your audience will make it easy to create compelling thumbnails and hit the right viewers’ pain points.

Use animated scenes in thumbnails

If you make sure your content is engaging enough, you can crop some scenes in your video to create thumbnails. Animated scenes will encourage viewers to click on the video to discover what happens next. The more animated scenes packed into a thumbnail, the more it piqued the viewer’s curiosity.

Add logo to thumbnail

Putting a logo in a thumbnail is always a good idea to let people know about your brand. Thanks to the logo, people can immediately recognize which video belongs to you.

Design your style thumbnail

You are not always full of new ideas. That’s when having a typical style for all thumbnails works. It means each thumbnail can be different, but you should have a common color, design, and style.

This saves you time making new upcoming video thumbnails and gives consistency and a professional look to your channel.

Thumbnails are responsive devices

Make sure your thumbnails look good on both large screens and mobile devices. This means all images and text on thumbnails are easy to see, easy to read, not blurred.

If the thumbnail looks unattractive, viewers will immediately jump to another video to find the answer to their problem.

Try different thumbnail designs

To evaluate a thumbnail result most closely, you should try several designs to see which one has the best outcome.

You can change the color, font, background color and add or remove elements to test which thumbnail works best. There are no limits to what you can do.

Thumbnails can break or contribute to your Youtube channel success. They can improve your Youtube channel ranking, boost your Youtube channel popularity.

To find out which thumbnail style works best, consult your competitor’s thumbnails to see what they’re doing, compare their thumbnails with your thumbnail, apply the tips above to raise and create super-successful thumbnails.

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