If you want to grow your YouTube Channel, you need views, and to get video views you need clicks there are just about two factors that impact your video’s click-through rate.
The Two factors include:
- The Video Title
- The Video’s Thumbnail.
In this article, we’ll be discussing YouTube Thumbnail and its importance, for those of you who don’t know what the term means…
A YouTube Thumbnail is a still image that represents your video on YouTube. By default, YouTube will pick a scene from your video and use it as the video’s thumbnail if you don’t upload a custom one.
Now that we’ve understood what a YouTube Thumbnail is, let’s talk about the best practices for creating one.
Recommendation for Custom Thumbnail
According to Google’s article on Adding video thumbnails on YouTube, you need to follow these rules for the best possible performance:
- Your Thumbnails must have a resolution of 1280×720 pixels (640 is the minimum width by any standards).
- Your Custom Thumbnail should be in the format of JPG, GIF, or PNG.
- The Size of your Custom Thumbnail is limited to 2 MB.
- Your Custom Thumbnails should maintain a 1:9 aspect ratio as it is the most used in YouTube Players.
For those of us who don’t know how to add or remove Custom Thumbnail, well, here’s your chance to do so.
How do you Create Custom Thumbnails for YouTube Videos?
Well, everyone has their favorite program, but for me, I create professional Custom Thumbnails for YouTube Videos using Canva, the software is easy but you need to unlock another level of creativity to create pro designs.
What I used to do when I was starting as YouTube Creator was I looked at my competitors’ thumbnails, I’d head over to their channels and look at the thumbnails of their high-performing videos.
After taking a look, I’d head over to Canva and then try to recreate the exact design I saw and even make it better. That way I got creative and learned more graphic design skills.
To get started with creating Custom Thumbnails for your YouTube Videos, you can head over to canva.com and then search for YouTube Thumbnail, they have already predefined the size for that and they may have templates that’ll suit your needs.
How to Add Automatic or Custom Thumbnail on a Computer.
To add an automatic or custom thumbnail to your YouTube video on a computer device, you’ll have to follow these steps:
- Login to studio.youtube.com (Make Sure you Login with your Channel’s Email Address).
- From the Left Navigation menu, click on Content.
- Then Select the Video you want to edit from the videos list.
- Now, you can either select an auto-generated thumbnail or click Upload Thumbnail so you can upload your custom-made video thumbnail.
- Click on Save after you’ve made a choice and that’s it.
How to Add Custom or Auto-Generated Thumbnail to YouTube Video via Android Device
If you’re managing your YouTube Channel using your Android or IOS device, here’s how you can add custom or automatically generated thumbnail to your YouTube Video using the YouTube Mobile App:
- Open the YouTube App on your Device (Make Sure you’re using the latest version).
- Navigate to Library > Your Videos.
- Once you find the YouTube Video you wish to edit, click on More > Edit > Edit thumbnail.
- You’ll see about 2 or 3 auto-generated thumbnails and you also have the option to upload one.
- Confirm your Thumbnail selection and then click on Select.
- You now only have to click on Save so the thumbnail will be updated.
You can also change your YouTube video’s thumbnail using the YouTube Studio Mobile app which is pretty easy to use, the app is available on Google Playstore and AppStore.
Every Content Creator on YouTube leverages the power of YouTube Thumbnails and you should too, most times, I see videos with headlines that aren’t even searched on YouTube but because they generate high click-through rates, they get boosted by other video promotion features other than SEO, this includes Browse features, suggested videos, etc.
While your thumbnail should be great and possibly clickbait, I don’t recommend you manipulate your potential subscribers into clicking on videos that won’t satisfy their click intent. Your Watch Time and Audience Retention Rate also contribute to your Channel’s growth.
If you have any questions related to YouTube Thumbnails, feel free to ask me in the comments and I’ll get back to you.