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Why Thumbnail Is Important For YouTube Promotion [Updated]

Small things can have a big impact.

You will have an advantage over your fierce competitors thanks to this article.

Every month, 2.3 billion users that are logged in visit YouTube. Without taking into account users that don’t log in, that is half of the internet.

  • Why thumbnail is important for YouTube promotion?
  • How then can you increase the number of viewers for your videos?

Utilising the appropriate thumbnail size for YouTube is the first step.

This post will outline why thumbnail is important for YouTube promotion and the best methods for developing a thumbnail, and other crucial advice for increasing views.

Thumbnail Size for YouTube at its Best

When it comes to YouTube thumbnail graphics, the help centre of YouTube lists five key considerations. These recommendations will help you succeed on YouTube. These are the five things:

  • The ideal YouTube video thumbnail is 1280 by 720 pixels in size.
  • The aspect ratio for these YouTube thumbnail sizes is 16:9.
  • Ensure that your thumbnail is at least 640 pixels wide.
  • Images for thumbnails should not exceed 2MB.
  • JPG, GIF, or PNG are available image formats.

What Purpose Do YouTube Thumbnails Serve?

The tiny preview pictures used to represent videos on YouTube are called thumbnails. It is their responsibility to grab people’s attention and persuade them to view the video.

The following are a few illustrations of unique thumbnails from Shopify’s YouTube channel:

Consider YouTube thumbnails to represent the covers of books.

They are scaled-down versions of the video material created to pique viewers’ attention.

Why Do YouTube Thumbnails Matter So Much?

As the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

In actuality, the majority of people do, and YouTube thumbnails are no different. This means that your videos can succeed or fail based on their thumbnails.

You can get thousands of views if your thumbnail is compelling. A poor one will guarantee that your video is not seen.

Thank goodness, YouTube lets you change the thumbnails for your videos.

YouTube will automatically extract three still images from your video that you may use as thumbnails when you publish a video.

Although there is that simple alternative, making unique YouTube thumbnails is always recommended.

Which of these two screenshots from one of our YouTube videos do you think would grab viewers’ attention the most?

Customised thumbnails make your films stand out from the competition and can significantly affect the expansion of your audience.

They offer a fantastic chance to refine your brand’s appearance.

That’s not all, though. To improve the click-through rate of your email marketing, you can even utilise a personalised YouTube video thumbnail. Wistia discovered that utilising video thumbnails in emails rather than photographs might boost clicks by more than 21%.

Additionally, creating thumbnail photos doesn’t take much time.

What’s another 10 to 15 minutes when you’ve already spent hours organising, planning, recording, and editing the ideal YouTube video?

Don’t give up at the last minute.

Create a captivating custom YouTube thumbnail to ensure the success of your video.

What is the size of the YouTube thumbnail?

Knowing the optimal size for your YouTube thumbnail before you start is useful.

Your personalised YouTube video thumbnail should be 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall, according to Google. Additionally, your image needs to be at least 640 pixels wide.

To put it another way, a large custom YouTube thumbnail size is preferred.

“Your custom thumbnail image should be as large as possible,” adds Google, “as the image will also be used as the preview image in the embedded player.”

Because it’s typically presented in a small size, it’s called a “thumbnail”:

However, the image must also be sufficiently large to display properly at the same size as the video player:

For these measurements, the YouTube thumbnail aspect ratio is 16:9.

Both of the aforementioned photos can be used as unique templates for YouTube video thumbnail resolutions.

Additionally, your thumbnail must be uploaded in one of the following image file types: JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG.

Finally, the size of your customised YT thumbnail must not exceed 2MB.

The best way to add a unique YouTube thumbnail to your video

Let’s go over the steps for uploading your own thumbnail image.

In order to upload a new video, first go to and select the camera-plus icon.

Go to your videos in the YouTube Studio dashboard to add a custom thumbnail to a video you’ve already posted. After that, click the video to change its parameters.

Three automatically created thumbnails are displayed at the bottom of the screen in the video’s settings.

The option to post a custom YouTube thumbnail may be found on the bottom right of the screen.

Simply select your image from your device by clicking the box, then click “Upload.”

6 Pointers for Making Powerful Thumbnails

You have a tonne of creative freedom with YouTube thumbnails. It can be challenging to consistently produce a strong thumbnail, though.

Here are six suggestions on how to get your thumbnails started.

1. Utilise a still photo from your video.

The simplest type of YouTube thumbnail is this one.

If you’re lucky, YouTube may have chosen the ideal still image from your video to serve as a thumbnail automatically.

As an alternative, you might use video editing software to output a specific still image.

What if you don’t have the actual video and are upgrading old YouTube video thumbnails? To grab a screenshot in this situation, you may always pause the video at a particularly appealing still, make the video full-screen, and then click.

The image can then be used alone or with a title, as in this Shopify video that highlights the history of MVMT Watches.

2. Design a Unique Graphic

A lot of companies provide an image thumbnail that accurately depicts the video content. This frequently includes a succinct title summarising the main advantage of the video.

These YouTube thumbnails will feature the name or logo of the company.

Here is an illustration of a YouTube video thumbnail we created for our tutorial on how to start your first Facebook advertising campaign.

3. Add graphics to a video still

To make a YouTube thumbnail that is genuinely captivating and attention-grabbing, you can combine a still image from your video with graphic components.

This is a common choice for videos with human subjects, including talk shows, tutorials, or vlogs.

Here is the thumbnail we created for the movie we did showing you how to identify a reliable dropship supplier.

4. Create Catchy Titles

The saying “YouTube videos are only as good as their titles” isn’t entirely accurate, but it’s still true that the title of your YouTube video matters. It’s also crucial to include it in your thumbnail. Let visitors know exactly what your video’s subject matter is while simultaneously attempting to grab their attention with carefully crafted titles.

As an illustration, we could make a video about video marketing and call it “Everything about Video Marketing” or, if we wanted to be clever, “Video Marketing in a Nutshell: 6 Tips to Elevate your Video Marketing in 2023”. Which one are you most likely to click?

5. Steer clear of deceptive images and titles

It’s simple to get carried away when making thumbnails and titles, especially when attempting to maximise traffic to your YouTube channel. This is very normal, but it’s crucial to restrain your creativity so that you don’t produce visuals or names that are deceptive.

The content you are advertising is misleading, for instance, if your thumbnail reads “How to create an amazing YouTube Thumbnail Image” yet your video is about the top 6 techniques to optimise your thumbnail. To maximise the rate at which people click on your video, keep your image straightforward and concise.

Additionally, it’s essential to avoid using images that put your viewers in danger. Avoid using exaggerated, outrageous, or improper imagery since you don’t want to turn away your target audience.

Avoid utilising someone else’s image as well because using reverse image search engines can identify the owner of the image and get you in serious trouble.

6. Examine various thumbnail designs

If you’re unsure of what thumbnail design will work best for your YouTube channel, don’t be hesitant to test out a few alternative options. Choose a performing video, replace the thumbnail with the preferred design, and monitor the outcomes. This design is superior if your click-through rate increases after changing the thumbnail picture.

The best part about testing is that, as long as you base your conclusions on important data, you may keep experimenting with alternative ideas. The data are not significant enough to make a claim if a video only receives one or two clicks every week or month.

Before experimenting with various thumbnail styles, you may want to increase your YouTube views. For some simple strategies, see our article 18 Easy (and Free) Ways to Get More Views on YouTube.

YouTube Thumbnail Creation with 3 Free Tools

There are a tonne of fantastic tools available that can assist you in designing an appealing YouTube thumbnail.

Three fantastic design tools are briefly described here.

1. Use Canva to create a YouTube thumbnail

Best for: Consistent users seeking a large assortment of design components.

A very well-liked online graphic creation tool is Canva.

To get you started, it offers a huge variety of fantastic YouTube thumbnail layouts. To help you make your ideas come to life, there are a tonne of typefaces, stock photos, icons, and illustrations.

What’s best?

Use of Canva is totally free. You also have access to more than 8,000 templates and free images in addition to 1GB of storage for photos and other assets.

For $12.95 a month, you can upgrade and get access to more features, stock photos, themes, and graphic components.

2. Utilise FotoJet to produce a YouTube thumbnail

Best for: Non-committal users who want to avoid opening new web accounts.

Another excellent online design tool is FotoJet.

It offers a tonne of YouTube thumbnail themes, clipart images, and fonts, just like Canva, so you can make the ideal design.

In contrast to Canva, you may use Fotojet without creating an account for free.

You may always upgrade to FotoJet Plus for $6.99 per month or $39.99 per year if you’d like more features and options.

3. Use Adobe Spark to make thumbnails for YouTube Users

Adobe Creative Cloud and those who are familiar with Adobe’s other design tools should read this post.

An extensive collection of powerful professional design tools includes Adobe Spark Post. It offers all of the expected professional characteristics as a result.

A variety of templates, typefaces, and composition tools are also available with this editor.

Adobe Spark Post’s connectivity with Adobe Creative Cloud is its main selling feature.

It makes sense to put everything in one place if you already use Photoshop for photo editing or Premiere Pro CC for video editing.

But there is a cost associated with this convenience.

Although Adobe Spark Post is free to use, your designs will have a watermark. Plans start at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year to get rid of this and access more features.

8 Best Practises for YouTube Thumbnails, with Examples

Let’s look at how to make a YouTube thumbnail that grabs people’s attention and persuades them to click through to watch your movie now that you are aware of the technical facts.

Here are eight guidelines for creating the best YouTube thumbnails.

1. Your Video Must Be Accurately Represented in Your Thumbnail

To start, don’t deceive your visitors by producing a thumbnail image that isn’t a true representation of your film.

Nobody likes clickbait.

This will not only make it easier for you to irritate the individuals you want to build long-lasting relationships with, but it will also damage your YouTube channel.

How? a phenomenon known as “Audience Retention.”

A YouTube measure called audience retention is used to assess the calibre of your YouTube views.

In other words, this measure doesn’t care about how many views you get, but rather, how long people watch your video for.

This is quite significant.

The YouTube algorithm rewards channels with a loyal following.

When the video starts playing, users who were duped by a misleading YouTube thumbnail image would immediately click away.

This will significantly lower the Audience Retention score for your video, which will cause YouTube’s algorithm to penalise your channel.

It is best to be honest. Make sure your videos are fairly represented in your thumbnails.

2. Provide a Condensed Version of the Title of Your Video

Many YouTube users probably glance at video thumbnails before reading the title or description.

The title of your video should therefore be present in the thumbnail itself.

However, since there isn’t much room, it’s frequently preferable to use a shortened version of your video’s title.

3. Verify that the text in the thumbnails is legible.

If consumers can see the text, emphasising a key benefit in the thumbnail can significantly increase the number of views you obtain.

Frank Body’s YouTube thumbnails are created using excellent still photographs from their videos, however the text is rather small.

The content is therefore challenging to read.

Furthermore, the image above was captured using a computer; on cellphones, these thumbnails would appear considerably smaller.

Frank Body’s thumbnail photographs make it obvious that they purposefully avoid placing words over a model’s face. When you don’t want to take attention away from the image itself, this makes sense.

However, in some circumstances, leaving out the text might be more beneficial.

Just let the picture speak for itself.

4. Use Opposing Colours to Draw Attention Recall Colours have a lot of impact.

They grab attention.

Bright, striking colours can draw viewers’ attention to your YouTube thumbnails and encourage them to click on your videos.

Additionally, using contrasting colours might assist your content shine out so that it is easier to read.

Try out many contrasting colours to determine which one suits your brand the best.

To really make the colour stand out, you can even boost the colour saturation or contrast of your thumbnail design!

5. Make Use of Negative and White Space

Many companies produce busy, crowded thumbnails.

But there are moments when little is more.

The space around and separating an image’s subjects is referred to as whitespace or negative space in art and design. It’s a crucial and incredibly powerful design tool.

In this neat and expert thumbnail, Skullcandy makes effective use of negative and white space.

The area exudes a polished, modern, and elegant style.

Music, according to the famous quote by French classical composer Claude Debussy, “is the silence between the notes.”

So be sure to consider the distance between the images when making your YouTube thumbnails.

6. Add the logo of your company

By incorporating your logo or company name in your YouTube thumbnail, you may improve the presence of your brand online.

Additionally, be sure to position your logo consistently in the same location on each of your thumbnail photos to maintain a unified brand appearance.

Gymshark’s YouTube thumbnails have its logo in the top-right corner.

The Vogue emblem is always displayed in the bottom-left corner of thumbnail images.

7. Maintain Consistency to Create a Powerful Brand Aesthetic

As was already stated, maintaining consistency is essential to building a powerful brand.

Therefore, be consistent no matter what kind of thumbnail you choose to utilise. Viewers will find your videos on YouTube with ease as a result of this.

Views and engagement may increase as a result of this.

Create a unique thumbnail design, and then stay with it.

For instance, we always use the same template for all of our YouTube video thumbnails. The title, background images, and image still are then changed to keep things interesting.

8. Highlight various content streams with colour

Diverse content streams will be used in the most effective content marketing plans to maintain audience interest.

Additionally, the majority of firms will discover that they may categorise their video material into a few different groups.

What recurrent themes do you have in your content?

Our films mostly fall into one of three categories: product recommendations, marketing advice, and Q&A videos.

Then, in order to make things simpler for our users, we color-code our thumbnails:

  • For weekly Q&A videos, choose yellow.
  • For product suggestions, use green.
  • Blue for advertising advice.

Make it simpler for visitors to find the videos they’re most interested in to increase your views.

What Measurements Does a YouTube Thumbnail Have?

  • Your video marketing efforts may succeed or fail based on your thumbnails.
  • Don’t undervalue the influence a captivating design can have on getting viewers to click to watch your content.
  • When making your design, bear in mind these YouTube thumbnail best practises:
  • Use 1280 by 720 pixels, which are the recommended proportions for YouTube thumbnails.
  • Make sure the YouTube thumbnail appropriately depicts the content of your video.
  • Include your title’s abbreviation in the YouTube thumbnail.
  • Make sure the wording in your thumbnails is big enough to read on mobile devices.
  • To make your YouTube thumbnails stand out and draw attention, use contrasting colours
  • Use negative and white space to give your YouTube thumbnails a refined touch.
  • Each of your thumbnails should have your company’s logo in the same location.
  • To locate a successful image, try out a few different YouTube thumbnail ideas.
  • To establish a strong brand aesthetic, utilise the same YouTube thumbnail template every time.
  • To make it simple for viewers to recognise their favourite kind of videos, color-code various content streams
  • to ask users to specify the video genres they want.

Last but not least, be sure to set aside some time to build a fantastic design.

Because, as baseball star Charles Comiskey once said, “It is the small things in life which count; it is the inconsequential leak which empties the biggest reservoir.”

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