Imagine you’re scrolling through YouTube, trying to find something to watch. What captures your attention? A plain, unedited stock image, or a high quality, interesting visual that has been edited to include colourful text and a snappy call to action? 

Taking the time to consider how to create intriguing YouTube thumbnails is the key to unlocking engagement with your YouTube content. An interesting image has the potential to capture your audience’s interest to increase clicks and watches. 

Due to our recently achieving the milestone of 100,000 YouTube subscribers at ProfileTree, we’d like to take the opportunity to share our in-depth knowledge of the platform with you. In this blog we will outline some of our pro tips from our team of experts to help you create the best YouTube thumbnails possible.

how to create youtube thumbnails
How to create YouTube thumbnails: A video explaining what YouTube is.

The Role Of The YouTube Thumbnail

When deciphering how to create YouTube thumbnails, it’s important to see this type of media as an opportunity to create visual eye -catching impact amidst a sea of content. It’s your chance to grab the attention of your audience in just a few seconds, inspiring curiosity and encouraging them to watch your video. 

Let’s consider some of the essential elements of a YouTube thumbnail:

  1. Ideal Dimensions: 1280 x 720 pixels (Minimum width of 640 pixels) 
  2. File size should ideally be under 2MB
  3. Formats such as JPG, GIF, or PNG have efficient compatibility

We recommend using a platform such as Canva to create your YouTube thumbnails. Canva will give you extensive template options to choose from that you can simply edit and tailor to match your content. 

All of these templates are preset to the correct dimensions and file size to ensure efficiency.

Creating thumbnails with these specifications in mind, really helps in ensuring that your video looks sleek, eye catching and professional. This potentially increases your video’s click-through rate as it establishes your channel as professional. 

Design Elements To Consider When Starting To Create YouTube Thumbnails

When considering how to create YouTube thumbnails, it’s essential to consider some non-negotiable design elements. Some of these include:

  • Color Schemes and Their Impact

Ensuring the colours in your YouTube thumbnail are both consistent with your brand and eye catching are essential. You want your thumbnail to stand out from the crowd and grab the users attention. Red is a high energy colour that attracts attention, blue is a soothing and calming colour, there are so many options! Choose what works best with your branding, content and messaging.

  • Text Placement and Font Choice

Text should be bold with a font choice that is readable. Legibility is essential to entice users in and encourage engagement.  

  • Image Quality and Composition

High quality images are essential when considering how to create a YouTube thumbnail. A high standard validates the professional stance of your channel. It entices viewers and makes your content stand out as opposed to fade into the background. 

  • Brand Consistency

Brand consistency is extremely important for channels as it makes your videos easily recognisable to your audience. As your popularity grows, you want your videos to be recongisable to your viewers. 

how to create youtube thumbnails
How to create YouTube thumbnails: Brand Consistency

How to create YouTube Thumbnails: Optimisation Tips for Higher Click-Through Rates (CTR)

Balancing Intrigue and Clarity

When first learning how to create a YouTube thumbnail, it’s important to find the fine balance between intrigue and clarity. You want to entice viewers to watch your content, without overdoing it on the intrigue. 

It recently became quite popular on YouTube for influencers and affiliates to generate dramatic thumbnails, using lots of emoji’s, icons and dramatic text such as ‘CRINGE’, ‘WORST FOOD I’VE EVER EATEN’, ‘WORST DAY OF MY LIFE’ ect with dramatic photographs showing open mouths, shocked faces and much more. 

Whilst this type of thumbnail might stand out from the crowd, or be appropriate in the influencing world, it’s important to remember that you want to remain professional and consistent to your brand tone of voice if you are a business.

When exploring how to create YouTube thumbnails stay true to your brand, tone of voice and personality whilst also generating a little bit of intrigue through your use of language. Find the balance for you.

How to create YouTube thumbnails: A video explaining what YouTube monetisation is.

A/B Testing Thumbnails for Better Performance

A/B testing is a really effective approach for optimising YouTube thumbnails and driving higher click-through rates (CTRs). 

Taking the time to compare different thumbnail designs against each other gives you the opportunity to identify which one resonates best with your target audience and attracts more viewers and clicks to your video. It may seem time consuming, however the long term pay off is worthwhile.

Benefits of A/B Testing Thumbnails

Quantifiable and Measurable Results: A/B testing provides solid data on the performance of each of your different thumbnail designs. 

You can use insights to measure the click-through rate (CTR) of each thumbnail and determine which one consistently drives more clicks and ultimately views. 

Targeted Optimisation: A/B testing allows you to tailor your thumbnails to the specific preferences of your target audience. By testing different variations, you can identify the elements that resonate most with your viewers and increase their engagement.

Continuous Improvement: A/B testing is an ongoing process that helps you refine your thumbnail designs over time. As your audience and preferences evolve, you can continue to test and optimize your thumbnails to maintain high CTRs.

Conclusion: How To Create YouTube Thumbnails

In the ever-evolving landscape of YouTube, captivating thumbnails are undoubtedly the key to unlocking viewer engagement and driving video views.

By following some of the suggestions and strategies outlined in this blog, we hope you can create eye-catching thumbnails that effectively represent your video’s content and brand whilst also resonating with your target audience and encouraging viewers to click and watch your video.

We believe that a key take away from this blog, is exploring A/B testing when considering how to best optimise YouTube thumbnails for maximum effect.

Moving forward, continuously refine your designs, gather your audience’s feedback, and be open minded adapt to changing preferences to create thumbnails that consistently capture attention and drive more clicks.

Master the art of how to create YouTube thumbnails will potentially boost your channel’s growth and success.

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