Social Network

How to make killer thumbnails for YouTube

Although many companies are looking for strategies to increase the number of subscribers on YouTube , few companies give the proper importance to thumbnails. They are responsible for attracting much of the traffic of visitors who come to the channel from surveys or related videos.

Besides acting as a lure for new visitors, they are also responsible for giving a visual identity to the channel. In other words, even if instinctively, the viewer creates expectations in relation to a content according to the thumbnail he sees. More professional Thumbnails indicate the possibility of a better quality video.

What is a thumbnail?

Do you know that thumbnail image you see before clicking on a video? This is the thumbnail. If you don’t upload an image when configuring the video, YouTube itself will suggest one of the content frames as a thumbnail. While this is practical, unfortunately this is an ineffective option compared to the possibilities that open up with creating killer thumbnails.

Think of them as a business card: would you do anything to your business card or give it enough attention to make the presentation pleasing to the viewer? The answer is obvious, isn’t it? If this is such an important piece of communication, why wouldn’t you give it enough attention?

How to create killer thumbnails for YouTube?

Now that you know that this piece is essential in communicating with your viewers, it’s important to know some strategies that can help you create thumbnails with greater visual impact. A good thumbnail can mean more visitors to your content, even if they aren’t subscribed to the channel.

1. Bet on quality photos

Although YouTube suggests video frames as a thumbnail option, we strongly recommend you not to use them. These automatic images don’t always represent exactly the content you intend to show. Instead, choose to take specific photos and edit them. Custom thumbnails have a higher click through rate.

2. Attention to technical specifications

The larger your thumbnail, the better the quality of the image displayed to the user. To avoid mistakes, pay attention to the technical specifications suggested by YouTube itself:

  • Minimum resolution of 1280×720 pixels (minimum width of 640 pixels);
  • Accepted formats: JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG;
  • Limited size of 2 MB.

Tip: prefer images with a 16:9 aspect ratio as they are mostly used in YouTube players.

3. To use or not to use texts?

Although there is no rule about using or not using text in thumbnails, the important thing here is that you keep in mind that we are talking about a thumbnail that should make a visual impact. This means that too much text or fonts with poor readability are actions that make reading difficult and put the user off. If you choose to use text, make it a maximum of 4 words. Pay attention to text position: on cell phones, the video timing appears superimposed on the thumbnail in the lower right corner, so avoid placing text at that point.

4. Don’t clickbait

Many people try to attract more users to their videos by making “clickbait” texts, ie, flashy, but not corresponding to the content of the video. It turns out that one of the most important metrics on YouTube is the retention rate, the amount of time a user watches your video. When the content doesn’t match the thumbnail, the user leaves right away and that knocks that stat out of your channel, making it less interesting in YouTube’s algorithm hierarchy.

5. Be creative

Creating a visual identity for your channel helps viewers to more easily recognize your content. If possible, create a visual pattern that can be easily highlighted. It’s possible to replace the thumbnails of old videos, so you can calmly plan ways to increase the visibility of your channel. Go to the channel’s Video Manager, locate a video and click “Edit”. Then just click on “Customize thumbnail” and upload the new thumbnail.


Does your communication strategy include paying special attention to thumbnails of videos on YouTube? Thinking about this and other details is essential to leverage your results on social networks. The Nerdweb team is at your disposal to guide you with the best strategies to increase your channel’s visibility and retention rates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.