Getting views on your YouTube video and trending on social media is not quite as simple as people think. There’s a lot that goes into the process – filming, editing, uploading, promoting, and even your thumbnail and title will have a massive impact on attracting views.
As a new YouTuber, you might be unsure about how to create the perfect thumbnail, what will suit your video styles and what will be the best for capturing the attention of your target audience.
Here are a few popular thumbnail design ideas that you that play around with until you figure out what works best for you and your channel.
Some YouTubers use a busy collage with a bold title written on it as a thumbnail for their videos. This works well for weekly vlogs, day in the life, monthly favourites and a generally more personal, fun style of content.
You can use a background eraser to snip images of yourself, products you’re discussing, still frames from your video or other pictures you want to include in your collage and scatter them in a fun way to show off snippets of what viewers will see in your video.
While you’re editing (or afterwards) you can simply take a screenshot from the video to use as your thumbnail. Try to get a good frame that captures the essence of what the video is about. For example, if your video is about a mountain biking trail you rode, a screenshot of you on the bike will be a great way to catch the eye of potential viewers.
A simple screenshot usually pairs well with bold text over it highlighting the title of your video or at least a snippet of what the content is about: something like “crazy MB experience” could do the trick.
More informative YouTube channels often lean towards a no-frills type of thumbnail that just features the video title or topic in simple, bold text – perhaps followed by a brief description in smaller print. And add bold text to your thumbnail.
This type of thumbnail conveys that the video is of a more serious nature and doesn’t beat around the bush with clickbait or intriguing images to try and catch the viewer’s attention. A history channel, for example, might use this type of thumbnail, with a solid colour for a background and simple text like “Weapons in the Dark Ages”.
Posed and Pretty
Finally, a popular design for beauty vloggers, makeup gurus, fashion YouTubers and content creators in similar areas is to use a simple posed photograph of themselves as their thumbnail.
This type of thumbnail foregrounds what the video is about – a makeup looks that you can learn to recreate, a fashion haul, or a list of beauty products that will be discussed. A posed selfie can help YouTubers to show off their look or their glowing skin, which is what will grab the attention of the people they’re trying to hook.
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