How to make your YouTube thumbnails stand out

Thumbnails are a really important part of making people want to click on your videos but they’re often overlooked. But planning your thumbnails should be an integral part of your whole YouTube process!

In this video I show you four ways you can make your thumbnails stand out and stick around to the end, as I share a super quick way to create your YouTube thumbnails with zero graphic design experience 🙌

1. Show your face

When people see your face, it’s personal and real, as opposed to your video being overly commercial.

Some people show different emotions in their thumbnails, such as worried, puzzled or afraid. You can do happy, sad, whatever relates and is relevant to your video.

2. Think carefully about your thumbnail text 

One of the biggest tips I can give you when it comes to YouTube thumbnails is to make sure that your thumbnail text is different to your video title.

You get two really valuable pieces of real estate on YouTube when your video displays amongst all the other videos. One is your thumbnail, and one is your title.

When you only have these two prime pieces of real estate, don’t waste one of them by repeating what you’re saying in both, the thumbnail text and the video title.

The title should be descriptive. Still engaging and enticing, but it should be really clear from the video title, what people are going to learn or what the video is about.

Your thumbnail texts though, should really entice. Try and think what the benefit is for people of watching your video. What is the one key benefit? And use that in your thumbnail texts.

So for example, if you’re doing a video about how to sell using email marketing, the benefit of better email marketing is making more sales. So, you might use the text “More sales” as the text for your thumbnail.

Or if it’s a video about time-saving hacks, your thumbnail text could be along the lines of “Do more in less time”. Or you could use your thumbnail texts to raise curiosity, make people wonder what it is you’re going to share or reveal in your video.

Think about how you can use your thumbnail text to give people a reason to click on your video and not someone else’s.

3. Use consistent branding

By all means, experiment with your thumbnail design. And more than likely after a while, after a certain period of time, you’ll want to change things up.

But, always try to keep some level of consistency across your thumbnails. It should always be obvious from your thumbnails, that a video is from your channel.

You can create uniformity in a few different ways. By the colours that you use, your brand colours. It can be the type of fonts that you use, and generally the overall look and feel. This is going to help you really establish your brand and improve recognition when your videos are suggested to people.

4. Use as few words as possible

Try as far as possible to limit the text, the number of characters that you use on your thumbnail.

If you think about how people are viewing YouTube, so many are on phones. The thumbnail that appears on a small phone is tiny. If you have too many words on your thumbnail, the words will be indecipherable.

Try, if you can, to use a maximum of just four words. It’s not always possible, but if you can, you’ll stand a much better chance of your thumbnails converting.

Thumbnail hack!

Now, as I promised, I’m going to show you a really quick and easy way to create thumbnails. Even if you have, like me, no graphic design skills whatsoever.

I talk about TubeBuddy a lot on this channel, but I mainly focus on how you can optimise your videos for search using TubeBuddy.

But this hack that I’m going to share with you right now, talks to you through how you can use TubeBuddy to create your thumbnails. Hop on to the video above as I walk you through exactly how to do it!

If you’re interested in more tips on how to grow your YouTube channel, how to get more views, watch time and subscribers, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and you’ll see new videos twice a week.

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