Draw more attention to your YouTube videos with custom thumbnails

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Before someone clicks to play your video, they’re probably going to spend a few nanoseconds looking at the thumbnail  for the video that appears on YouTube or embedded on a website. The thumbnail is a quick snapshot preview of the video. In those few nanoseconds, you’ve got to capture a potential viewer’s interest with that single thumbnail image. No pressure.

After you upload a video, YouTube will give you the choice of three thumbnail options pulled automatically from various points in your video. But YouTube also lets you upload your own thumbnail, and I would definitely recommend it, because you can pick the most interesting moment from the video to use as your thumbnail, or even create a whole separate image that isn’t in the video.

According to YouTube:

Your custom thumbnail image should be as large as possible, as the image will also be used as the preview image in the embedded player. We recommend your custom thumbnails:

  • Have a resolution of 1280×720 (with minimum width of 640 pixels).
  • Be uploaded in image formats such as .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG.
  • Remain under the 2MB limit.
  • Try to use a 16:9 aspect ratio as it’s the most used in YouTube players and previews.

Once you’ve created a great thumbnail image, check out the video above to see how you can upload it to YouTube along with your video.

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  • ontheforum

    This is great information to know about. Thumbnails have always been tricky on YouTube when trying to select from just 3 choices. To have control over the thumbnail is important to make the best first impression possible. Thank you!

    Warm Regards,

    Terrance
    3000 Records

    http://www.3000records.com

  • Good advice – the thumbnail might be the only couple of seconds of attention you get from a potential viewer. I’ve been experimenting my self – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4-ippFGEQOxnRzwaNu-TSw