Draw more attention to your YouTube videos with custom thumbnails

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.

Take your YouTube channel to the next level with Illustrated Sound, the YouTube network powered by CD Baby.

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