Do you want the inside scoop on getting more views, subscribers, and watch time on YouTube? Well, it starts with winning the click.
Whether a viewer is served your video from a keyword search, because it may have been recommended by YouTube, or via your channel homepage, it’s critical that your thumbnail is enticing enough to win that click.
A thumbnail is a mini preview of your video and should reflect what the content will offer the viewer. A solid and well thought out thumbnail strategy really can attract the views you’re hoping for. We have three quick but actionable tips you can start putting in place today. Bonus: we’ll also show you how TubeBuddy can help you through the whole process
#1 Capture Your Thumbnail Image Before or During Filming
The top creators on YouTube do this one thing pretty consistently as part of their thumbnail strategy. Capturing that perfect image is part of the planning process and is as important as an engaging title.
Those creators often take at least five to ten photos that nail the topic, giving them a selection of images to choose from. Often, once they’ve selected an image they’re excited about, they will make multiple versions of just that one thumbnail to perfect the design.
If you’ve been creating thumbnails on the fly, take a tip from successful creators and make thumbnail design as much a part of the creative process as the video itself.
#2 Encourage Feedback for Potential Thumbnail Designs
Being a YouTuber can often feel quite isolating. We always encourage creators to build a solid support system around them for many reasons.
An unexpected bonus of being surrounded by friends, family, and even other creators is that you have a built-in focus group that can provide feedback on any designs you are thinking of using. You can also use the TubeBuddy forums or our official Discord group to solicit feedback and suggestions.
#3 Design Your Thumbnails With Mobile Viewers in Mind
One important tip that is often overlooked is that you really need to design your thumbnails with mobile viewers in mind. Many creators design their thumbnails on desktop computers or laptops and forget to shrink them down to a smaller size to test what they will look like for mobile users.
When it comes to text, don’t try to stuff too many words into your design. Keep the text to a minimum for the sake of your potential viewers, whatever screen they are watching you on.
How TubeBuddy Can Help You Rock Your Thumbnail Strategy
TubeBuddy has two main tools to help you save time and resources. Just install the browser extension and start creating and refining.
Generate Custom Thumbnails
TubeBuddy has its very own thumbnail generator, and it’s available to all TubeBuddy users. The feature lets you select either a still frame from your video, an image you’ve uploaded, or just start with a plain background color. You can also add layers to your design and also add emojis or text.
If you have a TubeBuddy Starter license, you can generate a thumbnail, but you won’t be able to download a copy or save your design as a template.
However, if you have a Pro, Star, or Legend license, you can download and save any designs as a template, so you’re not starting over every single time.
To access the generator, click on any of your existing videos and then the TubeBuddy dropdown menu on that video. From there, you’ll be able to launch the feature.
You can get more information on the generator by watching this tutorial on how it works and how to get the most out of it:
Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 11+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO