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Grow your YouTube channel with thumbnails. Best practices.

One of the best ways to grow your YouTube channel is constantly upload original and engaging content and working on promotion strategy. One of the steps I am going to talk to day is visual aspect and how to create eye catching thumbnails.

To make effective thumbnails and titles is fundamental! According to YouTube, 9 out of 10 of the most-viewed videos on YouTube use a custom thumbnail

What are thumbnails?

Thumbnails and titles act like billboards that engage viewers to watch your videos. Well-designed thumbnails and titles can attract more fans to your channel, thus viewers know what to expect, and make your content appealing for a broad range of advertisers.

According to marketing funnels AIDA (attention, interest, desire and action) with thumbnails and titles you can catch viewer attention, which is fundamental in marketing journey. If your YouTube cover and titles are not appealing, then no one will watch your video. In these 3 seconds user decide whether to watch it or leave it.

Thumbnails and titles shall accurately represent what's in your video.

Yotube screen

Few words about YouTube algorithms

When viewers click into your video and stay to watch through, this lets YouTube know that the viewer is enjoying your content. However, if your thumbnails and titles don't deliver on their promise of what's in the video, viewers tend to leave, which is pretty bad statistic for your YouTube channel. The longer you can keep people watching on YouTube because of your content, the more your content is likely to be suggested to be viewed.

Tips for designing a thumbnail

When you customise your thumbnails, make sure that you've got a strong, vibrant image that looks great large and small, and conveys key information about your video.

You can apply the rule of thirds to compose interesting and dynamic images, then overlay with your branding and/or descriptive text. If you add text, make sure that you use a font that's easy to read on screen. Also, think about how you can be eye-catching and age-appropriate for your audience.

How to add or change a video thumbnail

  • Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  • From the left menu, select Content.
  • Select a video by clicking on its title or thumbnail.
  • Choose an auto-generated thumbnail and select Save.

What colors are preferable?

  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Orange

Why is this important?

YouTube in general is mostly red, black and white, so in order to stand out you would need a contrast color.

How should you create a custom video thumbnail?

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

  • Resolution of 1280 x720 (with minimum width of 640 pixels).
  • Formats such as JPG, GIF, 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.

YouTube has its own rules. Your thumbnails may be rejected when it contains:

  • Nudity or sexually provocative content
  • Hate Speech
  • Violence
  • Harmful or dangerous content

Be sure your thumbnails don’t contain any prohibited content as repeat offenses may lead to the account termination.

What else should you consider apart of thumbnails to upgrade your channel?

  • Add end screens to videos
  • Add cards to videos
  • Add tags
  • Use Eye-Catching Playlist Titles
  • Link to your associated website from videos
  • Share Videos on Quora, Reddit and other forums

Online communities are one of the best places to promote your YouTube videos. That’s because people on these communities have questions that you can answer with your videos.

These were some strategies to increase tour YouTube engagement! What strategy would you try the first? Share your opinion in the comments below! If you wanna learn more or know more you can contact my team or you can jump into a one-on-one call with me right now clicking one of the the below buttons.

Alessandro Rocco Pietrocola is an entrepreneur, fintecher, investor, blogger and author based in London and operating mainly in Europe, Asia and Oceania with main focus on UK, Baltic Countries, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Middle East and New Zealand as area of interest! At the moment is the CEO of Astorts Group. He is an UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and NZ FSPR (Financial Service Provider Register) Approved Person and has great experience as director of regulated companies.
He uses to dedicate part of his life to inspire others and help them achieve the most out of their lives. Since he was 20, he had successfully founded and managed several companies operating in the field of management consulting, wealth management and fintech. He is Member of Institute of Directors in London, Member of Changer Club in Riga, Member of Fintech Association of Hong Kong, Member of Singapore Fintech Association, Member of Non Executive Director Association in London and Member of Alumni Network of Draper University in San Francisco. He loves travelling, he is a cigars lover, an amateur golfer and a dapper man.

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