What is YouTube Thumbnail and Why You Need it

YouTube Thumbnail is a small, clickable static image that grabs user attention towards a video by providing catchy and summative information of what the video is about and why the user might consider watching the video. It gives just about information to grab attention without giving away what the content is. YouTube Thumbnail is basically the first impression of your video. And as a YouTuber, it determines if your videos will attract viewers or be just another video to be scrolled by. It develops your brand and helps to improve your appeal to your audience.

Requirements on YouTube Thumbnail

When it comes to creating attractive YouTube Thumbnails, it pays to follow the strict guidelines that respect the requirements laid down by the company. The YouTube thumbnail size is limited to 2MB at best. Also, the required resolution should be 1280×720 with a minimum width of 640ixels. The YouTube thumbnail must be uploaded in JPG, GIF, or PNG file formats with strict restrictions to only these. Further, it is advisable to follow the 16:9 aspect ratio for your YouTube thumbnail dimension to aid preview in YouTube players.

What Makes an Eye-Popping YouTube Thumbnail

YouTube is filled with millions of videos, each with a thumbnail and they are all aimed at getting users' attention. So, how do you make yourself stand out? Do you build a brand out of your thumbnails or simply be creative with each piece? From enough sampled data, we have come up with these 5 proven ideas that have been effective for successful YouTube channels over time.

1. Make your theme evident

Makes an Eye-Popping YouTube Thumbnail 1

Capture the core idea or essence of your video into a compelling title and use it in the thumbnail. The hack here is to make it catchy, punchy, and interesting. And you have to be accurate and honest without aiming for clickbait unless you want to lose credibility.

2. Use expressive headshot & Sticker

Makes an Eye-Popping YouTube Thumbnail 2

Creativity is the bedrock of successful YouTube thumbnails. Imagine yourself as a viewer, what reaction can your video spurn from the viewers? Express that in your headshot or use a sticker to sum that up. The image speaks more than a thousand words; remember?

3. Choose the best font

You’ve got a title with a perfect expressive headshot. Good! Now, you need to pick a font. Being bold and heavy work very well. However, you want something that’s clear, easy to read, and expresses your brand. Pick wisely.

4. Background Matters

Makes an Eye-Popping YouTube Thumbnail 4

The background for the YouTube thumbnail is one of the most important elements to be considered. It is the foundation on which your thumbnail’s success relies. Hence, selecting a thumbnail background for YouTube videos is super important. Strong visuals, a high-quality background should be used. It could be a picture teaser or solid background color. Make it consistent so your viewers are familiarized with it.

5. Use good Contrast among elements

Makes an Eye-Popping YouTube Thumbnail 5

Usually, there are many contrast elements, but the most important to be given extra care is color contrast. When designing your YouTube thumbnail, always make sure your text contrasts perfectly with your background. There’s no point in having a million dollars thumbnail if it is not readable. Blend the images, colors, and other elements to ensure readability and easy access to information on it without making it an eyesore.

How to Make a Thumbnail for YouTube

Step 1: Determine elements in your thumbnail.

To make an excellent YouTube thumbnail, the first thing to consider is the elements to be involved in the thumbnail. For instance, you need the brand’s logo, a headshot/sticker, the texts to be included, the background, and other elements that are peculiar to your brand. When all these are in place, you proceed to the next step with the aid of BGremover.

Step 2: Processing your main elements.

Using an advanced tool like BGremover, you can remove background from image, which is the major step towards getting a YouTube thumbnail background. To use this tool, follow the following steps:

1. Upload a headshot, sticker, or logo image

Make a Thumbnail for YouTube with BGremover step 1

2. Click to process the image

Make a Thumbnail for YouTube with BGremover step 2

3. Click to edit and customize the image background, then download the image.


Step3: Use a YouTube thumbnail maker to combine all elements.

After getting all the basic elements together, to get the perfect YouTube thumbnail, you need the help of specialized thumbnail makers such as picmakers, Canva, Crello, and others. These tools are dedicated to making thumbnails and as such, have advanced features and templates to get your creative juices flowing.

How to Add Thumbnail to YouTube Video

After going through the hassles of getting your YouTube thumbnail ready for your video, the next step is to add it to the video and probably publish the video. Hence, YouTube has its protocol for uploading thumbnails and as such, learning how to add thumbnail to YouTube videos is also important. This is applicable to add or change thumbnails on already existing videos too.

Step1: Sign in to your YouTube studio

Step2: From the left menu, select videos.

Step3: Select a video (new or previous uploads)

Step4: Under thumbnail, click ‘Custom thumbnail’.

Step5: Select the file to use as a custom thumbnail.

Step6: Finally, click on ‘Save’.

Final Thoughts

A YouTube thumbnail can make or mar your success as a YouTuber. It is the difference that stands you out or makes your videos be just another scrolled by. If you want to deeply make important elements prominent in the thumbnail, Transparent Background Maker helps you with its unique brush to remove busy parts in a background. Hence, in the business of getting people’s attention, content alone is not enough. Committing enough time to create the perfect thumbnail can propel you to the apex of your niche if done right. You may also want to read Top 5 Online Tools to Create Transparent Bakcground.

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Jayden Harper
Jayden Harper
I am an amateur photographer. I am keen on learning new knowledge of photography and sharing some tips with everyone.