What is thumbnail and why is it important for your videos?

Understand how to increase the views of your videos with attractive images!

Those who are aware of changes in the virtual environment know that video content is gaining more and more space. The format is one of the users’ favorites!

For that reason, to stand out among so many contents in this format, reach the audience and increase engagement, it is essential to invest in quality videos.

However, in addition to creating good videos, it is also necessary to think about how to attract users to that content and click on your video instead of many others available on the Internet.

For this, there are several resources that can be used, for example an attractive title, description or thumbnail, which will be the focus of our post today.

In this text you will find everything you need to know about thumbnail, as well as several tips for creating attractive visualization images for your audience using simple tools.

We start?

What is thumbnail?

Thumbnail is a reduced version of an image, created to facilitate the process of recognizing the content that will be focused on a video.

By the way, you’ve already found several thumbnails on the Internet, you just did not know they had that name, right?

In fact, you find this type of visualization image in practically all social networks, including YouTube, where the thumbnail is used as the cover of the video.

Basically, it serves to draw the attention of the user and make you choose your content and not others that also appear as a search result for a certain keyword.

What is the importance of thumbnail?

It is wrong to think that the thumbnail is just a decorative element, that it does not deserve attention and does not influence the audience’s engagement at all.

Knowing how to create an attractive thumbnail may be what you need to increase the number of views of your videos.

We’ll show you now what this little image is so important to your strategy!

1. Call the user’s attention

The user who enters YouTube to find a video about “medicinal plants”, for example, finds thousands of contents on the subject.

For that reason, perhaps the reading of the title and the description of the video can take to that the person is interested in your content, but normally one of the first things that the people look is the image.

A miniature with an attractive and high quality image draws attention and shows the user that he really dedicated himself to the construction of that video.

This first impression is key to understand that your content adds value and is exactly the solution you were looking for.

Mainly in a social environment where the focus is on audiovisual content, it is easy to understand why users pay more attention to an image than to texts, is not it?

2. Contextualize the user on the subject focused on the video

The use of thumbnail tells users the type of information that will be transmitted in that content. With it, people identify elements that contextualize the theme and function as a summary of what will be treated.

Let’s go back to the example of medicinal plants.

If your video shows how to grow them inside an apartment, the fact of clarifying it in the thumbnail already tells the user exactly what will be shared.

Thus, you assure the person who is looking for that specific issue the quick identification of your video, as well as that you realize what you are really looking for.

Remember that Internet users are usually in a hurry and are not willing to spend time to define the content they will consume.

Therefore, if you have to read the description of your video or start watching it to better understand the content, you can be sure that you will choose another option.

The thumbnail works, then, as a means of transmitting all the necessary information from the beginning.

3. Determine a visual identity

Thumbnail is also important to establish a visual identity and ensure that the public identifies your videos and recognizes you in the midst of many other content available on YouTube.

With them it is possible to customize your channel and give it a unique and special aspect just playlist or theme that you are going to consider.

Using the same standard in all thumbnails leaves your profile more organized and attractive. In addition, you highlight your videos for users’ knowledge, make them assimilate the type of content you share and be interested in seeing other videos of your authorship.

Tips to make a good thumbnail

Well, now that you have seen how a good thumbnail can attract more users, clicks, visualizations and the sharing of your videos, here are some tips for you to start customizing your visualization icons.

Make eye-catching images

If the idea is to stand out in the middle of other videos and attract the eyes of the users, it is essential to use an attractive image on your thumbnail.

When it comes to colors, try not to use muted tones or mix with the colors of the platform on which you will share your video.

For example:

If you are going to share your material on YouTube, avoid creating thumbnails with the colors black, white and red, which are used to characterize that social network.

Assign it to contrasting colors, because your video will jump in the eyes of users on search pages, such as green, blue or yellow, for example. But always remember to maintain the visual identity of your brand, so that you can identify that the video is yours.

Use small texts

When you write texts on your thumbnail, think of a small word or phrase that summarizes all the content of that video.

In addition to brief, it is important that the text is also sufficiently striking to instigate the public and arouse interest.

In addition, the use of extensive texts can leave the contaminated image and damage the understanding of the message you want to convey.

Therefore, the ideal is that the details are in the title, the description or even in the video itself and that the thumbnail is simple and easily assimilated.

Respect the predefined sizes and formats

So that your thumbnail has quality and does not remain with the image distorted or blurred, it is important to respect the sizes and formats established by YouTube.

The resolution of the display icon should be 1280 × 720 (16: 9 ratio), with a minimum width of 640 pixels. The formats can be JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG.

In terms of size, the thumbnail can have a maximum of 2MB.

Use images related to the theme

As your goal is to show the audience the topic that will be addressed in the video, make images related to your content.

People must be able to quickly understand what the video is about and identify with the proposed topic.

Clarify the objective of your content using related elements such as, in the case of medicinal plants, photos, cultivated sites, tools used, etc.

YouTube suggests the use of frames for you to use as thumbnail, although we suggest you do not

Have you heard that famous phrase that says “a picture is worth a thousand words”?

Then, spare no effort and use custom images, created specifically for that video.

Avoid clickbait images

Has it already happened to you that you click on the call of a video or text that promises to deliver unprecedented and extraordinary content and upon entering you realize that it was nothing of what you imagined?

We call that clickbait.

Of course, the sensationalist calls aimed at instigating the curiosity of users and attracting thousands of clicks seem wonderful solutions for those looking for traffic and increased views, but…

… if you want to deliver something of quality to your audience and create a good relationship with people so that they recognize your authority in a certain topic and return to visit your channel, clickbait images are not the solution!

By tricking users, you damage the experience of the same with your brand, which considerably reduces the chances of them returning to consume any content of yours.

Thinking in the medium and long term, it is better to focus on a less scandalous content, but one that is consistent and really valuable, do not you think?

Have a visual identity for your thumbnails

We talked before about how much thumbnails are a good tool to maintain the visual identity of a channel on YouTube, so do not forget to take advantage of them.

We suggest that you keep a pattern in the images used as thumbnails of your videos and try to always use the same colors, format and style.

In reality, by customizing your thumbnail you are ensuring that the public identifies you, recognizes your profile and places you on the search pages.

To create a user base and strengthen the relationship with your audience you need to build your brand. Therefore, nothing better than a visual identity to provide a professional and unique appearance to your videos.

Investigate the competition

To stand out from the other thousands of videos it is essential that you investigate your competition.

Discover what your competitors are sharing, what are the most used formats, the comments they receive from the public and the gaps they are leaving in the market.

It seeks to know in depth about people or brands that act in the same niche. Only then can you create exclusive strategies that will make you stand out from the competition and attract more views.

Tools to create a thumbnail

It is necessary to pay attention to several details to create a quality thumbnail but, although it may not seem so, it is easier than you imagine.

Currently there are already several tools available to help you create your images in a simple and free way.

1. Adobe Photoshop

This tool is one of the best known and used in the world. With it, it is possible to make several editions in your images, both basic and advanced.

Those who have knowledge in design can take advantage of their different resources and create very attractive thumbnails.

But if that is not your case, do not worry. It is also possible to obtain excellent results using only basic Photoshop editing resources.

The unlimited use of the tool is not free, but it is possible to register and use some of its resources free of charge for a predefined period.

2. Canva

To use this service you do not need any advanced knowledge in design.

Canva offers several free resources, plus a paid image bank with more options, if necessary.

However, to create a thumbnail it is more common – and recommended – to use a capture of your personalized video or photo. In this way it is not necessary to invest financially to use the images of this tool.

The interesting thing about this service is that it offers preprogrammed formats already prepared in the correct sizes for each social medium. Fantastic! So you do not have to worry about this detail, just with the filters, the text sources you will use and the elements you want to add to the thumbnail of your video.

3. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is a paid photo editing tool, but you can use a free trial version for 7 days.

She has several resources that can be used to create thumbnails.

As in Canva, in PicMonkey you can select a template with the ideal size of a thumbnail for YouTube.

To find the right model, you can use the following ways:

  • Search YouTube thumbnail in the search bar;
  • Indicate the desired measurements in the upper corner of the screen;
  • Search YouTube in the categories tab;
  • Select YouTube thumbnail on the Popular Tags

4. Fotor

Fotor is another free image editor that you can use to create an attractive and quality thumbnail, which does not require any design experience either.

On the home page, you must choose whether you will create a collage, make a photo edit, or create a design.

When you click on Design, simply select the YouTube Thumbnail option to start creating your thumbnail.

By clicking on its tools, Fotor also shows you tips to help you optimize your work.

5. Snappa

In Snappa you find three package options:

  1. Free: that gives you access to limited templates, 5 monthly downloads and some other resources (also with limitations of use);
  2. Pro: with unlimited downloads and templates and some other resources released;
  3. Team: that can be used by up to 5 users, has several unlimited resources and is the most advanced plan of the tool.

In the free version, despite the limitations, you can already create an incredible thumbnail for your YouTube videos.

You can choose between several available templates and also customize the format by selecting the YouTube Thumbnails option in the Social Media Posts tab.

All ready? To create incredible thumbnails!

With all this information we are sure that you are ready to create attractive thumbnails, which will generate more clicks and visualizations in your videos.

Of course, depending on the tool you choose to create your thumbnail, you will have some differences while you are using the editing program. But, in general, the tools for the creation of thumbnail are very intuitive, and you can always return to our video to see the step by step dedicated to the creation of your images for videos.

Do not forget that the thumbnails must be aligned with the content of your video. Therefore, dedicate yourself to share interesting topics that add value to your audience and allow users to notice your authority on the issues addressed.

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