Heiko

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Hello,

First of all, i am sorry for the delay for this Topic. I actually wanted to do this back in september but i really got stressed out with my projects and my offline work. Some members might remember that i made a Youtube Startup Guide a few months ago and also stated there that i am going to to another guide specialized on Thumbnails. Well here it is.

In my opinion, thumbnails are some of the most important factors when it comes to ranking. Not when it comes to ranking for the Youtube system itself, but for the person to decide if he wants to click on the Youtube Video or not. So how can we make a thumbnail that is eye catching and what even is "eye catching"? - Let me give you some examples so you maybe get the point i am trying to make here


Example of Good/Bad Thumbnails and explanations

Good Thumbnails

PH7XAeVdR6OSLPH8DA73Iw.png
Xpo5Zgz0Tc_87iq3wIBEMw.png
KargAIkSQxa64rh6McmQIA.png

tFt9d94lQv_D72OrJ4hjUw.png
IUvdTLxjSmupD0VN5-ExwA.png
RB-lakH0QZit0JTpfqA5-w.png


  • Big Text
  • Very colorful
  • Some of them include people (for example the kid getting hit by a drone, or the girl in the bikini (yeah why wouldn't you wanna click that..?)
  • A big yellow emoji to trigger a emotion (shocking emotion)
  • Arrows

Bad Thumbnails

ypvZd7CcQOu4l4vdEhaz4A.png
V-qstBHQQgy7Nkke8eV6PA.png
koggN9kCS5_JZNt_Y5jNuw.png


  • Bad Quality
  • There is not really a reason why you want to click on these videos
  • The pictures do not trigger an emotion in you (No shocking emotion for example)
  • The good and colorful looking text is missing (There is some text in the 1 and 2 picture but it just doesn't fit for the thumbnail)
  • No complementary colours
  • No emotions are shown


Tactics to create a good thumbnail

I think you get what i mean and can see the difference between a good thumbnail and a bad thumbnail. Over the time of being active on Youtube and having several Channels i have figured out what is working and what is not working. Here are some more tips for you to make a good thumbnail.




1. Eye Contact

EHarxiqBQ_CMD-qN44Xnmw.png

(Example: Pewdiepie)

If you are showing yourself in the video then you always should try to get some sort of eye contact in the thumbnail. Humans communicate in large part by reading emotional cues on the face which leads us to point 2.




2. Emotions

YpzdLsiwQCaCGwXdKfCusw.png

(Example: Pewdiepie) - Showing emotions, a girl and a bright orange background)

Showing emotions in a Thumbnail (Crying, laughing, cringing, etc.) make the viewer feel the same heightened emotion through empathy. When the viewer of the thumbnail becomes emotionally connected with something (in this case the thumbnail), they want to feel that emotion on themselves which results in a click on the video.




3. Complementary Colors, outlines, contrast and bright backgrounds.

frcAjyUDTs2iWLjdXMfKdA.png

(Example: Pewdiepie)


Check out this crazy greenish background, Pewdiepie's face in the Thumbnail, a fire emoji and a emotion from Pewdiepie. He did everything right in this thumbnail.

What the heck is a complementary color?

Complementary colors are pairs of colors which, when combined, cancel each other out. This means that when combined, they produce a gray-scale color like white or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those particular two colors. Due to this striking color clash, the term opposite colors is often considered more appropriate than "complementary colors".

Which pairs of colors are considered complementary depends on the color theory one uses:

Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complementary_colors

Complementary colors stand out against one another. The same goes for bright backgrounds. They will always stand out against white or black backgrounds. A good example for a bright background is the sunburst or pinwheel effect which can be used on a thumbnail. Adding a complementary color to this and your thumbnail is gonna look awesome and eye catching (See Pewdiepie's background for example).




4. Text in Thumbnail

When using Text in your thumbnails, try to make the "big, colorful (white or yellow with an outline)", but not so "big" that it takes up the whole screen (Maximum of 4-5 letters) (example: "WOW", "WTF", "LOL" and so on...) . I don't really use that much text in my thumbnails so i can't really give you good tips on that but check out this thumbnail for example.

x6IY-7jZRhSpGkmF9M4ibg.png


You can see that there is a "WTF!" in the top-right corner which can't be missed. You can also see that it has a yellowish color with a black outline. Always try to outline the text.




5. Logos, Brandings and consistency.

If you have a logo, then go ahead and use it for your thumbnail. VICE is doing a pretty good job when it comes to putting their logos in their thumbnails. That way the viewer identifies the the brand and if he already knows the company/brand then there is a bigger chance that he will click on the video. Depending on the video you are creating. If you are using your logo for 1 Thumbnail in that playlist, then you should use it for every thumbnail in that playlist.
bP1QYuvOTMWNxO8w8u6Lcg.png
iiJCA9ubQhejPQm5aW1hAw.png




6. Do NOT use a fake thumbnail

Some people tend to use a fake thumbnail (often also stolen) to get the viewer to click on the video. Here is the deal: You click on the video because you thought that the thumbnail is somewhere shown in the video. If you realize that the video is something completely different than the thumbnail was showing then you will immediatly click away. And what happens then? You get a low retention rate, which is bad. Youtube will rank your video with lower importance because click away because they don't get what they wanted. So let this be a lesson to you. Do NOT use a thumbnail doesn't have anything to do with the video.

If a video is structured so that the best thumbnail and title combination occurs later in the video, then i suggest either reorganizing the video before uploading, or mentioning at the beginning of the video that the topic of the thumbnail and title will be covered later in the video.



7. Rinse & Repeat

Had a sucess with a thumbnail and your video got a good chunk of views? Cool man! Now try to do the same thing again with a different video! Check the thumbnail again and try to understand WHY you got that many views.




8. Always check your competition and learn from them

Check your competition's Thumbnail, see what is working for them and try to copy their thumbnail. Don't use the same exact thumbnail tho, lol - Just be smart about it, and you will eventually get your success.



Tools to create a good Thumbnail

One tool i always use is Canva. It lets you create Thumbnails and you can even choose/edit some pre-finished ones. It's free so you might wanna play around with it a little bit. You can always outsource this work as well or use paint.net/photshop/gimp for it. Just play around with it and learn.

Xjl5pGepRiGO-XPPGx1NYQ.png


If you do not get the million views within the first videos, do not give up. Sometimes the video just didn't rank well in Youtube but that doesn't mean that your thumbnail was bad. Keep on trying, never give up and always keep on learning new stuff.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in this thread. I'll try to answer them, when i get the time. If you just wanna be spoonfed then please do not add me on Skype
 

redarrow

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there so many ways , i look around take a screen shot then use adobe to add text .

i also use images from google cut them up and add words/letters

i also get fonts from ebay in a pack and do just words in funny lettering, all in adobe.

I also get image packs from anywere possable and add other images on top and words and letters with adobe .

so many possibility these days .

brillaint post ...
 

Heiko

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there so many ways , i look around take a screen shot then use adobe to add text .

i also use images from google cut them up and add words/letters

i also get fonts from ebay in a pack and do just words in funny lettering, all in adobe.

I also get image packs from anywere possable and add other images on top and words and letters with adobe .

so many possibility these days .

brillaint post ...


Yes! However, i would be careful with the Google Image search because you can sometimes run the risk of using a copyrighted image, unless you use the copyright-free option. You can also use websites like Pixabay or something. Great stuff mate!
 

papifiar

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Thanks buddy, this is a very good guide for newbie like me
 

shafi432

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A very good share. I personally started using yellow, bold, and cartoonish texts on my thumbnails.

The results are better than before and got many positive response from audience.

Thanks for the share. Will try first tip when I'm using my photo.
 

Heiko

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A very good share. I personally started using yellow, bold, and cartoonish texts on my thumbnails.

The results are better than before and got many positive response from audience.

Thanks for the share. Will try first tip when I'm using my photo.

Awesome, good luck and i'd like to hear your results with that!
 

MailBoy

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Good share mate, thanks, i guess you maybe could use paint.net aswell
 

Nonilol

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The eye-contact-thingy is new for me. My thumbnails are pretty solid, but I never really thought about that. Thanks!
 
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