How to Create a Thumbnail from a Video


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Benefit from an Ideal Video Thumbnail

No matter what message you’re trying to get across, using video is an effective way to draw your viewer’s attention online. Unfortunately, it’s not always enough to just create a great video. When it comes to uploading that video on a platform (such as YouTube) with millions of other videos, you’ll need to make some additional efforts to set it apart. 


Enter the video thumbnail, a small but powerful tool for enticing your audience to actually click on your video. By having a better understanding of what video thumbnails are, why they matter, and how to make one, you’ll be on your way to maximizing views on your videos in no time. 

What is a Video Thumbnail?


Specifically, a thumbnail refers to a small image that summarizes or exemplifies a larger piece of content, such as a video. On YouTube and other video-hosting websites, a thumbnail is displayed as a small, still image. This is the image that you see before you click on a video, making it your first impression. 


When you upload your video to a site like YouTube, you have the option to either choose and upload your own thumbnail or allow the platform to auto-select a still image from your video. In general, you’ll want to at least select your own video still to use as a thumbnail. Ideally, though, you’ll be making your own from scratch and uploading it. 


Why Are Video Thumbnails Important?

There are many reasons why great video thumbnails are important, starting with the fact that they can help to maximize views on your videos. In most cases, a thumbnail is going to be your viewer’s first impression of your video and possibly even your brand. If you have an enticing thumbnail linked to your video, viewers will be more likely to click on the video and watch it. This, in turn, makes it possible to get your message across to more people. 


Likewise, video thumbnails are vital to providing more context to your audience about your video content. Oftentimes, video thumbnails will include not only a carefully selected still from the video itself but a large text that provides more information about the content. This can help potential viewers get a better feel for whether the video is relevant to their needs or goals. 


Last but not least, a great video thumbnail can improve brand consistency. Over time, it is possible that viewers will be able to recognize a brand’s video in a lineup based on the thumbnail alone. This is a prime example of the effect that small marketing choices (like thumbnail selection) can have on your company’s overall branding success. When thumbnails are styled consistently, this also makes your brand’s feed look more visually appealing-which is a win-win. 

Essential Elements of a Thumbnail

So, what are the basic elements of a thumbnail that you’ll need to keep in mind as you design yours? These can actually vary slightly from one video-hosting platform to the next. 

Here are some general requirements:


  • Thumbnail files should be in .JPG, GIF, or .PNG format. Other file types will not be able to be uploaded. 
  • Thumbnail files should be 1280×720.
  • The size is less than 2MB.
  • The ratio of the image must be 16:9. 


It’s also important to note that in order to upload custom thumbnails for videos on YouTube, your account will need to be verified. 


When it’s time to create your thumbnail, begin by deciding whether you’ll select a still image from your video or create your own customized thumbnail. If you have a great still from the video that you believe will capture your audience’s attention, there’s nothing wrong with using that. However, many brands find more success creating their own thumbnail files from scratch. This allows you to not only choose a great image for your thumbnail but to add enticing text as well. 


From a design standpoint, the most successful video thumbnails tend to consist of an image, a small amount of text, and a background.


Custom Video Thumbnail Maker

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of making your own thumbnails from scratch, the good news is that an online thumbnail maker can make things much easier and faster. With you can easily learn how to make a thumbnail for youtube, you would learn that it is not only easy but also fun. You can simply upload your video and then customize it with graphics, text, stickers, and more. There are even plenty of templates to choose from to help you get started. 


This platform is also built with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, so you can create eye-catching thumbnails without extensive graphic design experience. 

Bonus Video Thumbnail Tips For More Clicks


Now that you have a better idea of the importance of thumbnails on YouTube videos and how to create your own, there are a few more tips worth keeping in mind as you get started. First and foremost, be sure to select the right image or still for your thumbnail. This should be something that will attract your audience’s attention. When selecting a background, try to keep it consistent with other videos uploaded by your brand-and be sure that your background isn’t too distracting that it draws attention away from any text on your thumbnail. 


Speaking of text, less is more. While there’s technically no limit on the amount of text you can squeeze into your thumbnail, it’s generally best to keep things short and sweet. Ideally, less than 20% of your thumbnail should be taken up by text. Any more than that and you risk overwhelming your audience.


The Final Word on Video Thumbnails

Who would have thought that something as small as a video thumbnail could have such an impact on your marketing and branding? As you can see, the right thumbnail will draw your audience’s attention while also providing important context for viewers. 


Fortunately, using a thumbnail maker online makes it quick and simple to create custom thumbnails.’s online thumbnail maker is a great resource, whether you’re adding thumbnails to existing videos or uploading new ones. 

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If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Graphic Design Inspiration.


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