The entry point to your material is the thumbnail for your video. It should provide all the information a potential viewer needs to know to urge them to watch, much like a movie poster.

You spent a lot of time organising, recording, and editing your video, and you're sure that the viewers will like the amazing content you've created. What if, though, they are never able to view it?

The entry point to your material is the thumbnail for your video. It should provide all the information a potential viewer needs to know to urge them to watch, much like a movie poster.

Yes, your video platform will create a thumbnail for you automatically. But if the movie's poster was just a random (and maybe blurry) frame from the movie, would you still go watch it?

It may come as no surprise that 90% of the most popular YouTube videos utilize a personalized thumbnail. Your YouTube video thumbnail must pique the interest of viewers as they read through search results and suggested movies and compel them to click "play."

A video thumbnail is what, exactly?

A single image known as a video thumbnail serves as your video's representation in search results, social media previews, and website embeds. The purpose of the thumbnail is to immediately convey to viewers what your video is about and why they should watch it.

Best Practises for Video Thumbnails


Use a straightforward, understandable, and uncomplicated image. To properly arrange your material, follow the rule of thirds. The gridlines on your phone camera can help you quickly comprehend the rule of thirds. Try to align the most crucial information with the lines or where they converge.

This scene from Bingeing with Babish is a good illustration of the rule of thirds in action.

Try to limit your subject or face count to one or two. Zoom in to better notice the product's small details or face expressions. If you choose to add text to your thumbnail, limit it to a few scannable words and use a screen-friendly typeface.

Pay attention to faces and emotions

A facial expression can hint at the feelings your video will arouse. If you can give the viewer an indication that the video's material may shock them or fundamentally alter their worldview, it's an added plus. But only if it is actually accurate! (See No. 6.)

Take some still pictures while filming to make sure you have excellent facial photographs for your thumbnail. By doing this, you may avoid include the odd "you caught me while I was talking" face in your thumbnail while still using pictures that match the style and tone of your film.

Control hue and contrast

Dark images are challenging to view and are less likely to draw attention. To make your thumbnail stand out, use vivid, contrasting colours.

If your movie doesn't contain any bright backgrounds or topics, you can use image editing software, such as the ones listed earlier in this piece, to modify the background colour of the thumbnail. Look at Yoga with Adriene's use of white banners and light colours to produce a unified look and feel.

Become animated

A captivating approach to spruce up your movie and even hint at the action it offers is with an animated thumbnail.

When using a Vidyard-style online video marketing platform, you can employ an animated thumbnail. This distinctive kind of thumbnail sticks out among the others. When employed in email marketing, it has the potential to be highly effective.

One thing to keep in mind about animated thumbnails is that while they draw readers' attention, they do not provide a fully accessible choice. Therefore, a screen reader or other accessibility tool will not be able to read the animated video thumbnail for anyone who needs them.

Consider making it less than 5 seconds and including alt text if you can if animation is essential to the message you want to express.

Embrace Your Brand

To help your viewers develop trust in your brand, include a symbol or graphic that makes it apparent the video is your organization's property. All video thumbnails on The History Channel feature its logo, making it simple to tell at a glance that the information is from a reliable source.

Another quick and simple method for classifying a collection of films as a series is to use consistent branding and watermarks. Create a thumbnail template if you're making a video series, and utilise it to aesthetically connect your videos while saving time.

Avoid using clickbait thumbnails, but where appropriate, use drama

Your video's subject matter must be represented in your thumbnail. It is unnecessary and perhaps detrimental to trick visitors into watching the initial few seconds of your video. If viewers frequently close their browsers without watching your movie, it will be harder to find.

Having said that, don't be hesitant to draw attention to anything really dramatic or disturbing in your film. Make sure you fulfil the promise made in your thumbnail by using it in conjunction with your title to generate anticipation.

Everyone Should Eat Bugs (And You Already Do) is the stunning message of this College Humour video.

Employ high definition

Indeed, thumbnails are typically tiny. However, if your video is posted on a website that can be seen on a big screen or even a TV, your thumbnail will show up in full size.

Avoid losing views because your thumbnail appears pixelated or fuzzy at a larger size.