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The Weirdest YouTube Thumbnail Hack

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Are you doing some of these weird things with your Thumbnails? In this episode, we are talking about YouTube thumbnail ideas and hacks!

Listen to Episode 57: The Weirdest YouTube Thumbnail Hack

In today’s episode, we’re talking YouTube thumbnails. Those are the images that show up for billions of YouTube users, and either entice those users to click play on your video or pass it over for someone else’s video.

I have been doing a lot of studying lately on thumbnails, trying to figure out what is it that makes people click? What is it about people’s thumbnails that lead to the success of a video to get more views, and get people to watch even more of your videos.

Check out some episode highlights:

  • [1:45] Why are thumbnails important?
    • Before anybody can even click on or watch your video, they have to see the thumbnail. And that thumbnail has to be interesting enough for them to hit play.
    • Click Through Rate – In your YouTube analytics, there is a metric called the Click Through Rate. That is the percent of people who see your thumbnail and then actually click on it to play your video. So the higher your click through rate, the more people, the more views you’re going to have on your video.
    • What is a good Click Through Rate? A good Click Through Rate depends on a lot of different factors. It really does depend on your niche and what your design style is. And it depends on your audience.
    • Related: YouTube Analytics – Which Metrics Actually Matter for YouTube Channel Growth?
  • [3:50] Create a custom thumbnail every time you publish a video.
    • Even if it’s just a screen grab from your video and some text. Make sure if can be read and understood, even if it is very small.
    • I like to use Canva for thumbnails. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s free. Or I may pull it into Adobe illustrator because I have that design software.
  • [6:00] Don’t make your thumbnails pretty and “on-brand.”
    • The objective of thumbnails is to get people to click, not necessarily to brand your channel. And sometimes what gets people to click isn’t necessarily this perfectly crafted on-brand, beautiful smile type of thumbnail.
  • [8:00] Test different thumbnail designs.
    • Really go outside of the box of what you have been doing and see if you can improve your click through rate.
    • So if you normally incorporate lots of bright colors in your thumbnails, try something that is all of a sudden just black and white, and see what happens.
  • [10:00] Your thumbnail should reflect the time and effort you put into your video.
  • [13:40] I have a fun, easy, and weird thumbnail hack that’s going to make it easier and quicker for you to create your thumbnails, and create them in a way that will hopefully make them more clickable for your potential users.
    • Take pictures of yourself doing various poses and facial expressions.
    • Then when it’s time to design your thumbnail, you take that group of photos and ask yourself, “What is the emotion that is associated with this video?” Then choose a photo to use for your thumbnail.

Use this weird YouTube thumbnail hack to help grow your audience online!

Improving your thumbnail designs to improve your Click Through Rate is one of the things that you can do to grow your audience online, using YouTube. But there are so many other ways to make sure that you’re optimizing your videos. You’re doing your keyword research, you have a real strategic vision for your YouTube channel.

So if you don’t have a strategic vision for your channel, if you’re kind of just throwing some videos out there and not really planning them a whole lot, there is no time like the present. It’s time to take a step back and just think about, “What is the strategy for my channel? How are people going to find my videos? Are people enjoying my videos?”

Related: How to Get Views on your First 5 Videos

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, then come on over to Instagram. Tag me, or DM me. I love to hear from you on Instagram. My handle is And I will definitely respond back because I love chatting with people on Instagram. So I’ll see you there!

Are you doing some of these weird things with your Thumbnails? In this episode, we are talking about YouTube thumbnail ideas!