How can you make a Youtube custom thumbnail that will help you get the most views totally for free with canva.com along with easy options to bring in more stock photos and elements that are pretty cheap, like $1 each for an expanded library?
I’ll show you in real-time how I make a Youtube custom thumbnail along with one of the more successful formats I’ve used myself and seen on other channels.
It’s the before and after Youtube custom thumbnail. You have basically the previous thumbnail where the viewer, in theory, is looking at this and saying well this is how you feel now and then after the video you watch that, then you are immediately focused on the feeling and the results you’re getting by watching the video.
This drives the higher click-through rate and then when you drive that higher click-through rate, you have more people watching your video. You rank higher in search results and everything just goes amazing for you on YouTube after that.
I’ve seen this work really well with some gaming videos. In fact, one guy blew up his live streaming by doing a video where on the left side just like this it said number 2 and then on the other side it said number 1 with tips for the game and that video went viral for him.
Therefore, I’ll show you how to do that type of Youtube custom thumbnail for free.
Now, you want to switch up your thumbnails and I don’t just use this single format for all my thumbnails because you want to keep it fresh and have enough variety that your audience doesn’t get burnt out and automatically habitually ignore your thumbnails.
That said, you can use a proven format consistently. Then your audience and people will know what kind of thumbnails you are making that are used to click on them as well.
How do we start on Canva.com to make Youtube Custom Thumbnails?
You sign up and create an account. I imagine you can do that. It’s pretty easy. Click on “Create a design”.
I always use custom dimensions 1920 x 1080. What I usually do is I make the Youtube custom thumbnail background with a space on it and then I put that in the background when I start filming and I just literally take a screenshot of me in the video talking on my thumbnail background.
I highly recommend always putting a human face with a close-up of your thumbnail because research has consistently proven this drives a higher click-through rate. People like to see the person behind the video.
Click on “Create a design” and here is how to create a format that you can use as your background when you start the video to drive your highest click-through rate. That way your face gives you the consistency in your videos as well.
When you don’t have your face on your videos, you don’t have that consistency and, therefore, you always want to have your face if you’re on camera in the video on the video thumbnail. That way people, whatever you’re talking about, recognize your face and that helps get those repeated clicks.
We’ve got our basic idea of what we want to start with and now I could just copy this design if I wanted to go as fast as possible. I could just click and duplicate this design but I’ll do it from scratch to show you how to do it.
First, we want to start with the background. You can browse through some of the beautiful backgrounds. You can do a gradient or a solid color. What I’ll do for this one is do that same format before I give you that before and after.
I’ll go away from red and green because we did that before. We’ll go black and white this time. I clicked on “Background”, then the color palette and click the color “Black”. You can pick a custom color by clicking and dragging it around anywhere you want.
The next thing I’m going to do is click on “Elements”. I just want a shape. So, I’ll go down to shape over here and I’ll click on this square.
What I want now is a square that’ll block off half of the video. Thus, I will have half the Youtube custom thumbnail on one side and the other half on the other side. If you see this purple line right behind my head, it’ll kind of snap to the grid and that shows me it’s exactly in the center.
If I fullscreen it, you can now see this is what my design will look like and this is nice because what I will do is stick myself right in the middle of the thumbnail. I’ll put my text up here.
This is a nice kind of contrast looking Youtube custom thumbnail as you can see. It’s very attractive. It stands out.
Next, I need some text. I’ll click on the text on the left side of the menu and I can click if there’s a particular font that strikes my attention. I usually just click on “Add a heading” and then pick my own font.
I just like to scroll down to get something really random because having a different font than people are used to will help you stand out just a little bit more to draw someone’s attention. I took a font in white.
What is the title of the video?
The idea is that when you learn how to make a thumbnail just like this, you will get a lot better results on your videos. Therefore, we want to show people with this thumbnail that before you watch you will have fewer views and then after you watch you will get more views.
Something we can put into a nice concise element here and what’s the simplest way to present that? We want to do custom thumbnails with YouTube and think about how to get our words in here.
I’ll just copy/paste the selected font on the right side. I need to change the font color on it. I go up to the top bar and change its color from white to black. This is a really nice kind of color to look into and I can say Create Custom Thumbnails.
Enlarge the font size from the upper little bar. I like the color contrast and I’ve got that on there now I can full-size this to see how it looks and that’s cool. It’s really simple.
I could do a before and after on both sides showing like a lot of views or fewer views. I could also do something contrasting, for example, I can put over here and write “Default” on the left side and “Custom” on the right.
We could do a little comparison like YouTube views. I could just search and see if there’s anything related to “Views”. I clicked on “Element” and searched for “Views” to see if it’s got me there.
I could put a simple icon. I’ve chosen an eye icon and that’ll work on both sides. We need a different color though. I put a red on it.
We’re making this into a before and after. I’m doing this in real-time so you can see exactly what my workflow is for this. I could put a one-word “Thumbnail” up in the center because it might not be obvious what’s going on with this.
I can copy/paste the icon with the idea to show people that Youtube custom thumbnails get more views than did default.
I can make some more text and have a little thing below the icons that say “Views” and I can write a little another text thing and say 0 views or 1 view. On the other side, copy/paste that again, change the font color to black and I could just do a thousand views or I can make it a little bit fun one.
That gives you a quick idea of what you’re doing.
If you use a “Default Thumbnail” with 1 view versus a “Custom Thumbnail“, you’re getting a lot more views. We’ll shrink that up so we can figure out if there’s anything we want to modify on this to help it make more sense.
We want to put the word “Thumbnail” up in the middle as well. We will drop the font size on both i.e. “Default” & “Custom” and arrange the placement.
Select both i.e. the icon on the right and the number of views with shift-keys and move down until they’re lined up. Do it for both sides.
Now we want one word on the top that says “Thumbnails”. We can split the font up by color. The “Thumbnail” will be black on the one side i.e. “Thumb” and white on the other i.e. “nails”. We’ll select and change their colors.
Look, that’s pretty cool. You can clearly see the kind of before-and-after with this. It’s got lots of space in it. The idea is if you use the “Default Thumbnail”, you will hardly get any views. If you use a “Custom Thumbnail” using the format which I’ve taught you here, you have a shot to get a lot more views.
I hope this works well for you as it does for me and it’s okay to have some slight imperfections on the thumbnail. You can see that mine might not be lined up exactly and that’s okay.
It’s okay because even if someone does have that level of scrutiny, that might get you an extra comment and some more watch time. It’s okay to just get it out there. Do your best on it. You don’t need to obsess over every single detail because when you just do a good job consistently, you’ll build an audience.
Even though some of my thumbnails got clicked on millions of times. I still just throw something out there quickly because to me the eye is honest.
I appreciate the chance to teach you how to do this today. I trust that if you find this helpful, you will join us and hit the subscribe button on Youtube and leave me any comments or feedback you’ve got.
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