What are Thumbnails and Why are They Important for YouTube?

thumbnail images on tablet

One YouTube study showed that 90% of the videos that have been popular on YouTube had custom thumbnails. 

Attractive thumbnails are a big deciding factor when a viewer is thinking of watching your video or not. So what are they and why do you need one?

Start your blog today with a special OnBlastBlog discount from Bluehost. Only $2.95/mo with a free domain name and email address. You can't beat this offer!

Keep reading below to learn more! 

What Are Thumbnails?

You’ve probably seen thumbnails before, whether you realize it or not.

If you ask someone, “what are thumbnails?” they will probably tell you that they are just smaller images that give you a preview of the video you are about to watch. 

If you scroll through YouTube, you’ll see tons of thumbnails trying to get you curious enough to click on the video. It acts in the same way that a book cover or a movie poster does. It gives you information on what you’re about to experience.

But the main purpose for a thumbnail is to get you interested enough to click on the video. And if you have a great thumbnail, the chances of attracting more viewers are higher. 

Here’s why having your own thumbnails are important.

1. Make the Audience Curious

YouTube is mostly a visual platform, just like all other social media is becoming. Viewers can scroll through and read the title of your video along with viewing the thumbnail. 


Bluehost Banner

They may see something that catches their attention enough to click on the video and watch it. The key to a good thumbnail is making the audience curious enough without giving away too much information.

2. You’ll Keep up with Thumbnail Trends

Just like with social media trends, there are also trends in thumbnails.

If you want to grow your following on YouTube, you’ll need to follow these trends. But with that being said, you’ll also need to add your own twist to stand out. 

Ready for a mailing list? Constant Contact has you covered with the tools and expertise you need to get started. Check out their free trial today!

Right now, one of the big trends is putting a picture of yourself with some sort of expression on your face that will make users wonder what you’re reacting to.

In addition to that, you’ll also want to add some text. Make sure it relates to your video in some way. If users watch the video and the thumbnail isn’t related, they will feel betrayed and less likely to watch more of your videos. 

You also want to have other images or products in your thumbnail. Basically, you want to give the audience a sneak peek of what they’re about to click on. 

3. It Shows You Have a Decent Following

On YouTube, they only let you upload a thumbnail if you have a certain amount of followers.

If you have a thumbnail, people will realize that you have enough followers and may be interested in seeing what you’re posting.

4. It Doesn’t Have to be Difficult to Design

You may not want to upload a thumbnail because you think it will be difficult to design or you won’t have time to make one.

However, it actually doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out this best YouTube thumbnail maker app

5. You’ll Get More Clicks and Views

At the end of the day, you want more views and clicks on your profile.

Having good, interesting thumbnails is the best way to achieve that. Once you pull in new viewers, they may start to become part of your regular followers. 

Start Your YouTube Career Today!

When asking “what are thumbnails,” they’re actually very important to your online career. Thumbnails can be the difference in making it in the YouTube world.

What are you waiting for? Start making your YouTube thumbnails today!

SEMRush Banner