To catch the attention of a user on YouTube and draw them in, the only immediate tools that videos have are the title and the thumbnail. As the famous saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words, thumbnails are crucial when it comes to getting users to click on a video. This might come as a surprise but even the greatest YouTubers in the world probably don’t have the best design skills. However, some online tools and platforms help YouTubers create stunning thumbnails that entice audiences to click.
Also read our blog: Top 10 Free Video Editing Software For YouTube Content Creators, to elevate your entire content game.
Once you figure out the target audience and what they’re looking for, these online tools are the most efficient and convenient way to consistently create engaging thumbnails. While we do understand how important thumbnails are, this blog takes you through the 10 most effective tools to create YouTube thumbnails for your videos.
Features Of An Ideal YouTube Thumbnail
First impressions are usually the last impression and this statement rings true when it comes to YouTube thumbnails. Being a visual platform, YouTube is a space where visuals are your best bet to attract the audiences you desire. While the content in the videos might be phenomenal, it’s of no use if nobody watches the video.
YouTube thumbnails are extremely small, especially when viewed on mobile. It is recommended to keep the thumbnail simple and visually pleasing to work across devices. Too much text causes too much clutter. The thumbnail should visually supplement the title and caption for a holistic approach to drawing audiences. It is a futile effort if there is no relevance between the title and the thumbnail. While the title is optimized with keywords and SEO, thumbnails use high contrast colors and brand elements to tell a visual story within a few seconds.
Check out these, 9 Things You’ll Need For Your Video Thumbnails To Get Click.
And while you’re at it – garner more traction for your videos, with our blog: How To Generate More Views From YouTube Thumbnails?
Top Tools For Clickable YouTube Video Thumbnails
1. Designing custom templates: Canva
The easiest to use, and most popular, is Canva, a free online website that allows creators with minimal design experience to create custom templates and video thumbnails through a simple drag-and-drop mechanism. With a gamut of visual options and immediate customer support, Canva helps users create thumbnails that are customizable, colorful, and edgy. The platform supports all design needs with over a million graphics, templates, videos, images, and fonts. While most users use the tool for free, additional features can be accessed on the Pro version for $120 per year.
2. From beginners to professionals: Adobe Spark
Coming from the suite of powerhouse technology giant Adobe, this tool enables YouTubers across the entire spectrum of expertise to create thumbnails that help draw in social audiences. If it is the speed you are looking for, the platform is easy to use and provides multiple pre-designed templates based on the category. Adobe Spark helps create alluring visuals while keeping things simple with custom backgrounds, colors, fonts, and visual elements to optimize the thumbnail. While it is available across operating systems for free, users can access a paid version with additional benefits for around $100 per year.
Figure 1. Adobe Spark Main Page. Source: Adobe Spark
3. Cloud-based editing: Fotor
Fotor is one of those platforms that make the user feel like they’ve put in minimal effort by doing all the heavy lifting for them. Fotor collates all the advanced visual features from across the world into one simple platform, making a great thumbnail just one click away. With attractive themes, Fotor helps users discover their love for art and design by lifting all the barriers, as quick editing options make the task exponentially easier. All designs are saved on the cloud and quick processing speeds make exporting it easier. More features and fewer ads are available on the pro version at $40 per year.
4. Starting from scratch: Snappa
The greatest advantage of Snappa is that it enables users to upgrade the tool at any time, for elevating their design game. The platform offers users enough options to create designs that translate across social media. While there are pre-made templates, users have the option of taking an idea and designing it from scratch. The versatility and limitless options make it easy to use for beginners even for free, although with the pro version at $120 per year, the possibilities are endless. Snappa is designed to help users create truly unique visuals every single time.
5. For individuals as well as businesses: Visme
Similar to Canva, Visme is the ideal online platform to create great YouTube thumbnails using a drag-and–drop mechanism that aids users with minimal design experience. Visme goes the extra step in catering to businesses as well by making every part of a template customizable, be it shape, location, or size. The fonts, icons, and graphics are a cut above the competition and can be customized for a brand. With a free plan for up to 5 parallel projects, Visme offers tiered payment structures for individuals, businesses, or educational institutions with paid plans starting at $168 per year.
6. Created by professionals: Creatopy
Instead of relying on one’s design prowess to convert great templates into exciting YouTube thumbnail designs, Creatopy offers templates that have been designed by professional artists around the world, making them visually great straight out of the gate. With straightforward software and a plethora of design elements to choose from, Creatopy allows users to work on 10 projects at a time, all for free! While paid plans begin at $17 per month, the free elements are likely all you will need to elevate your YouTube game.
7. Thumbnails in 3 simple steps: FotoJet
Fotojet allows users to pick a template, create a design and edit their visuals in one swift go. The collection of templates is one of the biggest on the Internet with over 500 options available. Keeping YouTube in mind, the platform offers users an advanced thumbnail creator that helps add filters and resize/rotate/crop images. The thumbnail resolution ensures you have high-quality visuals at all times in just a few clicks. Even its pro version is one of the most economical on the internet at $40 per year.
Figure 2. FotoJet Homepage. Source: FotoJet
8. Visual beautification: PicMonkey
When users sign up for the premium option on PicMonkey at $4 per month, they are introduced to an array of never-seer-before effects such as frames, overlays, and image beautification. The premium fonts and filters ensure that your YouTube thumbnails are unlike anything else. Statistically, it is the second most used editing tool after Canva purely out of its unique offerings and wide range of options.
9. Add video effects to thumbnails: PixTeller
PixTeller leads the way when it comes to creating branded YouTube thumbnails without the slightest technical or design knowledge. To set you off on the right foot, the pre-designed video thumbnail option makes it easy to mix and match designs until you create a unique thumbnail that suits you. In a few clicks, you can edit video fonts, designs, logos, effects, and filters, without over-complicating the design process. While the video options are available for free, the entire range of effects can be accessed at $84 per year.
10. Community design sharing: Backgrounder
Created by Panzoid, Backgrounder is a community design tool that enables users from across the world to access and share designs to collaborate. The easy interface makes it undeniably easy to use while creating YouTube thumbnails. The various layers available ensure an all-encompassing design that is unique, exciting, and engaging. The interface does show the occasional ad but it’s a small price to pay for the exciting design elements on offer. This online tool is best suited for social media design collaterals, be it YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter.
Well done! You’ve perfected your YouTube channel aesthetics! Read our blog: 10 YouTube Marketing Tips For High Ranking Videos, to optimize your talent too.
Figure 3. Backgrounder Tool. Source: Panzoid
This mechanism of engaging thumbnails is a long-term strategy that will ultimately pay off in terms of engagement, views, and subscribers for your brand. Stay ahead of the competition with one of these design platforms that are efficient, free, easy to use, and loaded with features to make your thumbnails shine, or you could simply hire the professionals to do it!
Now that you have mastered the art of creating perfect YouTube thumbnails, here’s How To Promote Your YouTube Channel.
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