Gain more viewers by capturing their attention with a great YouTube thumbnail. When viewers are looking for a video on YouTube, they are scrolling through hundreds of different thumbnails. First impressions are essential, and thumbnails are the first thing viewers see. Many thumbnails provide a visual preview of what your content’s genre is as well as what it will be about. They can quickly answer questions such as, "Is this video going to be a funny prank?" or "Is this going to be a tutorial on how to fix my sink or my tub?". This means it plays a role in their decision on whether they want to click on your video.
Creating the perfect thumbnail can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to be a Photoshop wizard to add a click-worthy thumbnail to your video. Even if you’ve never made your own YouTube thumbnail before, Kapwing’s editor makes it easy.
A video’s thumbnail is going to be the first thing viewers see when they are scrolling through YouTube. It needs to be eye catching and unique so they will want to click on your video. With Kapwing’s freeze frame tool, you can choose a frame from your video to turn into a clickable YouTube thumbnail. Using a frame of the video to create your thumbnail helps you give viewers a preview of what the video will be about. To make it enticing, add text, graphics, and other design elements all within Kapwing.
To get started, upload your video file to Kapwing. Use the playhead in the video timeline to find the frame you want to use as your video thumbnail. Try to choose a frame that is both relevant to the contents of the video and that will draw interest. A close up of someone’s face with a surprised or curious expression can be a good choice for a thumbnail frame. When you’ve found the perfect frame, use the Freeze Frame button in the Timing tab to pause that moment in the video. Kapwing will insert a still image of your video at the point you selected.
From here, add text to your thumbnail using the Add Text tool. Make sure the text for your thumbnail is bold and contrasts well with the background for legibility. If the background of your frame is too busy and makes the text difficult to read, consider choosing a different frame or using the Erase tool to remove the background and replace it with a solid color, leaving the subject of the video and the text as the main focus.
When you’re satisfied with your YouTube thumbnail, select “Export as JPEG” from the Export dropdown menu. Download the thumbnail frame as an image. Once you’re done, upload to YouTube and add the thumbnail to your video.
Kapwing's thumbnail maker is fast, easy, and free! Use it to add a thumbnail to any video with ease. Our mission is to provide fast, accessible tools to empower creators and their stories. We believe everyone is a creator, so this tool was made for everyone.
Kapwing is free to use for teams of any size. We also offer paid plans with additional features, storage, and support.