How to Upload a Custom Thumbnail to your YouTube Video | by AP White | Jan, 2021

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Adding a custom thumbnail to your YouTube video can improve your click through rate, but how do you do it? Find out here.

Photo by CardMapr on Unsplash

Verify your account

Before you can add a custom thumbnail to your YouTube video, you will need to verify your YouTube account. This is done by going to https://youtube.com/verify and connecting a mobile phone with your account. A code will be sent to your phone that you will need to enter on the screen, and once done you will have access to added features on your channel including being allowed to upload custom thumbnails, videos longer than 15 minutes and the ability to live stream.

Adding a custom thumbnail when uploading your video

Once you have a verified account and want to upload a new video and add a custom thumbnail alongside that, head back to the YouTube homepage and click the Create button in the top right corner. Choose Upload Video from the drop down menu.

Adding a custom thumbnail to a video that’s already uploaded

If you have already uploaded your video to YouTube and it’s live, but you wish to add a new custom thumbnail or change the one that is currently there, then you can do that too.

Custom Thumbnail Tips

I’ll be writing a guide on creating the perfect custom thumbnail sometime in the future, but for now here are a few tips to bear in mind when creating yours:

  • Use a photo that clearly demonstrates what is going on in your video. Don’t be misleading with your custom thumbnail, as this will lead to viewers clicking away from your video after it starts leading to a low audience retention rate.
  • Use a large image such as 1920×1080 resolution so that the thumbnail is nice and clear at all screen sizes and looks great.

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