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How Much Does a Thumbnail Cost?

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Hiring talented thumbnail designers to create a custom thumbnail for your YouTube or Vimeo videos is a great way to stand out from the crowd and communicate the style of your socials to attract new viewers.

With thousands of professional freelance designers available to hire now through Guru, there is a design specialist for everyone. The average cost for a thumbnail is around $10 to $15. However, more advanced graphics can cost in the region of $30, depending on the experience of your selected designer and the complexity of the design you have in mind.

Why Create a Custom Thumbnail?

Thumbnails are the first thing a viewer sees and provide a quick insight into your video content. Think of a thumbnail as a form of advertising that should work hard to encourage people browsing the millions of videos online to stop and click on your post.

Why are YouTube thumbnails important? An eye-catching thumbnail can transform your engagement and viewer numbers while complying with formatting requirements. For example, YouTube requires thumbnails to be 1,280 by 720 pixels, with a maximum width of 640 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Getting a thumbnail wrong may mean it appears distorted, blurry, or too small to see–and won’t be a good tool to attract viewers and followers to your site.

Some vloggers, YouTube artists, and influencers use the same thumbnail for all of their content for consistency, whereas others will have a new thumbnail for each post or have a range of thumbnails, depending on the type of content. For example, you might have a thumbnail for competition and giveaway videos, one for updates, and another for regular content.

Is it Worth Paying a Designer for a Thumbnail?

In short, yes–hiring a designer isn’t hugely expensive. Still, with videos making up 65% of all online traffic, your thumbnail will impact the likelihood that you will engage with an increasing number of followers and subscribers.

Adding a tailored, on-brand thumbnail works similarly to having a beautiful or cool piece of artwork on the front cover of a book. It can enhance:

  • Click-through rates
  • Audience numbers
  • Engagement metrics
  • Views, likes, and comments

Although you can use thumbnails on a broad array of content and for videos posted outside of YouTube, on the channel, you will also find that a great thumbnail can boost your ranking and visibility.

Exciting, funny, or memorable thumbnails drive higher clicks and more click-throughs onto other content, which means a larger number of viewers watch the video to the end, like and follow your channel, and interact with you.

Using Video Thumbnails as Online Marketing

As well as a good way to improve your presence on YouTube, thumbnails positively correlate with Google search rankings. Google search results include videos, graphics, web pages, and other digital content types. The better your thumbnail and the more engagement you attract, the higher up the search engine results page you appear.

Explainers and instructional videos often perform best and rank very high when a user searches for a question beginning with ‘how to,’ such as ‘how to edit a YouTube video’ or ‘how to create content for Vimeo.’ Incorporating colorful thumbnails designed with overlays, logos, images, and accents that match your brand or video style makes a lasting impression, creating a visually cohesive video catalog that users are more likely to choose to click on and regard as credible content.

How to Design a Perfect Thumbnail for YouTube Videos

The right thumbnail for you will depend on your personality and online style, but there are a few great tips that can help you come up with fresh ideas. You can also browse existing influencers and high-follower YouTube channels as inspiration!

  • Use colors rather than monochrome. Black, white, and gray do not jump off the page, so even one bright color is more effective.
  • Keep graphics simple and zoomed in. The thumbnail only covers a small space, depending on whether a viewer is watching through a mobile, tablet, or smart TV. If you use your face, for example, or a cartoon, make it large enough to be clear without a user needing to squint to try and make out the shape.
  • Make sure the text is bold. As with imagery, any words on your thumbnail must be easy to read, even when condensed for display on a small device. 

If in doubt, the solution is to consult with a thumbnail designer with experience and lots of previous examples in their portfolio to help you create a design brief. Alternatively, you can browse all of the designers on Guru offering thumbnail design and select the professional with the style that best matches your ideas. 

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