Branding Your YouTube Videos with Custom Thumbnails

YouTube is great for sharing videos, but have you noticed that the image that appears when your video isn’t playing is hit or miss?  Even if you’ve spent time designing that first frame, chances are that’s not the frame that ultimately gets chosen as it’s ‘resting face’( the more technical term is ‘thumbnail’).   Thankfully there is an easy way to make that frozen frame appear the way you want it to. [su_pullquote align=”right”](Psst. If you create the image in PowerPoint and export it in the appropriate format you’ll get the correct dimensions)[/su_pullquote]

First you’ll want to create your desired ‘first image’.  Be sure it’s 2 MB or less and ideally it should be 1280 x 720 pixels.  It should also be in .jpg, png. .bmp or .gif format.

Once you have your image, log in to your YouTube account and go to the Creator Studio.  The link is found when you click on your profile image.change video start image one

Click on the left hand sidebar where it says videos and then choose the video you want to add the new image to and click the edit button.

On the page that opens, you’ll see your video as well as all of your basic info, monetization and other details regarding that particular video.  To the right of the video you should see a listing of 3 potential screen grabs to use as the video thumbnail and ‘resting face’.  And beneath them there is a button that will allow you to upload your custom image.change video start image two


Upload your desired image and save your changes.  That’s it.  It’s that easy to put your best ‘face’ forward in your YouTube videos.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.