Thumbnails & Titles:
How To Make Your Videos Irresistible

With so much content on YouTube, how do you make your videos stand out? No matter how good the content itself is, it doesn’t matter if viewers don’t click on it.


A thumbnail and title strategy is crucial - simply using a still from your video won’t cut it if you’re looking to thrive on YouTube. Below are some tips on best practices for what you should be doing for each.


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With your thumbnails, the overall main thing to keep in mind is that you want to connect with the audience and clearly communicate what the video is about. From there - it’s a matter of fine-tuning the style to showcase your own personality.

Our optimisation checklist of things to consider:

  1. Looks good small

  2. Suits the video

  3. Easy to understand

  4. Energy & movement

  5. Focus attention

  6. Product exceptions (if the content is about a product, show them rather than you)

  7. Faces: close up, eye contact

  8. Emotions (connect with the audience, but don't go overboard)

  9. Background & contrast (also considering subject)

  10. Text: minimise & right font

  11. Branding correctly placed

  12. Consistency in style

Some examples we love:
TN example.png


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Effective communication is also the goal with titles, adding on context or intrigue to the visual of your thumbnail. The sooner a viewer can understand what it is the video is offering, the better your chances of them clicking on it (and staying if it delivers on the promise). As tempting as it might be to go for clickbait to get traffic to your videos, building audience trust is going to pay off more in the long run.

Our optimisation checklist of things to consider:
  1. Enticing (active voice / use a verb / connecting). Make them want to click the video

  2. Create an ‘information gap’ or need-to-know

  3. Check spelling and don't use ALL caps

  4. Accurately describe the video

  5. Have keyword in title (45 character for the mobile cut off)

  6. Audience specific and topical (identify the audience or element of topic)

  7. Compartmentalise & simplify

Some examples we love:
Title example.png
In the end, it’s important to develop a style that feels natural to your own content and what works for you and your audience. For example, it was recently pointed out that Mr Beast’s thumbnails can be neatly fit into 7 categories. Check out the thread in the Twitter post for Jay’s breakdown of the different visuals used on the channel:
Once you’ve got your own framework established taking the above into consideration, you’ll be sure to see an increase in your click-through rate.
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