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12 Thumbnails to use on YouTube and Grow your SaaS

Read a curated list of YouTube thumbnails with examples for your SaaS YouTube videos from YouTube experts and SaaS Founders to grow your SaaS.

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Note: SaaSwrites is a curated growth marketing hub and resource built to help SaaS founders grow their products. We sincerely thank all our experts for their constant value addition to this world.
Updated: 01/04/2022

Youtube:
  • YouTube is the most used video platform in the USA.
  • 2nd most visited website Globally
  • 2nd most used social platform Globally

1. Shock & Awe

Explanation: People are naturally curious about things they've never seen before.
Tactic: Use bold lettering and imagery to emphasize the most shocking moment of your video. Include emotional facial expressions.
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2. Comparisons

Explanation: Side-by-side comparisons will attract avid supporters from both sides. This effectively doubles your target audience.
Tactic: Bring attention to the most extreme difference (price, size, skill, age, etc.)
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3. Reactions

Explanation: Dramatic faces attract attention—people click because they can't help but want to see what provoked it.
Tactic: To make the reaction more genuine, use a still from your footage, not a posed shot
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4. Join Along

Explanation: Behind-the-scenes and candid content builds affinity with your audience–the viewer feels like they're a part of your journey.
Tactic: Re-frame mundane situations (ex. studying, cleaning, traveling) into chances to join a day in the life.
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5. Ask A Question

Explanation: People crave closure. Asking a Q in your thumbnail opens a loop that can only be closed by watching.
Tactic: Use the video title to tease at the answer you pose in your thumbnail. Keep the Q to less than 5 words.
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6. Stickers

Explanation: Recognizable objects allow you to communicate the topic of your video without using words.
Tactic: Use a colored outline stroke or drop-shadow to give the stickers a multi-layer effect
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7. Negative Space

Explanation: Draw attention to key elements of your thumbnail by de-cluttering around it Tactic: Use a single color or blurry background. Put 1 or 2 key elements in the foreground.
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8. Brand Consistency

Explanation: Keeping an element of your thumbnails consistent makes your videos familiar–even to non-subscribers.
Tactic: Include a small logo. Use a design style or color palette consistently.
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9. Arrows & Emphasis

Explanation: Draw attention to small details within your thumbnail that hint at what will happen in the video.
Tactic: Show "before" the action happens. Use arrows to trace the path of movement.
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10. Big Numbers

Explanation: Big numbers are un-natural (and therefore generate curiosity).
Tactic: Use commas to make the number appear longer. Don't make it too round or it'll come off as fake.
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11. Headline

Explanation: Pique curiosity and provide context using a headline that complements an otherwise plain thumbnail.
Tactic: Keep headlines to less than 3 words. Use a large font. Position it across the top of the thumbnail.
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12. Pop-Outs

Explanation: Zoom in on a specific spot on your thumbnail to emphasize the video's primary focus.
Tactic: Use a border around the pop-out to make it clear. Zoom in to show texture, small details, or important elements.
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