Monday, November 7, 2016

Using Canva to Create Easy YouTube Thumbnails

What’s up, folks.  So listen–err, read.  Today I wanted to share how you can use the online design tool, Canva, to create easy thumbnails for your YouTube videos.  Or at least how I create mine.  Nonetheless, you always want an interesting thumbnail to grab viewer’s attention.  Especially for those viewers who aren’t familiar with your content.  When a video of yours pops up in viewer’s search or on their recommendations list, chances are a unique thumbnail will grab their attention.  Especially a thumbnail with eye-popping color and an interesting composite representative of the actual content (no click baiting, please). 
But enough of that.  Let’s get started… (If images are too small, try clicking on them for a fuller scaled view).

1.  First I suggest you grab a screenshot of what’s taking place in the video you plan on uploading.  Different video editing programs have different methods of capturing a screenshot.  But, with Windows Movie Maker, it’s as simple as clicking SNAPSHOT.  Save the image wherever you please before logging into Canvas.

2.  Once in Canvas move to the right-hand corner where a box reads: USE CUSTOM DIMENSIONS.  To create the thumbnail, the pixel dimensions you’re looking for are 560px X 315px.  Input such.

3.  Now that you have your blank box, upload the SNAPSHOT image via Canva’s UPLOAD button.  It’s a simple matter of drag-and-drop.

4.  I always suggest creating a frame around your YouTube thumbnail for that extra POP in a viewer’s recommendation column (as well as for subscribers).  There are different methods of creating a frame, but the way I do so is simply using Canva’s BACKGROUND function.  Once you select a BACKGROUND (pattern or solid), you can adjust the color as pleased.  While I have another method of creating frames as well, this is the simplest.

5.  With your frame in place, all you have to do is go to UPLOADS and select your image.  Once your image is above the BACKGROUND, adjust the image’s scale to create the frame effect.

6.  Now you can go ham–as in the designing of the thumbnail through TEXT and added png images.  This part is up to you.  Luckily, Canva doesn’t come short in design possibilities.  You could be here all day, but just make sure whatever you create is BOLD in text and POPS.  And definitely play around with colors and images.  If you can’t find what you need to give your thumbnail that extra flare, try Pixabay for free, high quality images you can use!  

Once you have your thumbnail, DOWNLOAD (top right-hand corner) it onto your computer.
Here’s the final product for this particular video I’ve created.  Bold lettering.  Chickens both from the video and an enlarged png image.  And a popping emoji to suggest what is expressed within the circumstances of the video.
Simple?  Right?  If there are any questions, drop them in the comments below.

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