There’s an easy opportunity to get more YouTube views simply by dominating the traffic that comes from suggested and related videos on YouTube. Using branded thumbnails can make your videos stand out from all the other videos being suggested around it and will bring more YouTube views and traffic to your videos. In this tutorial, I show you how to use branded thumbnails to increase your YouTube views and grow your videos.

I want to show you guys something, a little trick that I learned from my friends over at about something called a “branded thumbnail.” And I’ll explain to you how this work.

Now, maybe you’ve noticed here on this channel at “Video Creators,” you see down the left side of every thumbnail, there’s a red stripe that says my brand, “Video Creators TV.” I also do this over my family’s vlogging channel, Schmovies. You’ll see that there’s a yellow stripe that stands out. And other channels do this as well, many, many examples of channels that are branding their thumbnails in such a way that makes their video stand out more in related videos.


Now, if you look at your YouTube Analytics, maybe your channel is like most where the majority of your traffic is actually coming from related videos and suggestive videos here on YouTube. That is great because that means that your traffic can be pretty steady and is predictable.

Related Videos

In related videos, you’ll potentially get more traffic from that side bar because the eye is naturally drawn to patterns. And when your eye notices a pattern, your thumbnails will stick out. And the more your thumbnails stick out, statistically, the more clicks that you will get on those thumbnails.

The other benefit is that when people just quickly scrolling through their subscription feed on YouTube, looking for another video to watch, your video stands out there as well. It’s easier for them to catch your videos in a sea of other thumbnails that are just all right there in the YouTube homepage under Subscription feed. Your video can easily stand out.

Tips for setting up your Thumbnail

There’s a few different ways you can do this.

  • I recommend sticking to the left side of the thumbnail as opposed to the right side because down in the bottom right corner is where the video’s timestamp and duration count will be there covering up that little corner.
  • You can either do a stripe like I am doing. There are some people that will just do a little tick in the upper left corner.
  • Other people do a triangle at the bottom left corner.
  • Other people just take a logo or an image or maybe it’s even their face or something and make that consistent across their thumbnails.

The idea is to get a consistent pattern so that when multiple of your videos, two or three of your videos, are related to another video, particularly on your own channel, that you will get more click-throughs because the eye will notice that pattern and be more attracted to clicking on those thumbnails.

If you are branding your thumbnails, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Tell us what do you do on your thumbnails? How’s it working for you?

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