Does Changing YouTube Thumbnails Get More Views? [Case Study]


Have you ever heard of changing a YouTube video thumbnail to get more views? I heard Derral Eves talking about this strategy, but long after I had done it so many times.

I’m glad to share that 95% of the times I changed the YouTube thumbnails, the video took off.

I have seen the transition from stagnant views to rapid incline in the views graph.

So I decided to share a random case study of changing a YouTube video’s thumbnail and showcasing the result of the experiment.

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I can’t promise that it’d work every time you do an experiment on your YouTube thumbnail, but you got to try it.

I have seen a drastic change in the views on so many videos across multiple YouTube channels.

Therefore, I’m a big advocate of this YouTube thumbnail strategy.

Before I share the case study, I’d like to highlight three essential elements of changing YouTube thumbnails for getting more views.

does changing a thumbnail get more views?

1. Changing the Thumbnail Style

There is a default thumbnail system on YouTube which chooses three random scenes from the video as the thumbnails. You may not want to rely on that feature for your thumbnail. However, don’t always stick to just one thumbnail per video. I’d highly recommend keeping a back-up thumbnail for every video you put out.

What I mean by changing the thumbnail style is that don’t shy away from trying a blurry-background thumbnail or a text-based thumbnail or a photoshopped thumbnail. You can use Canva for designing your YouTube thumbnails.

2. Adding the Explanatory Text

You may not have seen such videos on YouTube that have more than one line of text written on the thumbnails, but I see such video thumbnails every day. The secret behind this strategy is that if it starts working for some channels, they simply double-down on that and make the most of this opportunity. As a result, YouTube keeps on recommending the videos of those channels to the same audience. It turns out, it works great for some channels.

On the other hand, I follow some American and British vloggers who also use a tiny bit of text on their thumbnails to explain the point of the video, which makes sense. So test it out and see what works best for you.  

3. Experimenting with the Graphics Designing

Don’t underestimate the power of graphics designing in the YouTube-game. I have discussed different types of YouTube thumbnails that work for different YouTube channels in a previous blog post, and one of the examples was the Authority Hackers YouTube channel, which is quite good at using graphics designing for thumbnails.

online graphics design tool

Feel free to use Canva or DesignCap tool for designing your YouTube thumbnails, or you could also hire a graphics designer for creating YouTube thumbnails for you.

Case Study: Does Changing YouTube Thumbnails Get More Views?

I did an experiment on a YouTube video’s thumbnail. It’s the only one I documented in the video-form; I haven’t made any sort of footage or screenshot for the rest of the thumbnail experiments that I did and got similar results.

Let me explain what happened:

The scenario before the experiment

The views on the video were stagnant at 486 for quite some time as there was no demand for that video. Even though, the video was about a DSLR microphone, which should bring some traction, after all.

I did wait for a week or so before I decided to do an experiment on the thumbnail. Read what I exactly did on the thumbnail below.

What changes did I make on the video thumbnail?

I only added the text “Boya Microphones” on the thumbnail as it was a comparison video on two of the Boya microphones that I had used at that point. You could see both thumbnails in the explanatory video embedded at the end of this blog post; the text had a bold font and the white color.

The aftermath of changing the video thumbnail

When I changed the thumbnail, it took a week or so before it starts to show some traction. I got back to the analytics after 14 days and I noticed that views were increasing. Furthermore, after 30 days, the views almost got double.

Here’s the video that would showcase this case study:

Let me know what you think of this strategy.

Have you ever tried something that increased the views on a video?

Don’t forget to share your strategy in the comments below.